Florida Senate - 2018                          SENATOR AMENDMENT
       Bill No. CS for CS for CS for SB 1650
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                 Floor: WD/2R          .                                
             03/01/2018 01:33 PM       .                                

       Senator Book moved the following:
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Between lines 269 and 270
    4  insert:
    5         Section 3. Section 39.01304, Florida Statutes, is created
    6  to read:
    7         39.01304 Early childhood court programs.—
    9         (a)The Legislature finds that the traditional dependency
   10  court process focuses primarily on ensuring safety and
   11  permanency for young children, while paying less attention to
   12  the mental health and developmental needs of those children
   13  related to maltreatment and the disruption in the parent-child
   14  relationship.
   15         (b)The Legislature also finds that the emotional problems
   16  that manifest themselves in infancy and early childhood are less
   17  obvious than the behavioral and mental health problems of older
   18  children in out-of-home care.
   19         (c)The Legislature also finds it is important to identify
   20  evidence-based practices and trauma-informed care approaches to
   21  mitigate the impact of maltreatment on young children placed in
   22  out-of-home care and to improve outcomes for them and their
   23  families.
   24         (d)The Legislature further finds that every young child in
   25  out-of-home care should be afforded the advantages that can be
   26  gained from the use of specialized dockets, multidisciplinary
   27  teams, and a nonadversarial approach in connection with
   28  dependency proceedings in a systems integration approach to heal
   29  the child and, if possible, the parent-child relationship.
   30         (e)It is the intent of the Legislature to encourage the
   31  department, the Department of Health, the early learning
   32  coalitions, and other such agencies, local governments,
   33  interested public or private entities, and individuals to
   34  support the creation and establishment of early childhood court
   35  programs.
   36         (2) PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT.—An early childhood court is a
   37  problem-solving court with a specialized court docket created
   38  under this section that uses evidence-based practices and
   39  trauma-informed care approaches to address cases involving young
   40  children in out-of-home care. An early childhood court depends
   41  on the leadership of a judge or magistrate knowledgeable about
   42  the science of early childhood development who requires rigorous
   43  efforts to heal the child physically and emotionally, as well as
   44  broad collaboration among professionals from different systems
   45  working directly in the court as a team with a shared
   46  understanding that the parent-child relationship is the
   47  foundation of child well-being. A court may be recognized by the
   48  Office of the State Courts Administrator as an early childhood
   49  court if it contains the following components:
   50         (a)Judicial leadership.—In an early childhood court,
   51  therapeutic jurisprudence drives every aspect of judicial
   52  practice on the bench. The judge engages in practices seldom
   53  seen in traditional courtrooms in order to support the
   54  therapeutic work of the parent and child in a nonadversarial
   55  manner. As used in this section, the term “therapeutic
   56  jurisprudence” means the study of how the law acts as a
   57  therapeutic agent and focuses on the law’s impact on emotional
   58  and psychological well-being.
   59         (b)Community coordination.—Each early childhood court must
   60  have a procedure for coordinating services and resources for
   61  families with a case on the court docket. To meet this
   62  requirement, the court either may hire a local community
   63  coordinator with child development expertise who works with the
   64  judge or magistrate to facilitate collaboration among the
   65  members of the court team or use a coordination system that
   66  integrates and institutionalizes a progression of services.
   67         (c)Court team.—The court team is made up of key community
   68  stakeholders who commit to work with the judge or magistrate to
   69  restructure the way the community responds to the needs of
   70  maltreated children. The team may include, but not be limited
   71  to, early intervention specialists; mental health and infant
   72  mental health professionals; attorneys representing children,
   73  parents, and the child welfare system; children’s advocates;
   74  early learning coalitions and child care providers; substance
   75  abuse treatment providers; primary health care providers; and
   76  guardians ad litem. The court team shall also address the need
   77  for children in an early childhood court program to receive
   78  medical care in a medical home, a screening for developmental
   79  delays conducted by the local agency responsible for complying
   80  with part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act,
   81  and quality child care.
   82         (d)Continuum of mental health services.—Young children who
   83  have experienced trauma may benefit from mental health services
   84  that work with them and their parents. Parents who maltreat
   85  their very young children need some level of intervention to
   86  help them understand their children’s needs and learn ways to
   87  build strong supportive bonds. The continuum of mental health
   88  services provided should include a focus on the parent-child
   89  relationship and should be appropriate for each child and family
   90  served.
   92  While an early childhood court typically serves children from
   93  the ages of 0-3 years of age, nothing in this section shall
   94  prevent a court from expanding the docket to include children
   95  over 3 years of age depending on available resources.
   96         (3) PROGRAM IMPLEMENTATION.—Subject to appropriation and
   97  the availability of additional resources:
   98         (a)The courts may create early childhood court programs
   99  that use specialized dockets, multidisciplinary teams, and a
  100  nonadversarial approach in connection with dependency
  101  proceedings.
  102         (b) By August 1, 2018, the Office of the State Courts
  103  Administrator shall coordinate with the appropriate circuit
  104  court to hire and train a full-time community coordinator at
  105  each early childhood court program site that was in existence on
  106  July 1, 2018, and may hire a statewide community coordinator to
  107  implement the program. If an early childhood court uses an
  108  alternative coordination system under paragraph (2)(b), the
  109  Office of the State Courts Administrator may provide funding
  110  equivalent to a community coordinator position to the court for
  111  case coordination functions.
  112         (c) The Office of the State Courts Administrator shall
  113  contract with one or more university-based centers with an
  114  expertise in infant mental health to hire a clinical director to
  115  ensure quality, accountability, and fidelity to the early
  116  childhood court model, including, but not limited to, training
  117  and technical assistance related to clinical services, clinical
  118  consultation and guidance for difficult cases, and ongoing
  119  clinical training for court teams.
  120         (4) TRAINING.—Within appropriated funds, the Office of the
  121  State Courts Administrator, in partnership with contracted
  122  centers in subsection (3), shall provide training to the
  123  participating court teams on meeting the program objectives.
  124         (5) EVALUATION OF THE PROGRAM.—
  125         (a) In consultation with the department, the Office of the
  126  State Courts Administrator, and contracted centers in subsection
  127  (3), the Florida Institute for Child Welfare shall evaluate the
  128  impact of the early childhood court program, if implemented, on
  129  children and families in Florida’s child welfare system.
  130         (b) The evaluation must include the analysis of data
  131  collected by the Office of the State Courts Administrator and
  132  measurable outcomes, including, but not limited to, the impact
  133  of the early childhood court program on the future incidence of
  134  maltreatment of children, timely permanency, reunification of
  135  families, and incidents of children reentering the child welfare
  136  system. The evaluation must provide recommendations as to
  137  whether and how the program should be expanded, the projected
  138  costs of such expansion, and projected savings to the state
  139  resulting from the program.
  140         (c) The institute shall submit the results of the
  141  evaluation to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the
  142  Speaker of the House of Representatives, by October 1, 2021.
  143         (6) ANNUAL REPORTS.—By December 1, 2019 and 2020, the
  144  Florida Institute for Child Welfare shall provide reports on the
  145  status of the program, if implemented, to the Governor, the
  146  President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of
  147  Representatives.
  149  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  150  And the title is amended as follows:
  151         Between lines 8 and 9
  152  insert:
  153         creating s. 39.01304, F.S.; providing legislative
  154         findings and intent; requiring a court to incorporate
  155         specified components to be considered an early
  156         childhood court; subject to an appropriation and
  157         available resources, authorizing the courts to create
  158         early childhood court programs; requiring the Office
  159         of the State Courts Administrator to coordinate with
  160         the appropriate circuit court to employ and train a
  161         community coordinator for each program site in
  162         existence on a certain date; authorizing the office to
  163         hire a statewide community coordinator; authorizing
  164         the office to provide certain funding if an early
  165         childhood court uses an alternative coordination
  166         system; requiring the office to contract with certain
  167         university-based centers; requiring a contracted
  168         center to hire a clinical director for specified
  169         purposes; requiring the office, in partnership with
  170         the centers and within appropriated funds, to provide
  171         training to program court teams; requiring the Florida
  172         Institute for Child Welfare to conduct an evaluation
  173         of the program’s impact in consultation with the
  174         Department of Children and Families, the office, and
  175         the contracted centers; requiring the evaluation to
  176         include certain data and recommendations; requiring
  177         the institute to submit the results of its evaluation
  178         to the Governor and the Legislature by a specified
  179         date; requiring the institute to submit annual
  180         reports;