Florida Senate - 2016 CS for SB 1102 By the Committee on Children, Families, and Elder Affairs; and Senator Brandes 586-03041A-16 20161102c1 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to the temporary care of a child; 3 creating s. 409.1761, F.S.; authorizing certain 4 organizations to establish programs for the purpose of 5 assisting parents and legal guardians in providing 6 temporary respite care for a child; restricting care 7 to specified children; providing that placement of a 8 child in temporary respite care does not, in the 9 absence of evidence to the contrary, constitute abuse, 10 neglect, or abandonment or placement in foster care; 11 authorizing the Department of Children and Families to 12 refer children to such programs under certain 13 circumstances; defining terms; providing requirements 14 for an organization to register with qualified 15 associations; requiring collection and retention of 16 specified information; providing an exemption from 17 certain licensure requirements under certain 18 circumstances; requiring background screening of 19 specified persons; providing exceptions; requiring 20 parents or legal guardians to enter into a contract 21 for care as a condition of participation in the 22 program; providing requirements for such contracts; 23 requiring a separate authorization of certain care; 24 providing an effective date. 25 26 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 27 28 Section 1. Section 409.1761, Florida Statutes, is created 29 to read: 30 409.1761 Organizations providing temporary respite care for 31 children not in the child welfare system.—A qualified nonprofit 32 organization may establish a program that assists parents and 33 legal guardians in providing temporary respite care for a child 34 by a volunteer respite family. Only a child who has not been 35 removed from the child’s parent or legal guardian due to abuse 36 or neglect and placed in the custody of the department is 37 eligible to be cared for under this section. Placement of a 38 child under this section, in the absence of evidence to the 39 contrary, does not constitute abuse, neglect, or abandonment as 40 defined in s. 39.01 and is not considered to be placement of the 41 child in foster care. However, the department may refer children 42 to a program under this section if the department determines 43 that the services are appropriate for addressing the needs of a 44 family in crisis, preventing children from being placed in the 45 custody of the department, or achieving reunification of a child 46 with his or her biological family. 47 (1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term: 48 (a) “Qualified association” means an association that 49 publishes, and requires compliance with, its standards and files 50 copies thereof with the department as provided in s. 51 409.176(5)(b) and which establishes, publishes, and requires 52 compliance with best practice standards for operating a program 53 that assists parents and legal guardians in providing temporary 54 respite care for a child by a volunteer respite family. 55 (b) “Qualified nonprofit organization” or “organization” 56 means a Florida private nonprofit organization that assists 57 parents and legal guardians in providing temporary respite care 58 for a child by a volunteer respite family under an agreement 59 with a qualified association. 60 (c) “Volunteer respite family” means an individual or 61 family who voluntarily agrees to provide temporary care for a 62 child under a contract for care with the child’s parent or legal 63 guardian with the assistance of a qualified nonprofit 64 organization. 65 (2) REGISTRATION.—A qualified nonprofit organization that 66 wishes to provide temporary respite care to children under this 67 section shall annually register with a qualified association. 68 (a) The organization must file with the qualified 69 association the name and address of the organization; the names 70 and addresses of the officers and the members of the board of 71 directors or other governing body of the organization, as 72 applicable; the name of the person in charge of the 73 organization; and proof that the organization is in compliance 74 with the minimum health, sanitary, and safety standards required 75 by applicable state law or local ordinance, the uniform fire 76 safety standards required by chapter 633, and the personnel 77 screening requirements in s. 409.175 and chapter 435. 78 (b) Each organization shall annually provide to the 79 qualified association relevant data on the services provided by 80 the organization, including the organization’s capacity and the 81 number of approved volunteer respite families; the number and 82 ages of children being cared for through the organization, the 83 number of children who have left the care of the organization 84 during the past year, the length of stay of each child, and the 85 reason for each child’s care; and the names of all personnel. 86 (c) Upon verification that all requirements for 87 registration have been met, the qualified association shall, 88 without charge, issue a certificate of registration valid for 1 89 year. 90 (3) COLLECTION AND RETENTION OF INFORMATION AND 91 DOCUMENTATION.— 92 (a) An organization shall collect and maintain at least the 93 following information and documentation for each child to whom 94 it provides temporary respite care: 95 1. The name and age of the child; 96 2. The name, address, and contact information for the 97 child’s parent or legal guardian; 98 3. The name, address, and contact information for the 99 child’s volunteer respite family; 100 4. A copy of the contract for care of the child executed 101 pursuant to subsection (6); and 102 5. Proof of the volunteer respite family’s compliance with 103 the screening requirements of s. 409.175 and chapter 435. 104 (b) An organization shall maintain on site and provide, 105 upon request, proof that the organization is in compliance with 106 published minimum standards that are filed by the qualified 107 association with the department as required in s. 409.176(5)(b). 108 The qualified association has the right to access and review the 109 organization’s files at any time to ensure compliance with this 110 section and the standards established by the qualified 111 association. 112 (4) EXEMPTION FROM LICENSURE.—The licensing provisions of 113 s. 409.175 do not apply to a private organization that is 114 certified with a qualified association that assists parents and 115 legal guardians in providing temporary respite care for a child 116 by a volunteer caregiver pursuant to a properly executed 117 contract under this section. However, such organizations must 118 meet the screening requirements established in s. 409.175 and 119 chapter 435. 120 (a) Any organization registered under this section shall 121 immediately notify the department if it has in its care a child 122 with serious developmental disabilities or a physical, 123 emotional, or mental handicap for which the organization is not 124 qualified or able to provide care. 125 (b) The provisions of chapters 39 and 827 regarding the 126 reporting of child abuse, abandonment, and neglect apply to any 127 organization registered under this section. 128 (5) BACKGROUND SCREENING.—A qualified nonprofit 129 organization shall conduct a screening as that term is defined 130 in s. 409.175(2) of each individual identified in paragraph (b). 131 (a) The department shall attest to the good moral character 132 of the personnel of the organization and members of the 133 volunteer family home by maintaining and, upon request, 134 providing proof of compliance with the screening requirements 135 established in s. 409.175 and chapter 435. 136 (b) Individuals required to be screened under this section 137 include: 138 1. All employees of the organization assisting parents in 139 providing respite care; 140 2. Members of the family that is providing respite care for 141 a child, and persons residing with the family, any of whom are 142 18 years of age or older; 143 3. Members of the family that is providing respite care for 144 a child, and persons residing with the family, any of whom are 145 between 12 years and 18 years of age. Such persons must be 146 screened for delinquency records, but are not required to be 147 fingerprinted; and 148 4. A volunteer who assists on an intermittent basis for 149 fewer than 10 hours per month, unless a person who meets the 150 screening requirement of this section is present and has the 151 volunteer in his or her line of sight at all times. 152 (6) CONTRACT FOR CARE.—A parent or legal guardian of a 153 child must enter into a written contract for care to provide for 154 the temporary respite care of the child under this section. The 155 contract must be executed before, or at the time, the child is 156 placed with a volunteer respite family and organization. Through 157 the contract for care, the parent or legal guardian may delegate 158 to the volunteer family any of the powers regarding the care and 159 custody of the child, except the power to consent to the 160 marriage or adoption of the child, the performance of or 161 inducement of an abortion on or for the child, or the 162 termination of parental rights to the child. The parent or legal 163 guardian may revoke or withdraw the contract for care at any 164 time, and the child shall be returned to the custody of the 165 parent or legal guardian as soon as reasonably possible. A 166 contract for care executed under this section expires 167 automatically after 1 year, and may not operate to deprive any 168 parent or legal guardian of any parental or legal authority 169 regarding the care and custody of the child or supersede any 170 court order regarding the care and custody of the child. Each 171 contract must: 172 (a) Enumerate the basic services and accommodations 173 provided by the volunteer respite family and organization. 174 (b) Identify the child, parent or legal guardian, and 175 volunteer respite family, including necessary contact 176 information for all parties. 177 (c) Identify the organization, including the address, 178 telephone number and primary point of contact. 179 (d) Contain a clear statement regarding disciplinary 180 procedures. 181 (e) State that the goal of the organization is to return 182 the child receiving respite care to the parent or legal guardian 183 as soon as the situation requiring care has been resolved. 184 (f) Authorize the volunteer respite family to consent to 185 routine and emergency medical care on behalf of the parent or 186 legal guardian. However, the volunteer family shall immediately 187 notify the parent or legal guardian of medical care being 188 provided on his or her behalf. Such authorization must be 189 granted separately in the contract upon consent of the parent or 190 legal guardian. 191 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2016.