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The Florida Senate

2005 Florida Statutes

Section 741.325, Florida Statutes 2005

741.325  Guideline authority.--The Department of Children and Family Services shall promulgate guidelines to govern purpose, policies, standards of care, appropriate intervention approaches, inappropriate intervention approaches during the batterers' program intervention phase (to include couples counseling and mediation), conflicts of interest, assessment, program content and specifics, qualifications of providers, and credentials for facilitators, supervisors, and trainees. The department shall, in addition, establish specific procedures governing all aspects of program operation, including administration, personnel, fiscal matters, victim and batterer records, education, evaluation, referral to treatment and other matters as needed. In addition, the rules shall establish:

(1)  That the primary purpose of the programs shall be victim safety and the safety of the children, if present.

(2)  That the batterer shall be held accountable for acts of domestic violence.

(3)  That the programs shall be at least 29 weeks in length and shall include 24 weekly sessions, plus appropriate intake, assessment, and orientation programming.

(4)  That the program be a psychoeducational model that employs a program content based on tactics of power and control by one person over another.

(5)  That the programs and those who are facilitators, supervisors, and trainees be certified to provide these programs through initial certification and that the programs and personnel be annually monitored to ensure that they are meeting specified standards.

(6)  The intent that the programs be user-fee funded with fees from the batterers who attend the program as payment for programs is important to the batterer taking responsibility for the act of violence, and from those seeking certification. Exception shall be made for those local, state, or federal programs that fund batterers' intervention programs in whole or in part.

(7)  Standards for rejection and suspension for failure to meet certification standards.

(8)  That these standards shall apply only to programs that address the perpetration of violence between intimate partners, spouses, ex-spouses, or those who share a child in common or who are cohabitants in intimate relationships for the purpose of exercising power and control by one over the other. It will endanger victims if courts and other referral agencies refer family and household members who are not perpetrators of the type of domestic violence encompassed by these standards. Accordingly, the court and others who make referrals should refer perpetrators only to programming that appropriately addresses the violence committed.

History.--s. 17, ch. 95-195; s. 3, ch. 2001-183.