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.
   26  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   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.
   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.