CS for SB 1036                                  Second Engrossed
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to independent living; providing a
    3         short title; amending s. 39.013, F.S.; providing that
    4         when the court obtains jurisdiction over a child who
    5         has been found to be dependent, the court retains
    6         jurisdiction until the child reaches 21 years of age;
    7         providing exceptions; amending s. 39.6013, F.S.;
    8         conforming a cross-reference; creating s. 39.6035,
    9         F.S.; requiring the Department of Children and
   10         Families, the community-based care provider, and
   11         others to assist a child in developing a transition
   12         plan after the child reaches 17 years of age and
   13         requiring a meeting to develop the plan; specifying
   14         requirements and procedures for the transition plan;
   15         requiring periodic review of the transition plan;
   16         requiring the court to approve the transition plan
   17         before the child leaves foster care and the court
   18         terminates jurisdiction; creating s. 39.6251, F.S.;
   19         providing definitions; providing that a young adult
   20         may remain in foster care under certain circumstances
   21         after attaining 18 years of age; specifying criteria
   22         for extended foster care; providing that the
   23         permanency goal for a young adult who chooses to
   24         remain in care is transition from care to independent
   25         living; specifying dates for eligibility for a young
   26         adult to remain in extended foster care; providing for
   27         supervised living arrangements in extended foster
   28         care; authorizing a young adult to return to foster
   29         care under certain circumstances; specifying services
   30         that must be provided to the young adult; directing
   31         the court to retain jurisdiction and hold review
   32         hearings; amending s. 39.701, F.S.; revising judicial
   33         review of foster care cases; making technical changes;
   34         providing criteria for review hearings for children
   35         younger than 18 years of age; providing criteria for
   36         review hearings for children 17 years of age;
   37         requiring the department to verify that the child has
   38         certain documents; requiring the department to update
   39         the case plan; providing for review hearings for young
   40         adults in foster care; amending s. 409.145, F.S.;
   41         requiring the department to develop and implement a
   42         system of care for children in foster care; specifying
   43         the goals of the foster care system; requiring the
   44         department to assist foster care caregivers to achieve
   45         quality parenting; specifying the roles and
   46         responsibilities of caregivers, the department, and
   47         others; providing for transition from a caregiver;
   48         requiring information sharing; providing for the
   49         adoption and use of a “reasonable and prudent parent”
   50         standard; defining terms; providing for the
   51         application for the standard of care; providing for
   52         limiting liability of caregivers; specifying foster
   53         care room and board rates; authorizing community-based
   54         care service providers to pay a supplemental monthly
   55         room and board payment to foster parents for providing
   56         certain services; directing the department to adopt
   57         rules; deleting obsolete provisions; amending s.
   58         409.1451, F.S.; providing for the Road-to-Independence
   59         program; providing legislative findings and intent;
   60         providing for postsecondary services and supports;
   61         specifying aftercare services; providing for appeals
   62         of a 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 an annual report; 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. This act may be cited as the “Nancy C. Detert
   89  Common Sense and Compassion Independent Living Act.”
   90         Section 2. Subsection (2) of section 39.013, Florida
   91  Statutes, is amended to read:
   92         39.013 Procedures and jurisdiction; right to counsel.—
   93         (2) The circuit court has exclusive original jurisdiction
   94  of all proceedings under this chapter, of a child voluntarily
   95  placed with a licensed child-caring agency, a licensed child
   96  placing agency, or the department, and of the adoption of
   97  children whose parental rights have been terminated under this
   98  chapter. Jurisdiction attaches when the initial shelter
   99  petition, dependency petition, or termination of parental rights
  100  petition, or a petition for an injunction to prevent child abuse
  101  issued pursuant to s. 39.504, is filed or when a child is taken
  102  into the custody of the department. The circuit court may assume
  103  jurisdiction over any such proceeding regardless of whether the
  104  child was in the physical custody of both parents, was in the
  105  sole legal or physical custody of only one parent, caregiver, or
  106  some other person, or was not in the physical or legal custody
  107  of any person when the event or condition occurred that brought
  108  the child to the attention of the court. When the court obtains
  109  jurisdiction of any child who has been found to be dependent,
  110  the court shall retain jurisdiction, unless relinquished by its
  111  order, until the child reaches 21 18 years of age, with the
  112  following exceptions:
  113         (a)If a young adult chooses to leave foster care upon
  114  reaching 18 years of age.
  115         (b)If a young adult does not meet the eligibility
  116  requirements to remain in foster care under s. 39.6251 or
  117  chooses to leave care under that section.
  118         (c)However, If a young adult youth petitions the court at
  119  any time before his or her 19th birthday requesting the court’s
  120  continued jurisdiction, the juvenile court may retain
  121  jurisdiction under this chapter for a period not to exceed 1
  122  year following the young adult’s youth’s 18th birthday for the
  123  purpose of determining whether appropriate aftercare support,
  124  Road-to-Independence Program, transitional support, mental
  125  health, and developmental disability services, that were
  126  required to be provided to the young adult before reaching 18
  127  years of age, to the extent otherwise authorized by law, have
  128  been provided to the formerly dependent child who was in the
  129  legal custody of the department immediately before his or her
  130  18th birthday.
  131         (d) If a petition for special immigrant juvenile status and
  132  an application for adjustment of status have been filed on
  133  behalf of a foster child and the petition and application have
  134  not been granted by the time the child reaches 18 years of age,
  135  the court may retain jurisdiction over the dependency case
  136  solely for the purpose of allowing the continued consideration
  137  of the petition and application by federal authorities. Review
  138  hearings for the child shall be set solely for the purpose of
  139  determining the status of the petition and application. The
  140  court’s jurisdiction terminates upon the final decision of the
  141  federal authorities. Retention of jurisdiction in this instance
  142  does not affect the services available to a young adult under s.
  143  409.1451. The court may not retain jurisdiction of the case
  144  after the immigrant child’s 22nd birthday.
  145         Section 3. Subsection (6) of section 39.6013, Florida
  146  Statutes, is amended to read:
  147         39.6013 Case plan amendments.—
  148         (6) The case plan is deemed amended as to the child’s
  149  health, mental health, and education records required by s.
  150  39.6012 when the child’s updated health and education records
  151  are filed by the department under s. 39.701(2)(a) s.
  152  39.701(8)(a).
  153         Section 4. Section 39.6035, Florida Statutes, is created to
  154  read:
  155         39.6035Transition plan.—
  156         (1) During the 180-day period after a child reaches 17
  157  years of age, the department and the community-based care
  158  provider, in collaboration with the caregiver and any other
  159  individual whom the child would like to include, shall assist
  160  the child in developing a transition plan. The required
  161  transition plan is in addition to standard case management
  162  requirements. The transition plan must address specific options
  163  for the child to use in obtaining services, including housing,
  164  health insurance, education, and workforce support and
  165  employment services. The plan must also consider establishing
  166  and maintaining naturally occurring mentoring relationships and
  167  other personal support services. The transition plan may be as
  168  detailed as the child chooses. In developing the transition
  169  plan, the department and the community-based provider shall:
  170         (a) Provide the child with the documentation required
  171  pursuant to s. 39.701(3); and
  172         (b) Coordinate the transition plan with the independent
  173  living provisions in the case plan and, for a child with
  174  disabilities, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
  175  transition plan.
  176         (2) The department and the child shall schedule a time,
  177  date, and place for a meeting to assist the child in drafting
  178  the transition plan. The time, date, and place must be
  179  convenient for the child and any individual whom the child would
  180  like to include. This meeting shall be conducted in the child’s
  181  primary language.
  182         (3) The transition plan shall be reviewed periodically with
  183  the child, the department, and other individuals of the child’s
  184  choice and updated when necessary before each judicial review so
  185  long as the child or young adult remains in care.
  186         (4) If a child is planning to leave care upon reaching 18
  187  years of age, the transition plan must be approved by the court
  188  before the child leaves care and the court terminates
  189  jurisdiction.
  190         Section 5. Section 39.6251, Florida Statutes, is created to
  191  read:
  192         39.6251Continuing care for young adults.—
  193         (1) As used in this section, the term “child” means an
  194  individual who has not attained 21 years of age, and the term
  195  “young adult” means an individual who has attained 18 years of
  196  age but who has not attained 21 years of age.
  197         (2) The primary goal for a child in care is permanency. A
  198  child who is living in licensed care on his or her 18th birthday
  199  and who has not achieved permanency under s. 39.621, is eligible
  200  to remain in licensed care under the jurisdiction of the court
  201  and in the care of the department. A child is eligible to remain
  202  in licensed care if he or she is:
  203         (a) Completing secondary education or a program leading to
  204  an equivalent credential;
  205         (b) Enrolled in an institution that provides postsecondary
  206  or vocational education;
  207         (c) Participating in a program or activity designed to
  208  promote or eliminate barriers to employment;
  209         (d) Employed for at least 80 hours per month; or
  210         (e) Unable to participate in programs or activities listed
  211  in (a)-(d) full time due to a physical, intellectual, emotional,
  212  or psychiatric condition that limits participation. Any such
  213  barrier to participation must be supported by documentation in
  214  the child’s case file or school or medical records of a
  215  physical, intellectual, or psychiatric condition that impairs
  216  the child’s ability to perform one or more life activities.
  217         (3) The permanency goal for a young adult who chooses to
  218  remain in care is transition from licensed care to independent
  219  living.
  220         (4)(a) The young adult must reside in a supervised living
  221  environment that is approved by the department or a community
  222  based care lead agency. The young adult shall live
  223  independently, but in an environment in which he or she is
  224  provided supervision, case management, and supportive services
  225  by the department or lead agency. Such an environment must offer
  226  developmentally appropriate freedom and responsibility to
  227  prepare the young adult for adulthood. For the purposes of this
  228  subsection, a supervised living arrangement may include a
  229  licensed foster home, licensed group home, college dormitory,
  230  shared housing, apartment, or another housing arrangement if the
  231  arrangement is approved by the community-based care lead agency
  232  and is acceptable to the young adult, with first choice being a
  233  licensed foster home. A young adult may continue to reside with
  234  the same licensed foster family or group care provider with whom
  235  he or she was residing at the time he or she reached the age of
  236  18 years.
  237         (b) Before approving the residential setting in which the
  238  young adult will live, the department or community-based care
  239  lead agency must ensure that:
  240         1. The young adult will be provided with a level of
  241  supervision consistent with his or her individual education,
  242  health care needs, permanency plan, and independent living goals
  243  as assessed by the department or lead agency with input from the
  244  young adult. Twenty-four hour on-site supervision is not
  245  required, however, 24-hour crisis intervention and support must
  246  be available.
  247         2. The young adult will live in an independent living
  248  environment that offers, at a minimum, life skills instruction,
  249  counseling, educational support, employment preparation and
  250  placement, and development of support networks. The
  251  determination of the type and duration of services shall be
  252  based on the young adult’s assessed needs, interests, and input
  253  and must be consistent with the goals set in the young adult’s
  254  case plan.
  255         (5) Eligibility for a young adult to remain in extended
  256  foster care ends on the earliest of the dates that the young
  257  adult:
  258         1. Reaches 21 years of age or, in the case of a young adult
  259  with a disability, reaches 22 years of age;
  260         2. Leaves care to live in a permanent home consistent with
  261  his or her permanency plan; or
  262         3. Knowingly and voluntarily withdraws his or her consent
  263  to participate in extended care. Withdrawal of consent to
  264  participate in extended care shall be verified by the court
  265  pursuant to s. 39.701, unless the young adult refuses to
  266  participate in any further court proceeding.
  267         (6) A young adult who is between the ages of 18 and 21 and
  268  who has left care may return to care by applying to the
  269  community-based care lead agency for readmission. The community
  270  based care lead agency shall readmit the young adult if he or
  271  she continues to meet the eligibility requirements in this
  272  section.
  273         (a) The department shall develop a standard procedure and
  274  application packet for readmission to care to be used by all
  275  community-based care lead agencies.
  276         (b)Within 30 days after the young adult has been
  277  readmitted to care, the community-based care lead agency shall
  278  assign a case manager to update the case plan and the transition
  279  plan and to arrange for the required services. Such activities
  280  shall be undertaken in consultation with the young adult. The
  281  department shall petition the court to reinstate jurisdiction
  282  over the young adult. Notwithstanding s. 39.013(2), the court
  283  shall resume jurisdiction over the young adult if the department
  284  establishes that he or she continues to meet the eligibility
  285  requirements in this section.
  286         (7)During each period of time that a young adult is in
  287  care, the community-based lead agency shall provide regular case
  288  management reviews that must include at least monthly contact
  289  with the case manager. If a young adult lives outside the
  290  service area of his or her community-based care lead agency,
  291  monthly contact may occur by telephone.
  292         (8) During the time that a young adult is in care, the
  293  court shall maintain jurisdiction to ensure that the department
  294  and the lead agencies are providing services and coordinate
  295  with, and maintain oversight of, other agencies involved in
  296  implementing the young adult’s case plan, individual education
  297  plan, and transition plan. The court shall review the status of
  298  the young adult at least every 6 months and hold a permanency
  299  review hearing at least annually. The court may appoint a
  300  guardian ad litem or continue the appointment of a guardian ad
  301  litem with the young adult’s consent. The young adult or any
  302  other party to the dependency case may request an additional
  303  hearing or review.
  304         (9)The department shall establish a procedure by which a
  305  young adult may appeal a determination of eligibility to remain
  306  in care that was made by a community-based care lead agency. The
  307  procedure must be readily accessible to young adults, must
  308  provide for timely decisions, and must provide for an appeal to
  309  the department. The decision of the department constitutes final
  310  agency action and is reviewable by the court as provided in s.
  311  120.68.
  312         Section 6. Section 39.701, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  313  read:
  314         39.701 Judicial review.—
  315         (1) GENERAL PROVISIONS.—
  316         (a) The court shall have continuing jurisdiction in
  317  accordance with this section and shall review the status of the
  318  child at least every 6 months as required by this subsection or
  319  more frequently if the court deems it necessary or desirable.
  320         (b) The court shall retain jurisdiction over a child
  321  returned to his or her parents for a minimum period of 6 months
  322  following the reunification, but, at that time, based on a
  323  report of the social service agency and the guardian ad litem,
  324  if one has been appointed, and any other relevant factors, the
  325  court shall make a determination as to whether supervision by
  326  the department and the court’s jurisdiction shall continue or be
  327  terminated.
  328         (c)1.(2)(a) The court shall review the status of the child
  329  and shall hold a hearing as provided in this part at least every
  330  6 months until the child reaches permanency status. The court
  331  may dispense with the attendance of the child at the hearing,
  332  but may not dispense with the hearing or the presence of other
  333  parties to the review unless before the review a hearing is held
  334  before a citizen review panel.
  335         2.(b) Citizen review panels may conduct hearings to review
  336  the status of a child. The court shall select the cases
  337  appropriate for referral to the citizen review panels and may
  338  order the attendance of the parties at the review panel
  339  hearings. However, any party may object to the referral of a
  340  case to a citizen review panel. Whenever such an objection has
  341  been filed with the court, the court shall review the substance
  342  of the objection and may conduct the review itself or refer the
  343  review to a citizen review panel. All parties retain the right
  344  to take exception to the findings or recommended orders of a
  345  citizen review panel in accordance with Rule 1.490(h), Florida
  346  Rules of Civil Procedure.
  347         3.(c) Notice of a hearing by a citizen review panel must be
  348  provided as set forth in paragraph (f) subsection (5). At the
  349  conclusion of a citizen review panel hearing, each party may
  350  propose a recommended order to the chairperson of the panel.
  351  Thereafter, the citizen review panel shall submit its report,
  352  copies of the proposed recommended orders, and a copy of the
  353  panel’s recommended order to the court. The citizen review
  354  panel’s recommended order must be limited to the dispositional
  355  options available to the court in paragraph (2)(d) subsection
  356  (10). Each party may file exceptions to the report and
  357  recommended order of the citizen review panel in accordance with
  358  Rule 1.490, Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.
  359         (d)1.(3)(a) The initial judicial review hearing must be
  360  held no later than 90 days after the date of the disposition
  361  hearing or after the date of the hearing at which the court
  362  approves the case plan, whichever comes first, but in no event
  363  shall the review be held later than 6 months after the date the
  364  child was removed from the home. Citizen review panels may shall
  365  not conduct more than two consecutive reviews without the child
  366  and the parties coming before the court for a judicial review.
  367         2.(b) If the citizen review panel recommends extending the
  368  goal of reunification for any case plan beyond 12 months from
  369  the date the child was removed from the home, the case plan was
  370  adopted, or the child was adjudicated dependent, whichever date
  371  came first, the court must schedule a judicial review hearing to
  372  be conducted by the court within 30 days after receiving the
  373  recommendation from the citizen review panel.
  374         3.(c) If the child is placed in the custody of the
  375  department or a licensed child-placing agency for the purpose of
  376  adoptive placement, judicial reviews must be held at least every
  377  6 months until the adoption is finalized.
  378         4.(d) If the department and the court have established a
  379  formal agreement that includes specific authorization for
  380  particular cases, the department may conduct administrative
  381  reviews instead of the judicial reviews for children in out-of
  382  home care. Notices of such administrative reviews must be
  383  provided to all parties. However, an administrative review may
  384  not be substituted for the first judicial review, and in every
  385  case the court must conduct a judicial review at least every 6
  386  months. Any party dissatisfied with the results of an
  387  administrative review may petition for a judicial review.
  388         5.(e) The clerk of the circuit court shall schedule
  389  judicial review hearings in order to comply with the mandated
  390  times cited in this section.
  391         6.(f) In each case in which a child has been voluntarily
  392  placed with the licensed child-placing agency, the agency shall
  393  notify the clerk of the court in the circuit where the child
  394  resides of such placement within 5 working days. Notification of
  395  the court is not required for any child who will be in out-of
  396  home care no longer than 30 days unless that child is placed in
  397  out-of-home care a second time within a 12-month period. If the
  398  child is returned to the custody of the parents before the
  399  scheduled review hearing or if the child is placed for adoption,
  400  the child-placing agency shall notify the court of the child’s
  401  return or placement within 5 working days, and the clerk of the
  402  court shall cancel the review hearing.
  403         (e)(4) The court shall schedule the date, time, and
  404  location of the next judicial review during the judicial review
  405  hearing and shall list same in the judicial review order.
  406         (f)(5) Notice of a judicial review hearing or a citizen
  407  review panel hearing, and a copy of the motion for judicial
  408  review, if any, must be served by the clerk of the court upon
  409  all of the following persons, if available to be served,
  410  regardless of whether the person was present at the previous
  411  hearing at which the date, time, and location of the hearing was
  412  announced:
  413         1.(a) The social service agency charged with the
  414  supervision of care, custody, or guardianship of the child, if
  415  that agency is not the movant.
  416         2.(b) The foster parent or legal custodian in whose home
  417  the child resides.
  418         3.(c) The parents.
  419         4.(d) The guardian ad litem for the child, or the
  420  representative of the guardian ad litem program if the program
  421  has been appointed.
  422         5.(e) The attorney for the child.
  423         6.(f) The child, if the child is 13 years of age or older.
  424         7.(g) Any preadoptive parent.
  425         8.(h) Such other persons as the court may direct.
  426         (g)(6) The attorney for the department shall notify a
  427  relative who submits a request for notification of all
  428  proceedings and hearings pursuant to s. 39.301(14)(b). The
  429  notice shall include the date, time, and location of the next
  430  judicial review hearing.
  431         (7)(a) In addition to paragraphs (1)(a) and (2)(a), the
  432  court shall hold a judicial review hearing within 90 days after
  433  a youth’s 17th birthday. The court shall also issue an order,
  434  separate from the order on judicial review, that the disability
  435  of nonage of the youth has been removed pursuant to s. 743.045.
  436  The court shall continue to hold timely judicial review hearings
  437  thereafter. In addition, the court may review the status of the
  438  child more frequently during the year prior to the youth’s 18th
  439  birthday if necessary. At each review held under this
  440  subsection, in addition to any information or report provided to
  441  the court, the foster parent, legal custodian, guardian ad
  442  litem, and the child shall be given the opportunity to address
  443  the court with any information relevant to the child’s best
  444  interests, particularly as it relates to independent living
  445  transition services. In addition to any information or report
  446  provided to the court, the department shall include in its
  447  judicial review social study report written verification that
  448  the child:
  449         1. Has been provided with a current Medicaid card and has
  450  been provided all necessary information concerning the Medicaid
  451  program sufficient to prepare the youth to apply for coverage
  452  upon reaching age 18, if such application would be appropriate.
  453         2. Has been provided with a certified copy of his or her
  454  birth certificate and, if the child does not have a valid
  455  driver’s license, a Florida identification card issued under s.
  456  322.051.
  457         3. Has been provided information relating to Social
  458  Security Insurance benefits if the child is eligible for these
  459  benefits. If the child has received these benefits and they are
  460  being held in trust for the child, a full accounting of those
  461  funds must be provided and the child must be informed about how
  462  to access those funds.
  463         4. Has been provided with information and training related
  464  to budgeting skills, interviewing skills, and parenting skills.
  465         5. Has been provided with all relevant information related
  466  to the Road-to-Independence Program, including, but not limited
  467  to, eligibility requirements, forms necessary to apply, and
  468  assistance in completing the forms. The child shall also be
  469  informed that, if he or she is eligible for the Road-to
  470  Independence Program, he or she may reside with the licensed
  471  foster family or group care provider with whom the child was
  472  residing at the time of attaining his or her 18th birthday or
  473  may reside in another licensed foster home or with a group care
  474  provider arranged by the department.
  475         6. Has an open bank account, or has identification
  476  necessary to open an account, and has been provided with
  477  essential banking skills.
  478         7. Has been provided with information on public assistance
  479  and how to apply.
  480         8. Has been provided a clear understanding of where he or
  481  she will be living on his or her 18th birthday, how living
  482  expenses will be paid, and what educational program or school he
  483  or she will be enrolled in.
  484         9. Has been provided with notice of the youth’s right to
  485  petition for the court’s continuing jurisdiction for 1 year
  486  after the youth’s 18th birthday as specified in s. 39.013(2) and
  487  with information on how to obtain access to the court.
  488         10. Has been encouraged to attend all judicial review
  489  hearings occurring after his or her 17th birthday.
  490         (b) At the first judicial review hearing held subsequent to
  491  the child’s 17th birthday, in addition to the requirements of
  492  subsection (8), the department shall provide the court with an
  493  updated case plan that includes specific information related to
  494  independent living services that have been provided since the
  495  child’s 13th birthday, or since the date the child came into
  496  foster care, whichever came later.
  497         (c) At the time of a judicial review hearing held pursuant
  498  to this subsection, if, in the opinion of the court, the
  499  department has not complied with its obligations as specified in
  500  the written case plan or in the provision of independent living
  501  services as required by s. 409.1451 and this subsection, the
  502  court shall issue a show cause order. If cause is shown for
  503  failure to comply, the court shall give the department 30 days
  504  within which to comply and, on failure to comply with this or
  505  any subsequent order, the department may be held in contempt.
  507  OF AGE.—
  508         (a) Social study report for judicial review.—Before every
  509  judicial review hearing or citizen review panel hearing, the
  510  social service agency shall make an investigation and social
  511  study concerning all pertinent details relating to the child and
  512  shall furnish to the court or citizen review panel a written
  513  report that includes, but is not limited to:
  514         1. A description of the type of placement the child is in
  515  at the time of the hearing, including the safety of the child
  516  and the continuing necessity for and appropriateness of the
  517  placement.
  518         2. Documentation of the diligent efforts made by all
  519  parties to the case plan to comply with each applicable
  520  provision of the plan.
  521         3. The amount of fees assessed and collected during the
  522  period of time being reported.
  523         4. The services provided to the foster family or legal
  524  custodian in an effort to address the needs of the child as
  525  indicated in the case plan.
  526         5. A statement that either:
  527         a. The parent, though able to do so, did not comply
  528  substantially with the case plan, and the agency
  529  recommendations;
  530         b. The parent did substantially comply with the case plan;
  531  or
  532         c. The parent has partially complied with the case plan,
  533  with a summary of additional progress needed and the agency
  534  recommendations.
  535         6. A statement from the foster parent or legal custodian
  536  providing any material evidence concerning the return of the
  537  child to the parent or parents.
  538         7. A statement concerning the frequency, duration, and
  539  results of the parent-child visitation, if any, and the agency
  540  recommendations for an expansion or restriction of future
  541  visitation.
  542         8. The number of times a child has been removed from his or
  543  her home and placed elsewhere, the number and types of
  544  placements that have occurred, and the reason for the changes in
  545  placement.
  546         9. The number of times a child’s educational placement has
  547  been changed, the number and types of educational placements
  548  which have occurred, and the reason for any change in placement.
  549         10. If the child has reached 13 years of age but is not yet
  550  18 years of age, a statement from the caregiver on the progress
  551  the child has made in acquiring independent living skills the
  552  results of the preindependent living, life skills, or
  553  independent living assessment; the specific services needed; and
  554  the status of the delivery of the identified services.
  555         11. Copies of all medical, psychological, and educational
  556  records that support the terms of the case plan and that have
  557  been produced concerning the parents or any caregiver since the
  558  last judicial review hearing.
  559         12. Copies of the child’s current health, mental health,
  560  and education records as identified in s. 39.6012.
  561         (b) Submission and distribution of reports.—
  562         1. A copy of the social service agency’s written report and
  563  the written report of the guardian ad litem must be served on
  564  all parties whose whereabouts are known; to the foster parents
  565  or legal custodians; and to the citizen review panel, at least
  566  72 hours before the judicial review hearing or citizen review
  567  panel hearing. The requirement for providing parents with a copy
  568  of the written report does not apply to those parents who have
  569  voluntarily surrendered their child for adoption or who have had
  570  their parental rights to the child terminated.
  571         2.(c) In a case in which the child has been permanently
  572  placed with the social service agency, the agency shall furnish
  573  to the court a written report concerning the progress being made
  574  to place the child for adoption. If the child cannot be placed
  575  for adoption, a report on the progress made by the child towards
  576  alternative permanency goals or placements, including, but not
  577  limited to, guardianship, long-term custody, long-term licensed
  578  custody, or independent living, must be submitted to the court.
  579  The report must be submitted to the court at least 72 hours
  580  before each scheduled judicial review.
  581         3.(d) In addition to or in lieu of any written statement
  582  provided to the court, the foster parent or legal custodian, or
  583  any preadoptive parent, shall be given the opportunity to
  584  address the court with any information relevant to the best
  585  interests of the child at any judicial review hearing.
  586         (c)(9)Review determinations.—The court and any citizen
  587  review panel shall take into consideration the information
  588  contained in the social services study and investigation and all
  589  medical, psychological, and educational records that support the
  590  terms of the case plan; testimony by the social services agency,
  591  the parent, the foster parent or legal custodian, the guardian
  592  ad litem or surrogate parent for educational decisionmaking if
  593  one has been appointed for the child, and any other person
  594  deemed appropriate; and any relevant and material evidence
  595  submitted to the court, including written and oral reports to
  596  the extent of their probative value. These reports and evidence
  597  may be received by the court in its effort to determine the
  598  action to be taken with regard to the child and may be relied
  599  upon to the extent of their probative value, even though not
  600  competent in an adjudicatory hearing. In its deliberations, the
  601  court and any citizen review panel shall seek to determine:
  602         1.(a) If the parent was advised of the right to receive
  603  assistance from any person or social service agency in the
  604  preparation of the case plan.
  605         2.(b) If the parent has been advised of the right to have
  606  counsel present at the judicial review or citizen review
  607  hearings. If not so advised, the court or citizen review panel
  608  shall advise the parent of such right.
  609         3.(c) If a guardian ad litem needs to be appointed for the
  610  child in a case in which a guardian ad litem has not previously
  611  been appointed or if there is a need to continue a guardian ad
  612  litem in a case in which a guardian ad litem has been appointed.
  613         4.(d) Who holds the rights to make educational decisions
  614  for the child. If appropriate, the court may refer the child to
  615  the district school superintendent for appointment of a
  616  surrogate parent or may itself appoint a surrogate parent under
  617  the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and s. 39.0016.
  618         5.(e) The compliance or lack of compliance of all parties
  619  with applicable items of the case plan, including the parents’
  620  compliance with child support orders.
  621         6.(f) The compliance or lack of compliance with a
  622  visitation contract between the parent and the social service
  623  agency for contact with the child, including the frequency,
  624  duration, and results of the parent-child visitation and the
  625  reason for any noncompliance.
  626         7.(g) The compliance or lack of compliance of the parent in
  627  meeting specified financial obligations pertaining to the care
  628  of the child, including the reason for failure to comply if such
  629  is the case.
  630         8.(h) Whether the child is receiving safe and proper care
  631  according to s. 39.6012, including, but not limited to, the
  632  appropriateness of the child’s current placement, including
  633  whether the child is in a setting that is as family-like and as
  634  close to the parent’s home as possible, consistent with the
  635  child’s best interests and special needs, and including
  636  maintaining stability in the child’s educational placement, as
  637  documented by assurances from the community-based care provider
  638  that:
  639         a.1. The placement of the child takes into account the
  640  appropriateness of the current educational setting and the
  641  proximity to the school in which the child is enrolled at the
  642  time of placement.
  643         b.2. The community-based care agency has coordinated with
  644  appropriate local educational agencies to ensure that the child
  645  remains in the school in which the child is enrolled at the time
  646  of placement.
  647         9.(i) A projected date likely for the child’s return home
  648  or other permanent placement.
  649         10.(j) When appropriate, the basis for the unwillingness or
  650  inability of the parent to become a party to a case plan. The
  651  court and the citizen review panel shall determine if the
  652  efforts of the social service agency to secure party
  653  participation in a case plan were sufficient.
  654         11.(k) For a child who has reached 13 years of age but is
  655  not yet 18 years of age, the adequacy of the child’s preparation
  656  for adulthood and independent living.
  657         12.(l) If amendments to the case plan are required.
  658  Amendments to the case plan must be made under s. 39.6013.
  659         (d)(10)(a)Orders.—
  660         1. Based upon the criteria set forth in paragraph (c)
  661  subsection (9) and the recommended order of the citizen review
  662  panel, if any, the court shall determine whether or not the
  663  social service agency shall initiate proceedings to have a child
  664  declared a dependent child, return the child to the parent,
  665  continue the child in out-of-home care for a specified period of
  666  time, or initiate termination of parental rights proceedings for
  667  subsequent placement in an adoptive home. Amendments to the case
  668  plan must be prepared as prescribed in s. 39.6013. If the court
  669  finds that the prevention or reunification efforts of the
  670  department will allow the child to remain safely at home or be
  671  safely returned to the home, the court shall allow the child to
  672  remain in or return to the home after making a specific finding
  673  of fact that the reasons for the creation of the case plan have
  674  been remedied to the extent that the child’s safety, well-being,
  675  and physical, mental, and emotional health will not be
  676  endangered.
  677         2.(b) The court shall return the child to the custody of
  678  the parents at any time it determines that they have
  679  substantially complied with the case plan, if the court is
  680  satisfied that reunification will not be detrimental to the
  681  child’s safety, well-being, and physical, mental, and emotional
  682  health.
  683         3.(c) If, in the opinion of the court, the social service
  684  agency has not complied with its obligations as specified in the
  685  written case plan, the court may find the social service agency
  686  in contempt, shall order the social service agency to submit its
  687  plans for compliance with the agreement, and shall require the
  688  social service agency to show why the child could not safely be
  689  returned to the home of the parents.
  690         4.(d) If, at any judicial review, the court finds that the
  691  parents have failed to substantially comply with the case plan
  692  to the degree that further reunification efforts are without
  693  merit and not in the best interest of the child, on its own
  694  motion, the court may order the filing of a petition for
  695  termination of parental rights, whether or not the time period
  696  as contained in the case plan for substantial compliance has
  697  expired.
  698         5.(e) Within 6 months after the date that the child was
  699  placed in shelter care, the court shall conduct a judicial
  700  review hearing to review the child’s permanency goal as
  701  identified in the case plan. At the hearing the court shall make
  702  findings regarding the likelihood of the child’s reunification
  703  with the parent or legal custodian within 12 months after the
  704  removal of the child from the home. If the court makes a written
  705  finding that it is not likely that the child will be reunified
  706  with the parent or legal custodian within 12 months after the
  707  child was removed from the home, the department must file with
  708  the court, and serve on all parties, a motion to amend the case
  709  plan under s. 39.6013 and declare that it will use concurrent
  710  planning for the case plan. The department must file the motion
  711  within 10 business days after receiving the written finding of
  712  the court. The department must attach the proposed amended case
  713  plan to the motion. If concurrent planning is already being
  714  used, the case plan must document the efforts the department is
  715  taking to complete the concurrent goal.
  716         6.(f) The court may issue a protective order in assistance,
  717  or as a condition, of any other order made under this part. In
  718  addition to the requirements included in the case plan, the
  719  protective order may set forth requirements relating to
  720  reasonable conditions of behavior to be observed for a specified
  721  period of time by a person or agency who is before the court;
  722  and the order may require any person or agency to make periodic
  723  reports to the court containing such information as the court in
  724  its discretion may prescribe.
  726         (a) In addition to the review and report required under
  727  paragraphs (1)(a) and (2)(a), respectively, the court shall hold
  728  a judicial review hearing within 90 days after a child’s 17th
  729  birthday. The court shall also issue an order, separate from the
  730  order on judicial review, that the disability of nonage of the
  731  child has been removed pursuant to s. 743.045 and shall continue
  732  to hold timely judicial review hearings. If necessary, the court
  733  may review the status of the child more frequently during the
  734  year before the child’s 18th birthday. At each review hearing
  735  held under this subsection, in addition to any information or
  736  report provided to the court by the foster parent, legal
  737  custodian, or guardian ad litem, the child shall be given the
  738  opportunity to address the court with any information relevant
  739  to the child’s best interest, particularly in relation to
  740  independent living transition services. The department shall
  741  include in the social study report for judicial review written
  742  verification that the child has:
  743         1. A current Medicaid card and all necessary information
  744  concerning the Medicaid program sufficient to prepare the child
  745  to apply for coverage upon reaching the age of 18, if such
  746  application is appropriate.
  747         2. A certified copy of the child’s birth certificate and,
  748  if the child does not have a valid driver license, a Florida
  749  identification card issued under s. 322.051.
  750         3. A social security card and information relating to
  751  social security insurance benefits if the child is eligible for
  752  those benefits. If the child has received such benefits and they
  753  are being held in trust for the child, a full accounting of
  754  these funds must be provided and the child must be informed as
  755  to how to access those funds.
  756         4. All relevant information related to the Road-to
  757  Independence Program, including, but not limited to, eligibility
  758  requirements, information on participation, and assistance in
  759  gaining admission to the program. If the child is eligible for
  760  the Road-to-Independence Program, he or she must be advised that
  761  he or she may continue to reside with the licensed family home
  762  or group care provider with whom the child was residing at the
  763  time the child attained his or her 18th birthday, in another
  764  licensed family home, or with a group care provider arranged by
  765  the department.
  766         5. An open bank account or the identification necessary to
  767  open a bank account and to acquire essential banking and
  768  budgeting skills.
  769         6. Information on public assistance and how to apply for
  770  public assistance.
  771         7. A clear understanding of where he or she will be living
  772  on his or her 18th birthday, how living expenses will be paid,
  773  and the educational program or school in which he or she will be
  774  enrolled.
  775         8. Information related to the ability of the child to
  776  remain in care until he or she reaches 21 years of age under s.
  777  39.013.
  778         9. A letter providing the dates that the child is under the
  779  jurisdiction of the court.
  780         10.A letter stating that the child is in compliance with
  781  financial aid documentation requirements.
  782         11. The child’s educational records.
  783         12. The child’s entire health and mental health records.
  784         13. The process for accessing his or her case file.
  785         14. A statement encouraging the child to attend all
  786  judicial review hearings occurring after the child’s 17th
  787  birthday.
  788         (b) At the first judicial review hearing held subsequent to
  789  the child’s 17th birthday, the department shall provide the
  790  court with an updated case plan that includes specific
  791  information related to the independent living skills that the
  792  child has acquired since the child’s 13th birthday, or since the
  793  date the child came into foster care, whichever came later.
  794         (c) If the court finds at the judicial review hearing that
  795  the department has not met with its obligations to the child as
  796  stated in the written case plan or in the provision of
  797  independent living services, the court may issue an order
  798  directing the department to show cause as to why it has not done
  799  so. If the department cannot justify its noncompliance, the
  800  court may give the department 30 days within which to comply. If
  801  the department fails to comply within 30 days, the court may
  802  hold the department in contempt.
  803         (d)At the last review hearing before the child reaches 18
  804  years of age, and in addition to the requirements of subsection
  805  (2), the court shall:
  806         1.Address whether the child plans to remain in foster
  807  care, and, if so, ensure that the child’s transition plan
  808  includes a plan for meeting one or more of the criteria
  809  specified in s. 39.6251.
  810         2.Ensure that the transition plan includes a supervised
  811  living arrangement under s. 39.6251.
  812         3.Ensure the child has been informed of:
  813         a.The right to continued support and services from the
  814  department and the community-based care lead agency.
  815         b. The right to request termination of dependency
  816  jurisdiction and be discharged from foster care.
  817         c. The opportunity to reenter foster care pursuant to s.
  818  39.6251.
  819         4. Ensure that the young adult, if he or she requests
  820  termination of dependency jurisdiction and discharge from foster
  821  care, has been informed of:
  822         a.Services or benefits for which the young adult may be
  823  eligible based on his or her former placement in foster care;
  824         b.Services or benefits that may be lost through
  825  termination of dependency jurisdiction; and
  826         c.Other federal, state, local, or community-based services
  827  or supports available to him or her.
  829  During each period of time that a young adult remains in foster
  830  care, the court shall review the status of the young adult at
  831  least every 6 months and must hold a permanency review hearing
  832  at least annually.
  833         (a)The department and community-based care lead agency
  834  shall prepare and submit to the court a report, developed in
  835  collaboration with the young adult, which addresses the young
  836  adult’s progress in meeting the goals in the case plan. The
  837  report must include progress information related to the young
  838  adult’s independent living plan and transition plan, if
  839  applicable, and shall propose modifications as necessary to
  840  further the young adult’s goals.
  841         (b)The court shall attempt to determine whether the
  842  department and any service provider under contract with the
  843  department are providing the appropriate services as provided in
  844  the case plan.
  845         (c)If the court believes that the young adult is entitled
  846  under department policy or under a contract with a service
  847  provider to additional services to achieve the goals enumerated
  848  in the case plan, it may order the department to take action to
  849  ensure that the young adult receives the identified services.
  850         (d)The young adult or any other party to the dependency
  851  case may request an additional hearing or judicial review.
  852         (e) Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, if a
  853  young adult has chosen to remain in extended foster care after
  854  he or she has reached 18 years of age, the department may not
  855  close a case and the court may not terminate jurisdiction until
  856  the court finds, following a hearing, that the following
  857  criteria have been met:
  858         1.Attendance of the young adult at the hearing; or
  859         2.Findings by the court that:
  860         a.The young adult has been informed by the department of
  861  his or her right to attend the hearing and has provided written
  862  consent to waive this right; and
  863         b.The young adult has been informed of the potential
  864  negative effects of early termination of care, the option to
  865  reenter care before reaching 21 years of age, the procedure for,
  866  and limitations on, reentering care, and the availability of
  867  alternative services, and has signed a document attesting that
  868  he or she has been so informed and understands these provisions;
  869  or
  870         c.The young adult has voluntarily left the program, has
  871  not signed the document in sub-subparagraph b., and is unwilling
  872  to participate in any further court proceeding.
  873         3.In all permanency hearings or hearings regarding the
  874  transition of the young adult from care to independent living,
  875  the court shall consult with the young adult regarding the
  876  proposed permanency plan, case plan, and individual education
  877  plan for the young adult and ensure that he or she has
  878  understood the conversation.
  879         Section 7. Section 409.145, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  880  read:
  881         409.145 Care of children; quality parenting; “reasonable
  882  and prudent parent” standard.—The child welfare system of the
  883  department shall operate as a coordinated community-based system
  884  of care which empowers all caregivers for children in foster
  885  care to provide quality parenting, including approving or
  886  disapproving a child’s participation in activities based on the
  887  caregiver’s assessment using the “reasonable and prudent parent”
  888  standard.
  889         (1) SYSTEM OF CARE.—The department shall develop, implement
  890  conduct, supervise, and administer a coordinated community-based
  891  system of care program for dependent children who are found to
  892  be dependent and their families. This system of care must The
  893  services of the department are to be directed toward the
  894  following goals:
  895         (a) The Prevention of separation of children from their
  896  families.
  897         (b)Intervention to allow children to remain safely in
  898  their own homes.
  899         (c)(b)The Reunification of families who have had children
  900  removed from their care placed in foster homes or institutions.
  901         (d)Safety for children who are separated from their
  902  families by providing alternative emergency or longer-term
  903  parenting arrangements.
  904         (e)Focus on the well-being of children through emphasis on
  905  maintaining educational stability and providing timely health
  906  care.
  907         (f)(c)Permanency for The permanent placement of children
  908  for whom reunification who cannot be reunited with their
  909  families is not possible or when reunification would is not be
  910  in the best interest of the child.
  911         (d) The protection of dependent children or children
  912  alleged to be dependent, including provision of emergency and
  913  long-term alternate living arrangements.
  914         (g)(e) The transition to independence and self-sufficiency
  915  for older children who remain in foster care through adolescence
  916  continue to be in foster care as adolescents.
  917         (2) The following dependent children shall be subject to
  918  the protection, care, guidance, and supervision of the
  919  department or any duly licensed public or private agency:
  920         (a) Any child who has been temporarily or permanently taken
  921  from the custody of the parents, custodians, or guardians in
  922  accordance with those provisions in chapter 39 that relate to
  923  dependent children.
  924         (b) Any child who is in need of the protective supervision
  925  of the department as determined by intake or by the court in
  926  accordance with those provisions of chapter 39 that relate to
  927  dependent children.
  928         (c) Any child who is voluntarily placed, with the written
  929  consent of the parents or guardians, in the department’s foster
  930  care program or the foster care program of a licensed private
  931  agency.
  932         (3) The circuit courts exercising juvenile jurisdiction in
  933  the various counties of this state shall cooperate with the
  934  department and its employees in carrying out the purposes and
  935  intent of this chapter.
  936         (4) The department is authorized to accept children on a
  937  permanent placement basis by order of a court of competent
  938  jurisdiction for the single purpose of adoption placement of
  939  these children. The department is authorized to provide the
  940  necessary services to place these children ordered to the
  941  department on a permanent placement basis for adoption.
  942         (5) Any funds appropriated by counties for child welfare
  943  services may be matched by state and federal funds, such funds
  944  to be utilized by the department for the benefit of children in
  945  those counties.
  946         (6) Whenever any child is placed under the protection,
  947  care, and guidance of the department or a duly licensed public
  948  or private agency, or as soon thereafter as is practicable, the
  949  department or agency, as the case may be, shall endeavor to
  950  obtain such information concerning the family medical history of
  951  the child and the natural parents as is available or readily
  952  obtainable. This information shall be kept on file by the
  953  department or agency for possible future use as provided in ss.
  954  63.082 and 63.162 or as may be otherwise provided by law.
  955         (7) Whenever any child is placed by the department in a
  956  shelter home, foster home, or other residential placement, the
  957  department shall make available to the operator of the shelter
  958  home, foster home, other residential placement, or other
  959  caretaker as soon thereafter as is practicable, all relevant
  960  information concerning the child’s demographic, social, and
  961  medical history.
  962         (2) QUALITY PARENTING.—A child in foster care shall be
  963  placed only with a caregiver who has the ability to care for the
  964  child, is willing to accept responsibility for providing care,
  965  and is willing and able to learn about and be respectful of the
  966  child’s culture, religion and ethnicity, special physical or
  967  psychological needs, any circumstances unique to the child, and
  968  family relationships. The department, the community-based care
  969  lead agency, and other agencies shall provide such caregiver
  970  with all available information necessary to assist the caregiver
  971  in determining whether he or she is able to appropriately care
  972  for a particular child.
  973         (a)Roles and responsibilities of caregivers.—A caregiver
  974  shall:
  975         1.Participate in developing the case plan for the child
  976  and his or her family and work with others involved in his or
  977  her care to implement this plan. This participation includes the
  978  caregiver’s involvement in all team meetings or court hearings
  979  related to the child’s care.
  980         2.Complete all training needed to improve skills in
  981  parenting a child who has experienced trauma due to neglect,
  982  abuse, or separation from home, to meet the child’s special
  983  needs, and to work effectively with child welfare agencies, the
  984  court, the schools, and other community and governmental
  985  agencies.
  986         3.Respect and support the child’s ties to members of his
  987  or her biological family and assist the child in maintaining
  988  allowable visitation and other forms of communication.
  989         4. Effectively advocate for the child in the caregiver’s
  990  care with the child welfare system, the court, and community
  991  agencies, including the school, child care, health and mental
  992  health providers, and employers.
  993         5.Participate fully in the child’s medical, psychological,
  994  and dental care as the caregiver would for his or her biological
  995  child.
  996         6.Support the child’s school success by participating in
  997  school activities and meetings, including Individual Education
  998  Plan meetings, assisting with school assignments, supporting
  999  tutoring programs, meeting with teachers and working with an
 1000  educational surrogate if one has been appointed, and encouraging
 1001  the child’s participation in extracurricular activities.
 1002         7.Work in partnership with other stakeholders to obtain
 1003  and maintain records that are important to the child’s well
 1004  being, including child resource records, medical records, school
 1005  records, photographs, and records of special events and
 1006  achievements.
 1007         8.Ensure that the child in the caregiver’s care who is
 1008  between 13 and 17 years of age learns and masters independent
 1009  living skills.
 1010         9.Ensure that the child in the caregiver’s care is aware
 1011  of the requirements and benefits of the Road-to-Independence
 1012  Program.
 1013         10.Work to enable the child in the caregiver’s care to
 1014  establish and maintain naturally occurring mentoring
 1015  relationships.
 1016         (b)Roles and responsibilities of the department, the
 1017  community-based care lead agency, and other agency staff.—The
 1018  department, the community-based care lead agency, and other
 1019  agency staff shall:
 1020         1.Include a caregiver in the development and
 1021  implementation of the case plan for the child and his or her
 1022  family. The caregiver shall be authorized to participate in all
 1023  team meetings or court hearings related to the child’s care and
 1024  future plans. The caregiver’s participation shall be facilitated
 1025  through timely notification, an inclusive process, and
 1026  alternative methods for participation for a caregiver who cannot
 1027  be physically present.
 1028         2.Develop and make available to the caregiver the
 1029  information, services, training, and support that the caregiver
 1030  needs to improve his or her skills in parenting children who
 1031  have experienced trauma due to neglect, abuse, or separation
 1032  from home, to meet these children’s special needs and to
 1033  advocate effectively with child welfare agencies, the courts,
 1034  schools, and other community and governmental agencies.
 1035         3.Provide the caregiver with all information related to
 1036  services and other benefits that are available to the child.
 1037         (c)Transitions.—
 1038         1.Once a caregiver accepts the responsibility of caring
 1039  for a child, the child will be removed from the home of that
 1040  caregiver only if:
 1041         a.The caregiver is clearly unable to safely or legally
 1042  care for the child;
 1043         b. The child and his or her biological family are
 1044  reunified;
 1045         c. The child is being placed in a legally permanent home
 1046  pursuant to the case plan or a court order; or
 1047         d. The removal is demonstrably in the child’s best
 1048  interest.
 1049         2.In the absence of an emergency, if a child leaves the
 1050  caregiver’s home for a reason provided under subparagraph 1.,
 1051  the transition must be accomplished according to a plan that
 1052  involves cooperation and sharing of information among all
 1053  persons involved, respects the child’s developmental stage and
 1054  psychological needs, ensures the child has all of his or her
 1055  belongings, allows for a gradual transition from the caregiver’s
 1056  home and, if possible, for continued contact with the caregiver
 1057  after the child leaves.
 1058         (d)Information sharing.—Whenever a foster home or
 1059  residential group home assumes responsibility for the care of a
 1060  child, the department and any additional providers shall make
 1061  available to the caregiver as soon as is practicable all
 1062  relevant information concerning the child. Records and
 1063  information that are required to be shared with caregivers
 1064  include, but are not limited to:
 1065         1.Medical, dental, psychological, psychiatric, and
 1066  behavioral history, as well as ongoing evaluation or treatment
 1067  needs;
 1068         2.School records;
 1069         3.Copies of his or her birth certificate and, if
 1070  appropriate, immigration status documents;
 1071         4.Consents signed by parents;
 1072         5.Comprehensive behavioral assessments and other social
 1073  assessments;
 1074         6.Court orders;
 1075         7.Visitation and case plans;
 1076         8.Guardian ad litem reports;
 1077         9. Staffing forms; and
 1078         10.Judicial or citizen review panel reports and
 1079  attachments filed with the court, except confidential medical,
 1080  psychiatric, and psychological information regarding any party
 1081  or participant other than the child.
 1082         (e)Caregivers employed by residential group homes.–All
 1083  caregivers in residential group homes shall meet the same
 1084  education, training, and background and other screening
 1085  requirements as foster parents.
 1087         (a) Definitions.—As used in this subsection, the term:
 1088         1. “Age-appropriate” means an activity or item that is
 1089  generally accepted as suitable for a child of the same
 1090  chronological age or level of maturity. Age appropriateness is
 1091  based on the development of cognitive, emotional, physical, and
 1092  behavioral capacity which is typical for an age or age group.
 1093         2. “Caregiver” means a person with whom the child is placed
 1094  in out-of-home care, or a designated official for a group care
 1095  facility licensed by the department under s. 409.175.
 1096         3. “Reasonable and prudent parent” standard means the
 1097  standard of care used by a caregiver in determining whether to
 1098  allow a child in his or her care to participate in
 1099  extracurricular, enrichment, and social activities. This
 1100  standard is characterized by careful and thoughtful parental
 1101  decisionmaking that is intended to maintain a child’s health,
 1102  safety, and best interest while encouraging the child’s
 1103  emotional and developmental growth.
 1104         (b) Application of standard of care.—
 1105         1. Every child who comes into out-of-home care pursuant to
 1106  this chapter is entitled to participate in age-appropriate
 1107  extracurricular, enrichment, and social activities.
 1108         2. Each caregiver shall use the reasonable and prudent
 1109  parent standard in determining whether to give permission for a
 1110  child living in out-of-home care to participate in
 1111  extracurricular, enrichment, or social activities. When using
 1112  the reasonable and prudent parent standard, the caregiver must
 1113  consider:
 1114         a. The child’s age, maturity, and developmental level to
 1115  maintain the overall health and safety of the child.
 1116         b. The potential risk factors and the appropriateness of
 1117  the extracurricular, enrichment, or social activity.
 1118         c. The best interest of the child, based on information
 1119  known by the caregiver.
 1120         d. The importance of encouraging the child’s emotional and
 1121  developmental growth.
 1122         e. The importance of providing the child with the most
 1123  family-like living experience possible.
 1124         f. The behavioral history of the child and the child’s
 1125  ability to safely participate in the proposed activity.
 1126         (c) Verification of services delivered.—The department and
 1127  each community-based care lead agency shall verify that private
 1128  agencies providing out-of-home care services to dependent
 1129  children have policies in place which are consistent with this
 1130  section and that these agencies promote and protect the ability
 1131  of dependent children to participate in age-appropriate
 1132  extracurricular, enrichment, and social activities.
 1133         (d) Limitation of liability.—A caregiver is not liable for
 1134  harm caused to a child who participates in an activity approved
 1135  by the caregiver, provided that the caregiver has acted in
 1136  accordance with the reasonable and prudent parent standard. This
 1137  paragraph may not be interpreted as removing or limiting any
 1138  existing liability protection afforded by law.
 1140         (a)Effective January 1, 2014, room and board rates paid to
 1141  foster parents are as follows:
 1144  Monthly Foster Care Rate0-5 Years Age    6-12 Years Age   13-21 Years Age  
 1148         (b)Foster parents shall receive an annual cost of living
 1149  increase. The department shall calculate the new room and board
 1150  rate increase equal to the percentage change in the Consumer
 1151  Price Index for All Urban Consumers, U.S. City Average, All
 1152  Items, not seasonally adjusted, or successor reports, for the
 1153  preceding December compared to the prior December as initially
 1154  reported by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of
 1155  Labor Statistics. The department shall make available the
 1156  adjusted room and board rates annually.
 1157         (c)The amount of the monthly foster care board rate may be
 1158  increased upon agreement among the department, the community
 1159  based care lead agency, and the foster parent.
 1160         (d) Community-based care lead agencies providing care under
 1161  contract with the department shall pay a supplemental room and
 1162  board payment to foster care parents for providing independent
 1163  life skills and normalcy supports to children who are 13 through
 1164  17 years of age placed in their care. The supplemental payment
 1165  shall be paid monthly to the foster care parents on a per-child
 1166  basis in addition to the current monthly room and board rate
 1167  payment. The supplemental monthly payment shall be based on 10
 1168  percent of the monthly room and board rate for children 13
 1169  through 21 years of age as provided under this section and
 1170  adjusted annually.
 1171         (5)RULEMAKING.—The department shall adopt by rule
 1172  procedures to administer this section.
 1173         Section 8. Section 409.1451, Florida Statutes, is amended
 1174  to read:
 1175         (Substantial rewording of section. See
 1176         s. 409.1451, F.S., for present text).
 1177         409.1451 The Road-to-Independence Program.—
 1179         (a)The Legislature recognizes that most children and young
 1180  adults are resilient and, with adequate support, can expect to
 1181  be successful as independent adults. Not unlike many young
 1182  adults, some young adults who have lived in foster care need
 1183  additional support and resources for a period of time after
 1184  reaching 18 years of age.
 1185         (b)The Legislature finds that while it is important to
 1186  provide young adults who have lived in foster care with
 1187  education and independent living skills, there is also a need to
 1188  focus more broadly on creating and preserving family
 1189  relationships so that young adults have a permanent connection
 1190  with at least one committed adult who provides a safe and stable
 1191  parenting relationship.
 1192         (c)It is the intent of the Legislature that young adults
 1193  who choose to participate in the program receive the skills,
 1194  education, and support necessary to become self-sufficient and
 1195  leave foster care with a lifelong connection to a supportive
 1196  adult through the Road-to-Independence Program, either through
 1197  postsecondary education services and support, as provided in
 1198  subsection (2), or aftercare services.
 1200         (a)A young adult is eligible for services and support
 1201  under this subsection if he or she:
 1202         1.Was living in licensed care on his or her 18th birthday
 1203  or is currently living in licensed care; or was at least 16
 1204  years of age and was adopted from foster care or placed with a
 1205  court-approved dependency guardian after spending at least 6
 1206  months in licensed care within the 12 months immediately
 1207  preceding such placement or adoption;
 1208         2. Spent at least 6 months in licensed care before reaching
 1209  his or her 18th birthday;
 1210         3.Earned a standard high school diploma or its equivalent
 1211  pursuant to s. 1003.428, s. 1003.4281, s. 1003.429, s. 1003.43,
 1212  s. 1003.435, or s. 1003.438;
 1213         4.Has been admitted for enrollment as a full-time student
 1214  or its equivalent in an eligible postsecondary educational
 1215  institution as provided in s. 1009.533. For purposes of this
 1216  section, the term “full-time” means 9 credit hours or the
 1217  vocational school equivalent. A student may enroll part-time if
 1218  he or she has a recognized disability or is faced with another
 1219  challenge or circumstance that would prevent full-time
 1220  attendance. A student needing to enroll part-time for any reason
 1221  other than having a recognized disability must get approval from
 1222  his or her academic advisor;
 1223         5.Has reached 18 years of age but is not yet 23 years of
 1224  age;
 1225         6.Has applied, with assistance from the young adult’s
 1226  caregiver and the community-based lead agency, for any other
 1227  grants and scholarships for which he or she may qualify;
 1228         7.Submitted a Free Application for Federal Student Aid
 1229  which is complete and error free; and
 1230         8.Signed an agreement to allow the department and the
 1231  community-based care lead agency access to school records.
 1232         (b)The amount of the financial assistance shall be as
 1233  follows:
 1234         1.For a young adult who does not remain in foster care and
 1235  is attending a postsecondary school as provided in s. 1009.533,
 1236  the amount is $1,256 monthly.
 1237         2.For a young adult who remains in foster care, is
 1238  attending a postsecondary school, as provided in s. 1009.533,
 1239  and continues to reside in a licensed foster home, the amount is
 1240  the established room and board rate for foster parents. This
 1241  takes the place of the payment provided for in s. 409.145(4).
 1242         3. For a young adult who remains in foster care, but
 1243  temporarily resides away from a licensed foster home for
 1244  purposes of attending a postsecondary school as provided in s.
 1245  1009.533, the amount is $1,256 monthly. This takes the place of
 1246  the payment provided for in s. 409.145(4).
 1247         4.For a young adult who remains in foster care, is
 1248  attending a postsecondary school as provided in s. 1009.533, and
 1249  continues to reside in a licensed group home, the amount is
 1250  negotiated between the community-based care lead agency and the
 1251  licensed group home provider.
 1252         5.For a young adult who remains in foster care, but
 1253  temporarily resides away from a licensed group home for purposes
 1254  of attending a postsecondary school as provided in s. 1009.533,
 1255  the amount is $1,256 monthly. This takes the place of a
 1256  negotiated room and board rate.
 1257         6. The amount of the award may be disregarded for purposes
 1258  of determining the eligibility for, or the amount of, any other
 1259  federal or federally supported assistance.
 1260         7.A young adult is eligible to receive financial
 1261  assistance during the months when enrolled in a postsecondary
 1262  educational institution.
 1263         (c)Payment of financial assistance for a young adult who:
 1264         1. Has chosen not to remain in foster care and is attending
 1265  a postsecondary school as provided in s. 1009.533, shall be made
 1266  to the community-based care lead agency in order to secure
 1267  housing and utilities, with the balance being paid directly to
 1268  the young adult until such time the lead agency and the young
 1269  adult determine that the young adult can successfully manage the
 1270  full amount of the assistance.
 1271         2.Has remained in foster care under s. 39.6251 and who is
 1272  attending postsecondary school as provided in s. 1009.533, shall
 1273  be made directly to the foster parent or group home provider.
 1274         3.Community-based care lead agencies or other contracted
 1275  providers are prohibited from charging a fee associated with
 1276  administering the Road-to-Independence payments.
 1277         (d)1. The department must advertise the availability of the
 1278  stipend and must provide notification of the criteria and
 1279  application procedures for the stipend to children and young
 1280  adults leaving, or who were formerly in, foster care;
 1281  caregivers; case managers; guidance and family services
 1282  counselors; principals or other relevant school administrators;
 1283  and guardians ad litem.
 1284         2.If the award recipient transfers from one eligible
 1285  institution to another and continues to meet eligibility
 1286  requirements, the award shall be transferred with the recipient.
 1287         3.The department, or an agency under contract with the
 1288  department, shall evaluate each Road-to-Independence award for
 1289  renewal eligibility on an annual basis. In order to be eligible
 1290  for a renewal award for the subsequent year, the young adult
 1291  must:
 1292         a. Be enrolled for or have completed the number of hours,
 1293  or the equivalent, to be considered a full-time student under
 1294  subparagraph (a)4., unless the young adult qualifies for an
 1295  exception under subparagraph (a)4.
 1296         b. Maintain standards of academic progress as defined by
 1297  the education institution, except that if the young adult’s
 1298  progress is insufficient to renew the award at any time during
 1299  the eligibility period, the young adult may continue to be
 1300  enrolled for additional terms while attempting to restore
 1301  eligibility as long as progress towards the required level is
 1302  maintained.
 1303         4. Funds may be terminated during the interim between an
 1304  award and the evaluation for a renewal award if the department,
 1305  or an agency under contract with the department, determines that
 1306  the award recipient is no longer enrolled in an educational
 1307  institution as described in subparagraph (a)4. or is no longer a
 1308  resident of this state.
 1309         5. The department, or an agency under contract with the
 1310  department, shall notify a recipient who is terminated and
 1311  inform the recipient of his or her right to appeal.
 1312         6. An award recipient who does not qualify for a renewal
 1313  award or who chooses not to renew the award may apply for
 1314  reinstatement. An application for reinstatement must be made
 1315  before the young adult reaches 23 years of age. In order to be
 1316  eligible for reinstatement, the young adult must meet the
 1317  eligibility criteria and the criteria for award renewal for the
 1318  program.
 1319         (3) AFTERCARE SERVICES.—
 1320         (a) Aftercare services are available to a young adult who
 1321  has reached 18 years of age but is not yet 23 years of age and
 1322  is:
 1323         1. Not in foster care.
 1324         2. Temporarily not receiving financial assistance under
 1325  subsection (2) to pursue postsecondary education.
 1326         (b) Aftercare services include, but are not limited to, the
 1327  following:
 1328         1. Mentoring and tutoring.
 1329         2. Mental health services and substance abuse counseling.
 1330         3. Life skills classes, including credit management and
 1331  preventive health activities.
 1332         4. Parenting classes.
 1333         5. Job and career skills training.
 1334         6. Counselor consultations.
 1335         7. Temporary financial assistance for necessities,
 1336  including, but not limited to, education supplies,
 1337  transportation expenses, security deposits for rent and
 1338  utilities, furnishings, household goods, and other basic living
 1339  expenses.
 1340         8. Financial literacy skills training.
 1342  The specific services to be provided under this paragraph shall
 1343  be determined by an assessment of the young adult and may be
 1344  provided by the community-based care provider or through
 1345  referrals in the community.
 1346         (c) Temporary assistance provided to prevent homelessness
 1347  shall be provided as expeditiously as possible and within the
 1348  limitations defined by the department.
 1349         (4) APPEALS PROCESS.—
 1350         (a) The department shall have a procedure by which a young
 1351  adult may appeal the department’s refusal to provide Road-to
 1352  Independence Program services or support, or the termination of
 1353  such services or support if funds for such services or support
 1354  are available.
 1355         (b) The appeal procedure must be readily accessible to
 1356  young adults, must provide for timely decisions, and must
 1357  provide for an appeal to the department. The decision of the
 1358  department constitutes final agency action and is reviewable by
 1359  the court as provided in s. 120.68.
 1360         (5)PORTABILITY.—The services provided under this section
 1361  are portable across county lines and between lead agencies.
 1362         (a) The service needs that are identified in the original
 1363  or updated transition plan, pursuant to s. 39.6035, shall be
 1364  provided by the lead agency where the young adult is currently
 1365  residing but shall be funded by the lead agency who initiated
 1366  the transition plan.
 1367         (b)The lead agency with primary case management
 1368  responsibilities shall provide maintenance payments, case
 1369  planning, including a written description of all services that
 1370  will assist a child 16 years of age or older in preparing for
 1371  the transition from care to independence, as well as regular
 1372  case reviews that conform with all federal scheduling and
 1373  content requirements, for all children in foster care who are
 1374  placed or visiting out-of-state.
 1375         (6) ACCOUNTABILITY.—The department shall develop outcome
 1376  measures for the program and other performance measures in order
 1377  to maintain oversight of the program. No later than January 31
 1378  of each year, the department shall prepare a report on the
 1379  outcome measures and the department’s oversight activities and
 1380  submit the report to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of
 1381  the House of Representatives, and the committees with
 1382  jurisdiction over issues relating to children and families in
 1383  the Senate and the House of Representatives. The report must
 1384  include:
 1385         (a)An analysis of performance on the outcome measures
 1386  developed under this section reported for each community-based
 1387  care lead agency and compared with the performance of the
 1388  department on the same measures.
 1389         (b)A description of the department’s oversight of the
 1390  program, including, by lead agency, any programmatic or fiscal
 1391  deficiencies found, corrective actions required, and current
 1392  status of compliance.
 1393         (c)Any rules adopted or proposed under this section since
 1394  the last report. For the purposes of the first report, any rules
 1395  adopted or proposed under this section must be included.
 1397  secretary shall establish the Independent Living Services
 1398  Advisory Council for the purpose of reviewing and making
 1399  recommendations concerning the implementation and operation of
 1400  the provisions of s. 39.6015 and the Road-to-Independence
 1401  Program. The advisory council shall function as specified in
 1402  this subsection until the Legislature determines that the
 1403  advisory council can no longer provide a valuable contribution
 1404  to the department’s efforts to achieve the goals of the services
 1405  designed to enable a young adult to live independently.
 1406         (a) The advisory council shall assess the implementation
 1407  and operation of the Road-to-Independence Program and advise the
 1408  department on actions that would improve the ability of these
 1409  Road-to-Independence Program services to meet the established
 1410  goals. The advisory council shall keep the department informed
 1411  of problems being experienced with the services, barriers to the
 1412  effective and efficient integration of services and support
 1413  across systems, and successes that the system of services has
 1414  achieved. The department shall consider, but is not required to
 1415  implement, the recommendations of the advisory council.
 1416         (b) The advisory council shall report to the secretary on
 1417  the status of the implementation of the Road-To-Independence
 1418  Program, efforts to publicize the availability of the Road-to
 1419  Independence Program, the success of the services, problems
 1420  identified, recommendations for department or legislative
 1421  action, and the department’s implementation of the
 1422  recommendations contained in the Independent Living Services
 1423  Integration Workgroup Report submitted to the appropriate
 1424  substantive committees of the Legislature by December 31, 2013.
 1425  The department shall submit a report by December 31 of each year
 1426  to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of
 1427  the House of Representatives which includes a summary of the
 1428  factors reported on by the council and identifies the
 1429  recommendations of the advisory council and either describes the
 1430  department’s actions to implement the recommendations or
 1431  provides the department’s rationale for not implementing the
 1432  recommendations.
 1433         (c) Members of the advisory council shall be appointed by
 1434  the secretary of the department. The membership of the advisory
 1435  council must include, at a minimum, representatives from the
 1436  headquarters and regional offices of the Department of Children
 1437  and Families, community-based care lead agencies, the Department
 1438  of Juvenile Justice, the Department of Economic Opportunity, the
 1439  Department of Education, the Agency for Health Care
 1440  Administration, the State Youth Advisory Board, Workforce
 1441  Florida, Inc., the Statewide Guardian Ad Litem Office, foster
 1442  parents, recipients of services and funding through the Road-to
 1443  Independence Program, and advocates for children in care. The
 1444  secretary shall determine the length of the term to be served by
 1445  each member appointed to the advisory council, which may not
 1446  exceed 4 years.
 1447         (d) The department shall provide administrative support to
 1448  the Independent Living Services Advisory Council to accomplish
 1449  its assigned tasks. The advisory council shall be afforded
 1450  access to all appropriate data from the department, each
 1451  community-based care lead agency, and other relevant agencies in
 1452  order to accomplish the tasks set forth in this section. The
 1453  data collected may not include any information that would
 1454  identify a specific child or young adult.
 1455         (e) The advisory council report required under paragraph
 1456  (b), must include an analysis of the system of independent
 1457  living transition services for young adults who reach 18 years
 1458  of age while in foster care before completing high school or its
 1459  equivalent and recommendations for department or legislative
 1460  action. The council shall assess and report on the most
 1461  effective method of assisting these young adults to complete
 1462  high school or its equivalent by examining the practices of
 1463  other states.
 1464         (8) PERSONAL PROPERTY.—Property acquired on behalf of a
 1465  young adult in this program shall become the personal property
 1466  of the young adult and is not subject to the requirements of
 1467  chapter 273 relating to state-owned tangible personal property.
 1468  Such property continues to be subject to applicable federal
 1469  laws.
 1471  The department or community-based care lead agency shall
 1472  document that eligible young adults are enrolled in Medicaid
 1473  under s. 409.903(4).
 1474         (10)RULEMAKING.—The department shall adopt rules to
 1475  administer this section.
 1476         Section 9. Paragraph (a) of subsection (3) of section
 1477  409.175, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
 1478         409.175 Licensure of family foster homes, residential
 1479  child-caring agencies, and child-placing agencies; public
 1480  records exemption.—
 1481         (3)(a) The total number of children placed in each family
 1482  foster home shall be based on the recommendation of the
 1483  department, or the community-based care lead agency where one is
 1484  providing foster care and related services, based on the needs
 1485  of each child in care, the ability of the foster family to meet
 1486  the individual needs of each child, including any adoptive or
 1487  biological children or young adults remaining in foster care
 1488  living in the home, the amount of safe physical plant space, the
 1489  ratio of active and appropriate adult supervision, and the
 1490  background, experience, and skill of the family foster parents.
 1491         Section 10. Subsection (4) of section 409.903, Florida
 1492  Statutes, is amended to read:
 1493         409.903 Mandatory payments for eligible persons.—The agency
 1494  shall make payments for medical assistance and related services
 1495  on behalf of the following persons who the department, or the
 1496  Social Security Administration by contract with the Department
 1497  of Children and Family Services, determines to be eligible,
 1498  subject to the income, assets, and categorical eligibility tests
 1499  set forth in federal and state law. Payment on behalf of these
 1500  Medicaid eligible persons is subject to the availability of
 1501  moneys and any limitations established by the General
 1502  Appropriations Act or chapter 216.
 1503         (4) A child who is eligible under Title IV-E of the Social
 1504  Security Act for subsidized board payments, foster care, or
 1505  adoption subsidies, and a child for whom the state has assumed
 1506  temporary or permanent responsibility and who does not qualify
 1507  for Title IV-E assistance but is in foster care, shelter or
 1508  emergency shelter care, or subsidized adoption. This category
 1509  includes a young adult who is eligible to receive services under
 1510  s. 409.1451(5), until the young adult reaches 21 years of age,
 1511  without regard to any income, resource, or categorical
 1512  eligibility test that is otherwise required. This category also
 1513  includes a person who as a child was eligible under Title IV-E
 1514  of the Social Security Act for foster care or the state-provided
 1515  foster care and who is a participant in the Road-to-Independence
 1516  Program.
 1517         Section 11. Effective July 1, 2013, the Department of
 1518  Children and Families shall work in collaboration with the Board
 1519  of Governors, the Florida College System, and the Department of
 1520  Education to help address the need for a comprehensive support
 1521  structure in the academic arena to assist children and young
 1522  adults who have been or continue to remain in the foster care
 1523  system in making the transition from a structured care system
 1524  into an independent living setting. The State University System
 1525  of Florida and the Florida College System shall provide
 1526  postsecondary educational campus coaching positions that will be
 1527  integrated into Florida College System institutions’ and
 1528  university institutions’ general support services structure to
 1529  provide current and former foster care children and young adults
 1530  with dedicated, on-campus support. The Department of Children
 1531  and Families has the sole discretion to determine which state
 1532  college or university will offer a campus coaching position,
 1533  based on departmental demographic data indicating greatest need.
 1534  These campus coaching positions shall be employees of the
 1535  selected educational institutions, focused on supporting
 1536  children and young adults who have been or continue to remain in
 1537  the foster care system. The Chancellors of the Florida College
 1538  System and the Board of Governors shall report annually to the
 1539  Department of Children and Families specific data, subject to
 1540  privacy laws, about the children and young adults served by the
 1541  campus coaches, including academic progress, retention rates for
 1542  students enrolled in the program, financial aid requested and
 1543  received, and information required by the National Youth in
 1544  Transition Database.
 1545         Section 12. Effective January 1, 2014, a child or young
 1546  adult who is a participant in the program shall transfer to the
 1547  program services provided in this act, and his or her monthly
 1548  stipend may not be reduced, the method of payment of the monthly
 1549  stipend may not be changed, and the young adult may not be
 1550  required to change his or her living arrangement. These
 1551  conditions shall remain in effect for a child or young adult
 1552  until he or she ceases to meet the eligibility requirements
 1553  under which he or she entered the Road-to-Independence Program.
 1554  A child or young adult applying or reapplying for the Road-to
 1555  Independence Program on or after January 1, 2014, may apply for
 1556  program services only as provided in this act.
 1557         Section 13. The Department of Children and Families in
 1558  collaboration with the Florida Foster and Adoptive Parent
 1559  Association and the Quality Parenting Initiative will design and
 1560  disseminate training for caregivers on skill building on the
 1561  life skills necessary for youth in the foster care system.
 1562         Section 14. This act shall take effect January 1, 2014.