The agency shall provide directly or contract for the development of a family support plan for children ages 3 to 18 years of age and an individual support plan for each client. The client, if competent, the client’s parent or guardian, or, when appropriate, the client advocate, shall be consulted in the development of the plan and shall receive a copy of the plan. Each plan must include the most appropriate, least restrictive, and most cost-beneficial environment for accomplishment of the objectives for client progress and a specification of all services authorized. The plan must include provisions for the most appropriate level of care for the client. Within the specification of needs and services for each client, when residential care is necessary, the agency shall move toward placement of clients in residential facilities based within the client’s community. The ultimate goal of each plan, whenever possible, shall be to enable the client to live a dignified life in the least restrictive setting, be that in the home or in the community. For children under 6 years of age, the family support plan shall be developed within the 45-day application period as specified in s. 393.065(1); for all applicants 6 years of age or older, the family or individual support plan shall be developed within the 60-day period as specified in that subsection.
(1) The agency shall develop and specify by rule the core components of support plans.
(2) The family or individual support plan shall be integrated with the individual education plan (IEP) for all clients who are public school students entitled to a free appropriate public education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, I.D.E.A., as amended. The family or individual support plan and IEP shall be implemented to maximize the attainment of educational and habilitation goals.
(a) If the IEP for a student enrolled in a public school program indicates placement in a public or private residential program is necessary to provide special education and related services to a client, the local education agency shall provide for the costs of that service in accordance with the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, I.D.E.A., as amended. This shall not preclude local education agencies and the agency from sharing the residential service costs of students who are clients and require residential placement.
(b) For clients who are entering or exiting the school system, an interdepartmental staffing team composed of representatives of the agency and the local school system shall develop a written transitional living and training plan with the participation of the client or with the parent or guardian of the client, or the client advocate, as appropriate.
(3) Each family or individual support plan shall be facilitated through case management designed solely to advance the individual needs of the client.
(4) In the development of the family or individual support plan, a client advocate may be appointed by the support planning team for a client who is a minor or for a client who is not capable of express and informed consent when:
(a) The parent or guardian cannot be identified;
(b) The whereabouts of the parent or guardian cannot be discovered; or
(c) The state is the only legal representative of the client.
Such appointment shall not be construed to extend the powers of the client advocate to include any of those powers delegated by law to a legal guardian.
(5) The agency shall place a client in the most appropriate and least restrictive, and cost-beneficial, residential facility according to his or her individual support plan. The client, if competent, the client’s parent or guardian, or, when appropriate, the client advocate, and the administrator of the facility to which placement is proposed shall be consulted in determining the appropriate placement for the client. Considerations for placement shall be made in the following order:
(a) Client’s own home or the home of a family member or direct service provider.
(b) Foster care facility.
(c) Group home facility.
(d) Intermediate care facility for the developmentally disabled.
(e) Other facilities licensed by the agency which offer special programs for people with developmental disabilities.
(f) Developmental disabilities center.
(6) In developing a client’s annual family or individual support plan, the individual or family with the assistance of the support planning team shall identify measurable objectives for client progress and shall specify a time period expected for achievement of each objective.
(7) The individual, family, and support coordinator shall review progress in achieving the objectives specified in each client’s family or individual support plan, and shall revise the plan annually, following consultation with the client, if competent, or with the parent or guardian of the client, or, when appropriate, the client advocate. The agency or designated contractor shall annually report in writing to the client, if competent, or to the parent or guardian of the client, or to the client advocate, when appropriate, with respect to the client’s habilitative and medical progress.
(8) Any client, or any parent of a minor client, or guardian, authorized guardian advocate, or client advocate for a client, who is substantially affected by the client’s initial family or individual support plan, or the annual review thereof, shall have the right to file a notice to challenge the decision pursuant to ss. 120.569 and 120.57. Notice of such right to appeal shall be included in all support plans provided by the agency.