Florida Senate - 2014                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. PCS (616958) for SB 1666
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                   Comm: WD            .                                
                  04/23/2014           .                                

       The Committee on Appropriations (Latvala) recommended the
    1         Senate Amendment 
    3         Delete lines 2583 - 3329
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 31. Section 409.988, Florida Statutes, is created
    6  to read:
    7         409.988 Lead agency duties; general provisions.—
    8         (1) DUTIES.—A lead agency:
    9         (a) Shall serve all children referred as a result of a
   10  report of abuse, neglect, or abandonment to the department’s
   11  central abuse hotline, including, but not limited to, children
   12  who are the subject of verified reports and children who are not
   13  the subject of verified reports but who are at moderate to
   14  extremely high risk of abuse, neglect, or abandonment, as
   15  determined using the department’s risk assessment instrument,
   16  regardless of the level of funding allocated to the lead agency
   17  by the state if all related funding is transferred. The lead
   18  agency may also serve children who have not been the subject of
   19  reports of abuse, neglect, or abandonment, but who are at risk
   20  of abuse, neglect, or abandonment, to prevent their entry into
   21  the child protection and child welfare system.
   22         (b) Shall provide accurate and timely information necessary
   23  for oversight by the department pursuant to the child welfare
   24  results-oriented accountability system required by s. 409.997.
   25         (c) Shall follow the financial guidelines developed by the
   26  department and provide for a regular independent auditing of its
   27  financial activities. Such financial information shall be
   28  provided to the community alliance established under s. 409.998.
   29         (d) Shall post on its website the current budget for the
   30  lead agency, including the salaries, bonuses, and other
   31  compensation paid, by position, for the agency’s chief executive
   32  officer, chief financial officer, chief operating officer, or
   33  their equivalents.
   34         (e) Shall prepare all judicial reviews, case plans, and
   35  other reports necessary for court hearings for dependent
   36  children, except those related to the investigation of a
   37  referral from the department’s child abuse hotline, and shall
   38  submit these documents timely to the department’s attorneys for
   39  review, any necessary revision, and filing with the court. The
   40  lead agency shall make the necessary staff available to
   41  department attorneys for preparation for dependency proceedings,
   42  and shall provide testimony and other evidence required for
   43  dependency court proceedings in coordination with the
   44  department’s attorneys. This duty does not include the
   45  preparation of legal pleadings or other legal documents, which
   46  remain the responsibility of the department.
   47         (f) Shall ensure that all individuals providing care for
   48  dependent children receive appropriate training and meet the
   49  minimum employment standards established by the department.
   50         (g) Shall maintain eligibility to receive all available
   51  federal child welfare funds.
   52         (h) Shall maintain written agreements with Healthy Families
   53  Florida lead entities in its service area pursuant to s. 409.153
   54  to promote cooperative planning for the provision of prevention
   55  and intervention services.
   56         (i) Shall comply with federal and state statutory
   57  requirements and agency rules in the provision of contractual
   58  services.
   59         (j) May subcontract for the provision of services required
   60  by the contract with the lead agency and the department;
   61  however, the subcontracts must specify how the provider will
   62  contribute to the lead agency meeting the performance standards
   63  established pursuant to the child welfare results-oriented
   64  accountability system required by s. 409.997. The lead agency
   65  shall directly provide no more than 35 percent of all child
   66  welfare services provided.
   67         (k) Shall post on its website by the 15th day of each month
   68  at a minimum the information contained in subparagraphs 1.-4.
   69  for the preceding calendar month regarding its case management
   70  services. The following information shall be reported by each
   71  individual subcontracted case management provider, by the lead
   72  agency, if the lead agency provides case management services,
   73  and in total for all case management services subcontracted or
   74  directly provided by the lead agency:
   75         1. The average caseload of case managers, including only
   76  filled positions;
   77         2. The turnover rate for case managers and case management
   78  supervisors for the previous 12 months;
   79         3. The percentage of required home visits completed; and
   80         4. Performance on outcome measures required pursuant to s.
   81  409.997 for the previous 12 months.
   82         (2) LICENSURE.—
   83         (a) A lead agency must be licensed as a child-caring or
   84  child-placing agency by the department under this chapter.
   85         (b) Each foster home, therapeutic foster home, emergency
   86  shelter, or other placement facility operated by the lead agency
   87  must be licensed by the department under chapter 402 or this
   88  chapter.
   89         (c) Substitute care providers who are licensed under s.
   90  409.175 and who have contracted with a lead agency are also
   91  authorized to provide registered or licensed family day care
   92  under s. 402.313 if such care is consistent with federal law and
   93  if the home has met the requirements of s. 402.313.
   94         (d) In order to eliminate or reduce the number of duplicate
   95  inspections by various program offices, the department shall
   96  coordinate inspections required for licensure of agencies under
   97  this subsection.
   98         (e) The department may adopt rules to administer this
   99  subsection.
  100         (3) SERVICES.—A lead agency must serve dependent children
  101  through services that are supported by research or are best
  102  child welfare practices. The agency may also provide innovative
  103  services, including, but not limited to, family-centered,
  104  cognitive-behavioral, trauma-informed interventions designed to
  105  mitigate out-of-home placements.
  107         (a) If a lead agency or other provider has accepted case
  108  management responsibilities for a child who is sheltered or
  109  found to be dependent and who is assigned to the care of the
  110  lead agency or other provider, the agency or provider may act as
  111  the child’s guardian for the purpose of registering the child in
  112  school if a parent or guardian of the child is unavailable and
  113  his or her whereabouts cannot reasonably be ascertained.
  114         (b) The lead agency or other provider may also seek
  115  emergency medical attention for the child, but only if a parent
  116  or guardian of the child is unavailable, the parent or
  117  guardian’s whereabouts cannot reasonably be ascertained, and a
  118  court order for such emergency medical services cannot be
  119  obtained because of the severity of the emergency or because it
  120  is after normal working hours.
  121         (c) A lead agency or other provider may not consent to
  122  sterilization, abortion, or termination of life support.
  123         (d) If a child’s parents’ rights have been terminated, the
  124  lead agency shall act as guardian of the child in all
  125  circumstances.
  126         Section 32. Section 409.990, Florida Statutes, is created
  127  to read:
  128         409.990 Funding for lead agencies.—A contract established
  129  between the department and a lead agency must be funded by a
  130  grant of general revenue, other applicable state funds, or
  131  applicable federal funding sources.
  132         (1) The method of payment for a fixed-price contract with a
  133  lead agency must provide for a 2-month advance payment at the
  134  beginning of each fiscal year and equal monthly payments
  135  thereafter.
  136         (2) Notwithstanding s. 215.425, all documented federal
  137  funds earned for the current fiscal year by the department and
  138  lead agencies which exceed the amount appropriated by the
  139  Legislature shall be distributed to all entities that
  140  contributed to the excess earnings based on a schedule and
  141  methodology developed by the department and approved by the
  142  Executive Office of the Governor.
  143         (a) Distribution shall be pro rata, based on total
  144  earnings, and shall be made only to those entities that
  145  contributed to excess earnings.
  146         (b) Excess earnings of lead agencies shall be used only in
  147  the service district in which they were earned.
  148         (c) Additional state funds appropriated by the Legislature
  149  for lead agencies or made available pursuant to the budgetary
  150  amendment process described in s. 216.177 shall be transferred
  151  to the lead agencies.
  152         (d) The department shall amend a lead agency’s contract to
  153  permit expenditure of the funds.
  154         (3) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section,
  155  the amount of the annual contract for a lead agency may be
  156  increased by excess federal funds earned in accordance with s.
  157  216.181(11).
  158         (4) Each contract with a lead agency shall provide for the
  159  payment by the department to the lead agency of a reasonable
  160  administrative cost in addition to funding for the provision of
  161  services.
  162         (5) A lead agency may carry forward documented unexpended
  163  state funds from one fiscal year to the next; however, the
  164  cumulative amount carried forward may not exceed 8 percent of
  165  the total contract. Any unexpended state funds in excess of that
  166  percentage must be returned to the department.
  167         (a) The funds carried forward may not be used in any way
  168  that would create increased recurring future obligations, and
  169  such funds may not be used for any type of program or service
  170  that is not currently authorized by the existing contract with
  171  the department.
  172         (b) Expenditures of funds carried forward must be
  173  separately reported to the department.
  174         (c) Any unexpended funds that remain at the end of the
  175  contract period shall be returned to the department.
  176         (d) Funds carried forward may be retained through any
  177  contract renewals and any new procurements as long as the same
  178  lead agency is retained by the department.
  179         (6) It is the intent of the Legislature to improve services
  180  and local participation in community-based care initiatives by
  181  fostering community support and providing enhanced prevention
  182  and in-home services, thereby reducing the risk otherwise faced
  183  by lead agencies. A community partnership matching grant program
  184  is established and shall be operated by the department to
  185  encourage local participation in community-based care for
  186  children in the child welfare system. A children’s services
  187  council or another local entity that makes a financial
  188  commitment to a community-based care lead agency may be eligible
  189  for a matching grant. The total amount of the local contribution
  190  may be matched on a one-to-one basis up to a maximum annual
  191  amount of $500,000 per lead agency. Awarded matching grant funds
  192  may be used for any prevention or in-home services that can be
  193  reasonably expected to reduce the number of children entering
  194  the child welfare system. Funding available for the matching
  195  grant program is subject to legislative appropriation of
  196  nonrecurring funds provided for this purpose.
  197         (7)(a) The department, in consultation with the Florida
  198  Coalition for Children, Inc., shall develop and implement a
  199  community-based care risk pool initiative to mitigate the
  200  financial risk to eligible lead agencies. This initiative must
  201  include:
  202         1. A risk pool application and protocol developed by the
  203  department which outlines submission criteria, including, but
  204  not limited to, financial and program management, descriptive
  205  data requirements, and timeframes for submission of
  206  applications. Requests for funding from risk pool applicants
  207  must be based on relevant and verifiable service trends and
  208  changes that have occurred during the current fiscal year. The
  209  application must confirm that expenditure of approved risk pool
  210  funds by the lead agency will be completed within the current
  211  fiscal year.
  212         2. A risk pool peer review committee, appointed by the
  213  secretary and consisting of department staff and representatives
  214  from at least three nonapplicant lead agencies, which reviews
  215  and assesses all risk pool applications. Upon completion of each
  216  application review, the peer review committee shall report its
  217  findings and recommendations to the secretary, providing, at a
  218  minimum, the following information:
  219         a. Justification for the specific funding amount required
  220  by the risk pool applicant based on the current year’s service
  221  trend data, including validation that the applicant’s financial
  222  need was caused by circumstances beyond the control of the lead
  223  agency management;
  224         b. Verification that the proposed use of risk pool funds
  225  meets at least one of the purposes specified in paragraph (c);
  226  and
  227         c. Evidence of technical assistance provided in an effort
  228  to avoid the need to access the risk pool and recommendations
  229  for technical assistance to the lead agency to ensure that risk
  230  pool funds are expended effectively and that the agency’s need
  231  for future risk pool funding is diminished.
  232         (b) Upon approval by the secretary of a risk pool
  233  application, the department may request funds from the risk pool
  234  in accordance with s. 216.181(6)(a).
  235         (c) The purposes for which the community-based care risk
  236  pool shall be used include:
  237         1. Significant changes in the number or composition of
  238  clients eligible to receive services.
  239         2. Significant changes in the services that are eligible
  240  for reimbursement.
  241         3. Continuity of care in the event of failure,
  242  discontinuance of service, or financial misconduct by a lead
  243  agency.
  244         4. Significant changes in the mix of available funds.
  245         (d) The department may also request in its annual
  246  legislative budget request, and the Governor may recommend, that
  247  the funding necessary to effect paragraph (c) be appropriated to
  248  the department. In addition, the department may request the
  249  allocation of funds from the community-based care risk pool in
  250  accordance with s. 216.181(6)(a). Funds from the pool may be
  251  used to match available federal dollars.
  252         1. Such funds shall constitute partial security for
  253  contract performance by lead agencies and shall be used to
  254  offset the need for a performance bond.
  255         2. The department may separately require a bond to mitigate
  256  the financial consequences of potential acts of malfeasance or
  257  misfeasance or criminal violations by the service provider.
  258         Section 33. Section 409.16713, Florida Statutes, is
  259  transferred, renumbered as section 409.991, Florida Statutes,
  260  and paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of that section is amended
  261  to read:
  262         409.991 409.16713 Allocation of funds for community-based
  263  care lead agencies.—
  264         (1) As used in this section, the term:
  265         (a) “Core services funding” means all funds allocated to
  266  community-based care lead agencies operating under contract with
  267  the department pursuant to s. 409.987 s. 409.1671, with the
  268  following exceptions:
  269         1. Funds appropriated for independent living;
  270         2. Funds appropriated for maintenance adoption subsidies;
  271         3. Funds allocated by the department for protective
  272  investigations training;
  273         4. Nonrecurring funds;
  274         5. Designated mental health wrap-around services funds; and
  275         6. Funds for special projects for a designated community
  276  based care lead agency.
  277         Section 34. Section 409.992, Florida Statutes, is created
  278  to read:
  279         409.992 Lead agency expenditures.—
  280         (1) The procurement of commodities or contractual services
  281  by lead agencies shall be governed by the financial guidelines
  282  developed by the department and must comply with applicable
  283  state and federal law and follow good business practices.
  284  Pursuant to s. 11.45, the Auditor General may provide technical
  285  advice in the development of the financial guidelines.
  286         (2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a
  287  community-based care lead agency may make expenditures for staff
  288  cellular telephone allowances, contracts requiring deferred
  289  payments and maintenance agreements, security deposits for
  290  office leases, related agency professional membership dues other
  291  than personal professional membership dues, promotional
  292  materials, and grant writing services. Expenditures for food and
  293  refreshments, other than those provided to clients in the care
  294  of the agency or to foster parents, adoptive parents, and
  295  caseworkers during training sessions, are not allowable.
  296         (3) A lead community-based care agency and its
  297  subcontractors are exempt from state travel policies as provided
  298  in s. 112.061(3)(a) for their travel expenses incurred in order
  299  to comply with the requirements of this section.
  300         Section 35. Section 409.993, Florida Statutes, is created
  301  to read:
  302         409.993 Lead agencies and subcontractor liability.—
  303         (1) FINDINGS.—
  304         (a) The Legislature finds that the state has traditionally
  305  provided foster care services to children who are the
  306  responsibility of the state. As such, foster children have not
  307  had the right to recover for injuries beyond the limitations
  308  specified in s. 768.28. The Legislature has determined that
  309  foster care and related services should be outsourced pursuant
  310  to this section and that the provision of such services is of
  311  paramount importance to the state. The purpose of such
  312  outsourcing is to increase the level of safety, security, and
  313  stability of children who are or become the responsibility of
  314  the state. One of the components necessary to secure a safe and
  315  stable environment for such children is the requirement that
  316  private providers maintain liability insurance. As such,
  317  insurance needs to be available and remain available to
  318  nongovernmental foster care and related services providers
  319  without the resources of such providers being significantly
  320  reduced by the cost of maintaining such insurance.
  321         (b) The Legislature further finds that, by requiring the
  322  following minimum levels of insurance, children in outsourced
  323  foster care and related services will gain increased protection
  324  and rights of recovery in the event of injury than currently
  325  provided in s. 768.28.
  326         (2) LEAD AGENCY LIABILITY.—
  327         (a) Other than an entity to which s. 768.28 applies, an
  328  eligible community-based care lead agency, or its employees or
  329  officers, except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b), shall,
  330  as a part of its contract, obtain general liability insurance
  331  coverage sufficient to pay any successful tort action up to the
  332  liability caps established in this subsection. In a tort action
  333  brought against such an eligible community-based care lead
  334  agency or employee, net economic damages shall be limited to $2
  335  million per liability claim and $200,000 per automobile claim,
  336  including, but not limited to, past and future medical expenses,
  337  wage loss, and loss of earning capacity, offset by any
  338  collateral source payment paid or payable. In any tort action
  339  brought against such an eligible community-based care lead
  340  agency, noneconomic damages shall be limited to $400,000 per
  341  claim. A claims bill may be brought on behalf of a claimant
  342  pursuant to s. 768.28 for any amount exceeding the limits
  343  specified in this paragraph. Any offset of collateral source
  344  payments made as of the date of the settlement or judgment shall
  345  be in accordance with s. 768.76. The community-based care lead
  346  agency is not liable in tort for the acts or omissions of its
  347  subcontractors or the officers, agents, or employees of its
  348  subcontractors.
  349         (b) The liability of an eligible community-based care lead
  350  agency described in this section shall be exclusive and in place
  351  of all other liability of such lead agency. The same immunities
  352  from liability enjoyed by such lead agencies shall extend to
  353  each employee of the lead agency if he or she is acting in
  354  furtherance of the lead agency’s business, including the
  355  transportation of clients served, as described in this
  356  subsection, in privately owned vehicles. Such immunities are not
  357  applicable to a lead agency or an employee who acts in a
  358  culpably negligent manner or with willful and wanton disregard
  359  or unprovoked physical aggression if such acts result in injury
  360  or death or such acts proximately cause such injury or death.
  361  Such immunities are not applicable to employees of the same lead
  362  agency when each is operating in the furtherance of the agency’s
  363  business, but they are assigned primarily to unrelated work
  364  within private or public employment. The same immunity
  365  provisions enjoyed by a lead agency also apply to any sole
  366  proprietor, partner, corporate officer or director, supervisor,
  367  or other person who, in the course and scope of his or her
  368  duties, acts in a managerial or policymaking capacity and the
  369  conduct that caused the alleged injury arose within the course
  370  and scope of those managerial or policymaking duties. As used in
  371  this subsection and subsection (3), the term “culpably negligent
  372  manner” means reckless indifference or grossly careless
  373  disregard of human life.
  375         (a) A subcontractor of an eligible community-based care
  376  lead agency that is a direct provider of foster care and related
  377  services to children and families, and its employees or
  378  officers, except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b), must,
  379  as a part of its contract, obtain general liability insurance
  380  coverage sufficient to pay any successful tort action up to the
  381  liability caps established in this subsection. In a tort action
  382  brought against such subcontractor or employee, net economic
  383  damages shall be limited to $2 million per liability claim and
  384  $200,000 per automobile claim, including, but not limited to,
  385  past and future medical expenses, wage loss, and loss of earning
  386  capacity, offset by any collateral source payment paid or
  387  payable. In a tort action brought against such subcontractor,
  388  noneconomic damages shall be limited to $400,000 per claim. A
  389  claims bill may be brought on behalf of a claimant pursuant to
  390  s. 768.28 for any amount exceeding the limits specified in this
  391  paragraph. Any offset of collateral source payments made as of
  392  the date of the settlement or judgment shall be in accordance
  393  with s. 768.76.
  394         (b) The liability of a subcontractor of an eligible
  395  community-based care lead agency that is a direct provider of
  396  foster care and related services as described in this section is
  397  exclusive and in place of all other liability of such provider.
  398  The same immunities from liability enjoyed by such subcontractor
  399  provider extend to each employee of the subcontractor when such
  400  employee is acting in furtherance of the subcontractor’s
  401  business, including the transportation of clients served, as
  402  described in this subsection, in privately owned vehicles. Such
  403  immunities are not applicable to a subcontractor or an employee
  404  who acts in a culpably negligent manner or with willful and
  405  wanton disregard or unprovoked physical aggression if such acts
  406  result in injury or death or if such acts proximately cause such
  407  injury or death. Such immunities are not applicable to employees
  408  of the same subcontractor who are operating in the furtherance
  409  of the subcontractor’s business but are assigned primarily to
  410  unrelated works within private or public employment. The same
  411  immunity provisions enjoyed by a subcontractor also apply to any
  412  sole proprietor, partner, corporate officer or director,
  413  supervisor, or other person who, in the course and scope of his
  414  or her duties, acts in a managerial or policymaking capacity and
  415  the conduct that caused the alleged injury arose within the
  416  course and scope of those managerial or policymaking duties.
  417         (4) LIMITATIONS ON DAMAGES.—The Legislature is cognizant of
  418  the increasing costs of goods and services each year and
  419  recognizes that fixing a set amount of compensation has the
  420  effect of a reduction in compensation each year. Accordingly,
  421  the conditional limitations on damages in this section shall be
  422  increased at the rate of 5 percent each year, prorated from July
  423  1, 2014, to the date at which damages subject to such
  424  limitations are awarded by final judgment or settlement.
  425         Section 36. Section 409.1675, Florida Statutes, is
  426  transferred, renumbered as section 409.994, Florida Statutes,
  427  and amended to read:
  428         409.994 409.1675Lead Community-based care lead agencies
  429  providers; receivership.—
  430         (1) The Department of Children and Families Family Services
  431  may petition a court of competent jurisdiction for the
  432  appointment of a receiver for a lead community-based care lead
  433  agency provider established pursuant to s. 409.987 if s.
  434  409.1671 when any of the following conditions exist:
  435         (a) The lead agency community-based provider is operating
  436  without a license as a child-placing agency.
  437         (b) The lead agency community-based provider has given less
  438  than 120 days’ notice of its intent to cease operations, and
  439  arrangements have not been made for another lead agency
  440  community-based provider or for the department to continue the
  441  uninterrupted provision of services.
  442         (c) The department determines that conditions exist in the
  443  lead agency community-based provider which present an imminent
  444  danger to the health, safety, or welfare of the dependent
  445  children under that agency’s provider’s care or supervision.
  446  Whenever possible, the department shall make a reasonable effort
  447  to facilitate the continued operation of the program.
  448         (d) The lead agency community-based provider cannot meet
  449  its current financial obligations to its employees, contractors,
  450  or foster parents. Issuance of bad checks or the existence of
  451  delinquent obligations for payment of salaries, utilities, or
  452  invoices for essential services or commodities shall constitute
  453  prima facie evidence that the lead agency community-based
  454  provider lacks the financial ability to meet its financial
  455  obligations.
  456         (2)(a) The petition for receivership shall take precedence
  457  over other court business unless the court determines that some
  458  other pending proceeding, having statutory precedence, has
  459  priority.
  460         (b) A hearing shall be conducted within 5 days after the
  461  filing of the petition, at which time interested parties shall
  462  have the opportunity to present evidence as to whether a
  463  receiver should be appointed. The department shall give
  464  reasonable notice of the hearing on the petition to the lead
  465  agency community-based provider.
  466         (c) The court shall grant the petition upon finding that
  467  one or more of the conditions in subsection (1) exists and the
  468  continued existence of the condition or conditions jeopardizes
  469  the health, safety, or welfare of dependent children. A receiver
  470  may be appointed ex parte when the court determines that one or
  471  more of the conditions in subsection (1) exists. After such
  472  finding, the court may appoint any person, including an employee
  473  of the department who is qualified by education, training, or
  474  experience to carry out the duties of the receiver pursuant to
  475  this section, except that the court may shall not appoint any
  476  member of the governing board or any officer of the lead agency
  477  community-based provider. The receiver may be selected from a
  478  list of persons qualified to act as receivers which is developed
  479  by the department and presented to the court with each petition
  480  of receivership.
  481         (d) A receiver may be appointed for up to 90 days, and the
  482  department may petition the court for additional 30-day
  483  extensions. Sixty days after appointment of a receiver and every
  484  30 days thereafter until the receivership is terminated, the
  485  department shall submit to the court an assessment of the lead
  486  agency’s community-based provider’s ability to ensure the
  487  health, safety, and welfare of the dependent children under its
  488  supervision.
  489         (3) The receiver shall take such steps as are reasonably
  490  necessary to ensure the continued health, safety, and welfare of
  491  the dependent children under the supervision of the lead agency
  492  community-based provider and shall exercise those powers and
  493  perform those duties set out by the court, including, but not
  494  limited to:
  495         (a) Taking such action as is reasonably necessary to
  496  protect or conserve the assets or property of the lead agency
  497  community-based provider. The receiver may use the assets and
  498  property and any proceeds from any transfer thereof only in the
  499  performance of the powers and duties provided set forth in this
  500  section and by order of the court.
  501         (b) Using the assets of the lead agency community-based
  502  provider in the provision of care and services to dependent
  503  children.
  504         (c) Entering into contracts and hiring agents and employees
  505  to carry out the powers and duties of the receiver under this
  506  section.
  507         (d) Having full power to direct, manage, hire, and
  508  discharge employees of the lead agency community-based provider.
  509  The receiver shall hire and pay new employees at the rate of
  510  compensation, including benefits, approved by the court.
  511         (e) Honoring all leases, mortgages, and contractual
  512  obligations of the lead agency community-based provider, but
  513  only to the extent of payments that become due during the period
  514  of the receivership.
  515         (4)(a) The receiver shall deposit funds received in a
  516  separate account and shall use this account for all
  517  disbursements.
  518         (b) A payment to the receiver of any sum owing to the lead
  519  agency community-based provider shall discharge any obligation
  520  to the provider to the extent of the payment.
  521         (5) A receiver may petition the court for temporary relief
  522  from obligations entered into by the lead agency community-based
  523  provider if the rent, price, or rate of interest required to be
  524  paid under the agreement was substantially in excess of a
  525  reasonable rent, price, or rate of interest at the time the
  526  contract was entered into, or if any material provision of the
  527  agreement was unreasonable when compared to contracts negotiated
  528  under similar conditions. Any relief in this form provided by
  529  the court shall be limited to the life of the receivership,
  530  unless otherwise determined by the court.
  531         (6) The court shall set the compensation of the receiver,
  532  which shall be considered a necessary expense of a receivership
  533  and may grant to the receiver such other authority necessary to
  534  ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the children served.
  535         (7) A receiver may be held liable in a personal capacity
  536  only for the receiver’s own gross negligence, intentional acts,
  537  or breaches of fiduciary duty. This section may shall not be
  538  interpreted to be a waiver of sovereign immunity should the
  539  department be appointed receiver.
  540         (8) If the receiver is not the department, the court may
  541  require a receiver to post a bond to ensure the faithful
  542  performance of these duties.
  543         (9) The court may terminate a receivership when:
  544         (a) The court determines that the receivership is no longer
  545  necessary because the conditions that gave rise to the
  546  receivership no longer exist; or
  547         (b) The department has entered into a contract with a new
  548  lead agency community-based provider pursuant to s. 409.987 s.
  549  409.1671, and that contractor is ready and able to assume the
  550  duties of the previous lead agency provider.
  551         (10) Within 30 days after the termination, unless this time
  552  period is extended by the court, the receiver shall give the
  553  court a complete accounting of all property of which the
  554  receiver has taken possession, of all funds collected and
  555  disbursed, and of the expenses of the receivership.
  556         (11) Nothing in This section does not shall be construed to
  557  relieve any employee of the lead agency community-based provider
  558  placed in receivership of any civil or criminal liability
  559  incurred, or any duty imposed by law, by reason of acts or
  560  omissions of the employee before prior to the appointment of a
  561  receiver, and; nor shall anything contained in this section does
  562  not be construed to suspend during the receivership any
  563  obligation of the employee for payment of taxes or other
  564  operating or maintenance expenses of the lead agency community
  565  based provider or for the payment of mortgages or liens. The
  566  lead agency community-based provider shall retain the right to
  567  sell or mortgage any facility under receivership, subject to the
  568  prior approval of the court that ordered the receivership.
  569         Section 37. Section 409.996, Florida Statutes, is created
  570  to read:
  571         409.996 Duties of the Department of Children and Families.
  572  The department shall contract for the delivery, administration,
  573  or management of care for children in the child protection and
  574  child welfare system. In doing so, the department retains
  575  responsibility for the quality of contracted services and
  576  programs and shall ensure that services are delivered in
  577  accordance with applicable federal and state statutes and
  578  regulations.
  579         (1) The department shall enter into contracts with lead
  580  agencies for the performance of the duties by the lead agencies
  581  pursuant to s. 409.988. At a minimum, the contracts must:
  582         (a) Provide for the services needed to accomplish the
  583  duties established in s. 409.988 and provide information to the
  584  department which is necessary to meet the requirements for a
  585  quality assurance program pursuant to subsection (18) and the
  586  child welfare results-oriented accountability system pursuant to
  587  s. 409.997.
  588         (b) Provide for graduated penalties for failure to comply
  589  with contract terms. Such penalties may include financial
  590  penalties, enhanced monitoring and reporting, corrective action
  591  plans, and early termination of contracts or other appropriate
  592  action to ensure contract compliance.
  593         (c) Ensure that the lead agency shall furnish current and
  594  accurate information on its activities in all cases in client
  595  case records in the state’s statewide automated child welfare
  596  information system.
  597         (d) Specify the procedures to be used by the parties to
  598  resolve differences in interpreting the contract or to resolve
  599  disputes as to the adequacy of the parties’ compliance with
  600  their respective obligations under the contract.
  601         (2) The department must adopt written policies and
  602  procedures for monitoring the contract for delivery of services
  603  by lead agencies which must be posted on the department’s
  604  website. These policies and procedures must, at a minimum,
  605  address the evaluation of fiscal accountability and program
  606  operations, including provider achievement of performance
  607  standards, provider monitoring of subcontractors, and timely
  608  followup of corrective actions for significant monitoring
  609  findings related to providers and subcontractors. These policies
  610  and procedures must also include provisions for reducing the
  611  duplication of the department’s program monitoring activities
  612  both internally and with other agencies, to the extent possible.
  613  The department’s written procedures must ensure that the written
  614  findings, conclusions, and recommendations from monitoring the
  615  contract for services of lead agencies are communicated to the
  616  director of the provider agency and the community alliance as
  617  expeditiously as possible.
  618         (3) The department shall receive federal and state funds as
  619  appropriated for the operation of the child welfare system and
  620  shall transmit these funds to the lead agencies as agreed to in
  621  the contract. The department retains responsibility for the
  622  appropriate spending of these funds. The department shall
  623  monitor lead agencies to assess compliance with the financial
  624  guidelines established pursuant to s. 409.992 and other
  625  applicable state and federal laws.
  626         (4) The department shall provide technical assistance and
  627  consultation to lead agencies in the provision of care to
  628  children in the child protection and child welfare system.
  629         (5) The department retains the responsibility for the
  630  review, approval or denial, and issuances of all foster home
  631  licenses.
  632         (6) The department shall process all applications submitted
  633  by lead agencies for the Interstate Compact on the Placement of
  634  Children and the Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical
  635  Assistance.
  636         (7) The department shall assist lead agencies with access
  637  to and coordination with other service programs within the
  638  department.
  639         (8) The department shall determine Medicaid eligibility for
  640  all referred children and shall coordinate services with the
  641  Agency for Health Care Administration.
  642         (9) The department shall develop, in cooperation with the
  643  lead agencies and the third-party credentialing entity approved
  644  pursuant to s. 402.40(3), a standardized competency-based
  645  curriculum for certification training for child protection
  646  staff.
  647         (10) The department shall maintain the statewide adoptions
  648  website and provide information and training to the lead
  649  agencies relating to the website.
  650         (11) The department shall provide training and assistance
  651  to lead agencies regarding the responsibility of lead agencies
  652  relating to children receiving supplemental security income,
  653  social security, railroad retirement, or veterans’ benefits.
  654         (12) With the assistance of a lead agency, the department
  655  shall develop and implement statewide and local interagency
  656  agreements needed to coordinate services for children and
  657  parents involved in the child welfare system who are also
  658  involved with the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, the
  659  Department of Juvenile Justice, the Department of Education, the
  660  Department of Health, and other governmental organizations that
  661  share responsibilities for children or parents in the child
  662  welfare system.
  663         (13) With the assistance of a lead agency, the department
  664  shall develop and implement a working agreement between the lead
  665  agency and the substance abuse and mental health managing entity
  666  to integrate services and supports for children and parents
  667  serviced in the child welfare system.
  668         (14) The department shall work with the Agency for Health
  669  Care Administration to provide each Medicaid-eligible child with
  670  early and periodic screening, diagnosis, and treatment,
  671  including 72-hour screening, periodic child health checkups, and
  672  prescribed followup for ordered services, including, but not
  673  limited to, medical, dental, and vision care.
  674         (15) The department shall assist lead agencies in
  675  developing an array of services in compliance with the Title IV
  676  E waiver and shall monitor the provision of such services.
  677         (16) The department shall provide a mechanism to allow lead
  678  agencies to request a waiver of department policies and
  679  procedures that create inefficiencies or inhibit the performance
  680  of the lead agency’s duties.
  681         (17) The department shall directly or through contract
  682  provide attorneys to prepare and present cases in dependency
  683  court and shall ensure that the court is provided with adequate
  684  information for informed decisionmaking in dependency cases,
  685  including a fact sheet for each case which lists the names and
  686  contact information for any child protective investigator, child
  687  protective investigation supervisor, case manager, and case
  688  manager supervisor, and the regional department official
  689  responsible for the lead agency contract. For the Sixth Judicial
  690  Circuit, the department shall contract with the state attorney
  691  for the provision of these services.
  692         (18) The department, in consultation with lead agencies,
  693  shall establish a quality assurance program for contracted
  694  services to dependent children. The quality assurance program
  695  shall be based on standards established by federal and state law
  696  and national accrediting organizations.
  697         (a) The department must evaluate each lead agency under
  698  contract at least annually. These evaluations shall cover the
  699  programmatic, operational, and fiscal operations of the lead
  700  agency and must be consistent with the child welfare results
  701  oriented accountability system required by s. 409.997. The
  702  department must consult with dependency judges in the circuit or
  703  circuits served by the lead agency on the performance of the
  704  lead agency.
  705         (b) The department and each lead agency shall monitor out
  706  of-home placements, including the extent to which sibling groups
  707  are placed together or provisions to provide visitation and
  708  other contacts if siblings are separated. The data shall
  709  identify reasons for sibling separation. Information related to
  710  sibling placement shall be incorporated into the results
  711  oriented accountability system required pursuant to s. 409.997
  712  and in the evaluation of the outcome specified in s.
  713  409.986(2)(e). The information related to sibling placement
  714  shall also be made available to the institute established
  715  pursuant s. 1004.615 for use in assessing the performance of
  716  child welfare services in relation to the outcome specified in
  717  s. 409.986(2)(e).
  718         (c)The department shall, to the extent possible, use
  719  independent financial audits provided by the lead agency to
  720  eliminate or reduce the ongoing contract and administrative
  721  reviews conducted by the department. If the department
  722  determines that such independent financial audits are
  723  inadequate, other audits, as necessary, may be conducted by the
  724  department. This paragraph does not abrogate the requirements of
  725  s. 215.97.
  726         (d) The department may suggest additional items to be
  727  included in such independent financial audits to meet the
  728  department’s needs.
  729         (e) The department may outsource programmatic,
  730  administrative, or fiscal monitoring oversight of lead agencies.
  731         (f) A lead agency must assure that all subcontractors are
  732  subject to the same quality assurance activities as the lead
  733  agency.
  734         (19) The department and its attorneys have the
  735  responsibility to ensure that the court is fully informed about
  736  issues before it, to make recommendations to the court, and to
  737  present competent evidence, including testimony by the
  738  department’s employees, contractors, and subcontractors, as well
  739  as other individuals, to support all recommendations made to the
  740  court. The department’s attorneys shall coordinate lead agency
  741  or subcontractor staff to ensure that dependency cases are
  742  presented appropriately to the court.