Florida Senate - 2018 SB 1514
By Senator Garcia
1 A bill to be entitled
2 An act relating to child welfare; amending s. 39.01,
3 F.S.; revising and defining terms; amending s.
4 39.0138, F.S.; requiring the Department of Children
5 and Families to establish a certain exemption process
6 and to adopt rules and procedures for the
7 documentation necessary for exempting household
8 members who have disabilities from being fingerprinted
9 before a child is placed in the home; amending s.
10 39.5085, F.S.; requiring the department to take all
11 the necessary steps to recover financial assistance
12 provided to nonrelative caregivers under certain
13 circumstances; authorizing the department to make
14 certain settlements, establish certain policies, and
15 adopt certain rules; terminating the Relative
16 Caregiver Program on a specified date and transferring
17 certain responsibilities to the Guardianship
18 Assistance Program; providing for continuance of
19 benefits to current participants; amending s. 39.521,
20 F.S.; authorizing the court to make certain
21 determinations regarding placement of a child with a
22 guardian; conforming a cross-reference; amending s.
23 39.6221, F.S.; providing an additional condition for
24 court placement of a child in permanent guardianship;
25 creating s. 39.6225, F.S.; requiring the department to
26 establish and operate a Guardianship Assistance
27 Program to provide guardianship assistance payments to
28 certain guardians beginning on a specified date;
29 defining terms; providing eligibility requirements;
30 authorizing guardians to receive guardian assistance
31 payments for certain siblings; requiring the
32 department to annually redetermine eligibility;
33 providing conditions for termination of benefits;
34 providing criteria for award of guardianship
35 assistance payments; requiring the department to
36 provide guardianship nonrecurring payments for certain
37 expenses; authorizing the use of certain state and
38 federal funds to operate the program; providing that
39 certain children are eligible for Medicaid coverage
40 until they reach a specified age; providing
41 requirements for guardianship assistance payments;
42 requiring case plans to include certain information;
43 requiring the department to adopt rules; amending s.
44 39.6251, F.S.; requiring the case manager for a young
45 adult in foster care to consult the young adult when
46 updating the case plan and the transition plan and
47 arrangements; deleting a provision authorizing case
48 management reviews to be conducted by telephone under
49 certain circumstances; amending s. 409.145, F.S.;
50 revising rates for room and board reimbursement of
51 certain family foster homes; revising provisions
52 relating to supplemental payments by community-based
53 care lead agencies; amending s. 409.166, F.S.;
54 defining terms; providing conditions for the
55 department to provide adoption assistance payments to
56 adoptive parents of certain children; providing that
57 children and young adults receiving benefits through
58 the adoption assistance program are ineligible for
59 other specified benefits and services; providing
60 additional conditions for eligibility for adoption
61 assistance; amending s. 409.1678, F.S.; deleting
62 requirements for certain specialized treatment
63 provided by residential treatment centers and
64 hospitals; amending s. 409.175, F.S.; revising and
65 defining terms; requiring a guardian to apply for a
66 license with the department to be eligible for the
67 Guardian Assistance Program; requiring the department
68 to adopt and amend certain rules; classifying family
69 foster homes by licensure type; exempting certain
70 household members from specified fingerprinting
71 requirements; authorizing the department to adopt
72 rules relating to certain summer camps; deleting
73 references to preservice training requirements for
74 emergency shelter parents; providing inservice
75 training requirements for certain foster parents;
76 amending ss. 39.302, 39.6012, 394.495, 409.1676, and
77 960.065, F.S.; conforming cross-references; providing
78 an effective date.
80 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
82 Section 1. Subsection (29) of section 39.01, Florida
83 Statutes, is redesignated as subsection (30), subsections (30)
84 through (46) of that section are redesignated as subsections
85 (35) through (51), respectively, subsections (47) through (81)
86 of that section are redesignated as subsections (53) through
87 (87), respectively, present subsections (10) and (32) and
88 paragraph (g) of present subsection (30) of that section are
89 amended, and new subsections (29), (31), (32), (33), (34), and
90 (52) are added to that section, to read:
91 39.01 Definitions.—When used in this chapter, unless the
92 context otherwise requires:
93 (10) “Caregiver” means the parent, legal custodian,
94 permanent guardian, adult household member, or other person
95 responsible for a child’s welfare as defined in subsection (54)
97 (29) “Fictive kin” means a person unrelated by birth,
98 marriage, or adoption who has an emotionally significant
99 relationship to a child which has the characteristics of a
100 family relationship.
101 (31) “Guardian” means a relative, nonrelative, next of kin,
102 or fictive kin who is awarded physical custody of a child in a
103 proceeding brought pursuant to this chapter.
104 (32) “Guardianship assistance payment” means a monthly cash
105 payment made by the department to a guardian on behalf of an
106 eligible child or young adult.
107 (33) “Guardianship Assistance Program” means a program that
108 provides benefits to a child’s guardian on behalf of the child.
109 Benefits may be in the form of a guardianship assistance
110 payment, a guardianship nonrecurring payment, or Medicaid
112 (34) “Guardianship nonrecurring payment” means a one-time
113 payment of up to $2,000 made by the department to a guardian to
114 assist with the expenses associated with obtaining legal
115 guardianship of a child who is eligible for the Guardianship
116 Assistance Program.
117 (35) (30) “Harm” to a child’s health or welfare can occur
118 when any person:
119 (g) Exposes a child to a controlled substance or alcohol.
120 Exposure to a controlled substance or alcohol is established by:
121 1. A test, administered at birth, which indicated that the
122 child’s blood, urine, or meconium contained any amount of
123 alcohol or a controlled substance or metabolites of such
124 substances, the presence of which was not the result of medical
125 treatment administered to the mother or the newborn infant; or
126 2. Evidence of extensive, abusive, and chronic use of a
127 controlled substance or alcohol by a parent to the extent that
128 the parent’s ability to provide supervision and care for the
129 child has been or is likely to be severely compromised when the
130 child is demonstrably adversely affected by such usage.
132 As used in this paragraph, the term “controlled substance” means
133 prescription drugs not prescribed for the parent or not
134 administered as prescribed and controlled substances as outlined
135 in Schedule I or Schedule II of s. 893.03.
136 (37) (32) “Institutional child abuse or neglect” means
137 situations of known or suspected child abuse or neglect in which
138 the person allegedly perpetrating the child abuse or neglect is
139 an employee of a private school, public or private day care
140 center, residential home, institution, facility, or agency or
141 any other person at such institution responsible for the child’s
142 care as defined in subsection (54) (48).
143 (52) “Nonrelative” means a person unrelated by
144 consanguinity or affinity or a relative outside the fifth degree
145 of consanguinity or affinity.
146 Section 2. Subsections (2) through (7) of section 39.0138,
147 Florida Statutes, are redesignated as subsections (3) through
148 (8), respectively, and a new subsection (2) is added to that
149 section, to read:
150 39.0138 Criminal history and other records checks; limit on
151 placement of a child.—
152 (2) The department shall establish an exemption process for
153 household members who have physical and developmental
154 disabilities that prevent them from being fingerprinted.
155 (a) Exemptions shall be granted when fingerprinting is not
156 possible due to:
157 1. Physical limitations;
158 2. Developmental limitations; or
159 3. Cognitive limitations.
160 (b) Before granting an exemption under this subsection, the
161 department or its designee shall assess the limitations that
162 justify the exemption and whether the safety and well-being of
163 the child placed or to be placed in the home and access to the
164 child by the exempted household member will be affected by such
166 (c) The department shall adopt rules and operating
167 procedures governing the documentation required to determine if
168 an exemption should be granted under this subsection.
169 Section 3. Paragraph (h) is added to subsection (2) of
170 section 39.5085, Florida Statutes, and subsection (3) is added
171 to that section, to read:
172 39.5085 Relative Caregiver Program.—
174 (h) If the department determines that a nonrelative
175 caregiver has received financial assistance under this section
176 to which he or she is not entitled, the department shall take
177 all necessary steps to recover such payment. The department may
178 make appropriate settlements and shall establish policies and
179 adopt rules to calculate and recover such payments.
180 (3)(a) The Relative Caregiver Program may not accept
181 initial applications after June 30, 2019. Relative Caregiver
182 Program benefits shall continue to be provided to caregivers
183 currently participating in the program until the child reaches
184 18 years of age. Persons seeking financial assistance after June
185 30, 2019, must submit an application for the Guardianship
186 Assistance Program.
187 (b) The recipient renewal and redetermination process for
188 current participants in the Relative Caregiver Program shall
189 continue under the guidelines set forth in this section and as
190 established by department rule.
191 Section 4. Paragraph (c) of subsection (1) of section
192 39.521, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
193 39.521 Disposition hearings; powers of disposition.—
194 (1) A disposition hearing shall be conducted by the court,
195 if the court finds that the facts alleged in the petition for
196 dependency were proven in the adjudicatory hearing, or if the
197 parents or legal custodians have consented to the finding of
198 dependency or admitted the allegations in the petition, have
199 failed to appear for the arraignment hearing after proper
200 notice, or have not been located despite a diligent search
201 having been conducted.
202 (c) When any child is adjudicated by a court to be
203 dependent, the court having jurisdiction of the child has the
204 power by order to:
205 1. Require the parent and, when appropriate, the legal
206 guardian custodian and the child to participate in treatment and
207 services identified as necessary. The court may require the
208 person who has custody or who is requesting custody of the child
209 to submit to a mental health or substance abuse disorder
210 assessment or evaluation. The order may be made only upon good
211 cause shown and pursuant to notice and procedural requirements
212 provided under the Florida Rules of Juvenile Procedure. The
213 mental health assessment or evaluation must be administered by a
214 qualified professional as defined in s. 39.01, and the substance
215 abuse assessment or evaluation must be administered by a
216 qualified professional as defined in s. 397.311. The court may
217 also require such person to participate in and comply with
218 treatment and services identified as necessary, including, when
219 appropriate and available, participation in and compliance with
220 a mental health court program established under chapter 394 or a
221 treatment-based drug court program established under s. 397.334.
222 Adjudication of a child as dependent based upon evidence of harm
223 as defined in s. 39.01(35)(g) s. 39.01(30)(g) demonstrates good
224 cause, and the court shall require the parent whose actions
225 caused the harm to submit to a substance abuse disorder
226 assessment or evaluation and to participate and comply with
227 treatment and services identified in the assessment or
228 evaluation as being necessary. In addition to supervision by the
229 department, the court, including the mental health court program
230 or the treatment-based drug court program, may oversee the
231 progress and compliance with treatment by a person who has
232 custody or is requesting custody of the child. The court may
233 impose appropriate available sanctions for noncompliance upon a
234 person who has custody or is requesting custody of the child or
235 make a finding of noncompliance for consideration in determining
236 whether an alternative placement of the child is in the child’s
237 best interests. Any order entered under this subparagraph may be
238 made only upon good cause shown. This subparagraph does not
239 authorize placement of a child with a person seeking custody of
240 the child, other than the child’s parent or legal custodian, who
241 requires mental health or substance abuse disorder treatment.
242 2. Require, if the court deems necessary, the parties to
243 participate in dependency mediation.
244 3. Require placement of the child either under the
245 protective supervision of an authorized agent of the department
246 in the home of one or both of the child’s parents or in the home
247 of a relative of the child or another adult approved by the
248 court, or in the custody of the department. Protective
249 supervision continues until the court terminates it or until the
250 child reaches the age of 18, whichever date is first. Protective
251 supervision shall be terminated by the court whenever the court
252 determines that permanency has been achieved for the child,
253 whether with a parent, another relative, or a legal custodian,
254 and that protective supervision is no longer needed. The
255 termination of supervision may be with or without retaining
256 jurisdiction, at the court’s discretion, and shall in either
257 case be considered a permanency option for the child. The order
258 terminating supervision by the department must set forth the
259 powers of the custodian of the child and include the powers
260 ordinarily granted to a guardian of the person of a minor unless
261 otherwise specified. Upon the court’s termination of supervision
262 by the department, further judicial reviews are not required if
263 permanency has been established for the child.
264 4. Determine whether the child has a strong attachment to
265 the prospective permanent guardian and whether the guardian has
266 a strong commitment to permanently caring for the child.
267 Section 5. Paragraph (f) is added to subsection (1) of
268 section 39.6221, Florida Statutes, to read:
269 39.6221 Permanent guardianship of a dependent child.—
270 (1) If a court determines that reunification or adoption is
271 not in the best interest of the child, the court may place the
272 child in a permanent guardianship with a relative or other adult
273 approved by the court if all of the following conditions are
275 (f) The child demonstrates a strong attachment to the
276 prospective permanent guardian and the guardian has a strong
277 commitment to permanently caring for the child.
278 Section 6. Section 39.6225, Florida Statutes, is created to
280 39.6225 Guardianship Assistance Program.—
281 (1) The department shall establish and operate the
282 Guardianship Assistance Program to provide guardianship
283 assistance payments to relatives, nonrelatives, next of kin, and
284 fictive kin who meet the eligibility requirements established in
285 this section. The program shall take effect July 1, 2019. For
286 purposes of administering the program, the term:
287 (a) “Child” means an individual who has not attained 21
288 years of age.
289 (b) “Young adult” means an individual who has attained 18
290 years of age but who has not attained 21 years of age.
291 (2) To approve an application for the program, the
292 department must determine that all of the following requirements
293 have been met:
294 (a) The child’s placement with the prospective permanent
295 guardian has been approved by the court.
296 (b) The court has granted legal custody to the guardian
297 pursuant to s. 39.521 or s. 39.522.
298 (c) The guardian has been licensed to care for the child as
299 provided in s. 409.175.
300 (d) The child was eligible for foster care room and board
301 payments pursuant to s. 409.145 for at least 6 consecutive
302 months while the child resided in the home of the guardian and
303 the guardian was licensed as a foster parent.
304 (3) A guardian who has entered into a guardianship
305 agreement for a dependent child may also receive guardianship
306 assistance payments for a dependent sibling of that dependent
307 child as a result of a court’s determination in regard to the
308 sibling of child abuse, neglect, or abandonment and subsequent
309 placement of the child with the relative under this part.
310 (4) The department shall complete an annual redetermination
311 of eligibility for recipients of guardianship assistance
312 benefits. If the department determines that a recipient is no
313 longer eligible for guardianship assistance benefits, the
314 benefits must be terminated.
315 (5) Guardianship assistance benefits shall be terminated
317 (a) The child is absent from the home of the guardian for a
318 period of at least 60 consecutive calendar days, unless the
320 1. Is absent due to medical care, school attendance,
321 runaway status, or detention in a Department of Juvenile Justice
322 facility; and
323 2. Continues to be under the care and custody of the
324 guardian; or
325 (b) The court modifies the placement of the child and the
326 guardian is no longer eligible to receive guardianship
327 assistance benefits.
328 (6) A guardian who has met the requirements of subsection
329 (2) and is caring for a child placed with the guardian by the
330 court pursuant to this part may receive a guardianship
331 assistance payment based on the following criteria:
332 (a) Children with an approved program application are
333 eligible for guardianship assistance payments.
334 (b) Children receiving cash benefits through the program
335 are not eligible to simultaneously receive relative caregiver
336 benefits, postsecondary education services and supports under s.
337 409.1451, or child-only cash assistance under chapter 414.
338 (c) Guardianship assistance payments are not contingent
339 upon continued residency in the state. Guardianship assistance
340 payments must continue for court-approved permanent guardians
341 who move out of state and continue to meet the requirements of
342 this subsection and as specified in department rule. Relicensure
343 of the out-of-state guardian’s home is not required for
344 continuity of payments.
345 (d) Guardianship assistance payments for a child from
346 another state who is placed with a guardian in this state are
347 the responsibility of the other state.
348 (e) The department shall provide guardianship assistance
349 payments in the amount of $4,000 annually, paid on a monthly
350 basis, or in an amount other than $4,000 annually as determined
351 by the guardian and the department and documented in a written
352 agreement between the guardian and the department. The agreement
353 must take into consideration the circumstances of the guardian
354 and the needs of the child. Changes may not be made without the
355 concurrence of the guardian. However, in no case shall the
356 amount of the monthly payment exceed the foster care maintenance
357 payment that would have been paid during the same period if the
358 child had been in licensed care at his or her designated level
359 of care at the rate established in s. 409.145(4).
360 (f) Payments made pursuant to this section shall cease when
361 the child attains 18 years of age.
362 (7) The department shall provide guardianship nonrecurring
363 payments of up to $2,000 for expenses associated with the
364 guardian obtaining permanent guardianship of the child pursuant
365 to s. 39.6221.
366 (a) Such expenses include reasonable and necessary fees to
367 obtain guardianship and may include the cost of a home study,
368 court costs, attorney fees, physical and psychological
369 examinations, and other expenses directly related to the legal
370 guardianship of the child.
371 (b) Such payments are also available for siblings placed in
372 the same home as the child.
373 (8) The department may use appropriate and available state
374 and federal funds to operate the program.
375 (9) A child who is living with a caregiver and receiving
376 assistance under this section is eligible for Medicaid coverage
377 until he or she is 18 years of age. This subsection does not
378 apply to a child who is eligible under subsection (7) and for
379 whom guardianship nonrecurring payments are being made.
380 (10) Guardianship assistance payments shall only be made
381 for a young adult whose permanent guardian entered into a
382 guardianship assistance agreement after the child attained 16
383 years of age but before the child attained 18 years of age if
384 the young adult is:
385 (a) Completing secondary education or a program leading to
386 an equivalent credential;
387 (b) Enrolled in an institution that provides postsecondary
388 or vocational education;
389 (c) Participating in a program or activity designed to
390 promote or eliminate barriers to employment;
391 (d) Employed for at least 80 hours per month; or
392 (e) Unable to participate in programs or activities listed
393 in paragraphs (a)-(d) full time due to a physical, intellectual,
394 emotional, or psychiatric condition that limits participation.
395 Any such barrier to participation must be supported by
396 documentation in the child’s case file or school or medical
398 (11) The case plan must describe the following for each
399 child with a permanency goal of permanent guardianship in which
400 the guardian is in receipt of guardianship assistance payments:
401 (a) The manner in which the child meets program eligibility
403 (b) The manner in which the agency determined that
404 reunification or adoption is not appropriate.
405 (c) Efforts to discuss adoption with the child’s permanent
407 (d) Efforts to discuss guardianship assistance with the
408 child’s parent or the reasons why efforts were not made.
409 (e) The reasons why a permanent placement with the
410 prospective guardian is in the best interest of the child.
411 (f) The reasons why the child is separated from his or her
412 siblings during placement, if applicable.
413 (g) Efforts to consult the child, if the child is 14 years
414 of age or older, regarding the permanent guardianship
416 (12) The department shall adopt rules to administer the
418 Section 7. Paragraph (b) of subsection (6) and subsection
419 (7) of section 39.6251, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
420 39.6251 Continuing care for young adults.—
421 (6) A young adult who is between the ages of 18 and 21 and
422 who has left care may return to care by applying to the
423 community-based care lead agency for readmission. The community
424 based care lead agency shall readmit the young adult if he or
425 she continues to meet the eligibility requirements in this
427 (b) Within 30 days after the young adult has been
428 readmitted to care, the community-based care lead agency shall
429 assign a case manager to update the case plan and the transition
430 plan and to arrange for the required services. Updates to the
431 case plan and the transition plan and arrangements for the
432 required services Such activities shall be undertaken in
433 consultation with the young adult. The department shall petition
434 the court to reinstate jurisdiction over the young adult.
435 Notwithstanding s. 39.013(2), the court shall resume
436 jurisdiction over the young adult if the department establishes
437 that he or she continues to meet the eligibility requirements in
438 this section.
439 (7) During each period of time that a young adult is in
440 care, the community-based lead agency shall provide regular case
441 management reviews that must include at least monthly contact
442 with the case manager. If a young adult lives outside the
443 service area of his or her community-based care lead agency,
444 monthly contact may occur by telephone.
445 Section 8. Subsection (4) of section 409.145, Florida
446 Statutes, is amended to read:
447 409.145 Care of children; quality parenting; “reasonable
448 and prudent parent” standard.—The child welfare system of the
449 department shall operate as a coordinated community-based system
450 of care which empowers all caregivers for children in foster
451 care to provide quality parenting, including approving or
452 disapproving a child’s participation in activities based on the
453 caregiver’s assessment using the “reasonable and prudent parent”
455 (4) FOSTER CARE PARENT ROOM AND BOARD RATES.—
456 (a) Effective July 1, 2019, level I family foster homes
457 shall receive a monthly room and board rate of $333.
458 (b) (a) Effective July 1, 2019, level II family foster homes
459 shall receive January 1, 2014, room and board rates paid to
460 foster parents are as follows:
462 Monthly Foster Care Rate
463 0-5 YearsAge 6-12 YearsAge 13-21 YearsAge
464 $448.63 $429 $460.02 $440 $538.43 $515
465 (c) (b) Level II through level V family foster homes parents
466 shall receive an annual cost of living increase. The department
467 shall calculate the new room and board rate increase equal to
468 the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban
469 Consumers, U.S. City Average, All Items, not seasonally
470 adjusted, or successor reports, for the preceding December
471 compared to the prior December as initially reported by the
472 United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
473 The department shall make available the adjusted room and board
474 rates annually.
475 (d) (c) The amount of the monthly foster care room and board
476 rate may be increased upon agreement among the department, the
477 community-based care lead agency, and the foster parent.
478 (e) (d) Community-based care lead agencies providing care
479 under contract with the department shall pay a supplemental room
480 and board payment to level II through level V family foster
481 homes care parents for providing independent life skills and
482 normalcy supports to children who are 13 through 17 years of age
483 placed in their care. The supplemental payment shall be paid
484 monthly to the level II through level V family foster homes care
485 parents on a per-child basis in addition to the current monthly
486 room and board rate payment. The supplemental monthly payment
487 shall be based on 10 percent of the monthly room and board rate
488 for children 13 through 21 years of age as provided under this
489 section and adjusted annually.
490 Section 9. Subsections (4) and (5) of section 409.166,
491 Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
492 409.166 Children within the child welfare system; adoption
493 assistance program.—
494 (4) ADOPTION ASSISTANCE.—
495 (a) For purposes of administering payments under paragraph
496 (d), the term:
497 1. “Child” means an individual who has not attained 21
498 years of age.
499 2. “Young adult” means an individual who has attained 18
500 years of age but who has not attained 21 years of age.
501 (b) (a) A maintenance subsidy shall be granted only when all
502 other resources available to a child have been thoroughly
503 explored and it can be clearly established that this is the most
504 acceptable plan for providing permanent placement for the child.
505 The maintenance subsidy may not be used as a substitute for
506 adoptive parent recruitment or as an inducement to adopt a child
507 who might be placed without providing a subsidy. However, it
508 shall be the policy of the department that no child be denied
509 adoption if providing a maintenance subsidy would make adoption
510 possible. The best interest of the child shall be the deciding
511 factor in every case. This section does not prohibit foster
512 parents from applying to adopt a child placed in their care.
513 Foster parents or relative caregivers must be asked if they
514 would adopt without a maintenance subsidy.
515 (c) (b) The department shall provide adoption assistance to
516 the adoptive parents, subject to specific appropriation, in the
517 amount of $5,000 annually, paid on a monthly basis, for the
518 support and maintenance of a child until the 18th birthday of
519 such child or in an amount other than $5,000 annually as
520 determined by the adoptive parents and the department and
521 memorialized in a written agreement between the adoptive parents
522 and the department. The agreement shall take into consideration
523 the circumstances of the adoptive parents and the needs of the
524 child being adopted. The amount of subsidy may be adjusted based
525 upon changes in the needs of the child or circumstances of the
526 adoptive parents. Changes may shall not be made without the
527 concurrence of the adoptive parents. However, in no case shall
528 the amount of the monthly payment exceed the foster care
529 maintenance payment that would have been paid during the same
530 period if the child had been in a foster family home.
531 (d) Effective January 1, 2019, adoption assistance payments
532 may be made for a child whose adoptive parent entered into an
533 adoption assistance agreement after the child reached 16 years
534 of age but before the child reached 18 years of age if the child
536 1. Completing secondary education or a program leading to
537 an equivalent credential;
538 2. Enrolled in an institution that provides postsecondary
539 or vocational education;
540 3. Participating in a program or activity designed to
541 promote or eliminate barriers to employment;
542 4. Employed for at least 80 hours per month; or
543 5. Unable to participate in programs or activities listed
544 in subparagraphs 1.-4. full time due to a physical,
545 intellectual, emotional, or psychiatric condition that limits
546 participation. Any such barrier to participation must be
547 supported by documentation in the child’s case file or school or
548 medical records.
549 (e) A child or young adult receiving benefits through the
550 adoption assistance program is not eligible to simultaneously
551 receive relative caregiver benefits under s. 39.5085 or
552 postsecondary education services and support under s. 409.1451.
553 (f) (c) The department may provide adoption assistance to
554 the adoptive parents, subject to specific appropriation, for
555 medical assistance initiated after the adoption of the child for
556 medical, surgical, hospital, and related services needed as a
557 result of a physical or mental condition of the child which
558 existed before the adoption and is not covered by Medicaid,
559 Children’s Medical Services, or Children’s Mental Health
560 Services. Such assistance may be initiated at any time but shall
561 terminate on or before the child’s 18th birthday.
562 (5) ELIGIBILITY FOR SERVICES.—
563 (a) As a condition of providing adoption assistance under
564 this section and before the adoption is finalized, the adoptive
565 parents must have an approved adoption home study and must enter
566 into an adoption-assistance agreement with the department which
567 specifies the financial assistance and other services to be
569 (b) A child who is handicapped at the time of adoption is
570 shall be eligible for services through the Children’s Medical
571 Services network established under part I of chapter 391 if the
572 child was eligible for such services before prior to the
574 Section 10. Subsection (3) of section 409.1678, Florida
575 Statutes, is amended to read:
576 409.1678 Specialized residential options for children who
577 are victims of commercial sexual exploitation.—
578 (3) SERVICES WITHIN A RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT CENTER OR
579 HOSPITAL.—Residential treatment centers licensed under s.
580 394.875, and hospitals licensed under chapter 395 that provide
581 residential mental health treatment, shall provide specialized
582 treatment for commercially sexually exploited children in the
583 custody of the department who are placed in these facilities
584 pursuant to s. 39.407(6), s. 394.4625, or s. 394.467 and . The
585 specialized treatment must meet the requirements of
586 subparagraphs (2)(c)1. and 3.-7., paragraph (2)(d), and the
587 department’s treatment standards adopted pursuant to this
588 section. The facilities shall ensure that children are served in
589 single-sex groups and that staff working with such children are
590 adequately trained in the effects of trauma and sexual
591 exploitation, the needs of child victims of commercial sexual
592 exploitation, and how to address those needs using strength
593 based and trauma-informed approaches.
594 Section 11. Subsections (2), (4), (5), (6), and (14) of
595 section 409.175, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
596 409.175 Licensure of family foster homes, residential
597 child-caring agencies, and child-placing agencies; public
598 records exemption.—
599 (2) As used in this section, the term:
600 (a) “Agency” means a residential child-caring agency or a
601 child-placing agency.
602 (b) “Boarding school” means a school that is registered
603 with the Department of Education as a school that provides a
604 residential service for students and that is either:
605 1. Accredited for academic programs by the Florida Council
606 of Independent Schools, the Southern Association of Colleges and
607 Schools, an accrediting association that is a member of the
608 National Council for Private School Accreditation, or an
609 accrediting association that is a member of the Florida
610 Association of Academic Nonpublic Schools, and that is
611 accredited for residential programs by the Council on
612 Accreditation, the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation
613 Facilities, or the Coalition for Residential Education; or
614 2. Accredited by one of the organizations specified in
615 subparagraph 1. as a boarding school that includes both an
616 academic and residential component in its accreditation.
617 (c) “Child” means any unmarried person under the age of 18
619 (d) “Child-placing agency” means any person, corporation,
620 or agency, public or private, other than the parent or legal
621 guardian of the child or an intermediary acting pursuant to
622 chapter 63, that receives a child for placement and places or
623 arranges for the placement of a child in a family foster home,
624 residential child-caring agency, or adoptive home.
625 (e) “Family foster home” means a private residence in which
626 children who are unattended by a parent or legal guardian are
627 provided 24-hour care. The term does not include an adoptive
628 home that has been approved by the department or a licensed
629 child-placing agency for children placed for adoption Such homes
630 include emergency shelter family homes and specialized foster
631 homes for children with special needs. A person who cares for a
632 child of a friend for a period not to exceed 90 days, a relative
633 who cares for a child and does not receive reimbursement for
634 such care from the state or federal government, or an adoptive
635 home which has been approved by the department or by a licensed
636 child-placing agency for children placed for adoption is not
637 considered a family foster home.
638 (f) “License” means “license” as defined in s. 120.52(10).
639 A license under this section is issued to a family foster home
640 or other facility and is not a professional license of any
641 individual. Receipt of a license under this section does shall
642 not create a property right in the recipient. A license under
643 this act is a public trust and a privilege, and is not an
644 entitlement. This privilege must guide the finder of fact or
645 trier of law at any administrative proceeding or court action
646 initiated by the department.
647 (g) “Licensing home study” means a documented assessment,
648 as defined by department rule, to determine the safety and
649 appropriateness of any 24-hour living arrangement for a child
650 who is unattended by a parent or legal guardian. A primary
651 caregiver issued a license for a specific child may apply for a
652 waiver of the non-safety-related and non-health-related elements
653 of a licensing home study under the Guardianship Assistance
654 Program established in s. 39.6225.
655 (h) (g) “Operator” means any onsite person ultimately
656 responsible for the overall operation of a child-placing agency,
657 family foster home, or residential child-caring agency, whether
658 or not she or he is the owner or administrator of such an agency
659 or home.
660 (i) (h) “Owner” means the person who is licensed to operate
661 the child-placing agency, family foster home, or residential
662 child-caring agency.
663 (j) (i) “Personnel” means all owners, operators, employees,
664 and volunteers working in a child-placing agency, family foster
665 home, or residential child-caring agency who may be employed by
666 or do volunteer work for a person, corporation, or agency that
667 holds a license as a child-placing agency or a residential
668 child-caring agency, but the term does not include those who do
669 not work on the premises where child care is furnished and have
670 no direct contact with a child or have no contact with a child
671 outside of the presence of the child’s parent or guardian. For
672 purposes of screening, the term includes any member, over the
673 age of 12 years, of the family of the owner or operator or any
674 person other than a client, over the age of 12 years, residing
675 with the owner or operator if the agency or family foster home
676 is located in or adjacent to the home of the owner or operator
677 or if the family member of, or person residing with, the owner
678 or operator has any direct contact with the children. Members of
679 the family of the owner or operator, or persons residing with
680 the owner or operator, who are between the ages of 12 years and
681 18 years are not required to be fingerprinted, but must be
682 screened for delinquency records. For purposes of screening, the
683 term also includes owners, operators, employees, and volunteers
684 working in summer day camps, or summer 24-hour camps providing
685 care for children. A volunteer who assists on an intermittent
686 basis for less than 10 hours per month may shall not be included
687 in the term “personnel” for the purposes of screening if a
688 person who meets the screening requirement of this section is
689 always present and has the volunteer in his or her line of
691 (k) “Placement screening” means the act of assessing the
692 background of household members in the family foster home and
693 includes, but is not limited to, criminal history checks as
694 provided in s. 39.0138 using the standards for screening set
695 forth in that section. The term “household member” means any
696 member of the family or any person, other than the child being
697 placed, over the age of 12 years who resides with the owner of
698 the family foster home if such member or person has any direct
699 contact with the child. Household members who are between the
700 ages of 12 and 18 years are not required to be fingerprinted but
701 must be screened for delinquency records.
702 (l) (j) “Residential child-caring agency” means any person,
703 corporation, or agency, public or private, other than the
704 child’s parent or legal guardian, that provides staffed 24-hour
705 care for children in facilities maintained for that purpose,
706 regardless of whether operated for profit or whether a fee is
707 charged. Such residential child-caring agencies include, but are
708 not limited to, maternity homes, runaway shelters, group homes
709 that are administered by an agency, emergency shelters that are
710 not in private residences, and wilderness camps. Residential
711 child-caring agencies do not include hospitals, boarding
712 schools, summer or recreation camps, nursing homes, or
713 facilities operated by a governmental agency for the training,
714 treatment, or secure care of delinquent youth, or facilities
715 licensed under s. 393.067 or s. 394.875 or chapter 397.
716 (m) (k) “Screening” means the act of assessing the
717 background of personnel and includes, but is not limited to,
718 employment history checks as provided in chapter 435, using the
719 level 2 standards for screening set forth in that chapter.
720 (n) “Severe disability” means a physical, developmental, or
721 cognitive limitation affecting an individual’s ability to safely
722 submit fingerprints.
723 (o) (l) “Summer day camp” means recreational, educational,
724 and other enrichment programs operated during summer vacations
725 for children who are 5 years of age on or before September 1 and
727 (p) (m) “Summer 24-hour camp” means recreational,
728 educational, and other enrichment programs operated on a 24-hour
729 basis during summer vacation for children who are 5 years of age
730 on or before September 1 and older, that are not exclusively
732 (4)(a) A person, family foster home, or residential child
733 caring agency may not provide continuing full-time child care or
734 custody unless such person, home, or agency has first procured a
735 license from the department to provide such care. This
736 requirement does not apply to a person who is a relative of the
737 child by blood, marriage, or adoption, a permanent guardian
738 established under s. 39.6221, a licensed child-placing agency,
739 or an intermediary for the purposes of adoption pursuant to
740 chapter 63. A guardian who is applying for the Guardianship
741 Assistance Program established in s. 39.6225 must apply for a
742 license with the department as part of the eligibility
743 requirements for the program.
744 (b) A person or agency, other than a parent or legal
745 guardian of the child or an intermediary as defined in s.
746 63.032, may shall not place or arrange for the placement of a
747 child in a family foster home, residential child-caring agency,
748 or adoptive home unless such person or agency has first procured
749 a license from the department to do so.
750 (c) A state, county, city, or political subdivision may
751 shall not operate a residential group care agency, or receive
752 children for placement in residential group care facilities,
753 family foster homes, or adoptive homes without a license issued
754 pursuant to this section.
755 (d) This license requirement does not apply to boarding
756 schools, recreation and summer camps, nursing homes, hospitals,
757 or to persons who care for children of friends or neighbors in
758 their homes for periods not to exceed 90 days or to persons who
759 have received a child for adoption from a licensed child-placing
761 (e) The department or licensed child-placing agency may
762 place a 16-year-old child or 17-year-old child in her or his own
763 unlicensed residence, or in the unlicensed residence of an adult
764 who has no supervisory responsibility for the child, provided
765 the department or licensed child-placing agency retains
766 supervisory responsibility for the child.
767 (5) (a) The department shall adopt and amend licensing rules
768 for the levels of licensed care associated with the licensure of
769 family foster homes, residential child-caring agencies, and
770 child-placing agencies. The rules may also include criteria to
771 approve waivers of licensing requirements for such homes and
772 agencies when applying for a child-specific license.
773 (a) Family foster homes shall be classified by levels of
774 licensure, as follows:
775 1. Level I.—
776 a. Level I family foster homes are child-specific foster
778 b. The caregiver of a level I family foster home must meet
779 all licensing requirements pursuant to paragraph (b). However,
780 requirements not directly related to safety may be waived.
781 2. Level II.—
782 a. Level II family foster homes are non-child-specific
783 foster homes.
784 b. The caregiver of a level II family foster home must meet
785 all licensing requirements pursuant to paragraph (b).
786 3. Level III.—
787 a. Level III family foster homes are safe foster homes for
788 victims of human trafficking.
789 b. The caregiver of a level III family foster home must
790 meet all licensing requirements pursuant to paragraph (b) and
791 all certification requirements pursuant to s. 409.1678.
792 4. Level IV.—
793 a. Level IV family foster homes are therapeutic foster
795 b. The caregiver of a level IV family foster home must meet
796 all licensing requirements pursuant to paragraph (b) and all
797 certification requirements established by rule by the Agency for
798 Health Care Administration.
799 5. Level V.—
800 a. Level V family foster homes are medical foster homes.
801 b. The caregiver of a level V family foster home must meet
802 all licensing requirements pursuant to paragraph (b) and all
803 certification requirements established by rule by the Agency for
804 Health Care Administration The department may also adopt rules
805 relating to the screening requirements for summer day camps and
806 summer 24-hour camps.
807 (b) The requirements for licensure and operation of family
808 foster homes, residential child-caring agencies, and child
809 placing agencies shall include:
810 1. The operation, conduct, and maintenance of these homes
811 and agencies and the responsibility which they assume for
812 children served and the evidence of need for that service.
813 2. The provision of food, clothing, educational
814 opportunities, services, equipment, and individual supplies to
815 assure the healthy physical, emotional, and mental development
816 of the children served.
817 3. The appropriateness, safety, cleanliness, and general
818 adequacy of the premises, including fire prevention and health
819 standards, to provide for the physical comfort, care, and well
820 being of the children served.
821 4. The ratio of staff to children required to provide
822 adequate care and supervision of the children served and, in the
823 case of foster homes, the maximum number of children in the
825 5. The good moral character based upon screening,
826 education, training, and experience requirements for personnel.
827 6. The department may grant exemptions from
828 disqualification from working with children or the
829 developmentally disabled as provided in s. 435.07.
830 7. The provision of preservice and inservice training for
831 all foster parents and agency staff.
832 8. Satisfactory evidence of financial ability to provide
833 care for the children in compliance with licensing requirements.
834 9. The maintenance by the agency of records pertaining to
835 admission, progress, health, and discharge of children served,
836 including written case plans and reports to the department.
837 10. The provision for parental involvement to encourage
838 preservation and strengthening of a child’s relationship with
839 the family.
840 11. The transportation safety of children served.
841 12. The provisions for safeguarding the cultural,
842 religious, and ethnic values of a child.
843 13. Provisions to safeguard the legal rights of children
845 (c) (b) The requirements for the licensure and operation of
846 a child-placing agency shall also include compliance with the
847 requirements of ss. 63.0422 and 790.335.
848 (d) (c) The department shall randomly drug test a licensed
849 foster parent if there is a reasonable suspicion that he or she
850 is using illegal drugs. The cost of testing shall be paid by the
851 foster parent but shall be reimbursed by the department if the
852 test is negative. The department may adopt rules necessary to
853 administer this paragraph.
854 (e) (d) In adopting promulgating licensing rules pursuant to
855 this section, the department may make distinctions among types
856 of care; numbers of children served; and the physical, mental,
857 emotional, and educational needs of the children to be served by
858 a home or agency.
859 (f) (e) The department may shall not adopt rules which
860 interfere with the free exercise of religion or which regulate
861 religious instruction or teachings in any child-caring or child
862 placing home or agency. This section may not ; however, nothing
863 herein shall be construed to allow religious instruction or
864 teachings that are inconsistent with the health, safety, or
865 well-being of any child; with public morality; or with the
866 religious freedom of children, parents, or legal guardians who
867 place their children in such homes or agencies.
868 (g) (f) The department’s rules shall include adoption of a
869 form to be used by child-placing agencies during an adoption
870 home study that requires all prospective adoptive applicants to
871 acknowledge in writing the receipt of a document containing
872 solely and exclusively the language provided for in s. 790.174
874 (6)(a) An application for a license shall be made on forms
875 provided, and in the manner prescribed, by the department. The
876 department shall make a determination as to the good moral
877 character of the applicant based upon screening. Adult household
878 members with severe disabilities may be granted an exemption
879 from fingerprinting requirements pursuant to s. 39.0138.
880 (b) Upon application, the department shall conduct a
881 licensing study based on its licensing rules; shall inspect the
882 home or the agency and the records, including financial records,
883 of the agency; and shall interview the applicant. The department
884 may authorize a licensed child-placing agency to conduct the
885 licensing study of a family foster home to be used exclusively
886 by that agency and to verify to the department that the home
887 meets the licensing requirements established by the department.
888 Upon certification by a licensed child-placing agency that a
889 family foster home meets the licensing requirements and upon
890 receipt of a letter from a community-based care lead agency in
891 the service area where the home will be licensed which indicates
892 that the family foster home meets the criteria established by
893 the lead agency, the department shall issue the license. A
894 letter from the lead agency is not required if the lead agency
895 where the proposed home is located is directly supervising
896 foster homes in the same service area.
897 (c) A licensed family foster home, child-placing agency, or
898 residential child-caring agency which applies for renewal of its
899 license shall submit to the department a list of personnel who
900 have worked on a continuous basis at the applicant family foster
901 home or agency since submitting fingerprints to the department,
902 identifying those for whom a written assurance of compliance was
903 provided by the department and identifying those personnel who
904 have recently begun working at the family foster home or agency
905 and are awaiting the results of the required fingerprint check,
906 along with the date of the submission of those fingerprints for
907 processing. The department shall by rule determine the frequency
908 of requests to the Department of Law Enforcement to run state
909 criminal records checks for such personnel except for those
910 personnel awaiting the results of initial fingerprint checks for
911 employment at the applicant family foster home or agency.
912 (d)1. The department may pursue other remedies provided in
913 this section in addition to denial or revocation of a license
914 for failure to comply with the screening requirements. The
915 disciplinary actions determination to be made by the department
916 and the procedure for hearing for applicants and licensees shall
917 be in accordance with chapter 120.
918 2. When the department has reasonable cause to believe that
919 grounds for denial or termination of employment exist, it shall
920 notify, in writing, the applicant, licensee, or summer or
921 recreation camp, and the personnel affected, stating the
922 specific record that indicates noncompliance with the screening
924 3. Procedures established for hearing under chapter 120
925 shall be available to the applicant, licensee, summer day camp,
926 or summer 24-hour camp, and affected personnel, in order to
927 present evidence relating either to the accuracy of the basis
928 for exclusion or to the denial of an exemption from
929 disqualification. Such procedures may also be used to challenge
930 a decision by a community-based care lead agency’s refusal to
931 issue a letter supporting an application for licensure. If the
932 challenge is to the actions of the community-based care lead
933 agency, the respondent to the challenge shall be the lead agency
934 and the department shall be notified of the proceedings.
935 4. Refusal on the part of an applicant to dismiss personnel
936 who have been found not to be in compliance with the
937 requirements for good moral character of personnel shall result
938 in automatic denial or revocation of license in addition to any
939 other remedies provided in this section which may be pursued by
940 the department.
941 (e) At the request of the department, the local county
942 health department shall inspect a home or agency according to
943 the licensing rules promulgated by the department. Inspection
944 reports shall be furnished to the department within 30 days of
945 the request. Such an inspection shall only be required when
946 called for by the licensing agency.
947 (f) All residential child-caring agencies must meet
948 firesafety standards for such agencies adopted by the Division
949 of State Fire Marshal of the Department of Financial Services
950 and must be inspected annually. At the request of the
951 department, firesafety inspections shall be conducted by the
952 Division of State Fire Marshal or a local fire department
953 official who has been certified by the division as having
954 completed the training requirements for persons inspecting such
955 agencies. Inspection reports shall be furnished to the
956 department within 30 days of a request.
957 (g) In the licensing process, the licensing staff of the
958 department shall provide consultation on request.
959 (h) Upon determination that the applicant meets the state
960 minimum licensing requirements and has obtained a letter from a
961 community-based care lead agency which indicates that the family
962 foster home meets the criteria established by the lead agency,
963 the department shall issue a license without charge to a
964 specific person or agency at a specific location. A license may
965 be issued if all the screening materials have been timely
966 submitted; however, a license may not be issued or renewed if
967 any person at the home or agency has failed the required
968 screening. The license is nontransferable. A copy of the license
969 shall be displayed in a conspicuous place. Except as provided in
970 paragraph (j), the license is valid for 1 year from the date of
971 issuance, unless the license is suspended or revoked by the
972 department or is voluntarily surrendered by the licensee. The
973 license is the property of the department.
974 (i) The issuance of a license to operate a family foster
975 home or agency does not require a lead agency to place a child
976 with the home or agency. A license issued for the operation of a
977 family foster home or agency, unless sooner suspended, revoked,
978 or voluntarily returned, will expire automatically 1 year from
979 the date of issuance except as provided in paragraph (j). Ninety
980 days before prior to the expiration date, an application for
981 renewal shall be submitted to the department by a licensee who
982 wishes to have the license renewed. A license shall be renewed
983 upon the filing of an application on forms furnished by the
984 department if the applicant has first met the requirements
985 established under this section and the rules promulgated
987 (j) Except for a family foster group home having a licensed
988 capacity for more than five children, the department may issue a
989 license that is valid for longer than 1 year but no longer than
990 3 years to a family foster home that:
991 1. Has maintained a license with the department as a family
992 foster home for at least the 3 previous consecutive years;
993 2. Remains in good standing with the department; and
994 3. Has not been the subject of a report of child abuse or
995 neglect with any findings of maltreatment.
997 A family foster home that has been issued a license valid for
998 longer than 1 year must be monitored and visited as frequently
999 as one that has been issued a 1-year license. The department
1000 reserves the right to reduce a licensure period to 1 year at any
1002 (k) The department may not license summer day camps or
1003 summer 24-hour camps. However, the department shall have access
1004 to the personnel records of such facilities to ensure compliance
1005 with the screening requirements. The department may adopt rules
1006 relating to the screening requirements for summer day camps and
1007 summer 24-hour camps.
1008 (14)(a) In order to provide improved services to children,
1009 the department shall provide or cause to be provided preservice
1010 training for prospective foster parents and emergency shelter
1011 parents and inservice training for foster parents and emergency
1012 shelter parents who are licensed and supervised by the
1014 (b) As a condition of licensure, foster parents and
1015 emergency shelter parents shall successfully complete a minimum
1016 of 21 hours of preservice training. The preservice training
1017 shall be uniform statewide and shall include, but not be limited
1018 to, such areas as:
1019 1. Orientation regarding agency purpose, objectives,
1020 resources, policies, and services;
1021 2. Role of the foster parent and the emergency shelter
1022 parent as a treatment team member;
1023 3. Transition of a child into and out of foster care and
1024 emergency shelter care, including issues of separation, loss,
1025 and attachment;
1026 4. Management of difficult child behavior that can be
1027 intensified by placement, by prior abuse or neglect, and by
1028 prior placement disruptions;
1029 5. Prevention of placement disruptions;
1030 6. Care of children at various developmental levels,
1031 including appropriate discipline; and
1032 7. Effects of foster parenting on the family of the foster
1033 parent and the emergency shelter parent.
1034 (c) In consultation with foster parents, each region
1035 district or lead agency shall develop a plan for making the
1036 completion of the required training as convenient as possible
1037 for potential foster parents and emergency-shelter parents. The
1038 plan should include, without limitation, such strategies as
1039 providing training in nontraditional locations and at
1040 nontraditional times. The plan must be revised at least annually
1041 and must be included in the information provided to each person
1042 applying to become a foster parent or emergency-shelter parent.
1043 (d) Before Prior to licensure renewal, each level II
1044 through level V foster parent and emergency shelter parent shall
1045 successfully complete 8 hours of inservice training. Each level
1046 I foster parent shall successfully complete 4 hours of inservice
1047 training. Periodic time-limited training courses shall be made
1048 available for selective use by foster parents and emergency
1049 shelter parents. Such inservice training shall include subjects
1050 affecting the daily living experiences of foster parenting as a
1051 foster parent or as an emergency shelter parent, whichever is
1052 appropriate. For a foster parent or emergency shelter parent
1053 participating in the required inservice training, the department
1054 shall reimburse such parent for travel expenditures and, if both
1055 parents in a home are attending training or if the absence of
1056 the parent would leave the children without departmentally
1057 approved adult supervision, either the department shall make
1058 provision for child care or shall reimburse the foster or
1059 emergency shelter parents for child care purchased by the
1060 parents for children in their care.
1061 Section 12. Subsection (1) of section 39.302, Florida
1062 Statutes, is amended to read:
1063 39.302 Protective investigations of institutional child
1064 abuse, abandonment, or neglect.—
1065 (1) The department shall conduct a child protective
1066 investigation of each report of institutional child abuse,
1067 abandonment, or neglect. Upon receipt of a report that alleges
1068 that an employee or agent of the department, or any other entity
1069 or person covered by s. 39.01(37) or (54) s. 39.01(32) or (48),
1070 acting in an official capacity, has committed an act of child
1071 abuse, abandonment, or neglect, the department shall initiate a
1072 child protective investigation within the timeframe established
1073 under s. 39.201(5) and notify the appropriate state attorney,
1074 law enforcement agency, and licensing agency, which shall
1075 immediately conduct a joint investigation, unless independent
1076 investigations are more feasible. When conducting investigations
1077 or having face-to-face interviews with the child, investigation
1078 visits shall be unannounced unless it is determined by the
1079 department or its agent that unannounced visits threaten the
1080 safety of the child. If a facility is exempt from licensing, the
1081 department shall inform the owner or operator of the facility of
1082 the report. Each agency conducting a joint investigation is
1083 entitled to full access to the information gathered by the
1084 department in the course of the investigation. A protective
1085 investigation must include an interview with the child’s parent
1086 or legal guardian. The department shall make a full written
1087 report to the state attorney within 3 working days after making
1088 the oral report. A criminal investigation shall be coordinated,
1089 whenever possible, with the child protective investigation of
1090 the department. Any interested person who has information
1091 regarding the offenses described in this subsection may forward
1092 a statement to the state attorney as to whether prosecution is
1093 warranted and appropriate. Within 15 days after the completion
1094 of the investigation, the state attorney shall report the
1095 findings to the department and shall include in the report a
1096 determination of whether or not prosecution is justified and
1097 appropriate in view of the circumstances of the specific case.
1098 Section 13. Paragraph (c) of subsection (1) of section
1099 39.6012, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
1100 39.6012 Case plan tasks; services.—
1101 (1) The services to be provided to the parent and the tasks
1102 that must be completed are subject to the following:
1103 (c) If there is evidence of harm as defined in s.
1104 39.01(35)(g) s. 39.01(30)(g), the case plan must include as a
1105 required task for the parent whose actions caused the harm that
1106 the parent submit to a substance abuse disorder assessment or
1107 evaluation and participate and comply with treatment and
1108 services identified in the assessment or evaluation as being
1110 Section 14. Paragraph (p) of subsection (4) of section
1111 394.495, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
1112 394.495 Child and adolescent mental health system of care;
1113 programs and services.—
1114 (4) The array of services may include, but is not limited
1116 (p) Trauma-informed services for children who have suffered
1117 sexual exploitation as defined in s. 39.01(77)(g) s.
1119 Section 15. Paragraph (b) of subsection (2) of section
1120 409.1676, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
1121 409.1676 Comprehensive residential group care services to
1122 children who have extraordinary needs.—
1123 (2) As used in this section, the term:
1124 (b) “Residential group care” means a living environment for
1125 children who have been adjudicated dependent and are expected to
1126 be in foster care for at least 6 months with 24-hour-awake staff
1127 or live-in group home parents or staff. Each facility must be
1128 appropriately licensed in this state as a residential child
1129 caring agency as defined in s.409.175(2)(l) s. 409.175(2)(j) and
1130 must be accredited by July 1, 2005. A residential group care
1131 facility serving children having a serious behavioral problem as
1132 defined in this section must have available staff or contract
1133 personnel with the clinical expertise, credentials, and training
1134 to provide services identified in subsection (4).
1135 Section 16. Subsection (5) of section 960.065, Florida
1136 Statutes, is amended to read:
1137 960.065 Eligibility for awards.—
1138 (5) A person is not ineligible for an award pursuant to
1139 paragraph (2)(a), paragraph (2)(b), or paragraph (2)(c) if that
1140 person is a victim of sexual exploitation of a child as defined
1141 in s. 39.01(77)(g) s. 39.01(71)(g).
1142 Section 17. This act shall take effect July 1, 2018.