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The Florida Senate

2007 Florida Statutes

Section 409.441, Florida Statutes 2007

409.441  Runaway youth programs and centers.--

(1)  LEGISLATIVE INTENT.--The purpose of this act is to assist runaway youths and their families through a program of prevention, early intervention, community outreach, short-term residential care, aftercare, and counseling. The Legislature intends that a continuum of services be required so that runaway youths and their families are assured the least restrictive alternatives suitable to their needs and so that the family unit is strengthened through the development, expansion, and coordination of various community-based services. The development of innovative approaches specifically designed for runaway youths, which approaches have an impact on cost-avoidance, cost-effectiveness, and program efficiency, shall be encouraged.


(a)  "Department" means the Department of Children and Family Services.

(b)  "Runaway youth centers" means those community-based programs providing a range of services to troubled youths and runaway youths and their families, including prevention, community outreach, early intervention and crisis intervention, temporary residential shelter, counseling services, and aftercare followup.


(a)  The department shall develop a state plan for the handling of runaway youths and for providing services connected with the runaway problem. The plan shall be submitted to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President of the Senate, and the Governor no later than February 1, 1984.

(b)  The plan shall include:

1.  Needs assessments for the state and for each district;

2.  Criteria and procedures for handling and referral of troubled youths and runaway youths using the least restrictive alternatives available;

3.  Provisions for contacting parents or guardians;

4.  Policy for coordinating relationships between involved agencies, runaway youth centers, law enforcement agencies, and the department;

5.  Statewide statistics on client groups;

6.  Funding formulas for runaway youth centers which provide standard services and receive state funds; and

7.  Standards and program goals for runaway youth centers, with emphasis on early intervention and aftercare.


(a)  No later than September 1, 1984, the department shall adopt rules pertaining to uniform licensing criteria for runaway youth centers.

(b)  The department shall establish standard services for runaway youth centers which can be monitored and evaluated, and the establishment of these services shall be a prerequisite to receiving state funds. Such services shall include, but are not limited to:

1.  Programs for outreach and prevention for troubled youths and runaway youths and their families.

2.  Early intervention counseling services for troubled youths and runaway youths and their families, with 24-hour access geared toward crisis or time-of-need intervention.

3.  Temporary or short-term shelter, food, and clothing.

4.  Uniform and confidential intake and records systems.

5.  Provision for aftercare including individual and family counseling services.

6.  Programs for advocacy for client population and community support.

7.  Provisions for case management and referral from service to service.

(5)  RECORDS CONFIDENTIAL.--All information about clients which is part of a center's intake and client records system is confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1).

History.--ss. 2, 3, 5, 6, ch. 83-162; s. 8, ch. 91-71; s. 258, ch. 96-406; s. 199, ch. 97-101.