Florida Senate - 2013                             CS for SB 1036
       By the Committees on Appropriations; and Children, Families, and
       Elder Affairs; and Senator Detert
       576-04636-13                                          20131036c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to independent living; amending s.
    3         39.013, F.S.; providing that when the court obtains
    4         jurisdiction over a child who has been found to be
    5         dependent, the court retains jurisdiction until the
    6         child reaches 21 years of age; providing exceptions;
    7         amending s. 39.6013, F.S.; conforming a cross
    8         reference; creating s. 39.6035, F.S.; requiring the
    9         Department of Children and Families, the community
   10         based care provider, and others to assist a child in
   11         developing a transition plan after the child reaches
   12         17 years of age and requiring a meeting to develop the
   13         plan; specifying requirements and procedures for the
   14         transition plan; requiring periodic review of the
   15         transition plan; requiring the court to approve the
   16         transition plan before the child leaves foster care
   17         and the court terminates jurisdiction; creating s.
   18         39.6251, F.S.; providing definitions; providing that a
   19         young adult may remain in foster care under certain
   20         circumstances after attaining 18 years of age;
   21         specifying criteria for extended foster care;
   22         providing that the permanency goal for a young adult
   23         who chooses to remain in care is transition from care
   24         to independent living; specifying dates for
   25         eligibility for a young adult to remain in extended
   26         foster care; providing for supervised living
   27         arrangements in extended foster care; authorizing a
   28         young adult to return to foster care under certain
   29         circumstances; specifying services that must be
   30         provided to the young adult; directing the court to
   31         retain jurisdiction and hold review hearings; amending
   32         s. 39.701, F.S.; revising judicial review of foster
   33         care cases; making technical changes; providing
   34         criteria for review hearings for children younger than
   35         18 years of age; providing criteria for review
   36         hearings for children 17 years of age; requiring the
   37         department to verify that the child has certain
   38         documents; requiring the department to update the case
   39         plan; providing for review hearings for young adults
   40         in foster care; amending s. 409.145, F.S.; requiring
   41         the department to develop and implement a system of
   42         care for children in foster care; specifying the goals
   43         of the foster care system; requiring the department to
   44         assist foster care caregivers to achieve quality
   45         parenting; specifying the roles and responsibilities
   46         of caregivers, the department, and others; providing
   47         for transition from a caregiver; requiring information
   48         sharing; providing for the adoption and use of a
   49         “reasonable and prudent parent” standard; defining
   50         terms; providing for the application for the standard
   51         of care; providing for limiting liability of
   52         caregivers; specifying foster care room and board
   53         rates; authorizing community-based care service
   54         providers to pay a supplemental monthly room and board
   55         payment to foster parents for providing certain
   56         services; directing the department to adopt rules;
   57         deleting obsolete provisions; amending s. 409.1451,
   58         F.S.; providing for the Road-to-Independence program;
   59         providing legislative findings and intent; providing
   60         for postsecondary services and supports; specifying
   61         aftercare services; providing for appeals of a
   62         determination of eligibility; providing for
   63         portability of services across county lines and
   64         between lead agencies; providing for accountability;
   65         creating the Independent Living Services Advisory
   66         Council; providing for membership and specifying the
   67         duties and functions of the council; requiring reports
   68         and recommendations; directing the department to adopt
   69         rules; amending s. 409.175; allowing for young adults
   70         remaining in care to be considered in total number of
   71         children placed in a foster home; amending s. 409.903,
   72         F.S.; conforming a cross-reference; directing the
   73         Department of Children and Families to work in
   74         collaboration with the Board of Governors, the Florida
   75         College System, and the Department of Education to
   76         help address the need for a comprehensive support
   77         structure in the academic arena to assist young adults
   78         who have been or remain in the foster care system;
   79         providing for a transfer of services; directing the
   80         Department of Children and Families in collaboration
   81         with the Florida Foster and Adoptive Parent
   82         Association and the Quality Parenting Initiative to
   83         develop design training for caregivers; providing
   84         effective dates.
   86  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   88         Section 1. Subsection (2) of section 39.013, Florida
   89  Statutes, is amended to read:
   90         39.013 Procedures and jurisdiction; right to counsel.—
   91         (2) The circuit court has exclusive original jurisdiction
   92  of all proceedings under this chapter, of a child voluntarily
   93  placed with a licensed child-caring agency, a licensed child
   94  placing agency, or the department, and of the adoption of
   95  children whose parental rights have been terminated under this
   96  chapter. Jurisdiction attaches when the initial shelter
   97  petition, dependency petition, or termination of parental rights
   98  petition, or a petition for an injunction to prevent child abuse
   99  issued pursuant to s. 39.504, is filed or when a child is taken
  100  into the custody of the department. The circuit court may assume
  101  jurisdiction over any such proceeding regardless of whether the
  102  child was in the physical custody of both parents, was in the
  103  sole legal or physical custody of only one parent, caregiver, or
  104  some other person, or was not in the physical or legal custody
  105  of any person when the event or condition occurred that brought
  106  the child to the attention of the court. When the court obtains
  107  jurisdiction of any child who has been found to be dependent,
  108  the court shall retain jurisdiction, unless relinquished by its
  109  order, until the child reaches 21 18 years of age, with the
  110  following exceptions:
  111         (a)If a young adult chooses to leave foster care upon
  112  reaching 18 years of age.
  113         (b)If a young adult does not meet the eligibility
  114  requirements to remain in foster care under s. 39.6251.
  115         (c)However, If a young adult youth petitions the court at
  116  any time before his or her 19th birthday requesting the court’s
  117  continued jurisdiction, the juvenile court may retain
  118  jurisdiction under this chapter for a period not to exceed 1
  119  year following the young adult’s youth’s 18th birthday for the
  120  purpose of determining whether appropriate aftercare support,
  121  Road-to-Independence Program, transitional support, mental
  122  health, and developmental disability services, that were
  123  required to be provided to the young adult before reaching 18
  124  years of age, to the extent otherwise authorized by law, have
  125  been provided to the formerly dependent child who was in the
  126  legal custody of the department immediately before his or her
  127  18th birthday.
  128         (d) If a petition for special immigrant juvenile status and
  129  an application for adjustment of status have been filed on
  130  behalf of a foster child and the petition and application have
  131  not been granted by the time the child reaches 18 years of age,
  132  the court may retain jurisdiction over the dependency case
  133  solely for the purpose of allowing the continued consideration
  134  of the petition and application by federal authorities. Review
  135  hearings for the child shall be set solely for the purpose of
  136  determining the status of the petition and application. The
  137  court’s jurisdiction terminates upon the final decision of the
  138  federal authorities. Retention of jurisdiction in this instance
  139  does not affect the services available to a young adult under s.
  140  409.1451. The court may not retain jurisdiction of the case
  141  after the immigrant child’s 22nd birthday.
  142         Section 2. Subsection (6) of section 39.6013, Florida
  143  Statutes, is amended to read:
  144         39.6013 Case plan amendments.—
  145         (6) The case plan is deemed amended as to the child’s
  146  health, mental health, and education records required by s.
  147  39.6012 when the child’s updated health and education records
  148  are filed by the department under s. 39.701(2)(a) s.
  149  39.701(8)(a).
  150         Section 3. Section 39.6035, Florida Statutes, is created to
  151  read:
  152         39.6035Transition plan.—
  153         (1) During the 180-day period after a child reaches 17
  154  years of age, the department and the community-based care
  155  provider, in collaboration with the caregiver and any other
  156  individual whom the child would like to include, shall assist
  157  the child in developing a transition plan. The required
  158  transition plan is in addition to standard case management
  159  requirements. The transition plan must address specific options
  160  for the child to use in obtaining services, including housing,
  161  health insurance, education, and workforce support and
  162  employment services. The plan must also consider establishing
  163  and maintaining naturally occurring mentoring relationships and
  164  other personal support services. The transition plan may be as
  165  detailed as the child chooses. In developing the transition
  166  plan, the department and the community-based provider shall:
  167         (a) Provide the child with the documentation required
  168  pursuant to s. 39.701(3); and
  169         (b) Coordinate the transition plan with the independent
  170  living provisions in the case plan and, for a child with
  171  disabilities, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
  172  transition plan.
  173         (2) The department and the child shall schedule a time,
  174  date, and place for a meeting to assist the child in drafting
  175  the transition plan. The time, date, and place must be
  176  convenient for the child and any individual whom the child would
  177  like to include. This meeting shall be conducted in the child’s
  178  primary language.
  179         (3) The transition plan shall be reviewed periodically with
  180  the child, the department, and other individuals of the child’s
  181  choice and updated when necessary before each judicial review so
  182  long as the child or young adult remains in care.
  183         (4) If a child is planning to leave care upon reaching 18
  184  years of age, the transition plan must be approved by the court
  185  before the child leaves care and the court terminates
  186  jurisdiction.
  187         Section 4. Section 39.6251, Florida Statutes, is created to
  188  read:
  189         39.6251Continuing care for young adults.—
  190         (1) As used in this section, the term “child” means an
  191  individual who has not attained 21 years of age, and the term
  192  “young adult” means an individual who has attained 18 years of
  193  age but who has not attained 21 years of age.
  194         (2) The primary goal for a child in care is permanency. A
  195  child who is living in licensed care on his or her 18th birthday
  196  and who has not achieved permanency under s. 39.621, is eligible
  197  to remain in licensed care under the jurisdiction of the court
  198  and in the care of the department. A child is eligible to remain
  199  in licensed care if he or she is:
  200         (a) Completing secondary education or a program leading to
  201  an equivalent credential;
  202         (b) Enrolled in an institution that provides postsecondary
  203  or vocational education;
  204         (c) Participating in a program or activity designed to
  205  promote or eliminate barriers to employment;
  206         (d) Employed for at least 80 hours per month; or
  207         (e) Unable to participate in programs or activities listed
  208  in (a)-(d) full time due to a physical, intellectual, emotional,
  209  or psychiatric condition that limits participation. Any such
  210  barrier to participation must be supported by documentation in
  211  the child’s case file or school or medical records of a
  212  physical, intellectual, or psychiatric condition that impairs
  213  the child’s ability to perform one or more life activities.
  214         (3) The permanency goal for a young adult who chooses to
  215  remain in care is transition from licensed care to independent
  216  living.
  217         (4)(a) The young adult must reside in a supervised living
  218  environment that is approved by the department or a community
  219  based care lead agency. The young adult shall live
  220  independently, but in an environment in which he or she is
  221  provided supervision, case management, and supportive services
  222  by the department or lead agency. Such an environment must offer
  223  developmentally appropriate freedom and responsibility to
  224  prepare the young adult for adulthood. For the purposes of this
  225  subsection, a supervised living arrangement may include a
  226  licensed foster home, licensed group home, college dormitory,
  227  shared housing, apartment, or another housing arrangement if the
  228  arrangement is approved by the community-based care lead agency
  229  and is acceptable to the young adult, with first choice being a
  230  licensed foster home. A young adult may continue to reside with
  231  the same licensed foster family or group care provider with whom
  232  he or she was residing at the time he or she reached the age of
  233  18 years.
  234         (b) Before approving the residential setting in which the
  235  young adult will live, the department or community-based care
  236  lead agency must ensure that:
  237         1. The young adult will be provided with a level of
  238  supervision consistent with his or her individual education,
  239  health care needs, permanency plan, and independent living goals
  240  as assessed by the department or lead agency with input from the
  241  young adult. Twenty-four hour on-site supervision is not
  242  required, however, 24-hour crisis intervention and support must
  243  be available.
  244         2. The young adult will live in an independent living
  245  environment that offers, at a minimum, life skills instruction,
  246  counseling, educational support, employment preparation and
  247  placement, and development of support networks. The
  248  determination of the type and duration of services shall be
  249  based on the young adult’s assessed needs, interests, and input
  250  and must be consistent with the goals set in the young adult’s
  251  case plan.
  252         (5) Eligibility for a young adult to remain in extended
  253  foster care ends on the earliest of the dates that the young
  254  adult:
  255         1. Reaches 21 years of age or, in the case of a young adult
  256  with a disability, reaches 22 years of age;
  257         2. Leaves care to live in a permanent home consistent with
  258  his or her permanency plan; or
  259         3. Knowingly and voluntarily withdraws his or her consent
  260  to participate in extended care. Withdrawal of consent to
  261  participate in extended care shall be verified by the court
  262  pursuant to s. 39.701, unless the young adult refuses to
  263  participate in any further court proceeding.
  264         (6) A young adult who is between the ages of 18 and 21 and
  265  who has left care may return to care by applying to the
  266  community-based care lead agency for readmission. The community
  267  based care lead agency shall readmit the young adult if he or
  268  she continues to meet the eligibility requirements in this
  269  section.
  270         (a) The department shall develop a standard procedure and
  271  application packet for readmission to care to be used by all
  272  community-based care lead agencies.
  273         (b) Within 30 days after the young adult has been
  274  readmitted to care, the community-based care lead agency shall
  275  assign a case manager to update the case plan and the transition
  276  plan and to arrange for the required services. Such activities
  277  shall be undertaken in consultation with the young adult. The
  278  department shall petition the court to reinstate jurisdiction
  279  over the young adult.
  280         (7)During each period of time that a young adult is in
  281  care, the community-based lead agency shall provide regular case
  282  management reviews that must include at least monthly contact
  283  with the case manager. If a young adult lives outside the
  284  service area of his or her community-based care lead agency,
  285  monthly contact may occur by telephone.
  286         (8) During the time that a young adult is in care, the
  287  court shall maintain jurisdiction to ensure that the department
  288  and the lead agencies are providing services and coordinate
  289  with, and maintain oversight of, other agencies involved in
  290  implementing the young adult’s case plan, individual education
  291  plan, and transition plan. The court shall review the status of
  292  the young adult at least every 6 months and hold a permanency
  293  review hearing at least annually. The court may appoint a
  294  guardian ad litem or continue the appointment of a guardian ad
  295  litem with the young adult’s consent. The young adult or any
  296  other party to the dependency case may request an additional
  297  hearing or review.
  298         (9)The department shall establish a procedure by which a
  299  young adult may appeal a determination of eligibility to remain
  300  in care that was made by a community-based care lead agency. The
  301  procedure must be readily accessible to young adults, must
  302  provide for timely decisions, and must provide for an appeal to
  303  the department. The decision of the department constitutes final
  304  agency action and is reviewable by the court as provided in s.
  305  120.68.
  306         Section 5. Section 39.701, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  307  read:
  308         39.701 Judicial review.—
  309         (1) GENERAL PROVISIONS.—
  310         (a) The court shall have continuing jurisdiction in
  311  accordance with this section and shall review the status of the
  312  child at least every 6 months as required by this subsection or
  313  more frequently if the court deems it necessary or desirable.
  314         (b) The court shall retain jurisdiction over a child
  315  returned to his or her parents for a minimum period of 6 months
  316  following the reunification, but, at that time, based on a
  317  report of the social service agency and the guardian ad litem,
  318  if one has been appointed, and any other relevant factors, the
  319  court shall make a determination as to whether supervision by
  320  the department and the court’s jurisdiction shall continue or be
  321  terminated.
  322         (c)1.(2)(a) The court shall review the status of the child
  323  and shall hold a hearing as provided in this part at least every
  324  6 months until the child reaches permanency status. The court
  325  may dispense with the attendance of the child at the hearing,
  326  but may not dispense with the hearing or the presence of other
  327  parties to the review unless before the review a hearing is held
  328  before a citizen review panel.
  329         2.(b) Citizen review panels may conduct hearings to review
  330  the status of a child. The court shall select the cases
  331  appropriate for referral to the citizen review panels and may
  332  order the attendance of the parties at the review panel
  333  hearings. However, any party may object to the referral of a
  334  case to a citizen review panel. Whenever such an objection has
  335  been filed with the court, the court shall review the substance
  336  of the objection and may conduct the review itself or refer the
  337  review to a citizen review panel. All parties retain the right
  338  to take exception to the findings or recommended orders of a
  339  citizen review panel in accordance with Rule 1.490(h), Florida
  340  Rules of Civil Procedure.
  341         3.(c) Notice of a hearing by a citizen review panel must be
  342  provided as set forth in paragraph (f) subsection (5). At the
  343  conclusion of a citizen review panel hearing, each party may
  344  propose a recommended order to the chairperson of the panel.
  345  Thereafter, the citizen review panel shall submit its report,
  346  copies of the proposed recommended orders, and a copy of the
  347  panel’s recommended order to the court. The citizen review
  348  panel’s recommended order must be limited to the dispositional
  349  options available to the court in paragraph (2)(d) subsection
  350  (10). Each party may file exceptions to the report and
  351  recommended order of the citizen review panel in accordance with
  352  Rule 1.490, Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.
  353         (d)1.(3)(a) The initial judicial review hearing must be
  354  held no later than 90 days after the date of the disposition
  355  hearing or after the date of the hearing at which the court
  356  approves the case plan, whichever comes first, but in no event
  357  shall the review be held later than 6 months after the date the
  358  child was removed from the home. Citizen review panels may shall
  359  not conduct more than two consecutive reviews without the child
  360  and the parties coming before the court for a judicial review.
  361         2.(b) If the citizen review panel recommends extending the
  362  goal of reunification for any case plan beyond 12 months from
  363  the date the child was removed from the home, the case plan was
  364  adopted, or the child was adjudicated dependent, whichever date
  365  came first, the court must schedule a judicial review hearing to
  366  be conducted by the court within 30 days after receiving the
  367  recommendation from the citizen review panel.
  368         3.(c) If the child is placed in the custody of the
  369  department or a licensed child-placing agency for the purpose of
  370  adoptive placement, judicial reviews must be held at least every
  371  6 months until the adoption is finalized.
  372         4.(d) If the department and the court have established a
  373  formal agreement that includes specific authorization for
  374  particular cases, the department may conduct administrative
  375  reviews instead of the judicial reviews for children in out-of
  376  home care. Notices of such administrative reviews must be
  377  provided to all parties. However, an administrative review may
  378  not be substituted for the first judicial review, and in every
  379  case the court must conduct a judicial review at least every 6
  380  months. Any party dissatisfied with the results of an
  381  administrative review may petition for a judicial review.
  382         5.(e) The clerk of the circuit court shall schedule
  383  judicial review hearings in order to comply with the mandated
  384  times cited in this section.
  385         6.(f) In each case in which a child has been voluntarily
  386  placed with the licensed child-placing agency, the agency shall
  387  notify the clerk of the court in the circuit where the child
  388  resides of such placement within 5 working days. Notification of
  389  the court is not required for any child who will be in out-of
  390  home care no longer than 30 days unless that child is placed in
  391  out-of-home care a second time within a 12-month period. If the
  392  child is returned to the custody of the parents before the
  393  scheduled review hearing or if the child is placed for adoption,
  394  the child-placing agency shall notify the court of the child’s
  395  return or placement within 5 working days, and the clerk of the
  396  court shall cancel the review hearing.
  397         (e)(4) The court shall schedule the date, time, and
  398  location of the next judicial review during the judicial review
  399  hearing and shall list same in the judicial review order.
  400         (f)(5) Notice of a judicial review hearing or a citizen
  401  review panel hearing, and a copy of the motion for judicial
  402  review, if any, must be served by the clerk of the court upon
  403  all of the following persons, if available to be served,
  404  regardless of whether the person was present at the previous
  405  hearing at which the date, time, and location of the hearing was
  406  announced:
  407         1.(a) The social service agency charged with the
  408  supervision of care, custody, or guardianship of the child, if
  409  that agency is not the movant.
  410         2.(b) The foster parent or legal custodian in whose home
  411  the child resides.
  412         3.(c) The parents.
  413         4.(d) The guardian ad litem for the child, or the
  414  representative of the guardian ad litem program if the program
  415  has been appointed.
  416         5.(e) The attorney for the child.
  417         6.(f) The child, if the child is 13 years of age or older.
  418         7.(g) Any preadoptive parent.
  419         8.(h) Such other persons as the court may direct.
  420         (g)(6) The attorney for the department shall notify a
  421  relative who submits a request for notification of all
  422  proceedings and hearings pursuant to s. 39.301(14)(b). The
  423  notice shall include the date, time, and location of the next
  424  judicial review hearing.
  425         (7)(a) In addition to paragraphs (1)(a) and (2)(a), the
  426  court shall hold a judicial review hearing within 90 days after
  427  a youth’s 17th birthday. The court shall also issue an order,
  428  separate from the order on judicial review, that the disability
  429  of nonage of the youth has been removed pursuant to s. 743.045.
  430  The court shall continue to hold timely judicial review hearings
  431  thereafter. In addition, the court may review the status of the
  432  child more frequently during the year prior to the youth’s 18th
  433  birthday if necessary. At each review held under this
  434  subsection, in addition to any information or report provided to
  435  the court, the foster parent, legal custodian, guardian ad
  436  litem, and the child shall be given the opportunity to address
  437  the court with any information relevant to the child’s best
  438  interests, particularly as it relates to independent living
  439  transition services. In addition to any information or report
  440  provided to the court, the department shall include in its
  441  judicial review social study report written verification that
  442  the child:
  443         1. Has been provided with a current Medicaid card and has
  444  been provided all necessary information concerning the Medicaid
  445  program sufficient to prepare the youth to apply for coverage
  446  upon reaching age 18, if such application would be appropriate.
  447         2. Has been provided with a certified copy of his or her
  448  birth certificate and, if the child does not have a valid
  449  driver’s license, a Florida identification card issued under s.
  450  322.051.
  451         3. Has been provided information relating to Social
  452  Security Insurance benefits if the child is eligible for these
  453  benefits. If the child has received these benefits and they are
  454  being held in trust for the child, a full accounting of those
  455  funds must be provided and the child must be informed about how
  456  to access those funds.
  457         4. Has been provided with information and training related
  458  to budgeting skills, interviewing skills, and parenting skills.
  459         5. Has been provided with all relevant information related
  460  to the Road-to-Independence Program, including, but not limited
  461  to, eligibility requirements, forms necessary to apply, and
  462  assistance in completing the forms. The child shall also be
  463  informed that, if he or she is eligible for the Road-to
  464  Independence Program, he or she may reside with the licensed
  465  foster family or group care provider with whom the child was
  466  residing at the time of attaining his or her 18th birthday or
  467  may reside in another licensed foster home or with a group care
  468  provider arranged by the department.
  469         6. Has an open bank account, or has identification
  470  necessary to open an account, and has been provided with
  471  essential banking skills.
  472         7. Has been provided with information on public assistance
  473  and how to apply.
  474         8. Has been provided a clear understanding of where he or
  475  she will be living on his or her 18th birthday, how living
  476  expenses will be paid, and what educational program or school he
  477  or she will be enrolled in.
  478         9. Has been provided with notice of the youth’s right to
  479  petition for the court’s continuing jurisdiction for 1 year
  480  after the youth’s 18th birthday as specified in s. 39.013(2) and
  481  with information on how to obtain access to the court.
  482         10. Has been encouraged to attend all judicial review
  483  hearings occurring after his or her 17th birthday.
  484         (b) At the first judicial review hearing held subsequent to
  485  the child’s 17th birthday, in addition to the requirements of
  486  subsection (8), the department shall provide the court with an
  487  updated case plan that includes specific information related to
  488  independent living services that have been provided since the
  489  child’s 13th birthday, or since the date the child came into
  490  foster care, whichever came later.
  491         (c) At the time of a judicial review hearing held pursuant
  492  to this subsection, if, in the opinion of the court, the
  493  department has not complied with its obligations as specified in
  494  the written case plan or in the provision of independent living
  495  services as required by s. 409.1451 and this subsection, the
  496  court shall issue a show cause order. If cause is shown for
  497  failure to comply, the court shall give the department 30 days
  498  within which to comply and, on failure to comply with this or
  499  any subsequent order, the department may be held in contempt.
  501  OF AGE.—
  502         (a) Social study report for judicial review.—Before every
  503  judicial review hearing or citizen review panel hearing, the
  504  social service agency shall make an investigation and social
  505  study concerning all pertinent details relating to the child and
  506  shall furnish to the court or citizen review panel a written
  507  report that includes, but is not limited to:
  508         1. A description of the type of placement the child is in
  509  at the time of the hearing, including the safety of the child
  510  and the continuing necessity for and appropriateness of the
  511  placement.
  512         2. Documentation of the diligent efforts made by all
  513  parties to the case plan to comply with each applicable
  514  provision of the plan.
  515         3. The amount of fees assessed and collected during the
  516  period of time being reported.
  517         4. The services provided to the foster family or legal
  518  custodian in an effort to address the needs of the child as
  519  indicated in the case plan.
  520         5. A statement that either:
  521         a. The parent, though able to do so, did not comply
  522  substantially with the case plan, and the agency
  523  recommendations;
  524         b. The parent did substantially comply with the case plan;
  525  or
  526         c. The parent has partially complied with the case plan,
  527  with a summary of additional progress needed and the agency
  528  recommendations.
  529         6. A statement from the foster parent or legal custodian
  530  providing any material evidence concerning the return of the
  531  child to the parent or parents.
  532         7. A statement concerning the frequency, duration, and
  533  results of the parent-child visitation, if any, and the agency
  534  recommendations for an expansion or restriction of future
  535  visitation.
  536         8. The number of times a child has been removed from his or
  537  her home and placed elsewhere, the number and types of
  538  placements that have occurred, and the reason for the changes in
  539  placement.
  540         9. The number of times a child’s educational placement has
  541  been changed, the number and types of educational placements
  542  which have occurred, and the reason for any change in placement.
  543         10. If the child has reached 13 years of age but is not yet
  544  18 years of age, a statement from the caregiver on the progress
  545  the child has made in acquiring independent living skills the
  546  results of the preindependent living, life skills, or
  547  independent living assessment; the specific services needed; and
  548  the status of the delivery of the identified services.
  549         11. Copies of all medical, psychological, and educational
  550  records that support the terms of the case plan and that have
  551  been produced concerning the parents or any caregiver since the
  552  last judicial review hearing.
  553         12. Copies of the child’s current health, mental health,
  554  and education records as identified in s. 39.6012.
  555         (b) Submission and distribution of reports.—
  556         1. A copy of the social service agency’s written report and
  557  the written report of the guardian ad litem must be served on
  558  all parties whose whereabouts are known; to the foster parents
  559  or legal custodians; and to the citizen review panel, at least
  560  72 hours before the judicial review hearing or citizen review
  561  panel hearing. The requirement for providing parents with a copy
  562  of the written report does not apply to those parents who have
  563  voluntarily surrendered their child for adoption or who have had
  564  their parental rights to the child terminated.
  565         2.(c) In a case in which the child has been permanently
  566  placed with the social service agency, the agency shall furnish
  567  to the court a written report concerning the progress being made
  568  to place the child for adoption. If the child cannot be placed
  569  for adoption, a report on the progress made by the child towards
  570  alternative permanency goals or placements, including, but not
  571  limited to, guardianship, long-term custody, long-term licensed
  572  custody, or independent living, must be submitted to the court.
  573  The report must be submitted to the court at least 72 hours
  574  before each scheduled judicial review.
  575         3.(d) In addition to or in lieu of any written statement
  576  provided to the court, the foster parent or legal custodian, or
  577  any preadoptive parent, shall be given the opportunity to
  578  address the court with any information relevant to the best
  579  interests of the child at any judicial review hearing.
  580         (c)(9)Review determinations.—The court and any citizen
  581  review panel shall take into consideration the information
  582  contained in the social services study and investigation and all
  583  medical, psychological, and educational records that support the
  584  terms of the case plan; testimony by the social services agency,
  585  the parent, the foster parent or legal custodian, the guardian
  586  ad litem or surrogate parent for educational decisionmaking if
  587  one has been appointed for the child, and any other person
  588  deemed appropriate; and any relevant and material evidence
  589  submitted to the court, including written and oral reports to
  590  the extent of their probative value. These reports and evidence
  591  may be received by the court in its effort to determine the
  592  action to be taken with regard to the child and may be relied
  593  upon to the extent of their probative value, even though not
  594  competent in an adjudicatory hearing. In its deliberations, the
  595  court and any citizen review panel shall seek to determine:
  596         1.(a) If the parent was advised of the right to receive
  597  assistance from any person or social service agency in the
  598  preparation of the case plan.
  599         2.(b) If the parent has been advised of the right to have
  600  counsel present at the judicial review or citizen review
  601  hearings. If not so advised, the court or citizen review panel
  602  shall advise the parent of such right.
  603         3.(c) If a guardian ad litem needs to be appointed for the
  604  child in a case in which a guardian ad litem has not previously
  605  been appointed or if there is a need to continue a guardian ad
  606  litem in a case in which a guardian ad litem has been appointed.
  607         4.(d) Who holds the rights to make educational decisions
  608  for the child. If appropriate, the court may refer the child to
  609  the district school superintendent for appointment of a
  610  surrogate parent or may itself appoint a surrogate parent under
  611  the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and s. 39.0016.
  612         5.(e) The compliance or lack of compliance of all parties
  613  with applicable items of the case plan, including the parents’
  614  compliance with child support orders.
  615         6.(f) The compliance or lack of compliance with a
  616  visitation contract between the parent and the social service
  617  agency for contact with the child, including the frequency,
  618  duration, and results of the parent-child visitation and the
  619  reason for any noncompliance.
  620         7.(g) The compliance or lack of compliance of the parent in
  621  meeting specified financial obligations pertaining to the care
  622  of the child, including the reason for failure to comply if such
  623  is the case.
  624         8.(h) Whether the child is receiving safe and proper care
  625  according to s. 39.6012, including, but not limited to, the
  626  appropriateness of the child’s current placement, including
  627  whether the child is in a setting that is as family-like and as
  628  close to the parent’s home as possible, consistent with the
  629  child’s best interests and special needs, and including
  630  maintaining stability in the child’s educational placement, as
  631  documented by assurances from the community-based care provider
  632  that:
  633         a.1. The placement of the child takes into account the
  634  appropriateness of the current educational setting and the
  635  proximity to the school in which the child is enrolled at the
  636  time of placement.
  637         b.2. The community-based care agency has coordinated with
  638  appropriate local educational agencies to ensure that the child
  639  remains in the school in which the child is enrolled at the time
  640  of placement.
  641         9.(i) A projected date likely for the child’s return home
  642  or other permanent placement.
  643         10.(j) When appropriate, the basis for the unwillingness or
  644  inability of the parent to become a party to a case plan. The
  645  court and the citizen review panel shall determine if the
  646  efforts of the social service agency to secure party
  647  participation in a case plan were sufficient.
  648         11.(k) For a child who has reached 13 years of age but is
  649  not yet 18 years of age, the adequacy of the child’s preparation
  650  for adulthood and independent living.
  651         12.(l) If amendments to the case plan are required.
  652  Amendments to the case plan must be made under s. 39.6013.
  653         (d)(10)(a)Orders.—
  654         1. Based upon the criteria set forth in paragraph (c)
  655  subsection (9) and the recommended order of the citizen review
  656  panel, if any, the court shall determine whether or not the
  657  social service agency shall initiate proceedings to have a child
  658  declared a dependent child, return the child to the parent,
  659  continue the child in out-of-home care for a specified period of
  660  time, or initiate termination of parental rights proceedings for
  661  subsequent placement in an adoptive home. Amendments to the case
  662  plan must be prepared as prescribed in s. 39.6013. If the court
  663  finds that the prevention or reunification efforts of the
  664  department will allow the child to remain safely at home or be
  665  safely returned to the home, the court shall allow the child to
  666  remain in or return to the home after making a specific finding
  667  of fact that the reasons for the creation of the case plan have
  668  been remedied to the extent that the child’s safety, well-being,
  669  and physical, mental, and emotional health will not be
  670  endangered.
  671         2.(b) The court shall return the child to the custody of
  672  the parents at any time it determines that they have
  673  substantially complied with the case plan, if the court is
  674  satisfied that reunification will not be detrimental to the
  675  child’s safety, well-being, and physical, mental, and emotional
  676  health.
  677         3.(c) If, in the opinion of the court, the social service
  678  agency has not complied with its obligations as specified in the
  679  written case plan, the court may find the social service agency
  680  in contempt, shall order the social service agency to submit its
  681  plans for compliance with the agreement, and shall require the
  682  social service agency to show why the child could not safely be
  683  returned to the home of the parents.
  684         4.(d) If, at any judicial review, the court finds that the
  685  parents have failed to substantially comply with the case plan
  686  to the degree that further reunification efforts are without
  687  merit and not in the best interest of the child, on its own
  688  motion, the court may order the filing of a petition for
  689  termination of parental rights, whether or not the time period
  690  as contained in the case plan for substantial compliance has
  691  expired.
  692         5.(e) Within 6 months after the date that the child was
  693  placed in shelter care, the court shall conduct a judicial
  694  review hearing to review the child’s permanency goal as
  695  identified in the case plan. At the hearing the court shall make
  696  findings regarding the likelihood of the child’s reunification
  697  with the parent or legal custodian within 12 months after the
  698  removal of the child from the home. If the court makes a written
  699  finding that it is not likely that the child will be reunified
  700  with the parent or legal custodian within 12 months after the
  701  child was removed from the home, the department must file with
  702  the court, and serve on all parties, a motion to amend the case
  703  plan under s. 39.6013 and declare that it will use concurrent
  704  planning for the case plan. The department must file the motion
  705  within 10 business days after receiving the written finding of
  706  the court. The department must attach the proposed amended case
  707  plan to the motion. If concurrent planning is already being
  708  used, the case plan must document the efforts the department is
  709  taking to complete the concurrent goal.
  710         6.(f) The court may issue a protective order in assistance,
  711  or as a condition, of any other order made under this part. In
  712  addition to the requirements included in the case plan, the
  713  protective order may set forth requirements relating to
  714  reasonable conditions of behavior to be observed for a specified
  715  period of time by a person or agency who is before the court;
  716  and the order may require any person or agency to make periodic
  717  reports to the court containing such information as the court in
  718  its discretion may prescribe.
  720         (a) In addition to the review and report required under
  721  paragraphs (1)(a) and (2)(a), respectively, the court shall hold
  722  a judicial review hearing within 90 days after a child’s 17th
  723  birthday. The court shall also issue an order, separate from the
  724  order on judicial review, that the disability of nonage of the
  725  child has been removed pursuant to s. 743.045 and shall continue
  726  to hold timely judicial review hearings. If necessary, the court
  727  may review the status of the child more frequently during the
  728  year before the child’s 18th birthday. At each review hearing
  729  held under this subsection, in addition to any information or
  730  report provided to the court by the foster parent, legal
  731  custodian, or guardian ad litem, the child shall be given the
  732  opportunity to address the court with any information relevant
  733  to the child’s best interest, particularly in relation to
  734  independent living transition services. The department shall
  735  include in the social study report for judicial review written
  736  verification that the child has:
  737         1. A current Medicaid card and all necessary information
  738  concerning the Medicaid program sufficient to prepare the child
  739  to apply for coverage upon reaching the age of 18, if such
  740  application is appropriate.
  741         2. A certified copy of the child’s birth certificate and,
  742  if the child does not have a valid driver license, a Florida
  743  identification card issued under s. 322.051.
  744         3. A social security card and information relating to
  745  social security insurance benefits if the child is eligible for
  746  those benefits. If the child has received such benefits and they
  747  are being held in trust for the child, a full accounting of
  748  these funds must be provided and the child must be informed as
  749  to how to access those funds.
  750         4. All relevant information related to the Road-to
  751  Independence Program, including, but not limited to, eligibility
  752  requirements, information on participation, and assistance in
  753  gaining admission to the program. If the child is eligible for
  754  the Road-to-Independence Program, he or she must be advised that
  755  he or she may continue to reside with the licensed family home
  756  or group care provider with whom the child was residing at the
  757  time the child attained his or her 18th birthday, in another
  758  licensed family home, or with a group care provider arranged by
  759  the department.
  760         5. An open bank account or the identification necessary to
  761  open a bank account and to acquire essential banking and
  762  budgeting skills.
  763         6. Information on public assistance and how to apply for
  764  public assistance.
  765         7. A clear understanding of where he or she will be living
  766  on his or her 18th birthday, how living expenses will be paid,
  767  and the educational program or school in which he or she will be
  768  enrolled.
  769         8. Information related to the ability of the child to
  770  remain in care until he or she reaches 21 years of age under s.
  771  39.013.
  772         9. A letter providing the dates that the child is under the
  773  jurisdiction of the court.
  774         10.A letter stating that the child is in compliance with
  775  financial aid documentation requirements.
  776         11. The child’s educational records.
  777         12. The child’s entire health and mental health records.
  778         13. The process for accessing his or her case file.
  779         14. A statement encouraging the child to attend all
  780  judicial review hearings occurring after the child’s 17th
  781  birthday.
  782         (b) At the first judicial review hearing held subsequent to
  783  the child’s 17th birthday, the department shall provide the
  784  court with an updated case plan that includes specific
  785  information related to the independent living skills that the
  786  child has acquired since the child’s 13th birthday, or since the
  787  date the child came into foster care, whichever came later.
  788         (c) If the court finds at the judicial review hearing that
  789  the department has not met with its obligations to the child as
  790  stated in the written case plan or in the provision of
  791  independent living services, the court may issue an order
  792  directing the department to show cause as to why it has not done
  793  so. If the department cannot justify its noncompliance, the
  794  court may give the department 30 days within which to comply. If
  795  the department fails to comply within 30 days, the court may
  796  hold the department in contempt.
  797         (d)At the last review hearing before the child reaches 18
  798  years of age, and in addition to the requirements of subsection
  799  (2), the court shall:
  800         1.Address whether the child plans to remain in foster
  801  care, and, if so, ensure that the child’s transition plan
  802  includes a plan for meeting one or more of the criteria
  803  specified in s. 39.6251.
  804         2.Ensure that the transition plan includes a supervised
  805  living arrangement under s. 39.6251.
  806         3.Ensure the child has been informed of:
  807         a.The right to continued support and services from the
  808  department and the community-based care lead agency.
  809         b. The right to request termination of dependency
  810  jurisdiction and be discharged from foster care.
  811         c. The opportunity to reenter foster care pursuant to s.
  812  39.6251.
  813         4. Ensure that the young adult, if he or she requests
  814  termination of dependency jurisdiction and discharge from foster
  815  care, has been informed of:
  816         a.Services or benefits for which the young adult may be
  817  eligible based on his or her former placement in foster care;
  818         b.Services or benefits that may be lost through
  819  termination of dependency jurisdiction; and
  820         c.Other federal, state, local, or community-based services
  821  or supports available to the him or her.
  823  During each period of time that a young adult remains in foster
  824  care, the court shall review the status of the young adult at
  825  least every 6 months and must hold a permanency review hearing
  826  at least annually.
  827         (a)The department and community-based care lead agency
  828  shall prepare and submit to the court a report, developed in
  829  collaboration with the young adult, which addresses the young
  830  adult’s progress in meeting the goals in the case plan. The
  831  report must include progress information related to the young
  832  adult’s independent living plan and transition plan, if
  833  applicable, and shall propose modifications as necessary to
  834  further the young adult’s goals.
  835         (b)The court shall attempt to determine whether the
  836  department and any service provider under contract with the
  837  department are providing the appropriate services as provided in
  838  the case plan.
  839         (c)If the court believes that the young adult is entitled
  840  under department policy or under a contract with a service
  841  provider to additional services to achieve the goals enumerated
  842  in the case plan, it may order the department to take action to
  843  ensure that the young adult receives the identified services.
  844         (d)The young adult or any other party to the dependency
  845  case may request an additional hearing or judicial review.
  846         (e) Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, if a
  847  young adult has chosen to remain in extended foster care after
  848  he or she has reached 18 years of age, the department may not
  849  close a case and the court may not terminate jurisdiction until
  850  the court finds, following a hearing, that the following
  851  criteria have been met:
  852         1.Attendance of the young adult at the hearing; or
  853         2.Findings by the court that:
  854         a.The young adult has been informed by the department of
  855  his or her right to attend the hearing and has provided written
  856  consent to waive this right; and
  857         b.The young adult has been informed of the potential
  858  negative effects of early termination of care, the option to
  859  reenter care before reaching 21 years of age, the procedure for,
  860  and limitations on, reentering care, and the availability of
  861  alternative services, and has signed a document attesting that
  862  he or she has been so informed and understands these provisions;
  863  or
  864         c.The young adult has voluntarily left the program, has
  865  not signed the document in sub-subparagraph b., and is unwilling
  866  to participate in any further court proceeding.
  867         3.In all permanency hearings or hearings regarding the
  868  transition of the young adult from care to independent living,
  869  the court shall consult with the young adult regarding the
  870  proposed permanency plan, case plan, and individual education
  871  plan for the young adult and ensure that he or she has
  872  understood the conversation.
  873         Section 6. Section 409.145, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  874  read:
  875         409.145 Care of children; quality parenting; “reasonable
  876  and prudent parent” standard.—The child welfare system of the
  877  department shall operate as a coordinated community-based system
  878  of care which empowers all caregivers for children in foster
  879  care to provide quality parenting, including approving or
  880  disapproving a child’s participation in activities based on the
  881  caregiver’s assessment using the “reasonable and prudent parent”
  882  standard.
  883         (1) SYSTEM OF CARE.—The department shall develop, implement
  884  conduct, supervise, and administer a coordinated community-based
  885  system of care program for dependent children who are found to
  886  be dependent and their families. This system of care must The
  887  services of the department are to be directed toward the
  888  following goals:
  889         (a) The Prevention of separation of children from their
  890  families.
  891         (b)Intervention to allow children to remain safely in
  892  their own homes.
  893         (c)(b)The Reunification of families who have had children
  894  removed from their care placed in foster homes or institutions.
  895         (d)Safety for children who are separated from their
  896  families by providing alternative emergency or longer-term
  897  parenting arrangements.
  898         (e)Focus on the well-being of children through emphasis on
  899  maintaining educational stability and providing timely health
  900  care.
  901         (f)(c)Permanency for The permanent placement of children
  902  for whom reunification who cannot be reunited with their
  903  families is not possible or when reunification would is not be
  904  in the best interest of the child.
  905         (d) The protection of dependent children or children
  906  alleged to be dependent, including provision of emergency and
  907  long-term alternate living arrangements.
  908         (g)(e) The transition to independence and self-sufficiency
  909  for older children who remain in foster care through adolescence
  910  continue to be in foster care as adolescents.
  911         (2) The following dependent children shall be subject to
  912  the protection, care, guidance, and supervision of the
  913  department or any duly licensed public or private agency:
  914         (a) Any child who has been temporarily or permanently taken
  915  from the custody of the parents, custodians, or guardians in
  916  accordance with those provisions in chapter 39 that relate to
  917  dependent children.
  918         (b) Any child who is in need of the protective supervision
  919  of the department as determined by intake or by the court in
  920  accordance with those provisions of chapter 39 that relate to
  921  dependent children.
  922         (c) Any child who is voluntarily placed, with the written
  923  consent of the parents or guardians, in the department’s foster
  924  care program or the foster care program of a licensed private
  925  agency.
  926         (3) The circuit courts exercising juvenile jurisdiction in
  927  the various counties of this state shall cooperate with the
  928  department and its employees in carrying out the purposes and
  929  intent of this chapter.
  930         (4) The department is authorized to accept children on a
  931  permanent placement basis by order of a court of competent
  932  jurisdiction for the single purpose of adoption placement of
  933  these children. The department is authorized to provide the
  934  necessary services to place these children ordered to the
  935  department on a permanent placement basis for adoption.
  936         (5) Any funds appropriated by counties for child welfare
  937  services may be matched by state and federal funds, such funds
  938  to be utilized by the department for the benefit of children in
  939  those counties.
  940         (6) Whenever any child is placed under the protection,
  941  care, and guidance of the department or a duly licensed public
  942  or private agency, or as soon thereafter as is practicable, the
  943  department or agency, as the case may be, shall endeavor to
  944  obtain such information concerning the family medical history of
  945  the child and the natural parents as is available or readily
  946  obtainable. This information shall be kept on file by the
  947  department or agency for possible future use as provided in ss.
  948  63.082 and 63.162 or as may be otherwise provided by law.
  949         (7) Whenever any child is placed by the department in a
  950  shelter home, foster home, or other residential placement, the
  951  department shall make available to the operator of the shelter
  952  home, foster home, other residential placement, or other
  953  caretaker as soon thereafter as is practicable, all relevant
  954  information concerning the child’s demographic, social, and
  955  medical history.
  956         (2) QUALITY PARENTING.—A child in foster care shall be
  957  placed only with a caregiver who has the ability to care for the
  958  child, is willing to accept responsibility for providing care,
  959  and is willing and able to learn about and be respectful of the
  960  child’s culture, religion and ethnicity, special physical or
  961  psychological needs, any circumstances unique to the child, and
  962  family relationships. The department, the community-based care
  963  lead agency, and other agencies shall provide such caregiver
  964  with all available information necessary to assist the caregiver
  965  in determining whether he or she is able to appropriately care
  966  for a particular child.
  967         (a)Roles and responsibilities of caregivers.—A caregiver
  968  shall:
  969         1.Participate in developing the case plan for the child
  970  and his or her family and work with others involved in his or
  971  her care to implement this plan. This participation includes the
  972  caregiver’s involvement in all team meetings or court hearings
  973  related to the child’s care.
  974         2.Complete all training needed to improve skills in
  975  parenting a child who has experienced trauma due to neglect,
  976  abuse, or separation from home, to meet the child’s special
  977  needs, and to work effectively with child welfare agencies, the
  978  court, the schools, and other community and governmental
  979  agencies.
  980         3.Respect and support the child’s ties to members of his
  981  or her biological family and assist the child in maintaining
  982  allowable visitation and other forms of communication.
  983         4. Effectively advocate for the child in the caregiver’s
  984  care with the child welfare system, the court, and community
  985  agencies, including the school, child care, health and mental
  986  health providers, and employers.
  987         5.Participate fully in the child’s medical, psychological,
  988  and dental care as the caregiver would for his or her biological
  989  child.
  990         6.Support the child’s school success by participating in
  991  school activities and meetings, including Individual Education
  992  Plan meetings, assisting with school assignments, supporting
  993  tutoring programs, meeting with teachers and working with an
  994  educational surrogate if one has been appointed, and encouraging
  995  the child’s participation in extracurricular activities.
  996         7.Work in partnership with other stakeholders to obtain
  997  and maintain records that are important to the child’s well
  998  being, including child resource records, medical records, school
  999  records, photographs, and records of special events and
 1000  achievements.
 1001         8.Ensure that the child in the caregiver’s care who is
 1002  between 13 and 17 years of age learns and masters independent
 1003  living skills.
 1004         9.Ensure that the child in the caregiver’s care is aware
 1005  of the requirements and benefits of the Road-to-Independence
 1006  Program.
 1007         10.Work to enable the child in the caregiver’s care to
 1008  establish and maintain naturally occurring mentoring
 1009  relationships.
 1010         (b)Roles and responsibilities of the department, the
 1011  community-based care lead agency, and other agency staff.—The
 1012  department, the community-based care lead agency, and other
 1013  agency staff shall:
 1014         1.Include a caregiver in the development and
 1015  implementation of the case plan for the child and his or her
 1016  family. The caregiver shall be authorized to participate in all
 1017  team meetings or court hearings related to the child’s care and
 1018  future plans. The caregiver’s participation shall be facilitated
 1019  through timely notification, an inclusive process, and
 1020  alternative methods for participation for a caregiver who cannot
 1021  be physically present.
 1022         2.Develop and make available to the caregiver the
 1023  information, services, training, and support that the caregiver
 1024  needs to improve his or her skills in parenting children who
 1025  have experienced trauma due to neglect, abuse, or separation
 1026  from home, to meet these children’s special needs and to
 1027  advocate effectively with child welfare agencies, the courts,
 1028  schools, and other community and governmental agencies.
 1029         3.Provide the caregiver with all information related to
 1030  services and other benefits that are available to the child.
 1031         (c)Transitions.—
 1032         1.Once a caregiver accepts the responsibility of caring
 1033  for a child, the child will be removed from the home of that
 1034  caregiver only if:
 1035         a.The caregiver is clearly unable to safely or legally
 1036  care for the child;
 1037         b. The child and his or her biological family are
 1038  reunified;
 1039         c. The child is being placed in a legally permanent home
 1040  pursuant to the case plan or a court order; or
 1041         d. The removal is demonstrably in the child’s best
 1042  interest.
 1043         2.In the absence of an emergency, if a child leaves the
 1044  caregiver’s home for a reason provided under subparagraph 1.,
 1045  the transition must be accomplished according to a plan that
 1046  involves cooperation and sharing of information among all
 1047  persons involved, respects the child’s developmental stage and
 1048  psychological needs, ensures the child has all of his or her
 1049  belongings, allows for a gradual transition from the caregiver’s
 1050  home and, if possible, for continued contact with the caregiver
 1051  after the child leaves.
 1052         (d)Information sharing.—Whenever a foster home or
 1053  residential group home assumes responsibility for the care of a
 1054  child, the department and any additional providers shall make
 1055  available to the caregiver as soon as is practicable all
 1056  relevant information concerning the child. Records and
 1057  information that are required to be shared with caregivers
 1058  include, but are not limited to:
 1059         1.Medical, dental, psychological, psychiatric, and
 1060  behavioral history, as well as ongoing evaluation or treatment
 1061  needs;
 1062         2.School records;
 1063         3.Copies of his or her birth certificate and, if
 1064  appropriate, immigration status documents;
 1065         4.Consents signed by parents;
 1066         5.Comprehensive behavioral assessments and other social
 1067  assessments;
 1068         6.Court orders;
 1069         7.Visitation and case plans;
 1070         8.Guardian ad litem reports;
 1071         9. Staffing forms; and
 1072         10.Judicial or citizen review panel reports and
 1073  attachments filed with the court, except confidential medical,
 1074  psychiatric, and psychological information regarding any party
 1075  or participant other than the child.
 1076         (e)Caregivers employed by residential group homes.–All
 1077  caregivers in residential group homes shall meet the same
 1078  education, training, and background and other screening
 1079  requirements as foster parents.
 1081         (a) Definitions.—As used in this subsection, the term:
 1082         1. “Age-appropriate” means an activity or item that is
 1083  generally accepted as suitable for a child of the same
 1084  chronological age or level of maturity. Age appropriateness is
 1085  based on the development of cognitive, emotional, physical, and
 1086  behavioral capacity which is typical for an age or age group.
 1087         2. “Caregiver” means a person with whom the child is placed
 1088  in out-of-home care, or a designated official for a group care
 1089  facility licensed by the department under s. 409.175.
 1090         3. “Reasonable and prudent parent” standard means the
 1091  standard of care used by a caregiver in determining whether to
 1092  allow a child in his or her care to participate in
 1093  extracurricular, enrichment, and social activities. This
 1094  standard is characterized by careful and thoughtful parental
 1095  decisionmaking that is intended to maintain a child’s health,
 1096  safety, and best interest while encouraging the child’s
 1097  emotional and developmental growth.
 1098         (b) Application of standard of care.—
 1099         1. Every child who comes into out-of-home care pursuant to
 1100  this chapter is entitled to participate in age-appropriate
 1101  extracurricular, enrichment, and social activities.
 1102         2. Each caregiver shall use the reasonable and prudent
 1103  parent standard in determining whether to give permission for a
 1104  child living in out-of-home care to participate in
 1105  extracurricular, enrichment, or social activities. When using
 1106  the reasonable and prudent parent standard, the caregiver must
 1107  consider:
 1108         a. The child’s age, maturity, and developmental level to
 1109  maintain the overall health and safety of the child.
 1110         b. The potential risk factors and the appropriateness of
 1111  the extracurricular, enrichment, or social activity.
 1112         c. The best interest of the child, based on information
 1113  known by the caregiver.
 1114         d. The importance of encouraging the child’s emotional and
 1115  developmental growth.
 1116         e. The importance of providing the child with the most
 1117  family-like living experience possible.
 1118         f. The behavioral history of the child and the child’s
 1119  ability to safely participate in the proposed activity.
 1120         (c) Verification of services delivered.—The department and
 1121  each community-based care lead agency shall verify that private
 1122  agencies providing out-of-home care services to dependent
 1123  children have policies in place which are consistent with this
 1124  section and that these agencies promote and protect the ability
 1125  of dependent children to participate in age-appropriate
 1126  extracurricular, enrichment, and social activities.
 1127         (d) Limitation of liability.—A caregiver is not liable for
 1128  harm caused to a child who participates in an activity approved
 1129  by the caregiver, provided that the caregiver has acted in
 1130  accordance with the reasonable and prudent parent standard. This
 1131  paragraph may not be interpreted as removing or limiting any
 1132  existing liability protection afforded by law.
 1134         (a)Effective October 1, 2013, room and board rates paid to
 1135  foster parents are as follows:
 1138  Monthly Foster Care Rate0-5 Years Age    6-12 Years Age   13-21 Years Age  
 1142         (b)Foster parents shall receive an annual cost of living
 1143  increase. The department shall calculate the new room and board
 1144  rate increase equal to the percentage change in the Consumer
 1145  Price Index for All Urban Consumers, U.S. City Average, All
 1146  Items, not seasonally adjusted, or successor reports, for the
 1147  preceding December compared to the prior December as initially
 1148  reported by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of
 1149  Labor Statistics. The department shall make available the
 1150  adjusted room and board rates annually.
 1151         (c)The amount of the monthly foster care board rate may be
 1152  increased upon agreement among the department, the community
 1153  based care lead agency, and the foster parent.
 1154         (d) Community-based care lead agencies providing care under
 1155  contract with the department shall pay a supplemental room and
 1156  board payment to foster care parents for providing independent
 1157  life skills and normalcy supports to children who are 13 through
 1158  17 years of age placed in their care. The supplemental payment
 1159  shall be paid monthly to the foster care parents on a per-child
 1160  basis in addition to the current monthly room and board rate
 1161  payment. The supplemental monthly payment shall be based on 10
 1162  percent of the monthly room and board rate for children 13
 1163  through 21 years of age as provided under this section and
 1164  adjusted annually.
 1165         (5)RULEMAKING.—The department shall adopt by rule
 1166  procedures to administer this section.
 1167         Section 7. Section 409.1451, Florida Statutes, is amended
 1168  to read:
 1169         (Substantial rewording of section. See
 1170         s. 409.1451, F.S., for present text).
 1171         409.1451 The Road-to-Independence Program.—
 1173         (a)The Legislature recognizes that most children and young
 1174  adults are resilient and, with adequate support, can expect to
 1175  be successful as independent adults. Not unlike many young
 1176  adults, some young adults who have lived in foster care need
 1177  additional support and resources for a period of time after
 1178  reaching 18 years of age.
 1179         (b)The Legislature finds that while it is important to
 1180  provide young adults who have lived in foster care with
 1181  education and independent living skills, there is also a need to
 1182  focus more broadly on creating and preserving family
 1183  relationships so that young adults have a permanent connection
 1184  with at least one committed adult who provides a safe and stable
 1185  parenting relationship.
 1186         (c)It is the intent of the Legislature that young adults
 1187  who choose to participate in the program receive the skills,
 1188  education, and support necessary to become self-sufficient and
 1189  leave foster care with a lifelong connection to a supportive
 1190  adult through the Road-to-Independence Program, either through
 1191  postsecondary education services and support, as provided in
 1192  subsection (2), or aftercare services.
 1194         (a)A young adult is eligible for services and support
 1195  under this subsection if he or she:
 1196         1.Was living in licensed care on his or her 18th birthday
 1197  or is currently living in licensed care; or was at least 16
 1198  years of age and was adopted from foster care or placed with a
 1199  court-approved dependency guardian after spending at least 6
 1200  months in licensed care within the 12 months immediately
 1201  preceding such placement or adoption;
 1202         2. Spent at least 6 months in licensed care before reaching
 1203  his or her 18th birthday;
 1204         3.Earned a standard high school diploma or its equivalent
 1205  pursuant to s. 1003.428, s. 1003.4281, s. 1003.429, s. 1003.43,
 1206  or s. 1003.435;
 1207         4.Has been admitted for enrollment as a full-time student
 1208  or its equivalent in an eligible postsecondary educational
 1209  institution as provided in s. 1009.533. For purposes of this
 1210  section, the term “full-time” means 9 credit hours or the
 1211  vocational school equivalent. A student may enroll part-time if
 1212  he or she has a recognized disability or is faced with another
 1213  challenge or circumstance that would prevent full-time
 1214  attendance. A student needing to enroll part-time for any reason
 1215  other than having a recognized disability must get approval from
 1216  his or her academic advisor;
 1217         5.Has reached 18 years of age but is not yet 23 years of
 1218  age;
 1219         6.Has applied, with assistance from the young adult’s
 1220  caregiver and the community-based lead agency, for any other
 1221  grants and scholarships for which he or she may qualify;
 1222         7.Submitted a Free Application for Federal Student Aid
 1223  which is complete and error free; and
 1224         8.Signed an agreement to allow the department and the
 1225  community-based care lead agency access to school records.
 1226         (b)The amount of the financial assistance shall be as
 1227  follows:
 1228         1.For a young adult who does not remain in foster care and
 1229  is attending a postsecondary school as provided in s. 1009.533,
 1230  the amount is $1,256 monthly.
 1231         2.For a young adult who remains in foster care, is
 1232  attending a postsecondary school, as provided in s. 1009.533,
 1233  and continues to reside in a licensed foster home, the amount is
 1234  the established room and board rate for foster parents. This
 1235  takes the place of the payment provided for in subsection (4).
 1236         3.For a young adult who remains in foster care, but
 1237  temporarily resides away from a licensed foster home for
 1238  purposes of attending a postsecondary school as provided in s.
 1239  1009.533, the amount is $1,256 monthly. This takes the place of
 1240  the payment provided for in subsection (4).
 1241         4.For a young adult who remains in foster care, is
 1242  attending a postsecondary school as provided in s. 1009.533, and
 1243  continues to reside in a licensed group home, the amount is
 1244  negotiated between the community-based care lead agency and the
 1245  licensed group home provider.
 1246         5.For a young adult who remains in foster care, but
 1247  temporarily resides away from a licensed group home for purposes
 1248  of attending a postsecondary school as provided in s. 1009.533,
 1249  the amount is $1,256 monthly. This takes the place of a
 1250  negotiated room and board rate.
 1251         6. The amount of the award may be disregarded for purposes
 1252  of determining the eligibility for, or the amount of, any other
 1253  federal or federally supported assistance.
 1254         7.A young adult is eligible to receive financial
 1255  assistance during the months when enrolled in a postsecondary
 1256  educational institution.
 1257         (c)Payment of financial assistance for a young adult who:
 1258         1. Has chosen not to remain in foster care and is attending
 1259  a postsecondary school as provided in s. 1009.533, shall be made
 1260  to the community-based care lead agency in order to secure
 1261  housing and utilities, with the balance being paid directly to
 1262  the young adult until such time the lead agency and the young
 1263  adult determine that the young adult can successfully manage the
 1264  full amount of the assistance.
 1265         2.Has remained in foster care under s. 39.6251 and who is
 1266  attending postsecondary school as provided in s. 1009.533, shall
 1267  be made directly to the foster parent or group home provider.
 1268         3.Community-based care lead agencies or other contracted
 1269  providers are prohibited from charging a fee associated with
 1270  administering the Road-to-Independence payments.
 1271         (d)1. The department must advertise the availability of the
 1272  stipend and must provide notification of the criteria and
 1273  application procedures for the stipend to children and young
 1274  adults leaving, or who were formerly in, foster care;
 1275  caregivers; case managers; guidance and family services
 1276  counselors; principals or other relevant school administrators;
 1277  and guardians ad litem.
 1278         2.If the award recipient transfers from one eligible
 1279  institution to another and continues to meet eligibility
 1280  requirements, the award shall be transferred with the recipient.
 1281         3. The department, or an agency under contract with the
 1282  department, shall evaluate each Road-to-Independence award for
 1283  renewal eligibility on an annual basis. In order to be eligible
 1284  for a renewal award for the subsequent year, the young adult
 1285  must:
 1286         a. Be enrolled for or have completed the number of hours,
 1287  or the equivalent, to be considered a full-time student under
 1288  subparagraph (a)4., unless the young adult qualifies for an
 1289  exception under subparagraph (a)4.
 1290         b. Maintain appropriate progress as determined by the
 1291  educational institution, except that if the young adult’s
 1292  progress is insufficient to renew the award at any time during
 1293  the eligibility period, the young adult may restore eligibility
 1294  by improving his or her progress to the required level.
 1295         4. Funds may be terminated during the interim between an
 1296  award and the evaluation for a renewal award if the department,
 1297  or an agency under contract with the department, determines that
 1298  the award recipient is no longer enrolled in an educational
 1299  institution as described in subparagraph (a)4. or is no longer a
 1300  resident of this state.
 1301         5. The department, or an agency under contract with the
 1302  department, shall notify a recipient who is terminated and
 1303  inform the recipient of his or her right to appeal.
 1304         6. An award recipient who does not qualify for a renewal
 1305  award or who chooses not to renew the award may apply for
 1306  reinstatement. An application for reinstatement must be made
 1307  before the young adult reaches 23 years of age. In order to be
 1308  eligible for reinstatement, the young adult must meet the
 1309  eligibility criteria and the criteria for award renewal for the
 1310  program.
 1311         (3) AFTERCARE SERVICES.—
 1312         (a)Aftercare services are available to young adults who
 1313  have chosen not to remain in foster care after reaching 18 years
 1314  of age and who are not receiving financial assistance under
 1315  subsection (2) to pursue postsecondary education. These
 1316  aftercare services include, but are not limited to, the
 1317  following:
 1318         1. Mentoring and tutoring.
 1319         2. Mental health services and substance abuse counseling.
 1320         3. Life skills classes, including credit management and
 1321  preventive health activities.
 1322         4. Parenting classes.
 1323         5. Job and career skills training.
 1324         6. Counselor consultations.
 1325         7. Temporary financial assistance for emergency situations.
 1326         8. Financial literacy skills training.
 1328  The specific services to be provided under this paragraph shall
 1329  be determined by an assessment of the young adult and may be
 1330  provided by the community-based care provider or through
 1331  referrals in the community.
 1332         (b)Temporary assistance provided to prevent homelessness
 1333  shall be provided as expeditiously as possible and within the
 1334  limitations defined by the department.
 1335         (c)A young adult who has reached 18 years of age but is
 1336  not yet 23 years of age who leaves foster care at 18 years of
 1337  age may request and is eligible for such services before
 1338  reaching 23 years of age.
 1339         (4) APPEALS PROCESS.—
 1340         (a) The department shall have a procedure by which a young
 1341  adult may appeal the department’s refusal to provide Road-to
 1342  Independence Program services or support, or the termination of
 1343  such services or support if funds for such services or support
 1344  are available.
 1345         (b) The appeal procedure must be readily accessible to
 1346  young adults, must provide for timely decisions, and must
 1347  provide for an appeal to the department. The decision of the
 1348  department constitutes final agency action and is reviewable by
 1349  the court as provided in s. 120.68.
 1350         (5)PORTABILITY.—The services provided under this section
 1351  are portable across county lines and between lead agencies.
 1352         (a) The service needs that are identified in the original
 1353  or updated transition plan, pursuant to s. 39.6035, shall be
 1354  provided by the lead agency where the young adult is currently
 1355  residing but shall be funded by the lead agency who initiated
 1356  the transition plan.
 1357         (b)The lead agency with primary case management
 1358  responsibilities shall provide maintenance payments, case
 1359  planning, including a written description of all services that
 1360  will assist a child 16 years of age or older in preparing for
 1361  the transition from care to independence, as well as regular
 1362  case reviews that conform with all federal scheduling and
 1363  content requirements, for all children in foster care who are
 1364  placed or visiting out-of-state.
 1365         (6) ACCOUNTABILITY.—The department shall develop outcome
 1366  measures for the program and other performance measures in order
 1367  to maintain oversight of the program. No later than January 31
 1368  of each year, the department shall prepare a report on the
 1369  outcome measures and the department’s oversight activities and
 1370  submit the report to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of
 1371  the House of Representatives, and the committees with
 1372  jurisdiction over issues relating to children and families in
 1373  the Senate and the House of Representatives. The report must
 1374  include:
 1375         (a)An analysis of performance on the outcome measures
 1376  developed under this section reported for each community-based
 1377  care lead agency and compared with the performance of the
 1378  department on the same measures.
 1379         (b)A description of the department’s oversight of the
 1380  program, including, by lead agency, any programmatic or fiscal
 1381  deficiencies found, corrective actions required, and current
 1382  status of compliance.
 1383         (c)Any rules adopted or proposed under this section since
 1384  the last report. For the purposes of the first report, any rules
 1385  adopted or proposed under this section must be included.
 1387  secretary shall establish the Independent Living Services
 1388  Advisory Council for the purpose of reviewing and making
 1389  recommendations concerning the implementation and operation of
 1390  the provisions of s. 39.6015 and the Road-to-Independence
 1391  Program. The advisory council shall function as specified in
 1392  this subsection until the Legislature determines that the
 1393  advisory council can no longer provide a valuable contribution
 1394  to the department’s efforts to achieve the goals of the services
 1395  designed to enable a young adult to live independently.
 1396         (a) The advisory council shall assess the implementation
 1397  and operation of the Road-to-Independence Program and advise the
 1398  department on actions that would improve the ability of these
 1399  Road-to-Independence Program services to meet the established
 1400  goals. The advisory council shall keep the department informed
 1401  of problems being experienced with the services, barriers to the
 1402  effective and efficient integration of services and support
 1403  across systems, and successes that the system of services has
 1404  achieved. The department shall consider, but is not required to
 1405  implement, the recommendations of the advisory council.
 1406         (b) The advisory council shall report to the secretary on
 1407  the status of the implementation of the Road-To-Independence
 1408  Program, efforts to publicize the availability of the Road-to
 1409  Independence Program, the success of the services, problems
 1410  identified, recommendations for department or legislative
 1411  action, and the department’s implementation of the
 1412  recommendations contained in the Independent Living Services
 1413  Integration Workgroup Report submitted to the appropriate
 1414  substantive committees of the Legislature by December 31, 2013.
 1415  The department shall submit a report by December 31 of each year
 1416  to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of
 1417  the House of Representatives which includes a summary of the
 1418  factors reported on by the council and identifies the
 1419  recommendations of the advisory council and either describes the
 1420  department’s actions to implement the recommendations or
 1421  provides the department’s rationale for not implementing the
 1422  recommendations.
 1423         (c) Members of the advisory council shall be appointed by
 1424  the secretary of the department. The membership of the advisory
 1425  council must include, at a minimum, representatives from the
 1426  headquarters and regional offices of the Department of Children
 1427  and Families, community-based care lead agencies, the Department
 1428  of Juvenile Justice, the Department of Economic Opportunity, the
 1429  Department of Education, the Agency for Health Care
 1430  Administration, the State Youth Advisory Board, Workforce
 1431  Florida, Inc., the Statewide Guardian Ad Litem Office, foster
 1432  parents, recipients of services and funding through the Road-to
 1433  Independence Program, and advocates for children in care. The
 1434  secretary shall determine the length of the term to be served by
 1435  each member appointed to the advisory council, which may not
 1436  exceed 4 years.
 1437         (d) The department shall provide administrative support to
 1438  the Independent Living Services Advisory Council to accomplish
 1439  its assigned tasks. The advisory council shall be afforded
 1440  access to all appropriate data from the department, each
 1441  community-based care lead agency, and other relevant agencies in
 1442  order to accomplish the tasks set forth in this section. The
 1443  data collected may not include any information that would
 1444  identify a specific child or young adult.
 1445         (e) The advisory council report required under paragraph
 1446  (b), must include an analysis of the system of independent
 1447  living transition services for young adults who reach 18 years
 1448  of age while in foster care before completing high school or its
 1449  equivalent and recommendations for department or legislative
 1450  action. The council shall assess and report on the most
 1451  effective method of assisting these young adults to complete
 1452  high school or its equivalent by examining the practices of
 1453  other states.
 1454         (8) PERSONAL PROPERTY.—Property acquired on behalf of a
 1455  young adult in this program shall become the personal property
 1456  of the young adult and is not subject to the requirements of
 1457  chapter 273 relating to state-owned tangible personal property.
 1458  Such property continues to be subject to applicable federal
 1459  laws.
 1461  The department or community-based care lead agency shall
 1462  document that eligible young adults are enrolled in Medicaid
 1463  under s. 409.903(4).
 1464         (10)RULEMAKING.—The department shall adopt rules to
 1465  administer this section.
 1466         Section 8. Paragraph (a) of subsection (3) of section
 1467  409.175, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
 1468         409.175 Licensure of family foster homes, residential
 1469  child-caring agencies, and child-placing agencies; public
 1470  records exemption.—
 1471         (3)(a) The total number of children placed in each family
 1472  foster home shall be based on the recommendation of the
 1473  department, or the community-based care lead agency where one is
 1474  providing foster care and related services, based on the needs
 1475  of each child in care, the ability of the foster family to meet
 1476  the individual needs of each child, including any adoptive or
 1477  biological children or young adults remaining in foster care
 1478  living in the home, the amount of safe physical plant space, the
 1479  ratio of active and appropriate adult supervision, and the
 1480  background, experience, and skill of the family foster parents.
 1481         Section 9. Subsection (4) of section 409.903, Florida
 1482  Statutes, is amended to read:
 1483         409.903 Mandatory payments for eligible persons.—The agency
 1484  shall make payments for medical assistance and related services
 1485  on behalf of the following persons who the department, or the
 1486  Social Security Administration by contract with the Department
 1487  of Children and Family Services, determines to be eligible,
 1488  subject to the income, assets, and categorical eligibility tests
 1489  set forth in federal and state law. Payment on behalf of these
 1490  Medicaid eligible persons is subject to the availability of
 1491  moneys and any limitations established by the General
 1492  Appropriations Act or chapter 216.
 1493         (4) A child who is eligible under Title IV-E of the Social
 1494  Security Act for subsidized board payments, foster care, or
 1495  adoption subsidies, and a child for whom the state has assumed
 1496  temporary or permanent responsibility and who does not qualify
 1497  for Title IV-E assistance but is in foster care, shelter or
 1498  emergency shelter care, or subsidized adoption. This category
 1499  includes a young adult who is eligible to receive services under
 1500  s. 409.1451(5), until the young adult reaches 21 years of age,
 1501  without regard to any income, resource, or categorical
 1502  eligibility test that is otherwise required. This category also
 1503  includes a person who as a child was eligible under Title IV-E
 1504  of the Social Security Act for foster care or the state-provided
 1505  foster care and who is a participant in the Road-to-Independence
 1506  Program.
 1507         Section 10. The Department of Children and Families shall
 1508  work in collaboration with the Board of Governors, the Florida
 1509  College System, and the Department of Education to help address
 1510  the need for a comprehensive support structure in the academic
 1511  arena to assist children and young adults who have been or
 1512  continue to remain in the foster care system in making the
 1513  transition from a structured care system into an independent
 1514  living setting. Using existing independent living services
 1515  funding, the Department of Children and Families is authorized
 1516  to contract with the State University System of Florida and the
 1517  Florida College System to provide postsecondary educational
 1518  campus coaching positions that will be integrated into state
 1519  colleges’ and university institutions’ general support services
 1520  structure to provide current and former foster care children and
 1521  young adults with dedicated, on-campus support. These campus
 1522  coaching positions shall be education employees.
 1523         Section 11. Effective October 1, 2013, a child or young
 1524  adult who is a participant in the Road-to-Independence Program
 1525  may continue in the program as it exists through December 31,
 1526  2013. Effective January 1, 2014, a child or young adult who is a
 1527  participant in the program shall transfer to the program
 1528  services provided in this act and his or her monthly stipend may
 1529  not be reduced, the method of payment of the monthly stipend may
 1530  not be changed, and the young adult may not be required to
 1531  change his or her living arrangement. These conditions shall
 1532  remain in effect for a child or young adult until he or she
 1533  ceases to meet the eligibility requirements under which he or
 1534  she entered the Road-to-Independence Program. A child or young
 1535  adult applying or reapplying for the Road-to-Independence
 1536  Program on or after October 1, 2013, may apply for program
 1537  services only as provided in this act.
 1538         Section 12. The Department of Children and Families in
 1539  collaboration with the Florida Foster and Adoptive Parent
 1540  Association and the Quality Parenting Initiative will design and
 1541  disseminate training for caregivers on skill building on the
 1542  life skills necessary for youth in the foster care system.
 1543         Section 13. This act shall take effect January 1, 2014.