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. 46 47 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 48 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,
oran adoptive home that whichhas 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 topersons who care for children of friends or neighbors in 83 their homes for periods not to exceed 90 days, or topersons 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: 88 709.2209 Power 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.