2004 Florida Statutes
Florida Education Now and Babies Later
(1) CREATION.--There is hereby created the Florida Education Now and Babies Later (ENABL) program for children and their families, with the goal of reducing the incidence of childhood pregnancies in this state by encouraging children to abstain from sexual activities. This program must provide a multifaceted, primary prevention, community health promotion approach to educating and supporting children in the decision to abstain from sexual involvement. The Department of Health, in consultation with the Department of Education, Florida State University, and other appropriate agencies or associations, shall develop, implement, and administer the ENABL program.
(2) GOALS.--The goal of the ENABL program is to encourage and assist boys and girls in this state to decide to abstain from engaging in sexual activity. The ENABL program is designed to reduce the incidence of childhood pregnancies; to increase the percentage of children graduating from school and becoming more productive citizens; to reduce the numbers of cocaine babies born in this state; to reduce the crime rate among these children as they grow up; to reduce the rate of school dropouts in this state; and to increase the basic skills and ability of the future workforce.
(3) ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS.--
(a) The ENABL program should be directed to geographic areas in the state where the childhood birth rate is higher than the state average and where the children and their families are in greatest need because of an unfavorable combination of economic, social, environmental, and health factors, including, without limitation, extensive poverty, high crime rate, great incidence of low birthweight babies, high incidence of alcohol and drug abuse, and high rates of childhood pregnancy. The selection of a geographic site shall also consider the incidence of young children within these at-risk geographic areas who are cocaine babies, children of single mothers who receive temporary cash assistance, children of teenage parents, low birthweight babies, and very young foster children. To receive funding under this section, a community-based local contractor must demonstrate:
1. Its capacity to administer and coordinate the ENABL pregnancy prevention public education program and services for children and their families in a comprehensive manner and to provide a flexible range of age-appropriate educational services.
2. Its capacity to identify and serve those children least able to access existing pregnancy prevention public education programs.
3. Its capacity to administer and coordinate the ENABL programs and services in an intensive and continuous manner.
4. The proximity of its program to young children, parents, and other family members to be served by the ENABL program, or its ability to provide offsite educational services.
5. Its ability to incorporate existing federal, state, and local governmental educational programs and services in implementing the ENABL program.
6. Its ability to coordinate its activities and educational services with existing public and private state and local agencies and programs, such as those responsible for health, education, social support, mental health, child care, respite care, housing, transportation, alcohol and drug abuse treatment and prevention, income assistance, employment training and placement, nutrition, and other relevant services, all of the foregoing intended to assist children and families at risk.
7. How its plan will involve project participants and community representatives in the planning and operation of the ENABL program.
8. Its ability to participate in the evaluation component required in this section.
9. Its consistency with the strategic plan pursuant to s. 411.221
10. Its capacity to match state funding for the ENABL program at the rate of $1 in cash or in matching services for each dollar funded by the state.
(b) Any child whose parent or guardian presents to the community-based local contractor a signed statement that the child's participation in the ENABL program conflicts with the parent's or guardian's religious beliefs shall be exempt from such instruction. No child so exempt shall be penalized by reason of such exemption.
(c) While a flexible range of pregnancy prevention public education services is essential in the implementation of the ENABL program, the following educational services and activities must be considered essential core services to be offered by each community-based local contractor:
1. Use of the postponing sexual involvement age-appropriate education curriculum targeted to boys and girls in schools or other community settings.
2. Strategies to convey and reinforce the ENABL message of postponing childhood sexual involvement to the affected community, including activities promoting awareness and involvement of parents, schools, churches, and other community groups or organizations.
3. Developing media linkages to publicize the purposes and goals of the ENABL program.
4. A referral mechanism for children or their families who request or need other health or social services, which may include, without limitation, referral for alcohol and drug abuse treatment, mental health services, housing assistance, transportation, and nutrition services.
(4) IMPLEMENTATION.--The department must:
(a) Implement the ENABL program using the criteria provided in this section. The department must evaluate, select, and monitor the two pilot projects to be funded initially. The following community-based local contractors may be selected among the first sites to be funded:
1. A program based in a local school district, a county health department, or another unit of local government.
2. A program based in a local, public or private, not-for-profit provider of services to children and their families.
(b) Provide technical assistance to each community-based local contractor, as necessary.
(c) Develop and implement the evaluation process.
(d) Explore and pursue federal and foundation funding possibilities, and specifically request the United States Department of Health and Human Services to supplement the development and implementation of the ENABL program.
(5) PUBLIC RELATIONS.--The department shall develop a statewide comprehensive media and public relations campaign to promote changes in sexual attitudes and behaviors among children and reinforce the message of abstaining from sexual activity.
(6) TRAINING.--The department shall be responsible for developing a uniform training program for the community-based local contractors selected to implement the ENABL program.
(7) EVALUATION.--There shall be an independent third-party evaluation of the initial grants. The contract for the evaluation shall be entered into prior to the selection of the community-based local contractor, to ensure integrity of the evaluation design, ongoing monitoring and periodic review of progress, and a timely, comprehensive evaluation report. The evaluation report shall be submitted to the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and appropriate substantive committees and subcommittees of the Legislature by January 1, 1999, and biennially thereafter. The report due by January 1, 2001, or 5 years after the startup of the initial prototype programs, whichever is later, shall include the first longitudinal report on participant outcomes.
History.--s. 2, ch. 95-321; s. 101, ch. 96-175; s. 205, ch. 97-101; s. 197, ch. 99-8; s. 63, ch. 2000-153; s. 99, ch. 2000-165.