Florida Senate - 2018                      CS for CS for SB 1650
       
       
        
       By the Committees on Governmental Oversight and Accountability;
       and Children, Families, and Elder Affairs; and Senators Montford
       and Book
       
       
       
       585-03160-18                                          20181650c2
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to child welfare; amending s. 39.001,
    3         F.S.; providing an additional purpose of ch. 39, F.S.;
    4         providing for the name of a child’s guardian ad litem
    5         or attorney ad litem to be entered on court orders in
    6         dependency proceedings; amending s. 39.01, F.S.;
    7         expanding the definition of the term “harm” to
    8         encompass infants born under certain circumstances;
    9         amending s. 39.0136, F.S.; requiring cooperation
   10         between certain parties and the court to achieve
   11         permanency for a child in a timely manner; requiring
   12         certain court orders to specify certain deadlines;
   13         amending s. 39.202, F.S.; prohibiting the Department
   14         of Children and Families from releasing the names of
   15         certain persons who have provided information during a
   16         protective investigation except under certain
   17         circumstances; amending s. 39.402, F.S.; providing
   18         that time limitations governing placement of a child
   19         in a shelter do not include continuances requested by
   20         the court; providing limitations on continuances;
   21         providing requirements for parents to achieve
   22         reunification with the child; amending s. 39.507,
   23         F.S.; requiring the court to advise the parents during
   24         an adjudicatory hearing of certain actions that are
   25         required to achieve reunification; amending s. 39.521,
   26         F.S.; requiring the department to provide copies of
   27         the family functioning assessment to certain persons;
   28         amending s. 39.522, F.S.; providing conditions for the
   29         court to consider the continuity of the child’s
   30         placement in the same out-of-home residence before the
   31         permanency placement is approved in a postdisposition
   32         proceeding to modify custody; amending s. 39.6011,
   33         F.S.; requiring a case plan for a child receiving
   34         services from the department to include a protocol for
   35         parents to achieve reunification with the child;
   36         providing that certain action or inaction by a parent
   37         may result in termination of parental rights;
   38         requiring the department to provide certain
   39         information to a parent before signing a case plan;
   40         providing a timeframe for referral for services;
   41         amending s. 39.6012, F.S.; requiring a case plan to
   42         contain certain information; requiring parents or
   43         legal guardians to provide certain information to the
   44         department or contracted case management agency and to
   45         update the information as appropriate; requiring the
   46         parents or legal guardians to make proactive contact
   47         with the department or contracted case management
   48         agency; amending s. 39.6013, F.S.; requiring the court
   49         to consider certain factors when determining whether
   50         to amend a case plan; conforming a cross-reference;
   51         amending s. 39.621, F.S.; requiring the court to
   52         determine certain factors at a permanency hearing;
   53         requiring the court to hold permanency hearings within
   54         specified timeframes until permanency is determined;
   55         amending s. 39.701, F.S.; revising the findings a
   56         court must make at a judicial review hearing relating
   57         to a child’s permanency goal; requiring the department
   58         to file a motion to amend a case plan when concurrent
   59         planning is used, under certain circumstances;
   60         amending s. 39.806, F.S.; specifying that a parent or
   61         parents may materially breach a case plan by action or
   62         inaction; amending s. 39.811, F.S.; requiring the
   63         court to enter a written order of disposition of the
   64         child following termination of parental rights within
   65         a specified timeframe; providing an effective date.
   66          
   67  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   68  
   69         Section 1. Subsection (7) of section 39.001, Florida
   70  Statutes, is amended, and paragraph (q) is added to subsection
   71  (1) and paragraph (j) is added to subsection (3) of that
   72  section, to read:
   73         39.001 Purposes and intent; personnel standards and
   74  screening.—
   75         (1) PURPOSES OF CHAPTER.—The purposes of this chapter are:
   76         (q)To recognize the responsibility of:
   77         1.The parent from whose custody a child has been taken to
   78  take action to comply with the case plan so reunification with
   79  the child may occur within the shortest period of time possible,
   80  but not more than 1 year after removal or adjudication of the
   81  child.
   82         2.The department and its community-based care providers to
   83  make reasonable efforts to finalize a family’s permanency plan,
   84  including assisting parents with developing strategies to
   85  overcome barriers to case plan compliance.
   86         3.The court to affirmatively determine what the barriers
   87  are to timely reunification, and address such barriers as
   88  frequently as needed to ensure compliance with the time
   89  limitations established in this chapter.
   90         (3) GENERAL PROTECTIONS FOR CHILDREN.—It is a purpose of
   91  the Legislature that the children of this state be provided with
   92  the following protections:
   93         (j)The ability to contact their guardian ad litem or
   94  attorney ad litem, if appointed, by having that individual’s
   95  name entered on all orders of the court.
   96         (7) PARENTAL, CUSTODIAL, AND GUARDIAN RESPONSIBILITIES.
   97  Parents, custodians, and guardians are deemed by the state to be
   98  responsible for providing their children with sufficient
   99  support, guidance, and supervision. The state further recognizes
  100  that the ability of parents, custodians, and guardians to
  101  fulfill those responsibilities can be greatly impaired by
  102  economic, social, behavioral, emotional, and related problems.
  103  It is therefore the policy of the Legislature that it is the
  104  state’s responsibility to ensure that factors impeding the
  105  ability of caregivers to fulfill their responsibilities are
  106  identified through the dependency process and that appropriate
  107  recommendations and services to address those problems are
  108  considered in any judicial or nonjudicial proceeding. The
  109  Legislature also recognizes that time is of the essence for
  110  establishing permanency for a child in the dependency system.
  111  Therefore, parents must take action to comply with the case plan
  112  so reunification with the child may occur within the shortest
  113  period of time possible, but not more than 1 year after removal
  114  or adjudication of the child, including by notifying the parties
  115  and the court of barriers to case plan compliance.
  116         Section 2. Subsection (30) of section 39.01, Florida
  117  Statutes, is amended to read:
  118         39.01 Definitions.—When used in this chapter, unless the
  119  context otherwise requires:
  120         (30) “Harm” to a child’s health or welfare can occur when
  121  any person:
  122         (a) Inflicts or allows to be inflicted upon the child
  123  physical, mental, or emotional injury. In determining whether
  124  harm has occurred, the following factors must be considered in
  125  evaluating any physical, mental, or emotional injury to a child:
  126  the age of the child; any prior history of injuries to the
  127  child; the location of the injury on the body of the child; the
  128  multiplicity of the injury; and the type of trauma inflicted.
  129  Such injury includes, but is not limited to:
  130         1. Willful acts that produce the following specific
  131  injuries:
  132         a. Sprains, dislocations, or cartilage damage.
  133         b. Bone or skull fractures.
  134         c. Brain or spinal cord damage.
  135         d. Intracranial hemorrhage or injury to other internal
  136  organs.
  137         e. Asphyxiation, suffocation, or drowning.
  138         f. Injury resulting from the use of a deadly weapon.
  139         g. Burns or scalding.
  140         h. Cuts, lacerations, punctures, or bites.
  141         i. Permanent or temporary disfigurement.
  142         j. Permanent or temporary loss or impairment of a body part
  143  or function.
  144  
  145  As used in this subparagraph, the term “willful” refers to the
  146  intent to perform an action, not to the intent to achieve a
  147  result or to cause an injury.
  148         2. Purposely giving a child poison, alcohol, drugs, or
  149  other substances that substantially affect the child’s behavior,
  150  motor coordination, or judgment or that result in sickness or
  151  internal injury. For the purposes of this subparagraph, the term
  152  “drugs” means prescription drugs not prescribed for the child or
  153  not administered as prescribed, and controlled substances as
  154  outlined in Schedule I or Schedule II of s. 893.03.
  155         3. Leaving a child without adult supervision or arrangement
  156  appropriate for the child’s age or mental or physical condition,
  157  so that the child is unable to care for the child’s own needs or
  158  another’s basic needs or is unable to exercise good judgment in
  159  responding to any kind of physical or emotional crisis.
  160         4. Inappropriate or excessively harsh disciplinary action
  161  that is likely to result in physical injury, mental injury as
  162  defined in this section, or emotional injury. The significance
  163  of any injury must be evaluated in light of the following
  164  factors: the age of the child; any prior history of injuries to
  165  the child; the location of the injury on the body of the child;
  166  the multiplicity of the injury; and the type of trauma
  167  inflicted. Corporal discipline may be considered excessive or
  168  abusive when it results in any of the following or other similar
  169  injuries:
  170         a. Sprains, dislocations, or cartilage damage.
  171         b. Bone or skull fractures.
  172         c. Brain or spinal cord damage.
  173         d. Intracranial hemorrhage or injury to other internal
  174  organs.
  175         e. Asphyxiation, suffocation, or drowning.
  176         f. Injury resulting from the use of a deadly weapon.
  177         g. Burns or scalding.
  178         h. Cuts, lacerations, punctures, or bites.
  179         i. Permanent or temporary disfigurement.
  180         j. Permanent or temporary loss or impairment of a body part
  181  or function.
  182         k. Significant bruises or welts.
  183         (b) Commits, or allows to be committed, sexual battery, as
  184  defined in chapter 794, or lewd or lascivious acts, as defined
  185  in chapter 800, against the child.
  186         (c) Allows, encourages, or forces the sexual exploitation
  187  of a child, which includes allowing, encouraging, or forcing a
  188  child to:
  189         1. Solicit for or engage in prostitution; or
  190         2. Engage in a sexual performance, as defined by chapter
  191  827.
  192         (d) Exploits a child, or allows a child to be exploited, as
  193  provided in s. 450.151.
  194         (e) Abandons the child. Within the context of the
  195  definition of “harm,” the term “abandoned the child” or
  196  “abandonment of the child” means a situation in which the parent
  197  or legal custodian of a child or, in the absence of a parent or
  198  legal custodian, the caregiver, while being able, has made no
  199  significant contribution to the child’s care and maintenance or
  200  has failed to establish or maintain a substantial and positive
  201  relationship with the child, or both. For purposes of this
  202  paragraph, “establish or maintain a substantial and positive
  203  relationship” includes, but is not limited to, frequent and
  204  regular contact with the child through frequent and regular
  205  visitation or frequent and regular communication to or with the
  206  child, and the exercise of parental rights and responsibilities.
  207  Marginal efforts and incidental or token visits or
  208  communications are not sufficient to establish or maintain a
  209  substantial and positive relationship with a child. The term
  210  “abandoned” does not include a surrendered newborn infant as
  211  described in s. 383.50, a child in need of services as defined
  212  in chapter 984, or a family in need of services as defined in
  213  chapter 984. The incarceration, repeated incarceration, or
  214  extended incarceration of a parent, legal custodian, or
  215  caregiver responsible for a child’s welfare may support a
  216  finding of abandonment.
  217         (f) Neglects the child. Within the context of the
  218  definition of “harm,” the term “neglects the child” means that
  219  the parent or other person responsible for the child’s welfare
  220  fails to supply the child with adequate food, clothing, shelter,
  221  or health care, although financially able to do so or although
  222  offered financial or other means to do so. However, a parent or
  223  legal custodian who, by reason of the legitimate practice of
  224  religious beliefs, does not provide specified medical treatment
  225  for a child may not be considered abusive or neglectful for that
  226  reason alone, but such an exception does not:
  227         1. Eliminate the requirement that such a case be reported
  228  to the department;
  229         2. Prevent the department from investigating such a case;
  230  or
  231         3. Preclude a court from ordering, when the health of the
  232  child requires it, the provision of medical services by a
  233  physician, as defined in this section, or treatment by a duly
  234  accredited practitioner who relies solely on spiritual means for
  235  healing in accordance with the tenets and practices of a well
  236  recognized church or religious organization.
  237         (g) Exposes a child to a controlled substance or alcohol.
  238  Exposure to a controlled substance or alcohol is established by:
  239         1. A test, administered at birth, which indicated that the
  240  child’s blood, urine, or meconium contained any amount of
  241  alcohol or a controlled substance or metabolites of such
  242  substances, the presence of which was not the result of medical
  243  treatment administered to the mother or the newborn infant; or
  244         2. Evidence of extensive, abusive, and chronic use of a
  245  controlled substance or alcohol by a parent when the child is
  246  demonstrably adversely affected by such usage.
  247  
  248  As used in this paragraph, the term “controlled substance” means
  249  prescription drugs not prescribed for the parent or not
  250  administered as prescribed and controlled substances as outlined
  251  in Schedule I or Schedule II of s. 893.03.
  252         (h) Uses mechanical devices, unreasonable restraints, or
  253  extended periods of isolation to control a child.
  254         (i) Engages in violent behavior that demonstrates a wanton
  255  disregard for the presence of a child and could reasonably
  256  result in serious injury to the child.
  257         (j) Negligently fails to protect a child in his or her care
  258  from inflicted physical, mental, or sexual injury caused by the
  259  acts of another.
  260         (k) Has allowed a child’s sibling to die as a result of
  261  abuse, abandonment, or neglect.
  262         (l) Makes the child unavailable for the purpose of impeding
  263  or avoiding a protective investigation unless the court
  264  determines that the parent, legal custodian, or caregiver was
  265  fleeing from a situation involving domestic violence.
  266  
  267  Harm to a child’s health or welfare can also occur when a new
  268  child is born into the family during the course of an open
  269  dependency case where a parent or caregiver has been determined
  270  to not have protective capacity to safely care for the children
  271  in the home and has not substantially complied with the case
  272  plan toward successful reunification or met conditions for
  273  return of the children into the home.
  274         Section 3. Section 39.0136, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  275  read:
  276         39.0136 Time limitations; continuances.—
  277         (1) The Legislature finds that time is of the essence for
  278  establishing permanency for a child in the dependency system.
  279  Time limitations are a right of the child which may not be
  280  waived, extended, or continued at the request of any party
  281  except as provided in this section.
  282         (2)(a)All parties and the court must work together to
  283  ensure that permanency is achieved as soon as possible for every
  284  child through timely performance of their responsibilities under
  285  this chapter.
  286         (b)The department shall ensure that parents have the
  287  information necessary to contact their caseworker. When a new
  288  caseworker is assigned to a case, the caseworker shall make a
  289  timely and diligent effort to notify the parent and provide
  290  updated contact information.
  291         (3)(2) The time limitations in this chapter do not include:
  292         (a) Periods of delay resulting from a continuance granted
  293  at the request of the child’s counsel or the child’s guardian ad
  294  litem or, if the child is of sufficient capacity to express
  295  reasonable consent, at the request or with the consent of the
  296  child. The court must consider the best interests of the child
  297  when determining periods of delay under this section.
  298         (b) Periods of delay resulting from a continuance granted
  299  at the request of any party if the continuance is granted:
  300         1. Because of an unavailability of evidence that is
  301  material to the case if the requesting party has exercised due
  302  diligence to obtain evidence and there are substantial grounds
  303  to believe that the evidence will be available within 30 days.
  304  However, if the requesting party is not prepared to proceed
  305  within 30 days, any other party may move for issuance of an
  306  order to show cause or the court on its own motion may impose
  307  appropriate sanctions, which may include dismissal of the
  308  petition.
  309         2. To allow the requesting party additional time to prepare
  310  the case and additional time is justified because of an
  311  exceptional circumstance.
  312         (c) Reasonable periods of delay necessary to accomplish
  313  notice of the hearing to the child’s parent or legal custodian;
  314  however, the petitioner shall continue regular efforts to
  315  provide notice to the parents during the periods of delay.
  316         (4)(3) Notwithstanding subsection (3) (2), in order to
  317  expedite permanency for a child, the total time allowed for
  318  continuances or extensions of time, including continuances or
  319  extensions by the court on its own motion, may not exceed 60
  320  days within any 12-month period for proceedings conducted under
  321  this chapter.
  322         (a) A continuance or extension of time may be granted only
  323  for extraordinary circumstances in which it is necessary to
  324  preserve the constitutional rights of a party or if substantial
  325  evidence exists to demonstrate that without granting a
  326  continuance or extension of time the child’s best interests will
  327  be harmed.
  328         (b)An order entered under this section shall specify the
  329  new date for the continued hearing or deadline.
  330         (5)(4) Notwithstanding subsection (3) (2), a continuance or
  331  an extension of time is limited to the number of days absolutely
  332  necessary to complete a necessary task in order to preserve the
  333  rights of a party or the best interests of a child.
  334         Section 4. Subsections (2) and (5) of section 39.202,
  335  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  336         39.202 Confidentiality of reports and records in cases of
  337  child abuse or neglect.—
  338         (2) Except as provided in subsection (4), access to such
  339  records, excluding the name of the reporter and the names of
  340  instructional personnel as defined in s. 1012.01(2), school
  341  administrators as defined in s. 1012.01(3)(c), and educational
  342  support employees as described in s. 1012.01(6)(a) who have
  343  provided information during a protective investigation which
  344  shall be released only as provided in subsection (5), shall be
  345  granted only to the following persons, officials, and agencies:
  346         (a) Employees, authorized agents, or contract providers of
  347  the department, the Department of Health, the Agency for Persons
  348  with Disabilities, the Office of Early Learning, or county
  349  agencies responsible for carrying out:
  350         1. Child or adult protective investigations;
  351         2. Ongoing child or adult protective services;
  352         3. Early intervention and prevention services;
  353         4. Healthy Start services;
  354         5. Licensure or approval of adoptive homes, foster homes,
  355  child care facilities, facilities licensed under chapter 393,
  356  family day care homes, providers who receive school readiness
  357  funding under part VI of chapter 1002, or other homes used to
  358  provide for the care and welfare of children;
  359         6. Employment screening for caregivers in residential group
  360  homes; or
  361         7. Services for victims of domestic violence when provided
  362  by certified domestic violence centers working at the
  363  department’s request as case consultants or with shared clients.
  364  
  365  Also, employees or agents of the Department of Juvenile Justice
  366  responsible for the provision of services to children, pursuant
  367  to chapters 984 and 985.
  368         (b) Criminal justice agencies of appropriate jurisdiction.
  369         (c) The state attorney of the judicial circuit in which the
  370  child resides or in which the alleged abuse or neglect occurred.
  371         (d) The parent or legal custodian of any child who is
  372  alleged to have been abused, abandoned, or neglected, and the
  373  child, and their attorneys, including any attorney representing
  374  a child in civil or criminal proceedings. This access must shall
  375  be made available no later than 60 days after the department
  376  receives the initial report of abuse, neglect, or abandonment.
  377  However, any information otherwise made confidential or exempt
  378  by law may shall not be released pursuant to this paragraph.
  379         (e) Any person alleged in the report as having caused the
  380  abuse, abandonment, or neglect of a child. This access must
  381  shall be made available no later than 60 days after the
  382  department receives the initial report of abuse, abandonment, or
  383  neglect and, when the alleged perpetrator is not a parent, must
  384  shall be limited to information involving the protective
  385  investigation only and may shall not include any information
  386  relating to subsequent dependency proceedings. However, any
  387  information otherwise made confidential or exempt by law may
  388  shall not be released pursuant to this paragraph.
  389         (f) A court upon its finding that access to such records
  390  may be necessary for the determination of an issue before the
  391  court; however, such access must shall be limited to inspection
  392  in camera, unless the court determines that public disclosure of
  393  the information contained therein is necessary for the
  394  resolution of an issue then pending before it.
  395         (g) A grand jury, by subpoena, upon its determination that
  396  access to such records is necessary in the conduct of its
  397  official business.
  398         (h) Any appropriate official of the department or the
  399  Agency for Persons with Disabilities who is responsible for:
  400         1. Administration or supervision of the department’s
  401  program for the prevention, investigation, or treatment of child
  402  abuse, abandonment, or neglect, or abuse, neglect, or
  403  exploitation of a vulnerable adult, when carrying out his or her
  404  official function;
  405         2. Taking appropriate administrative action concerning an
  406  employee of the department or the agency who is alleged to have
  407  perpetrated child abuse, abandonment, or neglect, or abuse,
  408  neglect, or exploitation of a vulnerable adult; or
  409         3. Employing and continuing employment of personnel of the
  410  department or the agency.
  411         (i) Any person authorized by the department who is engaged
  412  in the use of such records or information for bona fide
  413  research, statistical, or audit purposes. Such individual or
  414  entity shall enter into a privacy and security agreement with
  415  the department and shall comply with all laws and rules
  416  governing the use of such records and information for research
  417  and statistical purposes. Information identifying the subjects
  418  of such records or information shall be treated as confidential
  419  by the researcher and may shall not be released in any form.
  420         (j) The Division of Administrative Hearings for purposes of
  421  any administrative challenge.
  422         (k) Any appropriate official of an a Florida advocacy
  423  council in this state investigating a report of known or
  424  suspected child abuse, abandonment, or neglect; the Auditor
  425  General or the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government
  426  Accountability for the purpose of conducting audits or
  427  examinations pursuant to law; or the guardian ad litem for the
  428  child.
  429         (l) Employees or agents of an agency of another state that
  430  has comparable jurisdiction to the jurisdiction described in
  431  paragraph (a).
  432         (m) The Public Employees Relations Commission for the sole
  433  purpose of obtaining evidence for appeals filed pursuant to s.
  434  447.207. Records may be released only after deletion of all
  435  information which specifically identifies persons other than the
  436  employee.
  437         (n) Employees or agents of the Department of Revenue
  438  responsible for child support enforcement activities.
  439         (o) Any person in the event of the death of a child
  440  determined to be a result of abuse, abandonment, or neglect.
  441  Information identifying the person reporting abuse, abandonment,
  442  or neglect may shall not be released. Any information otherwise
  443  made confidential or exempt by law may shall not be released
  444  pursuant to this paragraph.
  445         (p) An employee of the local school district who is
  446  designated as a liaison between the school district and the
  447  department pursuant to an interagency agreement required under
  448  s. 39.0016 and the principal of a public school, private school,
  449  or charter school where the child is a student. Information
  450  contained in the records which the liaison or the principal
  451  determines are necessary for a school employee to effectively
  452  provide a student with educational services may be released to
  453  that employee.
  454         (q) An employee or agent of the Department of Education who
  455  is responsible for the investigation or prosecution of
  456  misconduct by a certified educator.
  457         (r) Staff of a children’s advocacy center that is
  458  established and operated under s. 39.3035.
  459         (s) A physician licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459,
  460  a psychologist licensed under chapter 490, or a mental health
  461  professional licensed under chapter 491 engaged in the care or
  462  treatment of the child.
  463         (t) Persons with whom the department is seeking to place
  464  the child or to whom placement has been granted, including
  465  foster parents for whom an approved home study has been
  466  conducted, the designee of a licensed residential group home
  467  described in s. 39.523, an approved relative or nonrelative with
  468  whom a child is placed pursuant to s. 39.402, preadoptive
  469  parents for whom a favorable preliminary adoptive home study has
  470  been conducted, adoptive parents, or an adoption entity acting
  471  on behalf of preadoptive or adoptive parents.
  472         (5)(a) The name of any person reporting child abuse,
  473  abandonment, or neglect may not be released to any person other
  474  than employees of the department responsible for child
  475  protective services, the central abuse hotline, law enforcement,
  476  the child protection team, or the appropriate state attorney,
  477  without the written consent of the person reporting. This does
  478  not prohibit the subpoenaing of a person reporting child abuse,
  479  abandonment, or neglect when deemed necessary by the court, the
  480  state attorney, or the department, provided the fact that such
  481  person made the report is not disclosed. Any person who reports
  482  a case of child abuse or neglect may, at the time he or she
  483  makes the report, request that the department notify him or her
  484  that a child protective investigation occurred as a result of
  485  the report. Any person specifically listed in s. 39.201(1) who
  486  makes a report in his or her official capacity may also request
  487  a written summary of the outcome of the investigation. The
  488  department must shall mail such a notice to the reporter within
  489  10 days after completing the child protective investigation.
  490         (b) The names of instructional personnel as defined in s.
  491  1012.01(2), school administrators as defined in s.
  492  1012.01(3)(c), and educational support employees as described in
  493  s. 1012.01(6)(a) who have provided information during a
  494  protective investigation may not be released to any person other
  495  than employees of the department responsible for child
  496  protective services, the central abuse hotline, law enforcement,
  497  the child protection team, or the appropriate state attorney
  498  without the written consent of such personnel.
  499         Section 5. Paragraph (f) of subsection (14) and subsections
  500  (15) and (18) of section 39.402, Florida Statutes, are amended
  501  to read:
  502         39.402 Placement in a shelter.—
  503         (14) The time limitations in this section do not include:
  504         (f) Continuances or extensions of time may not total more
  505  than 60 days for all parties, and the court on its own motion,
  506  within any 12-month period during proceedings under this
  507  chapter. A continuance or extension beyond the 60 days may be
  508  granted only for extraordinary circumstances necessary to
  509  preserve the constitutional rights of a party or when
  510  substantial evidence demonstrates that the child’s best
  511  interests will be affirmatively harmed without the granting of a
  512  continuance or extension of time. When a continuance or
  513  extension is granted, the order shall specify the new date for
  514  the continued hearing or deadline.
  515         (15) The department, at the conclusion of the shelter
  516  hearing, shall make available to parents or legal custodians
  517  seeking voluntary services, any referral information necessary
  518  for participation in such identified services to allow the
  519  parents to begin the services immediately. The parents’ or legal
  520  custodians’ participation in the services shall not be
  521  considered an admission or other acknowledgment of the
  522  allegations in the shelter petition.
  523         (18) The court shall advise the parents in plain language
  524  what is expected of them to achieve reunification with their
  525  child, including that:,
  526         (a)Parents must take action to comply with the case plan
  527  so reunification with the child may occur within the shortest
  528  period of time possible, but not more than 1 year after removal
  529  or adjudication of the child.
  530         (b)Parents must stay in contact with their attorney and
  531  their caseworker. If the parents’ phone number, mailing address,
  532  or e-mail address changes, the parents must provide the attorney
  533  and caseworker with updated contact information.
  534         (c)Parents must notify the parties and the court of
  535  barriers to completing case plan tasks within a reasonable time
  536  after discovering such barriers.
  537         (d) If the parents fail to substantially comply with the
  538  case plan, their parental rights may be terminated and that the
  539  child’s out-of-home placement may become permanent.
  540         Section 6. Paragraph (c) of subsection (7) of section
  541  39.507, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  542         39.507 Adjudicatory hearings; orders of adjudication.—
  543         (7)
  544         (c) If a court adjudicates a child dependent and the child
  545  is in out-of-home care, the court shall inquire of the parent or
  546  parents whether the parents have relatives who might be
  547  considered as a placement for the child. The parent or parents
  548  shall provide the court and all parties with identification and
  549  location information for such relatives. The court shall advise
  550  the parents in plain language that:,
  551         1.Parents must take action to comply with the case plan so
  552  reunification with the child may occur within the shortest
  553  period of time possible, but not more than 1 year after removal
  554  or adjudication of the child.
  555         2.Parents must stay in contact with their attorney and
  556  their caseworker. If the parents’ phone number, mailing address,
  557  or e-mail address changes, the parents must provide the attorney
  558  and caseworker with updated contact information.
  559         3.Parents must notify the parties and the court of
  560  barriers to completing case plan tasks within a reasonable time
  561  after discovering such barriers.
  562         4. If the parents fail to substantially comply with the
  563  case plan, their parental rights may be terminated and that the
  564  child’s out-of-home placement may become permanent. The parent
  565  or parents shall provide to the court and all parties
  566  identification and location information of the relatives.
  567         Section 7. Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section
  568  39.521, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  569         39.521 Disposition hearings; powers of disposition.—
  570         (1) A disposition hearing shall be conducted by the court,
  571  if the court finds that the facts alleged in the petition for
  572  dependency were proven in the adjudicatory hearing, or if the
  573  parents or legal custodians have consented to the finding of
  574  dependency or admitted the allegations in the petition, have
  575  failed to appear for the arraignment hearing after proper
  576  notice, or have not been located despite a diligent search
  577  having been conducted.
  578         (a) A written case plan and a family functioning assessment
  579  prepared by an authorized agent of the department must be
  580  approved by the court. The department must file the case plan
  581  and the family functioning assessment with the court, serve
  582  copies a copy of the case plan on the parents of the child, and
  583  provide copies a copy of the case plan to the representative of
  584  the guardian ad litem program, if the program has been
  585  appointed, and copies a copy to all other parties:
  586         1. Not less than 72 hours before the disposition hearing,
  587  if the disposition hearing occurs on or after the 60th day after
  588  the date the child was placed in out-of-home care. All such case
  589  plans must be approved by the court.
  590         2. Not less than 72 hours before the case plan acceptance
  591  hearing, if the disposition hearing occurs before the 60th day
  592  after the date the child was placed in out-of-home care and a
  593  case plan has not been submitted pursuant to this paragraph, or
  594  if the court does not approve the case plan at the disposition
  595  hearing. The case plan acceptance hearing must occur within 30
  596  days after the disposition hearing to review and approve the
  597  case plan.
  598         Section 8. Subsection (1) of section 39.522, Florida
  599  Statutes, is amended to read:
  600         39.522 Postdisposition change of custody.—The court may
  601  change the temporary legal custody or the conditions of
  602  protective supervision at a postdisposition hearing, without the
  603  necessity of another adjudicatory hearing.
  604         (1) At any time before a child achieves the permanency
  605  placement approved at the permanency hearing, a child who has
  606  been placed in the child’s own home under the protective
  607  supervision of an authorized agent of the department, in the
  608  home of a relative, in the home of a legal custodian, or in some
  609  other place may be brought before the court by the department or
  610  by any other interested person, upon the filing of a motion
  611  petition alleging a need for a change in the conditions of
  612  protective supervision or the placement. If the parents or other
  613  legal custodians deny the need for a change, the court shall
  614  hear all parties in person or by counsel, or both. Upon the
  615  admission of a need for a change or after such hearing, the
  616  court shall enter an order changing the placement, modifying the
  617  conditions of protective supervision, or continuing the
  618  conditions of protective supervision as ordered. The standard
  619  for changing custody of the child shall be the best interest of
  620  the child. When applying this standard, the court shall consider
  621  the continuity of the child’s placement in the same out-of-home
  622  residence as a factor when determining the best interests of the
  623  child. If the child is not placed in foster care, then the new
  624  placement for the child must meet the home study criteria and
  625  court approval pursuant to this chapter.
  626         Section 9. Present subsections (4) through (8) of section
  627  39.6011, Florida Statutes, are redesignated as subsections (5)
  628  through (9), respectively, a new subsection (4) is added to that
  629  section, and paragraph (e) of subsection (2), subsection (3),
  630  and present subsection (6) of that section are amended, to read:
  631         39.6011 Case plan development.—
  632         (2) The case plan must be written simply and clearly in
  633  English and, if English is not the principal language of the
  634  child’s parent, to the extent possible in the parent’s principal
  635  language. Each case plan must contain:
  636         (e) A written notice to the parent that it is the parents’
  637  responsibility to take action to comply with the case plan so
  638  reunification with the child may occur within the shortest
  639  period of time possible, but not more than 1 year after removal
  640  or adjudication of the child; the parent must notify the parties
  641  and the court of barriers to completing case plan tasks within a
  642  reasonable time after discovering such barriers; failure of the
  643  parent to substantially comply with the case plan may result in
  644  the termination of parental rights;, and that a material breach
  645  of the case plan by the parent’s action or inaction may result
  646  in the filing of a petition for termination of parental rights
  647  sooner than the compliance period set forth in the case plan.
  648         (3) The case plan must be signed by all parties, except
  649  that the signature of a child may be waived if the child is not
  650  of an age or capacity to participate in the case-planning
  651  process. Signing the case plan constitutes an acknowledgment
  652  that the case plan has been developed by the parties and that
  653  they are in agreement as to the terms and conditions contained
  654  in the case plan. The refusal of a parent to sign the case plan
  655  does not prevent the court from accepting the case plan if the
  656  case plan is otherwise acceptable to the court. Signing the case
  657  plan does not constitute an admission to any allegation of
  658  abuse, abandonment, or neglect and does not constitute consent
  659  to a finding of dependency or termination of parental rights.
  660         (4) Before signing the case plan, the department shall
  661  explain the provisions of the plan to all persons involved in
  662  its implementation, including, when appropriate, the child. The
  663  department shall ensure that the parent has contact information
  664  for all entities necessary to complete the tasks in the plan.
  665  The department shall explain the strategies included in the plan
  666  that the parent can use to overcome barriers to case plan
  667  compliance and that if a barrier is discovered and the parties
  668  are not actively working to overcome such barrier, the parent
  669  must notify the parties and the court within a reasonable time
  670  after discovering such barrier.
  671         (7)(6) After the case plan has been developed, the
  672  department shall adhere to the following procedural
  673  requirements:
  674         (a) If the parent’s substantial compliance with the case
  675  plan requires the department to provide services to the parents
  676  or the child and the parents agree to begin compliance with the
  677  case plan before the case plan’s acceptance by the court, the
  678  department shall make the appropriate referrals for services
  679  that will allow the parents to begin the agreed-upon tasks and
  680  services immediately.
  681         (b)All other referrals for services shall be completed as
  682  soon as possible, but not more than 7 days after the date of the
  683  case plan approval, unless the case plan specifies that a task
  684  may not be undertaken until another specified task has been
  685  completed.
  686         (c)(b) After the case plan has been agreed upon and signed
  687  by the parties, a copy of the plan must be given immediately to
  688  the parties, including the child if appropriate, and to other
  689  persons as directed by the court.
  690         1. A case plan must be prepared, but need not be submitted
  691  to the court, for a child who will be in care no longer than 30
  692  days unless that child is placed in out-of-home care a second
  693  time within a 12-month period.
  694         2. In each case in which a child has been placed in out-of
  695  home care, a case plan must be prepared within 60 days after the
  696  department removes the child from the home and shall be
  697  submitted to the court before the disposition hearing for the
  698  court to review and approve.
  699         3. After jurisdiction attaches, all case plans must be
  700  filed with the court, and a copy provided to all the parties
  701  whose whereabouts are known, not less than 3 business days
  702  before the disposition hearing. The department shall file with
  703  the court, and provide copies to the parties, all case plans
  704  prepared before jurisdiction of the court attached.
  705         Section 10. Paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of section
  706  39.6012, Florida Statutes, is amended, paragraph (d) is added to
  707  subsection (1) of that section, to read:
  708         39.6012 Case plan tasks; services.—
  709         (1) The services to be provided to the parent and the tasks
  710  that must be completed are subject to the following:
  711         (b) The case plan must describe each of the tasks with
  712  which the parent must comply and the services to be provided to
  713  the parent, specifically addressing the identified problem,
  714  including:
  715         1. The type of services or treatment.
  716         2. The date the department will provide each service or
  717  referral for the service if the service is being provided by the
  718  department or its agent.
  719         3. The date by which the parent must complete each task.
  720         4. The frequency of services or treatment provided. The
  721  frequency of the delivery of services or treatment provided
  722  shall be determined by the professionals providing the services
  723  or treatment on a case-by-case basis and adjusted according to
  724  their best professional judgment.
  725         5. The location of the delivery of the services.
  726         6. The staff of the department or service provider
  727  accountable for the services or treatment.
  728         7. A description of the measurable objectives, including
  729  the timeframes specified for achieving the objectives of the
  730  case plan and addressing the identified problem.
  731         8.Strategies to overcome barriers to case plan compliance,
  732  including, but not limited to, the provision of contact
  733  information, information on acceptable alternative services or
  734  providers, and an explanation that the parent must notify the
  735  parties within a reasonable time of discovering a barrier that
  736  the parties are not actively working to overcome.
  737         (d) Parents must provide accurate contact information to
  738  the department or the contracted case management agency and
  739  update such information as appropriate. Parents must make
  740  proactive contact with the department or the contracted case
  741  management agency at least every 14 calendar days to provide
  742  information on the status of case plan task completion, barriers
  743  to completion, and plans toward reunification.
  744         Section 11. Present subsection (6) of section 39.6013,
  745  Florida Statutes, is redesignated as subsection (7), a new
  746  subsection (6) is added to that section, and present subsection
  747  (7) is amended, to read:
  748         39.6013 Case plan amendments.—
  749         (6) When determining whether to amend the case plan, the
  750  court must consider the length of time the case has been open,
  751  level of parental engagement to date, number of case plan tasks
  752  complied with, child’s type of placement and attachment, and
  753  potential for successful reunification.
  754         (8)(7) Amendments must include service interventions that
  755  are the least intrusive into the life of the parent and child,
  756  must focus on clearly defined objectives, and must provide the
  757  most efficient path to quick reunification or permanent
  758  placement given the circumstances of the case and the child’s
  759  need for safe and proper care. A copy of the amended plan must
  760  be immediately given to the persons identified in s.
  761  39.6011(7)(c) s. 39.6011(6)(b).
  762         Section 12. Present subsections (7) through (10) of section
  763  39.621, Florida Statutes, are redesignated as subsections (8)
  764  through (11), respectively, subsection (5) and present
  765  subsections (9), (10), and (11) are amended, and a new
  766  subsection (7) is added to that section, to read:
  767         39.621 Permanency determination by the court.—
  768         (5) At the permanency hearing, the court shall determine:
  769         (a) Whether the current permanency goal for the child is
  770  appropriate or should be changed;
  771         (b) When the child will achieve one of the permanency
  772  goals; and
  773         (c) Whether the department has made reasonable efforts to
  774  finalize the permanency plan currently in effect; and.
  775         (d) Whether the frequency, duration, manner, and level of
  776  engagement of the parent or legal guardian’s visitation with the
  777  child meets the case plan requirements.
  778         (7)If the court determines that the child’s goal is
  779  appropriate but the child will be in out-of-home care for more
  780  than 12 months before achieving permanency, in those cases where
  781  the goal is reunification or adoption, the court shall hold
  782  permanency status hearings for the child every 60 days until the
  783  child reaches permanency or the court makes a determination that
  784  it is in the child’s best interest to change the permanency
  785  goal.
  786         (10)(9) The case plan must list the tasks necessary to
  787  finalize the permanency placement and shall be updated at the
  788  permanency hearing unless the child will achieve permanency
  789  within 60 days after the hearing if necessary. If a concurrent
  790  case plan is in place, the court may choose between the
  791  permanency goal options presented and shall approve the goal
  792  that is in the child’s best interest.
  793         (11)(10) The permanency placement is intended to continue
  794  until the child reaches the age of majority and may not be
  795  disturbed absent a finding by the court that the circumstances
  796  of the permanency placement are no longer in the best interest
  797  of the child.
  798         (a) If, after a child has achieved the permanency placement
  799  approved at the permanency hearing, a parent who has not had his
  800  or her parental rights terminated makes a motion for
  801  reunification or increased contact with the child, the court
  802  shall hold a hearing to determine whether the dependency case
  803  should be reopened and whether there should be a modification of
  804  the order.
  805         (b) At the hearing, the parent must demonstrate that the
  806  safety, well-being, and physical, mental, and emotional health
  807  of the child is not endangered by the modification.
  808         (c)(11) The court shall base its decision concerning any
  809  motion by a parent for reunification or increased contact with a
  810  child on the effect of the decision on the safety, well-being,
  811  and physical and emotional health of the child. Factors that
  812  must be considered and addressed in the findings of fact of the
  813  order on the motion must include:
  814         1.(a) The compliance or noncompliance of the parent with
  815  the case plan;
  816         2.(b) The circumstances which caused the child’s dependency
  817  and whether those circumstances have been resolved;
  818         3.(c) The stability and longevity of the child’s placement;
  819         4.(d) The preferences of the child, if the child is of
  820  sufficient age and understanding to express a preference;
  821         5.(e) The recommendation of the current custodian; and
  822         6.(f) The recommendation of the guardian ad litem, if one
  823  has been appointed.
  824         Section 13. Paragraph (d) of subsection (2) of section
  825  39.701, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  826         39.701 Judicial review.—
  827         (2) REVIEW HEARINGS FOR CHILDREN YOUNGER THAN 18 YEARS OF
  828  AGE.—
  829         (d) Orders.—
  830         1. Based upon the criteria set forth in paragraph (c) and
  831  the recommended order of the citizen review panel, if any, the
  832  court shall determine whether or not the social service agency
  833  shall initiate proceedings to have a child declared a dependent
  834  child, return the child to the parent, continue the child in
  835  out-of-home care for a specified period of time, or initiate
  836  termination of parental rights proceedings for subsequent
  837  placement in an adoptive home. Amendments to the case plan must
  838  be prepared as prescribed in s. 39.6013. If the court finds that
  839  the prevention or reunification efforts of the department will
  840  allow the child to remain safely at home or be safely returned
  841  to the home, the court shall allow the child to remain in or
  842  return to the home after making a specific finding of fact that
  843  the reasons for the creation of the case plan have been remedied
  844  to the extent that the child’s safety, well-being, and physical,
  845  mental, and emotional health will not be endangered.
  846         2. The court shall return the child to the custody of the
  847  parents at any time it determines that they have substantially
  848  complied with the case plan, if the court is satisfied that
  849  reunification will not be detrimental to the child’s safety,
  850  well-being, and physical, mental, and emotional health.
  851         3. If, in the opinion of the court, the social service
  852  agency has not complied with its obligations as specified in the
  853  written case plan, the court may find the social service agency
  854  in contempt, shall order the social service agency to submit its
  855  plans for compliance with the agreement, and shall require the
  856  social service agency to show why the child could not safely be
  857  returned to the home of the parents.
  858         4. If, at any judicial review, the court finds that the
  859  parents have failed to substantially comply with the case plan
  860  to the degree that further reunification efforts are without
  861  merit and not in the best interest of the child, on its own
  862  motion, the court may order the filing of a petition for
  863  termination of parental rights, whether or not the time period
  864  as contained in the case plan for substantial compliance has
  865  expired.
  866         5. Within 6 months after the date that the child was placed
  867  in shelter care, the court shall conduct a judicial review
  868  hearing to review the child’s permanency goal as identified in
  869  the case plan. At the hearing the court shall make written
  870  findings regarding the parent or legal guardian’s compliance
  871  with the case plan and demonstrable change in parental capacity
  872  to achieve timely reunification likelihood of the child’s
  873  reunification with the parent or legal custodian within 12
  874  months after the removal of the child from the home. The court
  875  shall consider the frequency, duration, manner, and level of
  876  engagement of the parent or legal custodian’s visitation with
  877  the child in compliance with the case plan. If the court makes a
  878  written finding that it is not likely that the child will be
  879  reunified with the parent or legal custodian within 12 months
  880  after the child was removed from the home, the department must
  881  file with the court, and serve on all parties, a motion to amend
  882  the case plan under s. 39.6013 and declare that it will use
  883  concurrent planning for the case plan. The department must file
  884  the motion within 10 business days after receiving the written
  885  finding of the court. The department must attach the proposed
  886  amended case plan to the motion. If concurrent planning is
  887  already being used, the department must file with the court, and
  888  serve on all parties, a motion to amend the case plan to reflect
  889  the concurrent goal as the child’s primary permanency goal,
  890  document the efforts the department is taking to complete the
  891  concurrent goal, and identify any additional services needed to
  892  reach the permanency goal by a date certain. The court may allow
  893  the parties to continue to pursue a secondary goal if the court
  894  determines that is in the best interest of the child case plan
  895  must document the efforts the department is taking to complete
  896  the concurrent goal.
  897         6. The court may issue a protective order in assistance, or
  898  as a condition, of any other order made under this part. In
  899  addition to the requirements included in the case plan, the
  900  protective order may set forth requirements relating to
  901  reasonable conditions of behavior to be observed for a specified
  902  period of time by a person or agency who is before the court;
  903  and the order may require any person or agency to make periodic
  904  reports to the court containing such information as the court in
  905  its discretion may prescribe.
  906         Section 14. Paragraph (e) of subsection (1) of section
  907  39.806, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  908         39.806 Grounds for termination of parental rights.—
  909         (1) Grounds for the termination of parental rights may be
  910  established under any of the following circumstances:
  911         (e) When a child has been adjudicated dependent, a case
  912  plan has been filed with the court, and:
  913         1. The child continues to be abused, neglected, or
  914  abandoned by the parent or parents. The failure of the parent or
  915  parents to substantially comply with the case plan for a period
  916  of 12 months after an adjudication of the child as a dependent
  917  child or the child’s placement into shelter care, whichever
  918  occurs first, constitutes evidence of continuing abuse, neglect,
  919  or abandonment unless the failure to substantially comply with
  920  the case plan was due to the parent’s lack of financial
  921  resources or to the failure of the department to make reasonable
  922  efforts to reunify the parent and child. The 12-month period
  923  begins to run only after the child’s placement into shelter care
  924  or the entry of a disposition order placing the custody of the
  925  child with the department or a person other than the parent and
  926  the court’s approval of a case plan having the goal of
  927  reunification with the parent, whichever occurs first; or
  928         2. The parent or parents have materially breached the case
  929  plan by their action or inaction. Time is of the essence for
  930  permanency of children in the dependency system. In order to
  931  prove the parent or parents have materially breached the case
  932  plan, the court must find by clear and convincing evidence that
  933  the parent or parents are unlikely or unable to substantially
  934  comply with the case plan before time to comply with the case
  935  plan expires.
  936         3. The child has been in care for any 12 of the last 22
  937  months and the parents have not substantially complied with the
  938  case plan so as to permit reunification under s. 39.522(2)
  939  unless the failure to substantially comply with the case plan
  940  was due to the parent’s lack of financial resources or to the
  941  failure of the department to make reasonable efforts to reunify
  942  the parent and child.
  943         Section 15. Subsection (5) of section 39.811, Florida
  944  Statutes, is amended to read:
  945         39.811 Powers of disposition; order of disposition.—
  946         (5) If the court terminates parental rights, the court
  947  shall enter a written order of disposition within 30 days after
  948  conclusion of the hearing briefly stating the facts upon which
  949  its decision to terminate the parental rights is made. An order
  950  of termination of parental rights, whether based on parental
  951  consent or after notice served as prescribed in this part,
  952  permanently deprives the parents of any right to the child.
  953         Section 16. This act shall take effect July 1, 2018.