Florida Senate - 2013                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. SB 1036
                                Barcode 195510                          
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                  Comm: RCS            .                                
                  04/21/2013           .                                

       The Committee on Appropriations (Sobel) recommended the
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete everything after the enacting clause
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 1. Subsection (2) of section 39.013, Florida
    6  Statutes, is amended to read:
    7         39.013 Procedures and jurisdiction; right to counsel.—
    8         (2) The circuit court has exclusive original jurisdiction
    9  of all proceedings under this chapter, of a child voluntarily
   10  placed with a licensed child-caring agency, a licensed child
   11  placing agency, or the department, and of the adoption of
   12  children whose parental rights have been terminated under this
   13  chapter. Jurisdiction attaches when the initial shelter
   14  petition, dependency petition, or termination of parental rights
   15  petition, or a petition for an injunction to prevent child abuse
   16  issued pursuant to s. 39.504, is filed or when a child is taken
   17  into the custody of the department. The circuit court may assume
   18  jurisdiction over any such proceeding regardless of whether the
   19  child was in the physical custody of both parents, was in the
   20  sole legal or physical custody of only one parent, caregiver, or
   21  some other person, or was not in the physical or legal custody
   22  of any person when the event or condition occurred that brought
   23  the child to the attention of the court. When the court obtains
   24  jurisdiction of any child who has been found to be dependent,
   25  the court shall retain jurisdiction, unless relinquished by its
   26  order, until the child reaches 21 18 years of age, with the
   27  following exceptions:
   28         (a)If a young adult chooses to leave foster care upon
   29  reaching 18 years of age.
   30         (b)If a young adult does not meet the eligibility
   31  requirements to remain in foster care under s. 39.6251.
   32         (c)However, If a young adult youth petitions the court at
   33  any time before his or her 19th birthday requesting the court’s
   34  continued jurisdiction, the juvenile court may retain
   35  jurisdiction under this chapter for a period not to exceed 1
   36  year following the young adult’s youth’s 18th birthday for the
   37  purpose of determining whether appropriate aftercare support,
   38  Road-to-Independence Program, transitional support, mental
   39  health, and developmental disability services, that were
   40  required to be provided to the young adult before reaching 18
   41  years of age, to the extent otherwise authorized by law, have
   42  been provided to the formerly dependent child who was in the
   43  legal custody of the department immediately before his or her
   44  18th birthday.
   45         (d) If a petition for special immigrant juvenile status and
   46  an application for adjustment of status have been filed on
   47  behalf of a foster child and the petition and application have
   48  not been granted by the time the child reaches 18 years of age,
   49  the court may retain jurisdiction over the dependency case
   50  solely for the purpose of allowing the continued consideration
   51  of the petition and application by federal authorities. Review
   52  hearings for the child shall be set solely for the purpose of
   53  determining the status of the petition and application. The
   54  court’s jurisdiction terminates upon the final decision of the
   55  federal authorities. Retention of jurisdiction in this instance
   56  does not affect the services available to a young adult under s.
   57  409.1451. The court may not retain jurisdiction of the case
   58  after the immigrant child’s 22nd birthday.
   59         Section 2. Subsection (6) of section 39.6013, Florida
   60  Statutes, is amended to read:
   61         39.6013 Case plan amendments.—
   62         (6) The case plan is deemed amended as to the child’s
   63  health, mental health, and education records required by s.
   64  39.6012 when the child’s updated health and education records
   65  are filed by the department under s. 39.701(2)(a) s.
   66  39.701(8)(a).
   67         Section 3. Section 39.6035, Florida Statutes, is created to
   68  read:
   69         39.6035Transition plan.—
   70         (1) During the 180-day period after a child reaches 17
   71  years of age, the department and the community-based care
   72  provider, in collaboration with the caregiver and any other
   73  individual whom the child would like to include, shall assist
   74  the child in developing a transition plan. The required
   75  transition plan is in addition to standard case management
   76  requirements. The transition plan must address specific options
   77  for the child to use in obtaining services, including housing,
   78  health insurance, education, and workforce support and
   79  employment services. The plan must also consider establishing
   80  and maintaining naturally occurring mentoring relationships and
   81  other personal support services. The transition plan may be as
   82  detailed as the child chooses. In developing the transition
   83  plan, the department and the community-based provider shall:
   84         (a) Provide the child with the documentation required
   85  pursuant to s. 39.701(3); and
   86         (b) Coordinate the transition plan with the independent
   87  living provisions in the case plan and, for a child with
   88  disabilities, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
   89  transition plan.
   90         (2) The department and the child shall schedule a time,
   91  date, and place for a meeting to assist the child in drafting
   92  the transition plan. The time, date, and place must be
   93  convenient for the child and any individual whom the child would
   94  like to include. This meeting shall be conducted in the child’s
   95  primary language.
   96         (3) The transition plan shall be reviewed periodically with
   97  the child, the department, and other individuals of the child’s
   98  choice and updated when necessary before each judicial review so
   99  long as the child or young adult remains in care.
  100         (4) If a child is planning to leave care upon reaching 18
  101  years of age, the transition plan must be approved by the court
  102  before the child leaves care and the court terminates
  103  jurisdiction.
  104         Section 4. Section 39.6251, Florida Statutes, is created to
  105  read:
  106         39.6251Continuing care for young adults.—
  107         (1) As used in this section, the term “child” means an
  108  individual who has not attained 21 years of age, and the term
  109  “young adult” means an individual who has attained 18 years of
  110  age but who has not attained 21 years of age.
  111         (2) The primary goal for a child in care is permanency. A
  112  child who is living in licensed care on his or her 18th birthday
  113  and who has not achieved permanency under s. 39.621, is eligible
  114  to remain in licensed care under the jurisdiction of the court
  115  and in the care of the department. A child is eligible to remain
  116  in licensed care if he or she is:
  117         (a) Completing secondary education or a program leading to
  118  an equivalent credential;
  119         (b) Enrolled in an institution that provides postsecondary
  120  or vocational education;
  121         (c) Participating in a program or activity designed to
  122  promote or eliminate barriers to employment;
  123         (d) Employed for at least 80 hours per month; or
  124         (e) Unable to participate in programs or activities listed
  125  in (a)-(d) full time due to a physical, intellectual, emotional,
  126  or psychiatric condition that limits participation. Any such
  127  barrier to participation must be supported by documentation in
  128  the child’s case file or school or medical records of a
  129  physical, intellectual, or psychiatric condition that impairs
  130  the child’s ability to perform one or more life activities.
  131         (3) The permanency goal for a young adult who chooses to
  132  remain in care is transition from licensed care to independent
  133  living.
  134         (4)(a) The young adult must reside in a supervised living
  135  environment that is approved by the department or a community
  136  based care lead agency. The young adult shall live
  137  independently, but in an environment in which he or she is
  138  provided supervision, case management, and supportive services
  139  by the department or lead agency. Such an environment must offer
  140  developmentally appropriate freedom and responsibility to
  141  prepare the young adult for adulthood. For the purposes of this
  142  subsection, a supervised living arrangement may include a
  143  licensed foster home, licensed group home, college dormitory,
  144  shared housing, apartment, or another housing arrangement if the
  145  arrangement is approved by the community-based care lead agency
  146  and is acceptable to the young adult, with first choice being a
  147  licensed foster home. A young adult may continue to reside with
  148  the same licensed foster family or group care provider with whom
  149  he or she was residing at the time he or she reached the age of
  150  18 years.
  151         (b) Before approving the residential setting in which the
  152  young adult will live, the department or community-based care
  153  lead agency must ensure that:
  154         1. The young adult will be provided with a level of
  155  supervision consistent with his or her individual education,
  156  health care needs, permanency plan, and independent living goals
  157  as assessed by the department or lead agency with input from the
  158  young adult. Twenty-four hour on-site supervision is not
  159  required, however, 24-hour crisis intervention and support must
  160  be available.
  161         2. The young adult will live in an independent living
  162  environment that offers, at a minimum, life skills instruction,
  163  counseling, educational support, employment preparation and
  164  placement, and development of support networks. The
  165  determination of the type and duration of services shall be
  166  based on the young adult’s assessed needs, interests, and input
  167  and must be consistent with the goals set in the young adult’s
  168  case plan.
  169         (5) Eligibility for a young adult to remain in extended
  170  foster care ends on the earliest of the dates that the young
  171  adult:
  172         1. Reaches 21 years of age or, in the case of a young adult
  173  with a disability, reaches 22 years of age;
  174         2. Leaves care to live in a permanent home consistent with
  175  his or her permanency plan; or
  176         3. Knowingly and voluntarily withdraws his or her consent
  177  to participate in extended care. Withdrawal of consent to
  178  participate in extended care shall be verified by the court
  179  pursuant to s. 39.701, unless the young adult refuses to
  180  participate in any further court proceeding.
  181         (6) A young adult who is between the ages of 18 and 21 and
  182  who has left care may return to care by applying to the
  183  community-based care lead agency for readmission. The community
  184  based care lead agency shall readmit the young adult if he or
  185  she continues to meet the eligibility requirements in this
  186  section.
  187         (a) The department shall develop a standard procedure and
  188  application packet for readmission to care to be used by all
  189  community-based care lead agencies.
  190         (b) Within 30 days after the young adult has been
  191  readmitted to care, the community-based care lead agency shall
  192  assign a case manager to update the case plan and the transition
  193  plan and to arrange for the required services. Such activities
  194  shall be undertaken in consultation with the young adult. The
  195  department shall petition the court to reinstate jurisdiction
  196  over the young adult.
  197         (7)During each period of time that a young adult is in
  198  care, the community-based lead agency shall provide regular case
  199  management reviews that must include at least monthly contact
  200  with the case manager. If a young adult lives outside the
  201  service area of his or her community-based care lead agency,
  202  monthly contact may occur by telephone.
  203         (8) During the time that a young adult is in care, the
  204  court shall maintain jurisdiction to ensure that the department
  205  and the lead agencies are providing services and coordinate
  206  with, and maintain oversight of, other agencies involved in
  207  implementing the young adult’s case plan, individual education
  208  plan, and transition plan. The court shall review the status of
  209  the young adult at least every 6 months and hold a permanency
  210  review hearing at least annually. The court may appoint a
  211  guardian ad litem or continue the appointment of a guardian ad
  212  litem with the young adult’s consent. The young adult or any
  213  other party to the dependency case may request an additional
  214  hearing or review.
  215         (9)The department shall establish a procedure by which a
  216  young adult may appeal a determination of eligibility to remain
  217  in care that was made by a community-based care lead agency. The
  218  procedure must be readily accessible to young adults, must
  219  provide for timely decisions, and must provide for an appeal to
  220  the department. The decision of the department constitutes final
  221  agency action and is reviewable by the court as provided in s.
  222  120.68.
  223         Section 5. Section 39.701, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  224  read:
  225         39.701 Judicial review.—
  226         (1) GENERAL PROVISIONS.—
  227         (a) The court shall have continuing jurisdiction in
  228  accordance with this section and shall review the status of the
  229  child at least every 6 months as required by this subsection or
  230  more frequently if the court deems it necessary or desirable.
  231         (b) The court shall retain jurisdiction over a child
  232  returned to his or her parents for a minimum period of 6 months
  233  following the reunification, but, at that time, based on a
  234  report of the social service agency and the guardian ad litem,
  235  if one has been appointed, and any other relevant factors, the
  236  court shall make a determination as to whether supervision by
  237  the department and the court’s jurisdiction shall continue or be
  238  terminated.
  239         (c)1.(2)(a) The court shall review the status of the child
  240  and shall hold a hearing as provided in this part at least every
  241  6 months until the child reaches permanency status. The court
  242  may dispense with the attendance of the child at the hearing,
  243  but may not dispense with the hearing or the presence of other
  244  parties to the review unless before the review a hearing is held
  245  before a citizen review panel.
  246         2.(b) Citizen review panels may conduct hearings to review
  247  the status of a child. The court shall select the cases
  248  appropriate for referral to the citizen review panels and may
  249  order the attendance of the parties at the review panel
  250  hearings. However, any party may object to the referral of a
  251  case to a citizen review panel. Whenever such an objection has
  252  been filed with the court, the court shall review the substance
  253  of the objection and may conduct the review itself or refer the
  254  review to a citizen review panel. All parties retain the right
  255  to take exception to the findings or recommended orders of a
  256  citizen review panel in accordance with Rule 1.490(h), Florida
  257  Rules of Civil Procedure.
  258         3.(c) Notice of a hearing by a citizen review panel must be
  259  provided as set forth in paragraph (f) subsection (5). At the
  260  conclusion of a citizen review panel hearing, each party may
  261  propose a recommended order to the chairperson of the panel.
  262  Thereafter, the citizen review panel shall submit its report,
  263  copies of the proposed recommended orders, and a copy of the
  264  panel’s recommended order to the court. The citizen review
  265  panel’s recommended order must be limited to the dispositional
  266  options available to the court in paragraph (2)(d) subsection
  267  (10). Each party may file exceptions to the report and
  268  recommended order of the citizen review panel in accordance with
  269  Rule 1.490, Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.
  270         (d)1.(3)(a) The initial judicial review hearing must be
  271  held no later than 90 days after the date of the disposition
  272  hearing or after the date of the hearing at which the court
  273  approves the case plan, whichever comes first, but in no event
  274  shall the review be held later than 6 months after the date the
  275  child was removed from the home. Citizen review panels may shall
  276  not conduct more than two consecutive reviews without the child
  277  and the parties coming before the court for a judicial review.
  278         2.(b) If the citizen review panel recommends extending the
  279  goal of reunification for any case plan beyond 12 months from
  280  the date the child was removed from the home, the case plan was
  281  adopted, or the child was adjudicated dependent, whichever date
  282  came first, the court must schedule a judicial review hearing to
  283  be conducted by the court within 30 days after receiving the
  284  recommendation from the citizen review panel.
  285         3.(c) If the child is placed in the custody of the
  286  department or a licensed child-placing agency for the purpose of
  287  adoptive placement, judicial reviews must be held at least every
  288  6 months until the adoption is finalized.
  289         4.(d) If the department and the court have established a
  290  formal agreement that includes specific authorization for
  291  particular cases, the department may conduct administrative
  292  reviews instead of the judicial reviews for children in out-of
  293  home care. Notices of such administrative reviews must be
  294  provided to all parties. However, an administrative review may
  295  not be substituted for the first judicial review, and in every
  296  case the court must conduct a judicial review at least every 6
  297  months. Any party dissatisfied with the results of an
  298  administrative review may petition for a judicial review.
  299         5.(e) The clerk of the circuit court shall schedule
  300  judicial review hearings in order to comply with the mandated
  301  times cited in this section.
  302         6.(f) In each case in which a child has been voluntarily
  303  placed with the licensed child-placing agency, the agency shall
  304  notify the clerk of the court in the circuit where the child
  305  resides of such placement within 5 working days. Notification of
  306  the court is not required for any child who will be in out-of
  307  home care no longer than 30 days unless that child is placed in
  308  out-of-home care a second time within a 12-month period. If the
  309  child is returned to the custody of the parents before the
  310  scheduled review hearing or if the child is placed for adoption,
  311  the child-placing agency shall notify the court of the child’s
  312  return or placement within 5 working days, and the clerk of the
  313  court shall cancel the review hearing.
  314         (e)(4) The court shall schedule the date, time, and
  315  location of the next judicial review during the judicial review
  316  hearing and shall list same in the judicial review order.
  317         (f)(5) Notice of a judicial review hearing or a citizen
  318  review panel hearing, and a copy of the motion for judicial
  319  review, if any, must be served by the clerk of the court upon
  320  all of the following persons, if available to be served,
  321  regardless of whether the person was present at the previous
  322  hearing at which the date, time, and location of the hearing was
  323  announced:
  324         1.(a) The social service agency charged with the
  325  supervision of care, custody, or guardianship of the child, if
  326  that agency is not the movant.
  327         2.(b) The foster parent or legal custodian in whose home
  328  the child resides.
  329         3.(c) The parents.
  330         4.(d) The guardian ad litem for the child, or the
  331  representative of the guardian ad litem program if the program
  332  has been appointed.
  333         5.(e) The attorney for the child.
  334         6.(f) The child, if the child is 13 years of age or older.
  335         7.(g) Any preadoptive parent.
  336         8.(h) Such other persons as the court may direct.
  337         (g)(6) The attorney for the department shall notify a
  338  relative who submits a request for notification of all
  339  proceedings and hearings pursuant to s. 39.301(14)(b). The
  340  notice shall include the date, time, and location of the next
  341  judicial review hearing.
  342         (7)(a) In addition to paragraphs (1)(a) and (2)(a), the
  343  court shall hold a judicial review hearing within 90 days after
  344  a youth’s 17th birthday. The court shall also issue an order,
  345  separate from the order on judicial review, that the disability
  346  of nonage of the youth has been removed pursuant to s. 743.045.
  347  The court shall continue to hold timely judicial review hearings
  348  thereafter. In addition, the court may review the status of the
  349  child more frequently during the year prior to the youth’s 18th
  350  birthday if necessary. At each review held under this
  351  subsection, in addition to any information or report provided to
  352  the court, the foster parent, legal custodian, guardian ad
  353  litem, and the child shall be given the opportunity to address
  354  the court with any information relevant to the child’s best
  355  interests, particularly as it relates to independent living
  356  transition services. In addition to any information or report
  357  provided to the court, the department shall include in its
  358  judicial review social study report written verification that
  359  the child:
  360         1. Has been provided with a current Medicaid card and has
  361  been provided all necessary information concerning the Medicaid
  362  program sufficient to prepare the youth to apply for coverage
  363  upon reaching age 18, if such application would be appropriate.
  364         2. Has been provided with a certified copy of his or her
  365  birth certificate and, if the child does not have a valid
  366  driver’s license, a Florida identification card issued under s.
  367  322.051.
  368         3. Has been provided information relating to Social
  369  Security Insurance benefits if the child is eligible for these
  370  benefits. If the child has received these benefits and they are
  371  being held in trust for the child, a full accounting of those
  372  funds must be provided and the child must be informed about how
  373  to access those funds.
  374         4. Has been provided with information and training related
  375  to budgeting skills, interviewing skills, and parenting skills.
  376         5. Has been provided with all relevant information related
  377  to the Road-to-Independence Program, including, but not limited
  378  to, eligibility requirements, forms necessary to apply, and
  379  assistance in completing the forms. The child shall also be
  380  informed that, if he or she is eligible for the Road-to
  381  Independence Program, he or she may reside with the licensed
  382  foster family or group care provider with whom the child was
  383  residing at the time of attaining his or her 18th birthday or
  384  may reside in another licensed foster home or with a group care
  385  provider arranged by the department.
  386         6. Has an open bank account, or has identification
  387  necessary to open an account, and has been provided with
  388  essential banking skills.
  389         7. Has been provided with information on public assistance
  390  and how to apply.
  391         8. Has been provided a clear understanding of where he or
  392  she will be living on his or her 18th birthday, how living
  393  expenses will be paid, and what educational program or school he
  394  or she will be enrolled in.
  395         9. Has been provided with notice of the youth’s right to
  396  petition for the court’s continuing jurisdiction for 1 year
  397  after the youth’s 18th birthday as specified in s. 39.013(2) and
  398  with information on how to obtain access to the court.
  399         10. Has been encouraged to attend all judicial review
  400  hearings occurring after his or her 17th birthday.
  401         (b) At the first judicial review hearing held subsequent to
  402  the child’s 17th birthday, in addition to the requirements of
  403  subsection (8), the department shall provide the court with an
  404  updated case plan that includes specific information related to
  405  independent living services that have been provided since the
  406  child’s 13th birthday, or since the date the child came into
  407  foster care, whichever came later.
  408         (c) At the time of a judicial review hearing held pursuant
  409  to this subsection, if, in the opinion of the court, the
  410  department has not complied with its obligations as specified in
  411  the written case plan or in the provision of independent living
  412  services as required by s. 409.1451 and this subsection, the
  413  court shall issue a show cause order. If cause is shown for
  414  failure to comply, the court shall give the department 30 days
  415  within which to comply and, on failure to comply with this or
  416  any subsequent order, the department may be held in contempt.
  418  OF AGE.—
  419         (a) Social study report for judicial review.—Before every
  420  judicial review hearing or citizen review panel hearing, the
  421  social service agency shall make an investigation and social
  422  study concerning all pertinent details relating to the child and
  423  shall furnish to the court or citizen review panel a written
  424  report that includes, but is not limited to:
  425         1. A description of the type of placement the child is in
  426  at the time of the hearing, including the safety of the child
  427  and the continuing necessity for and appropriateness of the
  428  placement.
  429         2. Documentation of the diligent efforts made by all
  430  parties to the case plan to comply with each applicable
  431  provision of the plan.
  432         3. The amount of fees assessed and collected during the
  433  period of time being reported.
  434         4. The services provided to the foster family or legal
  435  custodian in an effort to address the needs of the child as
  436  indicated in the case plan.
  437         5. A statement that either:
  438         a. The parent, though able to do so, did not comply
  439  substantially with the case plan, and the agency
  440  recommendations;
  441         b. The parent did substantially comply with the case plan;
  442  or
  443         c. The parent has partially complied with the case plan,
  444  with a summary of additional progress needed and the agency
  445  recommendations.
  446         6. A statement from the foster parent or legal custodian
  447  providing any material evidence concerning the return of the
  448  child to the parent or parents.
  449         7. A statement concerning the frequency, duration, and
  450  results of the parent-child visitation, if any, and the agency
  451  recommendations for an expansion or restriction of future
  452  visitation.
  453         8. The number of times a child has been removed from his or
  454  her home and placed elsewhere, the number and types of
  455  placements that have occurred, and the reason for the changes in
  456  placement.
  457         9. The number of times a child’s educational placement has
  458  been changed, the number and types of educational placements
  459  which have occurred, and the reason for any change in placement.
  460         10. If the child has reached 13 years of age but is not yet
  461  18 years of age, a statement from the caregiver on the progress
  462  the child has made in acquiring independent living skills the
  463  results of the preindependent living, life skills, or
  464  independent living assessment; the specific services needed; and
  465  the status of the delivery of the identified services.
  466         11. Copies of all medical, psychological, and educational
  467  records that support the terms of the case plan and that have
  468  been produced concerning the parents or any caregiver since the
  469  last judicial review hearing.
  470         12. Copies of the child’s current health, mental health,
  471  and education records as identified in s. 39.6012.
  472         (b) Submission and distribution of reports.—
  473         1. A copy of the social service agency’s written report and
  474  the written report of the guardian ad litem must be served on
  475  all parties whose whereabouts are known; to the foster parents
  476  or legal custodians; and to the citizen review panel, at least
  477  72 hours before the judicial review hearing or citizen review
  478  panel hearing. The requirement for providing parents with a copy
  479  of the written report does not apply to those parents who have
  480  voluntarily surrendered their child for adoption or who have had
  481  their parental rights to the child terminated.
  482         2.(c) In a case in which the child has been permanently
  483  placed with the social service agency, the agency shall furnish
  484  to the court a written report concerning the progress being made
  485  to place the child for adoption. If the child cannot be placed
  486  for adoption, a report on the progress made by the child towards
  487  alternative permanency goals or placements, including, but not
  488  limited to, guardianship, long-term custody, long-term licensed
  489  custody, or independent living, must be submitted to the court.
  490  The report must be submitted to the court at least 72 hours
  491  before each scheduled judicial review.
  492         3.(d) In addition to or in lieu of any written statement
  493  provided to the court, the foster parent or legal custodian, or
  494  any preadoptive parent, shall be given the opportunity to
  495  address the court with any information relevant to the best
  496  interests of the child at any judicial review hearing.
  497         (c)(9)Review determinations.—The court and any citizen
  498  review panel shall take into consideration the information
  499  contained in the social services study and investigation and all
  500  medical, psychological, and educational records that support the
  501  terms of the case plan; testimony by the social services agency,
  502  the parent, the foster parent or legal custodian, the guardian
  503  ad litem or surrogate parent for educational decisionmaking if
  504  one has been appointed for the child, and any other person
  505  deemed appropriate; and any relevant and material evidence
  506  submitted to the court, including written and oral reports to
  507  the extent of their probative value. These reports and evidence
  508  may be received by the court in its effort to determine the
  509  action to be taken with regard to the child and may be relied
  510  upon to the extent of their probative value, even though not
  511  competent in an adjudicatory hearing. In its deliberations, the
  512  court and any citizen review panel shall seek to determine:
  513         1.(a) If the parent was advised of the right to receive
  514  assistance from any person or social service agency in the
  515  preparation of the case plan.
  516         2.(b) If the parent has been advised of the right to have
  517  counsel present at the judicial review or citizen review
  518  hearings. If not so advised, the court or citizen review panel
  519  shall advise the parent of such right.
  520         3.(c) If a guardian ad litem needs to be appointed for the
  521  child in a case in which a guardian ad litem has not previously
  522  been appointed or if there is a need to continue a guardian ad
  523  litem in a case in which a guardian ad litem has been appointed.
  524         4.(d) Who holds the rights to make educational decisions
  525  for the child. If appropriate, the court may refer the child to
  526  the district school superintendent for appointment of a
  527  surrogate parent or may itself appoint a surrogate parent under
  528  the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and s. 39.0016.
  529         5.(e) The compliance or lack of compliance of all parties
  530  with applicable items of the case plan, including the parents’
  531  compliance with child support orders.
  532         6.(f) The compliance or lack of compliance with a
  533  visitation contract between the parent and the social service
  534  agency for contact with the child, including the frequency,
  535  duration, and results of the parent-child visitation and the
  536  reason for any noncompliance.
  537         7.(g) The compliance or lack of compliance of the parent in
  538  meeting specified financial obligations pertaining to the care
  539  of the child, including the reason for failure to comply if such
  540  is the case.
  541         8.(h) Whether the child is receiving safe and proper care
  542  according to s. 39.6012, including, but not limited to, the
  543  appropriateness of the child’s current placement, including
  544  whether the child is in a setting that is as family-like and as
  545  close to the parent’s home as possible, consistent with the
  546  child’s best interests and special needs, and including
  547  maintaining stability in the child’s educational placement, as
  548  documented by assurances from the community-based care provider
  549  that:
  550         a.1. The placement of the child takes into account the
  551  appropriateness of the current educational setting and the
  552  proximity to the school in which the child is enrolled at the
  553  time of placement.
  554         b.2. The community-based care agency has coordinated with
  555  appropriate local educational agencies to ensure that the child
  556  remains in the school in which the child is enrolled at the time
  557  of placement.
  558         9.(i) A projected date likely for the child’s return home
  559  or other permanent placement.
  560         10.(j) When appropriate, the basis for the unwillingness or
  561  inability of the parent to become a party to a case plan. The
  562  court and the citizen review panel shall determine if the
  563  efforts of the social service agency to secure party
  564  participation in a case plan were sufficient.
  565         11.(k) For a child who has reached 13 years of age but is
  566  not yet 18 years of age, the adequacy of the child’s preparation
  567  for adulthood and independent living.
  568         12.(l) If amendments to the case plan are required.
  569  Amendments to the case plan must be made under s. 39.6013.
  570         (d)(10)(a)Orders.—
  571         1. Based upon the criteria set forth in paragraph (c)
  572  subsection (9) and the recommended order of the citizen review
  573  panel, if any, the court shall determine whether or not the
  574  social service agency shall initiate proceedings to have a child
  575  declared a dependent child, return the child to the parent,
  576  continue the child in out-of-home care for a specified period of
  577  time, or initiate termination of parental rights proceedings for
  578  subsequent placement in an adoptive home. Amendments to the case
  579  plan must be prepared as prescribed in s. 39.6013. If the court
  580  finds that the prevention or reunification efforts of the
  581  department will allow the child to remain safely at home or be
  582  safely returned to the home, the court shall allow the child to
  583  remain in or return to the home after making a specific finding
  584  of fact that the reasons for the creation of the case plan have
  585  been remedied to the extent that the child’s safety, well-being,
  586  and physical, mental, and emotional health will not be
  587  endangered.
  588         2.(b) The court shall return the child to the custody of
  589  the parents at any time it determines that they have
  590  substantially complied with the case plan, if the court is
  591  satisfied that reunification will not be detrimental to the
  592  child’s safety, well-being, and physical, mental, and emotional
  593  health.
  594         3.(c) If, in the opinion of the court, the social service
  595  agency has not complied with its obligations as specified in the
  596  written case plan, the court may find the social service agency
  597  in contempt, shall order the social service agency to submit its
  598  plans for compliance with the agreement, and shall require the
  599  social service agency to show why the child could not safely be
  600  returned to the home of the parents.
  601         4.(d) If, at any judicial review, the court finds that the
  602  parents have failed to substantially comply with the case plan
  603  to the degree that further reunification efforts are without
  604  merit and not in the best interest of the child, on its own
  605  motion, the court may order the filing of a petition for
  606  termination of parental rights, whether or not the time period
  607  as contained in the case plan for substantial compliance has
  608  expired.
  609         5.(e) Within 6 months after the date that the child was
  610  placed in shelter care, the court shall conduct a judicial
  611  review hearing to review the child’s permanency goal as
  612  identified in the case plan. At the hearing the court shall make
  613  findings regarding the likelihood of the child’s reunification
  614  with the parent or legal custodian within 12 months after the
  615  removal of the child from the home. If the court makes a written
  616  finding that it is not likely that the child will be reunified
  617  with the parent or legal custodian within 12 months after the
  618  child was removed from the home, the department must file with
  619  the court, and serve on all parties, a motion to amend the case
  620  plan under s. 39.6013 and declare that it will use concurrent
  621  planning for the case plan. The department must file the motion
  622  within 10 business days after receiving the written finding of
  623  the court. The department must attach the proposed amended case
  624  plan to the motion. If concurrent planning is already being
  625  used, the case plan must document the efforts the department is
  626  taking to complete the concurrent goal.
  627         6.(f) The court may issue a protective order in assistance,
  628  or as a condition, of any other order made under this part. In
  629  addition to the requirements included in the case plan, the
  630  protective order may set forth requirements relating to
  631  reasonable conditions of behavior to be observed for a specified
  632  period of time by a person or agency who is before the court;
  633  and the order may require any person or agency to make periodic
  634  reports to the court containing such information as the court in
  635  its discretion may prescribe.
  637         (a) In addition to the review and report required under
  638  paragraphs (1)(a) and (2)(a), respectively, the court shall hold
  639  a judicial review hearing within 90 days after a child’s 17th
  640  birthday. The court shall also issue an order, separate from the
  641  order on judicial review, that the disability of nonage of the
  642  child has been removed pursuant to s. 743.045 and shall continue
  643  to hold timely judicial review hearings. If necessary, the court
  644  may review the status of the child more frequently during the
  645  year before the child’s 18th birthday. At each review hearing
  646  held under this subsection, in addition to any information or
  647  report provided to the court by the foster parent, legal
  648  custodian, or guardian ad litem, the child shall be given the
  649  opportunity to address the court with any information relevant
  650  to the child’s best interest, particularly in relation to
  651  independent living transition services. The department shall
  652  include in the social study report for judicial review written
  653  verification that the child has:
  654         1. A current Medicaid card and all necessary information
  655  concerning the Medicaid program sufficient to prepare the child
  656  to apply for coverage upon reaching the age of 18, if such
  657  application is appropriate.
  658         2. A certified copy of the child’s birth certificate and,
  659  if the child does not have a valid driver license, a Florida
  660  identification card issued under s. 322.051.
  661         3. A social security card and information relating to
  662  social security insurance benefits if the child is eligible for
  663  those benefits. If the child has received such benefits and they
  664  are being held in trust for the child, a full accounting of
  665  these funds must be provided and the child must be informed as
  666  to how to access those funds.
  667         4. All relevant information related to the Road-to
  668  Independence Program, including, but not limited to, eligibility
  669  requirements, information on participation, and assistance in
  670  gaining admission to the program. If the child is eligible for
  671  the Road-to-Independence Program, he or she must be advised that
  672  he or she may continue to reside with the licensed family home
  673  or group care provider with whom the child was residing at the
  674  time the child attained his or her 18th birthday, in another
  675  licensed family home, or with a group care provider arranged by
  676  the department.
  677         5. An open bank account or the identification necessary to
  678  open a bank account and to acquire essential banking and
  679  budgeting skills.
  680         6. Information on public assistance and how to apply for
  681  public assistance.
  682         7. A clear understanding of where he or she will be living
  683  on his or her 18th birthday, how living expenses will be paid,
  684  and the educational program or school in which he or she will be
  685  enrolled.
  686         8. Information related to the ability of the child to
  687  remain in care until he or she reaches 21 years of age under s.
  688  39.013.
  689         9. A letter providing the dates that the child is under the
  690  jurisdiction of the court.
  691         10.A letter stating that the child is in compliance with
  692  financial aid documentation requirements.
  693         11. The child’s educational records.
  694         12. The child’s entire health and mental health records.
  695         13. The process for accessing his or her case file.
  696         14. A statement encouraging the child to attend all
  697  judicial review hearings occurring after the child’s 17th
  698  birthday.
  699         (b) At the first judicial review hearing held subsequent to
  700  the child’s 17th birthday, the department shall provide the
  701  court with an updated case plan that includes specific
  702  information related to the independent living skills that the
  703  child has acquired since the child’s 13th birthday, or since the
  704  date the child came into foster care, whichever came later.
  705         (c) If the court finds at the judicial review hearing that
  706  the department has not met with its obligations to the child as
  707  stated in the written case plan or in the provision of
  708  independent living services, the court may issue an order
  709  directing the department to show cause as to why it has not done
  710  so. If the department cannot justify its noncompliance, the
  711  court may give the department 30 days within which to comply. If
  712  the department fails to comply within 30 days, the court may
  713  hold the department in contempt.
  714         (d)At the last review hearing before the child reaches 18
  715  years of age, and in addition to the requirements of subsection
  716  (2), the court shall:
  717         1.Address whether the child plans to remain in foster
  718  care, and, if so, ensure that the child’s transition plan
  719  includes a plan for meeting one or more of the criteria
  720  specified in s. 39.6251.
  721         2.Ensure that the transition plan includes a supervised
  722  living arrangement under s. 39.6251.
  723         3.Ensure the child has been informed of:
  724         a.The right to continued support and services from the
  725  department and the community-based care lead agency.
  726         b. The right to request termination of dependency
  727  jurisdiction and be discharged from foster care.
  728         c. The opportunity to reenter foster care pursuant to s.
  729  39.6251.
  730         4. Ensure that the young adult, if he or she requests
  731  termination of dependency jurisdiction and discharge from foster
  732  care, has been informed of:
  733         a.Services or benefits for which the young adult may be
  734  eligible based on his or her former placement in foster care;
  735         b.Services or benefits that may be lost through
  736  termination of dependency jurisdiction; and
  737         c.Other federal, state, local, or community-based services
  738  or supports available to the him or her.
  740  During each period of time that a young adult remains in foster
  741  care, the court shall review the status of the young adult at
  742  least every 6 months and must hold a permanency review hearing
  743  at least annually.
  744         (a)The department and community-based care lead agency
  745  shall prepare and submit to the court a report, developed in
  746  collaboration with the young adult, which addresses the young
  747  adult’s progress in meeting the goals in the case plan. The
  748  report must include progress information related to the young
  749  adult’s independent living plan and transition plan, if
  750  applicable, and shall propose modifications as necessary to
  751  further the young adult’s goals.
  752         (b)The court shall attempt to determine whether the
  753  department and any service provider under contract with the
  754  department are providing the appropriate services as provided in
  755  the case plan.
  756         (c)If the court believes that the young adult is entitled
  757  under department policy or under a contract with a service
  758  provider to additional services to achieve the goals enumerated
  759  in the case plan, it may order the department to take action to
  760  ensure that the young adult receives the identified services.
  761         (d)The young adult or any other party to the dependency
  762  case may request an additional hearing or judicial review.
  763         (e) Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, if a
  764  young adult has chosen to remain in extended foster care after
  765  he or she has reached 18 years of age, the department may not
  766  close a case and the court may not terminate jurisdiction until
  767  the court finds, following a hearing, that the following
  768  criteria have been met:
  769         1.Attendance of the young adult at the hearing; or
  770         2.Findings by the court that:
  771         a.The young adult has been informed by the department of
  772  his or her right to attend the hearing and has provided written
  773  consent to waive this right; and
  774         b.The young adult has been informed of the potential
  775  negative effects of early termination of care, the option to
  776  reenter care before reaching 21 years of age, the procedure for,
  777  and limitations on, reentering care, and the availability of
  778  alternative services, and has signed a document attesting that
  779  he or she has been so informed and understands these provisions;
  780  or
  781         c.The young adult has voluntarily left the program, has
  782  not signed the document in sub-subparagraph b., and is unwilling
  783  to participate in any further court proceeding.
  784         3.In all permanency hearings or hearings regarding the
  785  transition of the young adult from care to independent living,
  786  the court shall consult with the young adult regarding the
  787  proposed permanency plan, case plan, and individual education
  788  plan for the young adult and ensure that he or she has
  789  understood the conversation.
  790         Section 6. Section 409.145, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  791  read:
  792         409.145 Care of children; quality parenting; “reasonable
  793  and prudent parent” standard.—The child welfare system of the
  794  department shall operate as a coordinated community-based system
  795  of care which empowers all caregivers for children in foster
  796  care to provide quality parenting, including approving or
  797  disapproving a child’s participation in activities based on the
  798  caregiver’s assessment using the “reasonable and prudent parent”
  799  standard.
  800         (1) SYSTEM OF CARE.—The department shall develop, implement
  801  conduct, supervise, and administer a coordinated community-based
  802  system of care program for dependent children who are found to
  803  be dependent and their families. This system of care must The
  804  services of the department are to be directed toward the
  805  following goals:
  806         (a) The Prevention of separation of children from their
  807  families.
  808         (b)Intervention to allow children to remain safely in
  809  their own homes.
  810         (c)(b)The Reunification of families who have had children
  811  removed from their care placed in foster homes or institutions.
  812         (d)Safety for children who are separated from their
  813  families by providing alternative emergency or longer-term
  814  parenting arrangements.
  815         (e)Focus on the well-being of children through emphasis on
  816  maintaining educational stability and providing timely health
  817  care.
  818         (f)(c)Permanency for The permanent placement of children
  819  for whom reunification who cannot be reunited with their
  820  families is not possible or when reunification would is not be
  821  in the best interest of the child.
  822         (d) The protection of dependent children or children
  823  alleged to be dependent, including provision of emergency and
  824  long-term alternate living arrangements.
  825         (g)(e) The transition to independence and self-sufficiency
  826  for older children who remain in foster care through adolescence
  827  continue to be in foster care as adolescents.
  828         (2) The following dependent children shall be subject to
  829  the protection, care, guidance, and supervision of the
  830  department or any duly licensed public or private agency:
  831         (a) Any child who has been temporarily or permanently taken
  832  from the custody of the parents, custodians, or guardians in
  833  accordance with those provisions in chapter 39 that relate to
  834  dependent children.
  835         (b) Any child who is in need of the protective supervision
  836  of the department as determined by intake or by the court in
  837  accordance with those provisions of chapter 39 that relate to
  838  dependent children.
  839         (c) Any child who is voluntarily placed, with the written
  840  consent of the parents or guardians, in the department’s foster
  841  care program or the foster care program of a licensed private
  842  agency.
  843         (3) The circuit courts exercising juvenile jurisdiction in
  844  the various counties of this state shall cooperate with the
  845  department and its employees in carrying out the purposes and
  846  intent of this chapter.
  847         (4) The department is authorized to accept children on a
  848  permanent placement basis by order of a court of competent
  849  jurisdiction for the single purpose of adoption placement of
  850  these children. The department is authorized to provide the
  851  necessary services to place these children ordered to the
  852  department on a permanent placement basis for adoption.
  853         (5) Any funds appropriated by counties for child welfare
  854  services may be matched by state and federal funds, such funds
  855  to be utilized by the department for the benefit of children in
  856  those counties.
  857         (6) Whenever any child is placed under the protection,
  858  care, and guidance of the department or a duly licensed public
  859  or private agency, or as soon thereafter as is practicable, the
  860  department or agency, as the case may be, shall endeavor to
  861  obtain such information concerning the family medical history of
  862  the child and the natural parents as is available or readily
  863  obtainable. This information shall be kept on file by the
  864  department or agency for possible future use as provided in ss.
  865  63.082 and 63.162 or as may be otherwise provided by law.
  866         (7) Whenever any child is placed by the department in a
  867  shelter home, foster home, or other residential placement, the
  868  department shall make available to the operator of the shelter
  869  home, foster home, other residential placement, or other
  870  caretaker as soon thereafter as is practicable, all relevant
  871  information concerning the child’s demographic, social, and
  872  medical history.
  873         (2) QUALITY PARENTING.—A child in foster care shall be
  874  placed only with a caregiver who has the ability to care for the
  875  child, is willing to accept responsibility for providing care,
  876  and is willing and able to learn about and be respectful of the
  877  child’s culture, religion and ethnicity, special physical or
  878  psychological needs, any circumstances unique to the child, and
  879  family relationships. The department, the community-based care
  880  lead agency, and other agencies shall provide such caregiver
  881  with all available information necessary to assist the caregiver
  882  in determining whether he or she is able to appropriately care
  883  for a particular child.
  884         (a)Roles and responsibilities of caregivers.—A caregiver
  885  shall:
  886         1.Participate in developing the case plan for the child
  887  and his or her family and work with others involved in his or
  888  her care to implement this plan. This participation includes the
  889  caregiver’s involvement in all team meetings or court hearings
  890  related to the child’s care.
  891         2.Complete all training needed to improve skills in
  892  parenting a child who has experienced trauma due to neglect,
  893  abuse, or separation from home, to meet the child’s special
  894  needs, and to work effectively with child welfare agencies, the
  895  court, the schools, and other community and governmental
  896  agencies.
  897         3.Respect and support the child’s ties to members of his
  898  or her biological family and assist the child in maintaining
  899  allowable visitation and other forms of communication.
  900         4. Effectively advocate for the child in the caregiver’s
  901  care with the child welfare system, the court, and community
  902  agencies, including the school, child care, health and mental
  903  health providers, and employers.
  904         5.Participate fully in the child’s medical, psychological,
  905  and dental care as the caregiver would for his or her biological
  906  child.
  907         6.Support the child’s school success by participating in
  908  school activities and meetings, including Individual Education
  909  Plan meetings, assisting with school assignments, supporting
  910  tutoring programs, meeting with teachers and working with an
  911  educational surrogate if one has been appointed, and encouraging
  912  the child’s participation in extracurricular activities.
  913         7.Work in partnership with other stakeholders to obtain
  914  and maintain records that are important to the child’s well
  915  being, including child resource records, medical records, school
  916  records, photographs, and records of special events and
  917  achievements.
  918         8.Ensure that the child in the caregiver’s care who is
  919  between 13 and 17 years of age learns and masters independent
  920  living skills.
  921         9.Ensure that the child in the caregiver’s care is aware
  922  of the requirements and benefits of the Road-to-Independence
  923  Program.
  924         10.Work to enable the child in the caregiver’s care to
  925  establish and maintain naturally occurring mentoring
  926  relationships.
  927         (b)Roles and responsibilities of the department, the
  928  community-based care lead agency, and other agency staff.—The
  929  department, the community-based care lead agency, and other
  930  agency staff shall:
  931         1.Include a caregiver in the development and
  932  implementation of the case plan for the child and his or her
  933  family. The caregiver shall be authorized to participate in all
  934  team meetings or court hearings related to the child’s care and
  935  future plans. The caregiver’s participation shall be facilitated
  936  through timely notification, an inclusive process, and
  937  alternative methods for participation for a caregiver who cannot
  938  be physically present.
  939         2.Develop and make available to the caregiver the
  940  information, services, training, and support that the caregiver
  941  needs to improve his or her skills in parenting children who
  942  have experienced trauma due to neglect, abuse, or separation
  943  from home, to meet these children’s special needs and to
  944  advocate effectively with child welfare agencies, the courts,
  945  schools, and other community and governmental agencies.
  946         3.Provide the caregiver with all information related to
  947  services and other benefits that are available to the child.
  948         (c)Transitions.—
  949         1.Once a caregiver accepts the responsibility of caring
  950  for a child, the child will be removed from the home of that
  951  caregiver only if:
  952         a.The caregiver is clearly unable to safely or legally
  953  care for the child;
  954         b. The child and his or her biological family are
  955  reunified;
  956         c. The child is being placed in a legally permanent home
  957  pursuant to the case plan or a court order; or
  958         d. The removal is demonstrably in the child’s best
  959  interest.
  960         2.In the absence of an emergency, if a child leaves the
  961  caregiver’s home for a reason provided under subparagraph 1.,
  962  the transition must be accomplished according to a plan that
  963  involves cooperation and sharing of information among all
  964  persons involved, respects the child’s developmental stage and
  965  psychological needs, ensures the child has all of his or her
  966  belongings, allows for a gradual transition from the caregiver’s
  967  home and, if possible, for continued contact with the caregiver
  968  after the child leaves.
  969         (d)Information sharing.—Whenever a foster home or
  970  residential group home assumes responsibility for the care of a
  971  child, the department and any additional providers shall make
  972  available to the caregiver as soon as is practicable all
  973  relevant information concerning the child. Records and
  974  information that are required to be shared with caregivers
  975  include, but are not limited to:
  976         1.Medical, dental, psychological, psychiatric, and
  977  behavioral history, as well as ongoing evaluation or treatment
  978  needs;
  979         2.School records;
  980         3.Copies of his or her birth certificate and, if
  981  appropriate, immigration status documents;
  982         4.Consents signed by parents;
  983         5.Comprehensive behavioral assessments and other social
  984  assessments;
  985         6.Court orders;
  986         7.Visitation and case plans;
  987         8.Guardian ad litem reports;
  988         9. Staffing forms; and
  989         10.Judicial or citizen review panel reports and
  990  attachments filed with the court, except confidential medical,
  991  psychiatric, and psychological information regarding any party
  992  or participant other than the child.
  993         (e)Caregivers employed by residential group homes.–All
  994  caregivers in residential group homes shall meet the same
  995  education, training, and background and other screening
  996  requirements as foster parents.
  998         (a) Definitions.—As used in this subsection, the term:
  999         1. “Age-appropriate” means an activity or item that is
 1000  generally accepted as suitable for a child of the same
 1001  chronological age or level of maturity. Age appropriateness is
 1002  based on the development of cognitive, emotional, physical, and
 1003  behavioral capacity which is typical for an age or age group.
 1004         2. “Caregiver” means a person with whom the child is placed
 1005  in out-of-home care, or a designated official for a group care
 1006  facility licensed by the department under s. 409.175.
 1007         3. “Reasonable and prudent parent” standard means the
 1008  standard of care used by a caregiver in determining whether to
 1009  allow a child in his or her care to participate in
 1010  extracurricular, enrichment, and social activities. This
 1011  standard is characterized by careful and thoughtful parental
 1012  decisionmaking that is intended to maintain a child’s health,
 1013  safety, and best interest while encouraging the child’s
 1014  emotional and developmental growth.
 1015         (b) Application of standard of care.—
 1016         1. Every child who comes into out-of-home care pursuant to
 1017  this chapter is entitled to participate in age-appropriate
 1018  extracurricular, enrichment, and social activities.
 1019         2. Each caregiver shall use the reasonable and prudent
 1020  parent standard in determining whether to give permission for a
 1021  child living in out-of-home care to participate in
 1022  extracurricular, enrichment, or social activities. When using
 1023  the reasonable and prudent parent standard, the caregiver must
 1024  consider:
 1025         a. The child’s age, maturity, and developmental level to
 1026  maintain the overall health and safety of the child.
 1027         b. The potential risk factors and the appropriateness of
 1028  the extracurricular, enrichment, or social activity.
 1029         c. The best interest of the child, based on information
 1030  known by the caregiver.
 1031         d. The importance of encouraging the child’s emotional and
 1032  developmental growth.
 1033         e. The importance of providing the child with the most
 1034  family-like living experience possible.
 1035         f. The behavioral history of the child and the child’s
 1036  ability to safely participate in the proposed activity.
 1037         (c) Verification of services delivered.—The department and
 1038  each community-based care lead agency shall verify that private
 1039  agencies providing out-of-home care services to dependent
 1040  children have policies in place which are consistent with this
 1041  section and that these agencies promote and protect the ability
 1042  of dependent children to participate in age-appropriate
 1043  extracurricular, enrichment, and social activities.
 1044         (d) Limitation of liability.—A caregiver is not liable for
 1045  harm caused to a child who participates in an activity approved
 1046  by the caregiver, provided that the caregiver has acted in
 1047  accordance with the reasonable and prudent parent standard. This
 1048  paragraph may not be interpreted as removing or limiting any
 1049  existing liability protection afforded by law.
 1051         (a)Effective October 1, 2013, room and board rates paid to
 1052  foster parents are as follows:
 1055  Monthly Foster Care Rate0-5 Years Age    6-12 Years Age   13-21 Years Age  
 1059         (b)Foster parents shall receive an annual cost of living
 1060  increase. The department shall calculate the new room and board
 1061  rate increase equal to the percentage change in the Consumer
 1062  Price Index for All Urban Consumers, U.S. City Average, All
 1063  Items, not seasonally adjusted, or successor reports, for the
 1064  preceding December compared to the prior December as initially
 1065  reported by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of
 1066  Labor Statistics. The department shall make available the
 1067  adjusted room and board rates annually.
 1068         (c)The amount of the monthly foster care board rate may be
 1069  increased upon agreement among the department, the community
 1070  based care lead agency, and the foster parent.
 1071         (d) Community-based care lead agencies providing care under
 1072  contract with the department shall pay a supplemental room and
 1073  board payment to foster care parents for providing independent
 1074  life skills and normalcy supports to children who are 13 through
 1075  17 years of age placed in their care. The supplemental payment
 1076  shall be paid monthly to the foster care parents on a per-child
 1077  basis in addition to the current monthly room and board rate
 1078  payment. The supplemental monthly payment shall be based on 10
 1079  percent of the monthly room and board rate for children 13
 1080  through 21 years of age as provided under this section and
 1081  adjusted annually.
 1082         (5)RULEMAKING.—The department shall adopt by rule
 1083  procedures to administer this section.
 1084         Section 7. Section 409.1451, Florida Statutes, is amended
 1085  to read:
 1086         (Substantial rewording of section. See
 1087         s. 409.1451, F.S., for present text).
 1088         409.1451 The Road-to-Independence Program.—
 1090         (a)The Legislature recognizes that most children and young
 1091  adults are resilient and, with adequate support, can expect to
 1092  be successful as independent adults. Not unlike many young
 1093  adults, some young adults who have lived in foster care need
 1094  additional support and resources for a period of time after
 1095  reaching 18 years of age.
 1096         (b)The Legislature finds that while it is important to
 1097  provide young adults who have lived in foster care with
 1098  education and independent living skills, there is also a need to
 1099  focus more broadly on creating and preserving family
 1100  relationships so that young adults have a permanent connection
 1101  with at least one committed adult who provides a safe and stable
 1102  parenting relationship.
 1103         (c)It is the intent of the Legislature that young adults
 1104  who choose to participate in the program receive the skills,
 1105  education, and support necessary to become self-sufficient and
 1106  leave foster care with a lifelong connection to a supportive
 1107  adult through the Road-to-Independence Program, either through
 1108  postsecondary education services and support, as provided in
 1109  subsection (2), or aftercare services.
 1111         (a)A young adult is eligible for services and support
 1112  under this subsection if he or she:
 1113         1.Was living in licensed care on his or her 18th birthday
 1114  or is currently living in licensed care; or was at least 16
 1115  years of age and was adopted from foster care or placed with a
 1116  court-approved dependency guardian after spending at least 6
 1117  months in licensed care within the 12 months immediately
 1118  preceding such placement or adoption;
 1119         2. Spent at least 6 months in licensed care before reaching
 1120  his or her 18th birthday;
 1121         3.Earned a standard high school diploma or its equivalent
 1122  pursuant to s. 1003.428, s. 1003.4281, s. 1003.429, s. 1003.43,
 1123  or s. 1003.435;
 1124         4.Has been admitted for enrollment as a full-time student
 1125  or its equivalent in an eligible postsecondary educational
 1126  institution as provided in s. 1009.533. For purposes of this
 1127  section, the term “full-time” means 9 credit hours or the
 1128  vocational school equivalent. A student may enroll part-time if
 1129  he or she has a recognized disability or is faced with another
 1130  challenge or circumstance that would prevent full-time
 1131  attendance. A student needing to enroll part-time for any reason
 1132  other than having a recognized disability must get approval from
 1133  his or her academic advisor;
 1134         5.Has reached 18 years of age but is not yet 23 years of
 1135  age;
 1136         6.Has applied, with assistance from the young adult’s
 1137  caregiver and the community-based lead agency, for any other
 1138  grants and scholarships for which he or she may qualify;
 1139         7.Submitted a Free Application for Federal Student Aid
 1140  which is complete and error free; and
 1141         8.Signed an agreement to allow the department and the
 1142  community-based care lead agency access to school records.
 1143         (b)The amount of the financial assistance shall be as
 1144  follows:
 1145         1.For a young adult who does not remain in foster care and
 1146  is attending a postsecondary school as provided in s. 1009.533,
 1147  the amount is $1,256 monthly.
 1148         2.For a young adult who remains in foster care, is
 1149  attending a postsecondary school, as provided in s. 1009.533,
 1150  and continues to reside in a licensed foster home, the amount is
 1151  the established room and board rate for foster parents. This
 1152  takes the place of the payment provided for in subsection (4).
 1153         3.For a young adult who remains in foster care, but
 1154  temporarily resides away from a licensed foster home for
 1155  purposes of attending a postsecondary school as provided in s.
 1156  1009.533, the amount is $1,256 monthly. This takes the place of
 1157  the payment provided for in subsection (4).
 1158         4.For a young adult who remains in foster care, is
 1159  attending a postsecondary school as provided in s. 1009.533, and
 1160  continues to reside in a licensed group home, the amount is
 1161  negotiated between the community-based care lead agency and the
 1162  licensed group home provider.
 1163         5.For a young adult who remains in foster care, but
 1164  temporarily resides away from a licensed group home for purposes
 1165  of attending a postsecondary school as provided in s. 1009.533,
 1166  the amount is $1,256 monthly. This takes the place of a
 1167  negotiated room and board rate.
 1168         6. The amount of the award may be disregarded for purposes
 1169  of determining the eligibility for, or the amount of, any other
 1170  federal or federally supported assistance.
 1171         7.A young adult is eligible to receive financial
 1172  assistance during the months when enrolled in a postsecondary
 1173  educational institution.
 1174         (c)Payment of financial assistance for a young adult who:
 1175         1. Has chosen not to remain in foster care and is attending
 1176  a postsecondary school as provided in s. 1009.533, shall be made
 1177  to the community-based care lead agency in order to secure
 1178  housing and utilities, with the balance being paid directly to
 1179  the young adult until such time the lead agency and the young
 1180  adult determine that the young adult can successfully manage the
 1181  full amount of the assistance.
 1182         2.Has remained in foster care under s. 39.6251 and who is
 1183  attending postsecondary school as provided in s. 1009.533, shall
 1184  be made directly to the foster parent or group home provider.
 1185         3.Community-based care lead agencies or other contracted
 1186  providers are prohibited from charging a fee associated with
 1187  administering the Road-to-Independence payments.
 1188         (d)1. The department must advertise the availability of the
 1189  stipend and must provide notification of the criteria and
 1190  application procedures for the stipend to children and young
 1191  adults leaving, or who were formerly in, foster care;
 1192  caregivers; case managers; guidance and family services
 1193  counselors; principals or other relevant school administrators;
 1194  and guardians ad litem.
 1195         2.If the award recipient transfers from one eligible
 1196  institution to another and continues to meet eligibility
 1197  requirements, the award shall be transferred with the recipient.
 1198         3. The department, or an agency under contract with the
 1199  department, shall evaluate each Road-to-Independence award for
 1200  renewal eligibility on an annual basis. In order to be eligible
 1201  for a renewal award for the subsequent year, the young adult
 1202  must:
 1203         a. Be enrolled for or have completed the number of hours,
 1204  or the equivalent, to be considered a full-time student under
 1205  subparagraph (a)4., unless the young adult qualifies for an
 1206  exception under subparagraph (a)4.
 1207         b. Maintain appropriate progress as determined by the
 1208  educational institution, except that if the young adult’s
 1209  progress is insufficient to renew the award at any time during
 1210  the eligibility period, the young adult may restore eligibility
 1211  by improving his or her progress to the required level.
 1212         4. Funds may be terminated during the interim between an
 1213  award and the evaluation for a renewal award if the department,
 1214  or an agency under contract with the department, determines that
 1215  the award recipient is no longer enrolled in an educational
 1216  institution as described in subparagraph (a)4. or is no longer a
 1217  resident of this state.
 1218         5. The department, or an agency under contract with the
 1219  department, shall notify a recipient who is terminated and
 1220  inform the recipient of his or her right to appeal.
 1221         6. An award recipient who does not qualify for a renewal
 1222  award or who chooses not to renew the award may apply for
 1223  reinstatement. An application for reinstatement must be made
 1224  before the young adult reaches 23 years of age. In order to be
 1225  eligible for reinstatement, the young adult must meet the
 1226  eligibility criteria and the criteria for award renewal for the
 1227  program.
 1228         (3) AFTERCARE SERVICES.—
 1229         (a)Aftercare services are available to young adults who
 1230  have chosen not to remain in foster care after reaching 18 years
 1231  of age and who are not receiving financial assistance under
 1232  subsection (2) to pursue postsecondary education. These
 1233  aftercare services include, but are not limited to, the
 1234  following:
 1235         1. Mentoring and tutoring.
 1236         2. Mental health services and substance abuse counseling.
 1237         3. Life skills classes, including credit management and
 1238  preventive health activities.
 1239         4. Parenting classes.
 1240         5. Job and career skills training.
 1241         6. Counselor consultations.
 1242         7. Temporary financial assistance for emergency situations.
 1243         8. Financial literacy skills training.
 1245  The specific services to be provided under this paragraph shall
 1246  be determined by an assessment of the young adult and may be
 1247  provided by the community-based care provider or through
 1248  referrals in the community.
 1249         (b)Temporary assistance provided to prevent homelessness
 1250  shall be provided as expeditiously as possible and within the
 1251  limitations defined by the department.
 1252         (c)A young adult who has reached 18 years of age but is
 1253  not yet 23 years of age who leaves foster care at 18 years of
 1254  age may request and is eligible for such services before
 1255  reaching 23 years of age.
 1256         (4) APPEALS PROCESS.—
 1257         (a) The department shall have a procedure by which a young
 1258  adult may appeal the department’s refusal to provide Road-to
 1259  Independence Program services or support, or the termination of
 1260  such services or support if funds for such services or support
 1261  are available.
 1262         (b) The appeal procedure must be readily accessible to
 1263  young adults, must provide for timely decisions, and must
 1264  provide for an appeal to the department. The decision of the
 1265  department constitutes final agency action and is reviewable by
 1266  the court as provided in s. 120.68.
 1267         (5)PORTABILITY.—The services provided under this section
 1268  are portable across county lines and between lead agencies.
 1269         (a) The service needs that are identified in the original
 1270  or updated transition plan, pursuant to s. 39.6035, shall be
 1271  provided by the lead agency where the young adult is currently
 1272  residing but shall be funded by the lead agency who initiated
 1273  the transition plan.
 1274         (b)The lead agency with primary case management
 1275  responsibilities shall provide maintenance payments, case
 1276  planning, including a written description of all services that
 1277  will assist a child 16 years of age or older in preparing for
 1278  the transition from care to independence, as well as regular
 1279  case reviews that conform with all federal scheduling and
 1280  content requirements, for all children in foster care who are
 1281  placed or visiting out-of-state.
 1282         (6) ACCOUNTABILITY.—The department shall develop outcome
 1283  measures for the program and other performance measures in order
 1284  to maintain oversight of the program. No later than January 31
 1285  of each year, the department shall prepare a report on the
 1286  outcome measures and the department’s oversight activities and
 1287  submit the report to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of
 1288  the House of Representatives, and the committees with
 1289  jurisdiction over issues relating to children and families in
 1290  the Senate and the House of Representatives. The report must
 1291  include:
 1292         (a)An analysis of performance on the outcome measures
 1293  developed under this section reported for each community-based
 1294  care lead agency and compared with the performance of the
 1295  department on the same measures.
 1296         (b)A description of the department’s oversight of the
 1297  program, including, by lead agency, any programmatic or fiscal
 1298  deficiencies found, corrective actions required, and current
 1299  status of compliance.
 1300         (c)Any rules adopted or proposed under this section since
 1301  the last report. For the purposes of the first report, any rules
 1302  adopted or proposed under this section must be included.
 1304  secretary shall establish the Independent Living Services
 1305  Advisory Council for the purpose of reviewing and making
 1306  recommendations concerning the implementation and operation of
 1307  the provisions of s. 39.6015 and the Road-to-Independence
 1308  Program. The advisory council shall function as specified in
 1309  this subsection until the Legislature determines that the
 1310  advisory council can no longer provide a valuable contribution
 1311  to the department’s efforts to achieve the goals of the services
 1312  designed to enable a young adult to live independently.
 1313         (a) The advisory council shall assess the implementation
 1314  and operation of the Road-to-Independence Program and advise the
 1315  department on actions that would improve the ability of these
 1316  Road-to-Independence Program services to meet the established
 1317  goals. The advisory council shall keep the department informed
 1318  of problems being experienced with the services, barriers to the
 1319  effective and efficient integration of services and support
 1320  across systems, and successes that the system of services has
 1321  achieved. The department shall consider, but is not required to
 1322  implement, the recommendations of the advisory council.
 1323         (b) The advisory council shall report to the secretary on
 1324  the status of the implementation of the Road-To-Independence
 1325  Program, efforts to publicize the availability of the Road-to
 1326  Independence Program, the success of the services, problems
 1327  identified, recommendations for department or legislative
 1328  action, and the department’s implementation of the
 1329  recommendations contained in the Independent Living Services
 1330  Integration Workgroup Report submitted to the appropriate
 1331  substantive committees of the Legislature by December 31, 2013.
 1332  The department shall submit a report by December 31 of each year
 1333  to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of
 1334  the House of Representatives which includes a summary of the
 1335  factors reported on by the council and identifies the
 1336  recommendations of the advisory council and either describes the
 1337  department’s actions to implement the recommendations or
 1338  provides the department’s rationale for not implementing the
 1339  recommendations.
 1340         (c) Members of the advisory council shall be appointed by
 1341  the secretary of the department. The membership of the advisory
 1342  council must include, at a minimum, representatives from the
 1343  headquarters and regional offices of the Department of Children
 1344  and Families, community-based care lead agencies, the Department
 1345  of Juvenile Justice, the Department of Economic Opportunity, the
 1346  Department of Education, the Agency for Health Care
 1347  Administration, the State Youth Advisory Board, Workforce
 1348  Florida, Inc., the Statewide Guardian Ad Litem Office, foster
 1349  parents, recipients of services and funding through the Road-to
 1350  Independence Program, and advocates for children in care. The
 1351  secretary shall determine the length of the term to be served by
 1352  each member appointed to the advisory council, which may not
 1353  exceed 4 years.
 1354         (d) The department shall provide administrative support to
 1355  the Independent Living Services Advisory Council to accomplish
 1356  its assigned tasks. The advisory council shall be afforded
 1357  access to all appropriate data from the department, each
 1358  community-based care lead agency, and other relevant agencies in
 1359  order to accomplish the tasks set forth in this section. The
 1360  data collected may not include any information that would
 1361  identify a specific child or young adult.
 1362         (e) The advisory council report required under paragraph
 1363  (b), must include an analysis of the system of independent
 1364  living transition services for young adults who reach 18 years
 1365  of age while in foster care before completing high school or its
 1366  equivalent and recommendations for department or legislative
 1367  action. The council shall assess and report on the most
 1368  effective method of assisting these young adults to complete
 1369  high school or its equivalent by examining the practices of
 1370  other states.
 1371         (8) PERSONAL PROPERTY.—Property acquired on behalf of a
 1372  young adult in this program shall become the personal property
 1373  of the young adult and is not subject to the requirements of
 1374  chapter 273 relating to state-owned tangible personal property.
 1375  Such property continues to be subject to applicable federal
 1376  laws.
 1378  The department or community-based care lead agency shall
 1379  document that eligible young adults are enrolled in Medicaid
 1380  under s. 409.903(4).
 1381         (10)RULEMAKING.—The department shall adopt rules to
 1382  administer this section.
 1383         Section 8. Paragraph (a) of subsection (3) of section
 1384  409.175, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
 1385         409.175 Licensure of family foster homes, residential
 1386  child-caring agencies, and child-placing agencies; public
 1387  records exemption.—
 1388         (3)(a) The total number of children placed in each family
 1389  foster home shall be based on the recommendation of the
 1390  department, or the community-based care lead agency where one is
 1391  providing foster care and related services, based on the needs
 1392  of each child in care, the ability of the foster family to meet
 1393  the individual needs of each child, including any adoptive or
 1394  biological children or young adults remaining in foster care
 1395  living in the home, the amount of safe physical plant space, the
 1396  ratio of active and appropriate adult supervision, and the
 1397  background, experience, and skill of the family foster parents.
 1398         Section 9. Subsection (4) of section 409.903, Florida
 1399  Statutes, is amended to read:
 1400         409.903 Mandatory payments for eligible persons.—The agency
 1401  shall make payments for medical assistance and related services
 1402  on behalf of the following persons who the department, or the
 1403  Social Security Administration by contract with the Department
 1404  of Children and Family Services, determines to be eligible,
 1405  subject to the income, assets, and categorical eligibility tests
 1406  set forth in federal and state law. Payment on behalf of these
 1407  Medicaid eligible persons is subject to the availability of
 1408  moneys and any limitations established by the General
 1409  Appropriations Act or chapter 216.
 1410         (4) A child who is eligible under Title IV-E of the Social
 1411  Security Act for subsidized board payments, foster care, or
 1412  adoption subsidies, and a child for whom the state has assumed
 1413  temporary or permanent responsibility and who does not qualify
 1414  for Title IV-E assistance but is in foster care, shelter or
 1415  emergency shelter care, or subsidized adoption. This category
 1416  includes a young adult who is eligible to receive services under
 1417  s. 409.1451(5), until the young adult reaches 21 years of age,
 1418  without regard to any income, resource, or categorical
 1419  eligibility test that is otherwise required. This category also
 1420  includes a person who as a child was eligible under Title IV-E
 1421  of the Social Security Act for foster care or the state-provided
 1422  foster care and who is a participant in the Road-to-Independence
 1423  Program.
 1424         Section 10. The Department of Children and Families shall
 1425  work in collaboration with the Board of Governors, the Florida
 1426  College System, and the Department of Education to help address
 1427  the need for a comprehensive support structure in the academic
 1428  arena to assist children and young adults who have been or
 1429  continue to remain in the foster care system in making the
 1430  transition from a structured care system into an independent
 1431  living setting. Using existing independent living services
 1432  funding, the Department of Children and Families is authorized
 1433  to contract with the State University System of Florida and the
 1434  Florida College System to provide postsecondary educational
 1435  campus coaching positions that will be integrated into state
 1436  colleges’ and university institutions’ general support services
 1437  structure to provide current and former foster care children and
 1438  young adults with dedicated, on-campus support. These campus
 1439  coaching positions shall be education employees.
 1440         Section 11. Effective October 1, 2013, a child or young
 1441  adult who is a participant in the Road-to-Independence Program
 1442  may continue in the program as it exists through December 31,
 1443  2013. Effective January 1, 2014, a child or young adult who is a
 1444  participant in the program shall transfer to the program
 1445  services provided in this act and his or her monthly stipend may
 1446  not be reduced, the method of payment of the monthly stipend may
 1447  not be changed, and the young adult may not be required to
 1448  change his or her living arrangement. These conditions shall
 1449  remain in effect for a child or young adult until he or she
 1450  ceases to meet the eligibility requirements under which he or
 1451  she entered the Road-to-Independence Program. A child or young
 1452  adult applying or reapplying for the Road-to-Independence
 1453  Program on or after October 1, 2013, may apply for program
 1454  services only as provided in this act.
 1455         Section 12. The Department of Children and Families in
 1456  collaboration with the Florida Foster and Adoptive Parent
 1457  Association and the Quality Parenting Initiative will design and
 1458  disseminate training for caregivers on skill building on the
 1459  life skills necessary for youth in the foster care system.
 1460         Section 13. This act shall take effect January 1, 2014.
 1462  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
 1463         And the title is amended as follows:
 1464         Delete everything before the enacting clause
 1465  and insert:
 1466                        A bill to be entitled                      
 1467         An act relating to independent living; amending s.
 1468         39.013, F.S.; providing that when the court obtains
 1469         jurisdiction over a child who has been found to be
 1470         dependent, the court retains jurisdiction until the
 1471         child reaches 21 years of age; providing exceptions;
 1472         amending s. 39.6013, F.S.; conforming a cross
 1473         reference; creating s. 39.6035, F.S.; requiring the
 1474         Department of Children and Families, the community
 1475         based care provider, and others to assist a child in
 1476         developing a transition plan after the child reaches
 1477         17 years of age and requiring a meeting to develop the
 1478         plan; specifying requirements and procedures for the
 1479         transition plan; requiring periodic review of the
 1480         transition plan; requiring the court to approve the
 1481         transition plan before the child leaves foster care
 1482         and the court terminates jurisdiction; creating s.
 1483         39.6251, F.S.; providing definitions; providing that a
 1484         young adult may remain in foster care under certain
 1485         circumstances after attaining 18 years of age;
 1486         specifying criteria for extended foster care;
 1487         providing that the permanency goal for a young adult
 1488         who chooses to remain in care is transition from care
 1489         to independent living; specifying dates for
 1490         eligibility for a young adult to remain in extended
 1491         foster care; providing for supervised living
 1492         arrangements in extended foster care; authorizing a
 1493         young adult to return to foster care under certain
 1494         circumstances; specifying services that must be
 1495         provided to the young adult; directing the court to
 1496         retain jurisdiction and hold review hearings; amending
 1497         s. 39.701, F.S.; revising judicial review of foster
 1498         care cases; making technical changes; providing
 1499         criteria for review hearings for children younger than
 1500         18 years of age; providing criteria for review
 1501         hearings for children 17 years of age; requiring the
 1502         department to verify that the child has certain
 1503         documents; requiring the department to update the case
 1504         plan; providing for review hearings for young adults
 1505         in foster care; amending s. 409.145, F.S.; requiring
 1506         the department to develop and implement a system of
 1507         care for children in foster care; specifying the goals
 1508         of the foster care system; requiring the department to
 1509         assist foster care caregivers to achieve quality
 1510         parenting; specifying the roles and responsibilities
 1511         of caregivers, the department, and others; providing
 1512         for transition from a caregiver; requiring information
 1513         sharing; providing for the adoption and use of a
 1514         “reasonable and prudent parent” standard; defining
 1515         terms; providing for the application for the standard
 1516         of care; providing for limiting liability of
 1517         caregivers; specifying foster care room and board
 1518         rates; authorizing community-based care service
 1519         providers to pay a supplemental monthly room and board
 1520         payment to foster parents for providing certain
 1521         services; directing the department to adopt rules;
 1522         deleting obsolete provisions; amending s. 409.1451,
 1523         F.S.; providing for the Road-to-Independence program;
 1524         providing legislative findings and intent; providing
 1525         for postsecondary services and supports; specifying
 1526         aftercare services; providing for appeals of a
 1527         determination of eligibility; providing for
 1528         portability of services across county lines and
 1529         between lead agencies; providing for accountability;
 1530         creating the Independent Living Services Advisory
 1531         Council; providing for membership and specifying the
 1532         duties and functions of the council; requiring reports
 1533         and recommendations; directing the department to adopt
 1534         rules; amending s. 409.175; allowing for young adults
 1535         remaining in care to be considered in total number of
 1536         children placed in a foster home; amending s. 409.903,
 1537         F.S.; conforming a cross-reference; directing the
 1538         Department of Children and Families to work in
 1539         collaboration with the Board of Governors, the Florida
 1540         College System, and the Department of Education to
 1541         help address the need for a comprehensive support
 1542         structure in the academic arena to assist young adults
 1543         who have been or remain in the foster care system;
 1544         providing for a transfer of services; directing the
 1545         Department of Children and Families in collaboration
 1546         with the Florida Foster and Adoptive Parent
 1547         Association and the Quality Parenting Initiative to
 1548         develop design training for caregivers; providing an
 1549         effective date.