Florida Senate - 2020                                    SB 1748
       By Senator Hutson
       7-01039A-20                                           20201748__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to child welfare; amending s. 39.01,
    3         F.S.; revising definitions; amending s. 39.0135, F.S.;
    4         requiring that child support payments be deposited
    5         into specified trust funds; amending s. 39.202, F.S.;
    6         authorizing the Agency for Health Care Administration
    7         to access certain records; amending s. 39.407, F.S.;
    8         authorizing the Department of Children and Families to
    9         place children in a specified program without court
   10         approval; defining the term “qualifying assessment”
   11         and revising definitions; providing applicability;
   12         requiring an assessment by a specified professional in
   13         order to be placed in a program; requiring assessment
   14         within a specified timeframe; requiring that an
   15         assessment be provided to certain persons; requiring
   16         the department to submit a specified report to the
   17         court; requiring the court to approve program
   18         placement for a child; authorizing the department to
   19         adopt rules relating to the program; amending s.
   20         39.6011, F.S.; requiring certain documentation in the
   21         case plan when a child is placed in a qualified
   22         residential treatment program; amending s. 39.6221,
   23         F.S.; revising the conditions under which a court
   24         determines permanent guardian placement for a child;
   25         amending s. 39.6251, F.S.; specifying certain
   26         facilities that are not considered a supervised living
   27         arrangement; requiring a supervised living arrangement
   28         to be voluntary; amending s. 61.30, F.S.; providing a
   29         presumption for child support in proceedings under
   30         chapter 39; amending s. 409.145, F.S.; requiring
   31         certain screening requirements for residential group
   32         home employees and caregivers; requiring a written
   33         agreement to modify foster care room and board rates;
   34         providing an exception; repealing s. 409.1676, F.S.,
   35         relating to comprehensive residential group care
   36         services to children who have extraordinary needs;
   37         creating s. 409.16765, F.S.; defining the term
   38         “qualified residential treatment program”; providing
   39         requirements for qualified residential treatment
   40         programs; providing responsibilities for community
   41         based care lead agencies; providing placement
   42         timeframes for the qualified residential treatment
   43         program; requiring the department to adopt rules;
   44         amending s. 409.1678, F.S.; revising a requirement and
   45         an authorization for safe houses; repealing s.
   46         409.1679, F.S., relating to comprehensive residential
   47         group care requirements and reimbursement; amending s.
   48         409.175, F.S.; revising definitions; amending ss.
   49         39.301, 39.302, 39.402, 39.501, and 39.6013, F.S.;
   50         making technical and conforming changes; providing an
   51         effective date.
   53  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   55         Section 1. Subsections (11) and (67) of section 39.01,
   56  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
   57         39.01 Definitions.—When used in this chapter, unless the
   58  context otherwise requires:
   59         (11) “Case plan” means a document, as described in s.
   60  39.6011, prepared by the department with input from all parties.
   61  The case plan follows the child from the provision of preventive
   62  voluntary services through any dependency, foster care, or
   63  termination of parental rights proceeding or related activity or
   64  process.
   65         (67) “Preventive services” means social services and other
   66  supportive and rehabilitative services provided, either
   67  voluntarily or by court order, to the parent or legal custodian
   68  of the child and to the child or on behalf of the child for the
   69  purpose of averting the removal of the child from the home or
   70  disruption of a family which will or could result in the
   71  placement of a child in foster care. Social services and other
   72  supportive and rehabilitative services shall promote the child’s
   73  developmental needs and need for physical, mental, and emotional
   74  health and a safe, stable, living environment; shall promote
   75  family autonomy; and shall strengthen family life, whenever
   76  possible.
   77         Section 2. Section 39.0135, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   78  read:
   79         39.0135 Federal Grants and Operations and Maintenance Trust
   80  Funds Fund.—The department shall deposit all child support
   81  payments made to the department, equaling the cost of care,
   82  under pursuant to this chapter into the Federal Grants Trust
   83  Fund for Title IV-E eligible children and the Operations and
   84  Maintenance Trust Fund for children ineligible for Title IV-E.
   85  If the child support payment does not equal the cost of care,
   86  the total amount of the payment shall be deposited into the
   87  appropriate trust fund. The purpose of this funding is to care
   88  for children who are committed to the temporary legal custody of
   89  the department.
   90         Section 3. Paragraphs (a) and (h) of subsection (2) of
   91  section 39.202, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
   92         39.202 Confidentiality of reports and records in cases of
   93  child abuse or neglect.—
   94         (2) Except as provided in subsection (4), access to such
   95  records, excluding the name of, or other identifying information
   96  with respect to, the reporter which shall be released only as
   97  provided in subsection (5), shall be granted only to the
   98  following persons, officials, and agencies:
   99         (a) Employees, authorized agents, or contract providers of
  100  the department, the Department of Health, the Agency for Persons
  101  with Disabilities, the Agency for Health Care Administration,
  102  the Office of Early Learning, or county agencies responsible for
  103  carrying out:
  104         1. Child or adult protective investigations;
  105         2. Ongoing child or adult protective services;
  106         3. Early intervention and prevention services;
  107         4. Healthy Start services;
  108         5. Licensure or approval of adoptive homes, foster homes,
  109  child care facilities, facilities licensed under chapters 393
  110  and 394 chapter 393, family day care homes, providers who
  111  receive school readiness funding under part VI of chapter 1002,
  112  or other homes used to provide for the care and welfare of
  113  children;
  114         6. Employment screening for employees caregivers in
  115  residential group homes licensed by the department, the Agency
  116  for Persons with Disabilities, or the Agency for Health Care
  117  Administration; or
  118         7. Services for victims of domestic violence when provided
  119  by certified domestic violence centers working at the
  120  department’s request as case consultants or with shared clients.
  122  Also, employees or agents of the Department of Juvenile Justice
  123  responsible for the provision of services to children, under
  124  pursuant to chapters 984 and 985.
  125         (h) Any appropriate official of the department, the Agency
  126  for Health Care Administration, or the Agency for Persons with
  127  Disabilities who is responsible for:
  128         1. Administration or supervision of the department’s
  129  program for the prevention, investigation, or treatment of child
  130  abuse, abandonment, or neglect, or abuse, neglect, or
  131  exploitation of a vulnerable adult, when carrying out his or her
  132  official function;
  133         2. Taking appropriate administrative action concerning an
  134  employee of the department or the agency who is alleged to have
  135  perpetrated child abuse, abandonment, or neglect, or abuse,
  136  neglect, or exploitation of a vulnerable adult; or
  137         3. Employing and continuing employment of personnel of the
  138  department or the agency.
  139         Section 4. Subsection (6) of section 39.407, Florida
  140  Statutes, is amended to read:
  141         39.407 Medical, psychiatric, and psychological examination
  142  and treatment of child; physical, mental, or substance abuse
  143  examination of person with or requesting child custody.—
  144         (6) Children who are in the legal custody of the department
  145  may be placed by the department, without prior approval of the
  146  court, in a residential treatment center licensed under s.
  147  394.875, a qualified residential treatment program as defined in
  148  s. 409.16765, or a hospital licensed under chapter 395 for
  149  residential mental health treatment only under pursuant to this
  150  section or may be placed by the court in accordance with an
  151  order of involuntary examination or involuntary placement
  152  entered under pursuant to s. 394.463 or s. 394.467. All children
  153  placed in a residential treatment program under this subsection
  154  must have a guardian ad litem appointed.
  155         (a) As used in this subsection, the term:
  156         1. “Residential treatment” means placement for observation,
  157  diagnosis, or treatment of an emotional disturbance in a
  158  residential treatment center licensed under s. 394.875, a
  159  qualified residential treatment program defined in s. 409.16765,
  160  or a hospital licensed under chapter 395.
  161         2. “Least restrictive alternative” means the treatment and
  162  conditions of treatment that, separately and in combination, are
  163  no more intrusive or restrictive of freedom than reasonably
  164  necessary to achieve a substantial therapeutic benefit or to
  165  protect the child or adolescent or others from physical injury.
  166         3. “Suitable for residential treatment” or “suitability”
  167  means a determination concerning a child or adolescent with an
  168  emotional disturbance as defined in s. 394.492(5) or a serious
  169  emotional disturbance as defined in s. 394.492(6) that each of
  170  the following criteria is met:
  171         a. The child requires residential treatment.
  172         b. The child is in need of a residential treatment program
  173  and is expected to benefit from mental health treatment.
  174         c. An appropriate, less restrictive alternative to
  175  residential treatment is unavailable.
  176         4.“Qualifying assessment” means a determination by a
  177  department-approved functional assessment concerning a child or
  178  adolescent who has an emotional disturbance or a serious
  179  emotional disturbance or mental illness, as those terms are
  180  defined in s. 394.492, for recommended placement in a qualified
  181  residential treatment program under s. 409.16765.
  182         (b)1.If Whenever the department believes that a child in
  183  its legal custody is emotionally disturbed and may need
  184  residential treatment, an examination and suitability assessment
  185  must be conducted by a qualified evaluator who is appointed by
  186  the Agency for Health Care Administration. This suitability
  187  assessment must be completed before the placement of the child
  188  in a residential treatment center for emotionally disturbed
  189  children and adolescents or a hospital. The qualified evaluator
  190  must be a psychiatrist or a psychologist licensed in Florida who
  191  has at least 3 years of experience in the diagnosis and
  192  treatment of serious emotional disturbances in children and
  193  adolescents and who has no actual or perceived conflict of
  194  interest with any inpatient facility or residential treatment
  195  center or program. This paragraph does not apply to a child who
  196  may need placement in a qualified residential treatment program.
  197         2.(c) Before a child is admitted under this paragraph
  198  subsection, the child must shall be assessed for suitability for
  199  residential treatment by a qualified evaluator who has conducted
  200  a personal examination and assessment of the child and has made
  201  written findings that:
  202         a.1. The child appears to have an emotional disturbance
  203  serious enough to require residential treatment and is
  204  reasonably likely to benefit from the treatment.
  205         b.2. The child has been provided with a clinically
  206  appropriate explanation of the nature and purpose of the
  207  treatment.
  208         c.3. All available modalities of treatment less restrictive
  209  than residential treatment have been considered, and a less
  210  restrictive alternative that would offer comparable benefits to
  211  the child is unavailable.
  212         3. A copy of the written findings of the evaluation and
  213  suitability assessment must be provided to the department, to
  214  the guardian ad litem, and, if the child is a member of a
  215  Medicaid managed care plan, to the plan that is financially
  216  responsible for the child’s care in residential treatment, all
  217  of whom must be provided with the opportunity to discuss the
  218  findings with the evaluator.
  219         (c)1.If the department believes that a child in its legal
  220  custody has a serious emotional or behavioral disorder or
  221  disturbance and may need placement in a qualified residential
  222  treatment program, a qualifying assessment must be conducted by
  223  a qualified evaluator who is a trained professional with a
  224  master’s degree in human services, has at least 3 years’
  225  experience working with children or adolescents involved in the
  226  child welfare system of care, and has no actual or perceived
  227  conflict of interest with any inpatient facility or residential
  228  treatment center or program. The qualifying assessment must be
  229  completed no later than 30 days after placement of the child in
  230  a qualified residential treatment program.
  231         2.A copy of the qualifying assessment must be provided to
  232  the department; to the guardian ad litem; and, if the child is a
  233  member of a Medicaid managed care plan, to the plan that is
  234  financially responsible for the child’s care in residential
  235  treatment, all of whom must be provided with the opportunity to
  236  discuss the placement recommendations with the evaluator.
  237         (d) Immediately upon placing a child in a residential
  238  treatment program under this section, the department must notify
  239  the guardian ad litem and the court having jurisdiction over the
  240  child and must provide the guardian ad litem and the court with
  241  a copy of the suitability or qualifying assessment by the
  242  qualified evaluator.
  243         (e) Within 10 days after the admission of a child to a
  244  residential treatment program, the director of the residential
  245  treatment program or the director’s designee must ensure that an
  246  individualized plan of treatment has been prepared by the
  247  program and has been explained to the child, to the department,
  248  and to the guardian ad litem, and submitted to the department.
  249  The child must be involved in the preparation of the plan to the
  250  maximum feasible extent consistent with his or her ability to
  251  understand and participate, and the guardian ad litem and the
  252  child’s foster parents must be involved to the maximum extent
  253  consistent with the child’s treatment needs. The plan must
  254  include a preliminary plan for residential treatment and
  255  aftercare upon completion of residential treatment. The plan
  256  must include specific behavioral and emotional goals against
  257  which the success of the residential treatment may be measured.
  258  A copy of the plan must be provided to the child, to the
  259  guardian ad litem, and to the department.
  260         (f) Within 30 days after admission, the residential
  261  treatment program must review the appropriateness and
  262  suitability of the child’s placement in the program. The
  263  residential treatment program must determine whether the child
  264  is receiving benefit toward the treatment goals and whether the
  265  child could be treated in a less restrictive treatment program.
  266  The residential treatment program shall prepare a written report
  267  of its findings and submit the report to the guardian ad litem
  268  and to the department. The department must submit the report to
  269  the court. The report must include a discharge plan for the
  270  child. The residential treatment program must continue to
  271  evaluate the child’s treatment progress every 30 days thereafter
  272  and must include its findings in a written report submitted to
  273  the department and the guardian ad litem. The department must
  274  submit the report to the court. The department may not reimburse
  275  a facility until the facility has submitted every written report
  276  that is due.
  277         (g)1. The department must submit, at the beginning of each
  278  month, to the court having jurisdiction over the child, a
  279  written report regarding the child’s progress toward achieving
  280  the goals specified in the individualized plan of treatment.
  281         2. The court must conduct a hearing to review the status of
  282  the child’s residential treatment plan no later than 60 days
  283  after the child’s admission to the residential treatment
  284  program. An independent review of the child’s progress toward
  285  achieving the goals and objectives of the treatment plan must be
  286  completed by a qualified evaluator and submitted to the court
  287  before its 60-day review.
  288         3. For any child in residential treatment at the time a
  289  judicial review is held under pursuant to s. 39.701, the child’s
  290  continued placement in residential treatment must be a subject
  291  of the judicial review.
  292         4. If at any time the court determines that the child is
  293  not suitable for continued residential treatment, the court
  294  shall order the department to place the child in the least
  295  restrictive setting that is best suited to meet his or her
  296  needs.
  297         (h) After the initial 60-day review, the court must conduct
  298  a review of the child’s residential treatment plan every 90
  299  days.
  300         (i)In addition to the requirements of paragraphs (g) and
  301  (h), within 60 days after initial placement in a qualified
  302  residential treatment program, the court must approve or
  303  disapprove the placement based on the qualified assessment,
  304  determination, and documentation made by the qualified
  305  evaluator, as well as any other factors the court deems fit.
  306         (j)1.(i) The department must adopt rules for implementing
  307  timeframes for the completion of suitability and qualifying
  308  assessments by qualified evaluators and a procedure that
  309  includes timeframes for completing the 60-day independent review
  310  by the qualified evaluators of the child’s progress toward
  311  achieving the goals and objectives of the treatment plan which
  312  review must be submitted to the court. The Agency for Health
  313  Care Administration must adopt rules for the registration of
  314  qualified evaluators, the procedure for selecting the evaluators
  315  to conduct the reviews required under this section, and a
  316  reasonable, cost-efficient fee schedule for qualified
  317  evaluators.
  318         2.The department may adopt rules relating to the
  319  assessment tool, the placement recommendations from the
  320  assessment, and the training criteria for qualified evaluators
  321  in order to administer this section.
  322         Section 5. Subsections (6) through (9) of section 39.6011,
  323  Florida Statutes, are redesignated as subsections (7) through
  324  (10), respectively, and a new subsection (6) is added to that
  325  section, to read:
  326         39.6011 Case plan development.—
  327         (6)When a child is placed in a qualified residential
  328  treatment program, the case plan must include documentation
  329  outlining the most recent assessment for a qualified residential
  330  treatment program, the date of the most recent placement in a
  331  qualified residential treatment program, the treatment or
  332  service needs of the child, and preparation for the child to
  333  return home or be in an out-of-home placement. If a child is
  334  placed in a qualified residential treatment program for longer
  335  than the timeframes described in s. 409.16765, a copy of the
  336  signed approval of such placement by the department must be
  337  included in the case plan.
  338         Section 6. Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section
  339  39.6221, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  340         39.6221 Permanent guardianship of a dependent child.—
  341         (1) If a court determines that reunification or adoption is
  342  not in the best interest of the child, the court may place the
  343  child in a permanent guardianship with a relative or other adult
  344  approved by the court if all of the following conditions are
  345  met:
  346         (a) The child has been in the placement for not less than
  347  the preceding 6 months, or the preceding 3 months if the
  348  caregiver has been named as the successor guardian on the
  349  child’s Guardianship Assistance Agreement.
  350         Section 7. Paragraph (a) of subsection (4) of section
  351  39.6251, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  352         39.6251 Continuing care for young adults.—
  353         (4)(a) The young adult must reside in a supervised living
  354  environment that is approved by the department or a community
  355  based care lead agency. The young adult shall live
  356  independently, but in an environment in which he or she is
  357  provided supervision, case management, and supportive services
  358  by the department or lead agency. Such an environment must offer
  359  developmentally appropriate freedom and responsibility to
  360  prepare the young adult for adulthood. For the purposes of this
  361  subsection, a supervised living arrangement may include a
  362  licensed foster home, licensed group home, college dormitory,
  363  shared housing, apartment, or another housing arrangement if the
  364  arrangement is approved by the community-based care lead agency
  365  and is acceptable to the young adult. A young adult may continue
  366  to reside with the same licensed foster family or group care
  367  provider with whom he or she was residing at the time he or she
  368  reached the age of 18 years. A supervised living arrangement may
  369  not include detention facilities, forestry camps, training
  370  schools, or any other facility operated primarily for the
  371  detention of children or young adults who are determined to be
  372  delinquent. A young adult may not reside in any setting in which
  373  the young adult is involuntarily placed.
  374         Section 8. Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section
  375  61.30, Florida Statutes, is amended, and paragraph (d) is added
  376  to that subsection, to read:
  377         61.30 Child support guidelines; retroactive child support.—
  378         (1)(a) The child support guideline amount as determined by
  379  this section presumptively establishes the amount the trier of
  380  fact shall order as child support in an initial proceeding for
  381  such support or in a proceeding for modification of an existing
  382  order for such support, whether the proceeding arises under this
  383  or another chapter, except as provided in paragraph (d). The
  384  trier of fact may order payment of child support which varies,
  385  plus or minus 5 percent, from the guideline amount, after
  386  considering all relevant factors, including the needs of the
  387  child or children, age, station in life, standard of living, and
  388  the financial status and ability of each parent. The trier of
  389  fact may order payment of child support in an amount which
  390  varies more than 5 percent from such guideline amount only upon
  391  a written finding explaining why ordering payment of such
  392  guideline amount would be unjust or inappropriate.
  393  Notwithstanding the variance limitations of this section, the
  394  trier of fact shall order payment of child support which varies
  395  from the guideline amount as provided in paragraph (11)(b)
  396  whenever any of the children are required by court order or
  397  mediation agreement to spend a substantial amount of time with
  398  either parent. This requirement applies to any living
  399  arrangement, whether temporary or permanent.
  400         (d)In a proceeding under chapter 39, if the child is in an
  401  out-of-home placement, the presumptively correct amount of
  402  periodic support is 10 percent of the obligor’s actual or
  403  imputed gross income. The court may deviate from this
  404  presumption as provided in paragraph (a).
  405         Section 9. Paragraph (e) of subsection (2) and paragraph
  406  (f) of subsection (4) of section 409.145, Florida Statutes, are
  407  amended, and a new paragraph (h) is added to subsection (4) of
  408  that section, to read:
  409         409.145 Care of children; quality parenting; “reasonable
  410  and prudent parent” standard.—The child welfare system of the
  411  department shall operate as a coordinated community-based system
  412  of care which empowers all caregivers for children in foster
  413  care to provide quality parenting, including approving or
  414  disapproving a child’s participation in activities based on the
  415  caregiver’s assessment using the “reasonable and prudent parent”
  416  standard.
  417         (2) QUALITY PARENTING.—A child in foster care shall be
  418  placed only with a caregiver who has the ability to care for the
  419  child, is willing to accept responsibility for providing care,
  420  and is willing and able to learn about and be respectful of the
  421  child’s culture, religion and ethnicity, special physical or
  422  psychological needs, any circumstances unique to the child, and
  423  family relationships. The department, the community-based care
  424  lead agency, and other agencies shall provide such caregiver
  425  with all available information necessary to assist the caregiver
  426  in determining whether he or she is able to appropriately care
  427  for a particular child.
  428         (e) Employees caregivers employed by residential group
  429  homes.All employees, including persons who do not work directly
  430  with children, of a residential group home must meet the
  431  background screening requirements under s. 39.0138 and the level
  432  2 standards for screening under chapter 435. All caregivers in
  433  residential group homes must shall meet, at a minimum, the same
  434  education and, training, and background and other screening
  435  requirements as foster parents.
  437         (f) Excluding level I family foster homes, the amount of
  438  the monthly foster care room and board rate may be increased
  439  upon agreement among the department, the community-based care
  440  lead agency, and the foster parent.
  441         (h)All room and board rate increases, excluding increases
  442  under paragraph (b), must be outlined in a written agreement
  443  between the department and the community-based care lead agency.
  444         Section 10. Section 409.1676, Florida Statutes, is
  445  repealed.
  446         Section 11. Section 409.16765, Florida Statutes, is created
  447  to read:
  448         409.16765Qualified residential treatment programs.—
  449         (1)As used in this section, the term “qualified
  450  residential treatment program” means a residential group home
  451  environment that provides care for a child who has an emotional
  452  disturbance or a serious emotional disturbance or mental
  453  illness, as those terms are defined in s. 394.492.
  454         (2)A qualified residential treatment program shall,
  455  subject to available resources, meet the following requirements:
  456         (a)Provide a safe and therapeutic environment tailored to
  457  the needs of children with emotional or behavioral health
  458  problems.
  459         (b)Use a model of treatment that includes a strength-based
  460  and trauma-informed approach.
  461         (c)Be licensed as a residential child-caring agency as
  462  defined in s. 409.175.
  463         (d)Be accredited by an accrediting organization under s.
  464  472(k)(4)(g) of the Social Security Act.
  465         (e)Have available, 24 hours a day, registered or licensed
  466  nursing and clinical staff based on the child’s treatment plan.
  467         (f)Provide aftercare services or supports to all children
  468  who are discharged from the program.
  469         (3)The community-based care lead agency shall:
  470         (a)Ensure each child who is placed in a qualified
  471  residential treatment program receives a qualifying assessment,
  472  as defined in s. 39.407, no later than 30 days after placement
  473  in the program.
  474         (b)Maintain documentation of a child’s placement in a
  475  qualified residential treatment program as specified in s.
  476  39.6011(6).
  477         (c)Not place a child in a qualified residential treatment
  478  program for more than 12 consecutive months or 18 nonconsecutive
  479  months, or if the child is under the age of 13 years, for more
  480  than 6 months, whether consecutive or nonconsecutive, without
  481  the signed approval of the department for the continued
  482  placement.
  483         (4)The department shall adopt rules necessary to
  484  administer this section.
  485         Section 12. Paragraph (c) of subsection (2) of section
  486  409.1678, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  487         409.1678 Specialized residential options for children who
  488  are victims of commercial sexual exploitation.—
  490         (c) To be certified, a safe house must hold a license as a
  491  residential child-caring agency, as defined in s. 409.175, and a
  492  safe foster home must hold a license as a family foster home, as
  493  defined in s. 409.175. A safe house or safe foster home must
  494  also:
  495         1. Use strength-based and trauma-informed approaches to
  496  care, to the extent possible and appropriate.
  497         2. Serve exclusively one sex.
  498         3. Group child victims of commercial sexual exploitation by
  499  age or maturity level.
  500         4. If a safe house, care for child victims of commercial
  501  sexual exploitation in a manner that separates those children
  502  from children with other needs. Safe houses and Safe foster
  503  homes may care for other populations if the children who have
  504  not experienced commercial sexual exploitation do not interact
  505  with children who have experienced commercial sexual
  506  exploitation.
  507         5. Have awake staff members on duty 24 hours a day, if a
  508  safe house.
  509         6. Provide appropriate security through facility design,
  510  hardware, technology, staffing, and siting, including, but not
  511  limited to, external video monitoring or door exit alarms, a
  512  high staff-to-client ratio, or being situated in a remote
  513  location that is isolated from major transportation centers and
  514  common trafficking areas.
  515         7. Meet other criteria established by department rule,
  516  which may include, but are not limited to, personnel
  517  qualifications, staffing ratios, and types of services offered.
  518         Section 13. Section 409.1679, Florida Statutes, is
  519  repealed.
  520         Section 14. Paragraphs (l) and (m) of subsection (2) of
  521  section 409.175, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  522         409.175 Licensure of family foster homes, residential
  523  child-caring agencies, and child-placing agencies; public
  524  records exemption.—
  525         (2) As used in this section, the term:
  526         (l) “Residential child-caring agency” means any person,
  527  corporation, or agency, public or private, other than the
  528  child’s parent or legal guardian, that provides staffed 24-hour
  529  care for children in facilities maintained for that purpose,
  530  regardless of whether operated for profit or whether a fee is
  531  charged. Such residential child-caring agencies include, but are
  532  not limited to, maternity homes, runaway shelters, group homes
  533  that are administered by an agency, emergency shelters that are
  534  not in private residences, qualified residential treatment
  535  programs as defined in s. 409.16765, human trafficking safe
  536  houses as defined in s. 409.1678, at-risk homes, and wilderness
  537  camps. Residential child-caring agencies do not include
  538  hospitals, boarding schools, summer or recreation camps, nursing
  539  homes, or facilities operated by a governmental agency for the
  540  training, treatment, or secure care of delinquent youth, or
  541  facilities licensed under s. 393.067 or s. 394.875 or chapter
  542  397.
  543         (m) “Screening” means the act of assessing the background
  544  of personnel or level II through level V family foster homes and
  545  includes, but is not limited to, criminal history checks as
  546  provided in s. 39.0138 and employment history checks as provided
  547  in chapter 435, using the level 2 standards for screening set
  548  forth in that chapter.
  549         Section 15. Paragraph (a) of subsection (14) of section
  550  39.301, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  551         39.301 Initiation of protective investigations.—
  552         (14)(a) If the department or its agent determines that a
  553  child requires immediate or long-term protection through medical
  554  or other health care or homemaker care, day care, protective
  555  supervision, or other services to stabilize the home
  556  environment, including intensive family preservation services
  557  through the Intensive Crisis Counseling Program, such services
  558  shall first be offered for voluntary acceptance unless:
  559         1. There are high-risk factors that may impact the ability
  560  of the parents or legal custodians to exercise judgment. Such
  561  factors may include the parents’ or legal custodians’ young age
  562  or history of substance abuse, mental illness, or domestic
  563  violence; or
  564         2. There is a high likelihood of lack of compliance with
  565  preventive voluntary services, and such noncompliance would
  566  result in the child being unsafe.
  567         Section 16. Paragraph (b) of subsection (7) of section
  568  39.302, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  569         39.302 Protective investigations of institutional child
  570  abuse, abandonment, or neglect.—
  571         (7) When an investigation of institutional abuse, neglect,
  572  or abandonment is closed and a person is not identified as a
  573  caregiver responsible for the abuse, neglect, or abandonment
  574  alleged in the report, the fact that the person is named in some
  575  capacity in the report may not be used in any way to adversely
  576  affect the interests of that person. This prohibition applies to
  577  any use of the information in employment screening, licensing,
  578  child placement, adoption, or any other decisions by a private
  579  adoption agency or a state agency or its contracted providers.
  580         (b) Likewise, if a person is employed as a caregiver in a
  581  residential group home licensed under pursuant to s. 409.175 and
  582  is named in any capacity in three or more reports within a 5
  583  year period, the department may review all reports for the
  584  purposes of the employment screening required under s.
  585  409.175(2)(m) pursuant to s. 409.145(2)(e).
  586         Section 17. Subsection (15) of section 39.402, Florida
  587  Statutes, is amended to read:
  588         39.402 Placement in a shelter.—
  589         (15) The department, at the conclusion of the shelter
  590  hearing, shall make available to parents or legal custodians
  591  seeking preventive voluntary services any referral information
  592  necessary for participation in such identified services to allow
  593  the parents or legal custodians to begin the services as soon as
  594  possible. The parents’ or legal custodians’ participation in the
  595  services may not be considered an admission or other
  596  acknowledgment of the allegations in the shelter petition.
  597         Section 18. Paragraph (d) of subsection (3) of section
  598  39.501, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  599         39.501 Petition for dependency.—
  600         (3)
  601         (d) The petitioner must state in the petition, if known,
  602  whether:
  603         1. A parent or legal custodian named in the petition has
  604  previously unsuccessfully participated in preventive voluntary
  605  services offered by the department;
  606         2. A parent or legal custodian named in the petition has
  607  participated in mediation and whether a mediation agreement
  608  exists;
  609         3. A parent or legal custodian has rejected the preventive
  610  voluntary services offered by the department;
  611         4. A parent or legal custodian named in the petition has
  612  not fully complied with a safety plan; or
  613         5. The department has determined that preventive voluntary
  614  services are not appropriate for the parent or legal custodian
  615  and the reasons for such determination.
  617  If the department is the petitioner, it shall provide all safety
  618  plans as defined in s. 39.01 involving the parent or legal
  619  custodian to the court.
  620         Section 19. Subsection (8) of section 39.6013, Florida
  621  Statutes, is amended to read:
  622         39.6013 Case plan amendments.—
  623         (8) Amendments must include service interventions that are
  624  the least intrusive into the life of the parent and child, must
  625  focus on clearly defined objectives, and must provide the most
  626  efficient path to quick reunification or permanent placement
  627  given the circumstances of the case and the child’s need for
  628  safe and proper care. A copy of the amended plan must be
  629  immediately given to the persons identified in s. 39.6011(8)(c)
  630  s. 39.6011(7)(c).
  631         Section 20. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.