Florida Senate - 2016                                    SB 1102
       By Senator Brandes
       22-00509B-16                                          20161102__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the temporary care of a child;
    3         amending s. 39.302, F.S.; authorizing the Department
    4         of Children and Families to provide parents or
    5         guardians with certain information following a
    6         protective investigation not resulting in an out-of
    7         home placement of the child; amending s. 409.175,
    8         F.S.; revising a term; revising applicability to
    9         include a certain agent caring for children; creating
   10         s. 709.2209, F.S.; providing legislative findings;
   11         defining terms; authorizing a parent, legal guardian,
   12         or legal custodian of a child to establish a power of
   13         attorney for temporary delegation of care of a child
   14         as an alternative to guardianship under certain
   15         circumstances; prohibiting the delegation of certain
   16         powers to an agent; providing that the temporary care
   17         period may not exceed a specified timeframe; providing
   18         that a new power of attorney must be executed for each
   19         additional year that delegation of care is extended;
   20         providing that the delegation of powers does not
   21         change or modify certain parental or legal rights,
   22         obligations, or authority established by court order
   23         or deprive parents, guardians, or custodians of such
   24         rights; providing that the power of attorney is
   25         revocable subject to certain requirements; requiring
   26         the agent to exercise parental or legal authority on a
   27         continuous basis without compensation; providing that
   28         a delegation of powers is not considered to be
   29         placement of a child in foster care, and the parties
   30         are not subject to certain licensing laws or agency
   31         rules; providing that the execution of a power of
   32         attorney does not constitute abandonment, abuse, or
   33         neglect, subject to certain requirements; authorizing
   34         a qualified nonprofit organization to assist a parent,
   35         legal guardian, or legal custodian in delegating
   36         parental or legal authority; providing that a
   37         qualified nonprofit organization is not considered a
   38         child-placing agency and is not required to be
   39         licensed as such unless it pursues certain child
   40         placing activities; prescribing duties to the
   41         qualified nonprofit organization; providing
   42         requirements for a power of attorney; requiring a
   43         notary public to acknowledge a power of attorney for
   44         it to be valid and to verify any required background
   45         checks; providing an effective date.
   47  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   49         Section 1. Present subsection (7) of section 39.302,
   50  Florida Statutes, is redesignated as subsection (8), and a new
   51  subsection (7) is added to that section, to read:
   52         39.302 Protective investigations of institutional child
   53  abuse, abandonment, or neglect.—
   54         (7) When an investigation of institutional abuse, neglect,
   55  or abandonment does not result in an out-of-home placement, the
   56  department may provide information to the parent, legal
   57  guardian, or legal custodian about community service programs
   58  that provide respite care, voluntary guardianship, or other
   59  support services for families in crisis.
   60         Section 2. Paragraph (e) of subsection (2) and paragraph
   61  (d) of subsection (4) of section 409.175, Florida Statutes, are
   62  amended to read:
   63         409.175 Licensure of family foster homes, residential
   64  child-caring agencies, and child-placing agencies; public
   65  records exemption.—
   66         (2) As used in this section, the term:
   67         (e) “Family foster home” means a private residence in which
   68  children who are unattended by a parent or legal guardian are
   69  provided 24-hour care. Such homes include emergency shelter
   70  family homes and specialized foster homes for children with
   71  special needs. A person who cares for a child of a friend for a
   72  period not to exceed 90 days, a relative who cares for a child
   73  and does not receive reimbursement for such care from the state
   74  or federal government, or an adoptive home that which has been
   75  approved by the department or by a licensed child-placing agency
   76  for children placed for adoption, or an agent caring for
   77  children under s. 709.2209 is not considered a family foster
   78  home.
   79         (4)
   80         (d) This license requirement does not apply to boarding
   81  schools, recreation and summer camps, nursing homes, hospitals,
   82  or to persons who care for children of friends or neighbors in
   83  their homes for periods not to exceed 90 days, or to persons who
   84  have received a child for adoption from a licensed child-placing
   85  agency, or agents caring for children under s. 709.2209.
   86         Section 3. Section 709.2209, Florida Statutes, is created
   87  to read:
   88         709.2209Power of attorney for temporary care of child.—
   89         (1) The Legislature finds that in circumstances in which a
   90  parent or legal guardian of a child is temporarily unable to
   91  provide care for the child, but does not need the full support
   92  of the child welfare system, a less intrusive alternative to
   93  supervision by the Department of Children and Families and the
   94  dependency court under chapter 39 should be available. In such
   95  circumstances, the parent or legal guardian should be able to
   96  delegate temporary care of the child to another natural person
   97  through a properly executed power of attorney.
   98         (2) For the purposes of this section, the term:
   99         (a)“Agent” means a natural person granted authority to act
  100  for a principal under a power of attorney, whether denominated
  101  an agent, an attorney in fact, or otherwise. The term includes
  102  an original agent and a co-agent.
  103         (b) “Department” means the Department of Children and
  104  Families.
  105         (c) “Qualified nonprofit organization” means a charity or
  106  religious institution qualified under s. 501(c)(3) of the
  107  Internal Revenue Code which assists parents, legal guardians,
  108  and legal custodians in providing temporary care for a child
  109  pursuant to a power of attorney executed under this section.
  110  Such assistance may include identifying an appropriate and safe
  111  placement for the child and providing services and resources to
  112  support the child, the parents, and persons authorized to
  113  provide temporary care for the child.
  114         (d)“Serving parent” means a parent, legal guardian, or
  115  legal custodian who is a member of the regular or reserve
  116  component of the United States Armed Forces or of the
  117  commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
  118  Administration or the United States Public Health Service when
  119  detailed by proper authority for duty with the armed forces, or
  120  who is required to serve on state active duty as defined in s.
  121  250.01.
  122         (3)(a)A parent, legal guardian, or legal custodian of a
  123  child may provide for the temporary care of the child by
  124  delegating to an agent, by means of a power of attorney properly
  125  executed pursuant to this section, any of the powers regarding
  126  the care and custody of the child.
  127         (b)A parent, legal guardian, or legal custodian may not
  128  delegate the power to consent to marriage or adoption of the
  129  child, the power to consent to an abortion on behalf of the
  130  child, or the termination of parental rights to the child by
  131  means of a power of attorney executed pursuant to this section.
  132         (c) Except as provided in paragraph (d), the period of such
  133  delegation may not exceed 1 year, and the parent, legal
  134  guardian, or legal custodian of the child must execute a new
  135  power of attorney for each additional year that he or she wishes
  136  the delegation to continue.
  137         (d)A serving parent may delegate powers pursuant to this
  138  section for a period longer than 1 year if on active duty;
  139  however, the extended term may not exceed the term of active
  140  duty service plus 30 days.
  141         (e) Successor agents are not permitted under this section.
  142         (4) A delegation of powers under this section does not
  143  limit the ability of a parent, legal guardian, or legal
  144  custodian to appoint a guardian for a child pursuant to chapter
  145  744. This section does not change or modify any parental or
  146  legal rights, obligations, or authority established by an
  147  existing court order or deprive the parent, legal guardian, or
  148  legal custodian of any parental or legal rights, obligations, or
  149  authority regarding the custody, visitation, or support of the
  150  child.
  151         (5)The parent, legal guardian, or legal custodian of the
  152  child may, at any time, revoke or withdraw a power of attorney
  153  executed under this section. If the parent, legal guardian, or
  154  legal custodian revokes or withdraws the power of attorney, the
  155  child must be returned to the custody of such person.
  156         (6)Unless the power of attorney is revoked or withdrawn by
  157  the parent, legal guardian, or legal custodian, or is otherwise
  158  terminated, the agent shall exercise parental or legal authority
  159  on a continuous basis without compensation for the duration of
  160  the power of attorney.
  161         (7)A delegation of powers under this section is not
  162  considered to be placement of the child in foster care, and the
  163  parties are not subject to any of the requirements or licensing
  164  laws, agency rules for foster care, or other regulations
  165  relating to community care for children. An agent who is
  166  delegated authority under this section by a parent, legal
  167  guardian, or legal custodian is not required to meet foster care
  168  licensing requirements under s. 409.175, and such delegation
  169  does not constitute placement in a family foster home as defined
  170  in s. 409.175(2)(e).
  171         (8)Except as otherwise provided by law, the execution of a
  172  power of attorney by a parent, legal guardian, or legal
  173  custodian pursuant to this section, without any other evidence,
  174  does not constitute abandonment, abuse, or neglect as those
  175  terms are defined in s. 39.01, unless the parent, legal
  176  guardian, or legal custodian fails to take custody of the child
  177  or to annually execute a new power of attorney continuing the
  178  delegation. Nothing in this subsection shall be interpreted to
  179  prevent the department or law enforcement from investigating
  180  allegations of abandonment, abuse, neglect, or unlawful
  181  desertion of a child.
  182         (9)A qualified nonprofit organization may assist a parent,
  183  legal guardian, or legal custodian in delegating parental or
  184  legal authority pursuant to a power of attorney under this
  185  section. Such an organization is not a child-placing agency as
  186  defined in s. 409.175(2)(d) and is not required to be licensed
  187  as such unless the qualified nonprofit organization pursues
  188  child-placing activities as provided in s. 409.175(2)(d). A
  189  qualified nonprofit organization assisting a parent, legal
  190  guardian, or legal custodian with a delegation of powers under
  191  this section shall:
  192         (a)Complete a state and national criminal history record
  193  check, pursuant to s. 943.0542, on all employees or volunteers
  194  who may have unsupervised contact with a child placed with an
  195  agent pursuant to this section, including the agent and all
  196  members of the agent’s household who are 12 years of age or
  197  older.
  198         (b)Require a parent or legal guardian seeking its services
  199  to disclose if the department is conducting an ongoing
  200  investigation of abuse or neglect involving the child or the
  201  child’s parent or legal guardian, or is otherwise providing
  202  services to the parent or legal guardian.
  203         1. The qualified nonprofit organization shall notify the
  204  parent or legal guardian that providing false information
  205  regarding the status of an investigation or services by the
  206  department may be grounds for termination of the qualified
  207  nonprofit organization’s services or reporting to the
  208  department.
  209         2. If the qualified nonprofit organization finds that the
  210  department has an open investigation of abuse or neglect
  211  involving the child or the child’s parent or legal guardian and
  212  the parent or legal guardian failed to disclose this
  213  information, the qualified nonprofit organization shall
  214  immediately notify the department.
  215         (c) Train all agents, host families, and volunteers.
  216         (10)To be legally sufficient, a power of attorney executed
  217  under this section must include:
  218         (a) Identification of the child.
  219         (b) Identification of the parent, legal guardian, or legal
  220  custodian delegating his or her authority.
  221         (c) Identification of the agent to whom powers are
  222  delegated.
  223         (d) A statement of powers delegated to the agent for the
  224  care and custody of the child.
  225         (e) A statement that the delegation does not include powers
  226  excluded under subsection (3).
  227         (f) The effective date and end date of the power of
  228  attorney.
  229         (g) A statement that the duration of the power of attorney
  230  is 1 year and that it automatically expires 1 year after the
  231  effective date, except as authorized under paragraph (3)(d).
  232         (h) The signature of the parent, legal guardian, or legal
  233  custodian delegating powers.
  234         (i) The signature of the agent accepting delegation.
  235         (j) Space for authorization by a notary public.
  236         (11)At execution of the power of attorney, the parties
  237  shall provide the notary public with proof that the required
  238  criminal history checks have been completed. If a qualified
  239  nonprofit organization assisted with the delegation of powers
  240  pursuant to this section, such evidence shall be a notarized
  241  letter signed by a representative of the qualified nonprofit
  242  organization attesting to the existence of a favorable
  243  background screening of the agent and the appropriate members of
  244  the agent’s household.
  245         (a) The notary public may not execute the power of attorney
  246  in the absence of such proof.
  247         (b) Proof of compliance must be attached to each copy of
  248  the power of attorney provided to the parties by the notary.
  249         Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2016.