¡Disfruta de SmartLeges Premium!

Suscríbete a SmartLeges Premium y disfruta de estas ventajas:

  • Consulta tantas leyes como necesites, gratuitas o de pago, sin coste adicional
  • Consulta casi cualquier ley en varios países gracias al nuevo buscador avanzado. ¡Toda la legislación a tu alcance!
  • Disfruta de todas las características de SmartLeges sin restricciones
Ver los planes

Una aplicación imprescindible y gratuita para profesionales y estudiantes del sector jurídico

Leer más
 

¡Regístrate gratis!

¿Quieres consultar esta y otras leyes completas?

Regístrate gratis y podrás consultar las leyes en tu móvil o tablet, además de subrayar textos, añadir notas...

¡Regístrate gratis!

Compartir esta ley Otras leyes de Estados Unidos
Email Facebook Twitter Google Linkedin Tumblr

TITLE XXX

SOCIAL WELFARE

Last update: 2013-11-01


  • Social And Economic Assistance
    • Social And Economic Assistance (ss. 409.016-409.5093)
    • Kidcare (ss. 409.810-409.821)
    • Medicaid (ss. 409.901-409.9205)
    • Medicaid Managed Care (ss. 409.961-409.985)
  • Aging And Adult Services
  • Handicap Or High-Risk Condition Prevention And Early Childhood Assistance
    • General Provisions (ss. 411.201-411.2035)
    • Prevention And Early Assistance (ss. 411.22-411.228)
    • Childhood Pregnancy Prevention Public Education Program (ss. 411.24-411.243)
  • Vocational Rehabilitation
    • Blind Services Program (ss. 413.011-413.092)
    • General Vocational Rehabilitation Programs (ss. 413.20-413.74)
  • Family Self-Sufficiency
  • Adult Protective Services
  • Recreation Districts
  • Community Residential Homes
  • Housing
    • State Housing Strategy (ss. 420.0001-420.0006)
    • Housing Development Corporation Of Florida (ss. 420.101-420.171)
    • Low-Income Emergency Home Repair Program (s. 420.36)
    • Neighborhood Housing Rehabilitation Programs (ss. 420.421-420.429)
    • Florida Housing Finance Corporation (ss. 420.501-420.55)
    • Affordable Housing; Coalitions For Homeless; Family Emergency Assistance (ss. 420.601-420.635)
    • State Housing Initiatives Partnership (ss. 420.907-420.9079)
  • Public Housing
    • Housing Authorities (ss. 421.001-421.52)
    • Miscellaneous Provisions (s. 421.55)
  • Housing Cooperation Law
  • Tax Exemption Of Housing Authorities
  • Rural Electric Cooperatives
  • Special Transportation And Communications Services
    • Transportation Services (ss. 427.011-427.017)
    • Telecommunications Access System (ss. 427.701-427.708)
    • Assistive Technology Device Warranty Act (ss. 427.801-427.806)
  • Assisted Care Communities
    • Assisted Living Facilities (ss. 429.01-429.54)
    • Adult Family-Care Homes (ss. 429.60-429.87)
    • Adult Day Care Centers (ss. 429.90-429.931)
  • Elderly Affairs
  • Version 2013-11-01
  • Notice: Undefined variable: library in /var/www/vhosts/smartleges.com/juris/application/views/scripts/site/law-content.phtml on line 140 Notice: Undefined variable: library in /var/www/vhosts/smartleges.com/juris/application/views/scripts/site/law-content.phtml on line 140
  • Version 2011-11-08

Chapter 409

SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE

Part I

SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE

409.016 - Definitions

As used in this chapter:
  • (1) “Department,” unless otherwise specified, means the Department of Children and Family Services.

  • (2) “Secretary” means the secretary of the Department of Children and Family Services.

  • (3) “Social and economic services,” within the meaning of this chapter, means the providing of financial assistance as well as preventive and rehabilitative social services for children, adults, and families.

History.- s. 1, ch. 70-255; s. 2, ch. 78-433; s. 110, ch. 97-101.

409.017 - Revenue Maximization Act; legislative intent; revenue maximization program

  • (1) SHORT TITLE.- This section may be cited as the “Revenue Maximization Act.”

  • (2) LEGISLATIVE INTENT.-

    • (a) The Legislature recognizes that state funds do not fully utilize federal funding matching opportunities for health and human services needs. It is the intent of the Legislature to authorize the use of certified local funding for federal matching programs to the fullest extent possible to maximize federal funding of local preventive services and local child development programs in this state. To that end, the Legislature expects that state agencies will take a proactive approach in implementing this legislative priority. It is the further intent of the Legislature that this act shall be revenue neutral with respect to state funds.

    • (b) It is the intent of the Legislature that revenue maximization opportunities using certified local funding shall occur only after available state funds have been utilized to generate matching federal funding for the state.

    • (c) It is the intent of the Legislature that participation in revenue maximization is to be voluntary for local political subdivisions.

    • (d) Except for funds expended pursuant to Title XIX of the Social Security Act, it is the intent of the Legislature that certified local funding for federal matching programs not supplant or replace state funds. Beginning July 1, 2004, any state funds supplanted or replaced with local tax revenues for Title XIX funds shall be expressly approved in the General Appropriations Act or by the Legislative Budget Commission pursuant to chapter 216.

    • (e) It is the intent of the Legislature that revenue maximization shall not divert existing funds from state agencies that are currently using local funds to maximize matching federal and state funds to the greatest extent possible.

    • (f) It is the intent of the Legislature to encourage and allow any agency to engage, through a competitive procurement process, an entity with expertise in claiming justifiable and appropriate federal funds through revenue maximization efforts both retrospectively and prospectively. This claiming may include, but not be limited to, administrative and services activities that are eligible under federal matching programs.

  • (3) REVENUE MAXIMIZATION PROGRAM.-

    • (a) For purposes of this section, the term “agency” means any state agency or department that is involved in providing health, social, or human services, including, but not limited to, the Agency for Health Care Administration, the Department of Children and Family Services, the Department of Elderly Affairs, the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Department of Education, and the State Board of Education.

    • (b) The Agency for Health Care Administration may develop a procurement document and procedure to claim administrative federal matching funds for state-provided educational services. The agency shall then competitively procure an entity with appropriate expertise and experience to retrospectively and prospectively maximize federal revenues through administrative claims for federal matching funds for state-provided educational services.

    • (c) Each agency shall establish programs and mechanisms designed to maximize the use of local funding for federal programs in accordance with this section.

    • (d) The use of local matching funds under this section must be limited to public revenue funds of local political subdivisions, including, but not limited to, counties, municipalities, and special districts. To the extent permitted by federal law, funds donated to such local political subdivisions by private entities, such as, but not limited to, the United Way, community foundations or other foundations, and businesses, or by individuals are considered to be public revenue funds available for matching federal funding.

    • (e) Subject to paragraph (g), any federal reimbursement received as a result of the certification of local matching funds must, unless specifically prohibited by federal law or state law, including the General Appropriations Act, and subject to the availability of specific appropriation and release authority, be returned within 30 days after receipt by the agency by the most expedient means possible to the local political subdivision providing such funding, and the local political subdivision must be provided an annual accounting of federal reimbursements received by the state or its agencies as a result of the certification of the local political subdivision’s matching funds. The receipt by a local political subdivision of such matching funds must not in any way influence or be used as a factor in developing any agency’s annual operating budget allocation methodology or formula or any subsequent budget amendment allocations or formulas. If necessary, agreements must be made between an agency and the local political subdivision to accomplish that purpose. Such an agreement may provide that the local political subdivision must: verify the eligibility of the local program or programs and the individuals served thereby to qualify for federal matching funds; shall develop and maintain the financial records necessary for documenting the appropriate use of federal funds; shall comply with all applicable state and federal laws, regulations, and rules that regulate such federal services; and shall reimburse the cost of any disallowance of federal funding previously provided to a local political subdivision resulting from the failure of that local political subdivision to comply with applicable state or federal laws, rules, or regulations.

    • (f) Each agency, as applicable, shall work with local political subdivisions to modify any state plans and to seek and implement any federal waivers necessary to implement this section. If such modifications or waivers require the approval of the Legislature, the agency, as applicable, shall draft such legislation and present it to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives and to the respective committee chairs of the Senate and the House of Representatives by January 1, 2004, and, as applicable, annually thereafter.

    • (g) Each agency, as applicable, before funds generated under this section are distributed to any local political subdivision, may deduct the actual administrative cost for implementing and monitoring the local match program; however, such administrative costs may not exceed 5 percent of the total federal reimbursement funding to be provided to the local political subdivision under paragraph (e). To the extent that any other provision of state law applies to the certification of local matching funds for a specific program, the provisions of that statute which relate to administrative costs apply in lieu of the provisions of this paragraph. The failure to remit reimbursement to the local political subdivision will result in the payment of interest, in addition to the amount to be reimbursed at a rate pursuant to s. 55.03(1) on the unpaid amount from the expiration of the 30-day period until payment is received.

    • (h) Each agency, respectively, shall annually submit to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, no later than January 1, a report that documents the specific activities undertaken during the previous fiscal year under this section. The report must include, but is not limited to, a statement of the total amount of federal matching funds generated by local matching funds under this section, reported by federal funding source; the total amount of block grant funds expended during the previous fiscal year, reported by federal funding source; the total amount for federal matching fund programs, including, but not limited to, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Child Care and Development Fund, of unobligated funds and unliquidated funds, both as of the close of the previous federal fiscal year; the amount of unliquidated funds that is in danger of being returned to the Federal Government at the end of the current federal fiscal year; and a detailed plan and timeline for spending any unobligated and unliquidated funds by the end of the current federal fiscal year.

History.- s. 1, ch. 2003-146; s. 48, ch. 2004-5; s. 2, ch. 2008-143; s. 299, ch. 2011-142.

409.031 - State agency for administering social service funds

The department is designated as the state agency responsible for the administration of social service funds under Title XX of the Social Security Act.


History.- s. 1, ch. 78-433.

409.141 - Equitable reimbursement methodology

  • (1) To assure high standards of care and essential residential services as a component of the services continuum for at-risk youth and families, the Department of Children and Family Services shall adopt an equitable reimbursement methodology. This methodology, which addresses only those children placed in nonprofit residential group care by the department and funded through public appropriations, shall consist of a standardized base of allowable costs of a provider’s actual per diem rate costs. The actual percentage of base costs met through this methodology shall be determined by the availability of state funding. The full utilization of the department’s Children, Youth and Families Purchase of Residential Group Care Appropriation Category shall be used to fund this methodology. Definitions of care and allowable costs shall be based upon those mandated services standards as set out in chapter 10M-9, Florida Administrative Code (Licensing Standards Residential Child Care Agencies), plus any special enhancements required by the specific treatment component. Actual costs shall be verified through the agency’s annual fiscal audit for the 2 prior calendar years.

  • (2) This adopted rate control method shall include a consumer price index factor to acknowledge both the postaudit time lapse of the allowable costs methodology and the universal cost variables beyond the control of the group care providers.

  • (3) This methodology shall assure that the existing disparities between actual costs of care and the current state reimbursement levels are addressed in a fair and systematic manner, while recognizing that nonprofit residential group care providers shall provide the remaining percentage of their program costs. Cost containment measures shall be included through the allowable costs definition and verification process.

  • (4) The Department of Children and Family Services shall develop administrative rules in full cooperation with the Florida Group Child Care Association to carry out the intent and provisions of this section.

History.- s. 1, ch. 90-204; s. 111, ch. 97-101.

409.145 - Care of children; quality parenting; “reasonable and prudent parent” standard

The child welfare system of the department shall operate as a coordinated community-based system of care which empowers all caregivers for children in foster care to provide quality parenting, including approving or disapproving a child’s participation in activities based on the caregiver’s assessment using the “reasonable and prudent parent” standard.
  • (1) SYSTEM OF CARE.- The department shall develop, implement, and administer a coordinated community-based system of care for children who are found to be dependent and their families. This system of care must be directed toward the following goals:

    • (a) Prevention of separation of children from their families.

    • (b) Intervention to allow children to remain safely in their own homes.

    • (c) Reunification of families who have had children removed from their care.

    • (d) Safety for children who are separated from their families by providing alternative emergency or longer-term parenting arrangements.

    • (e) Focus on the well-being of children through emphasis on maintaining educational stability and providing timely health care.

    • (f) Permanency for children for whom reunification with their families is not possible or is not in the best interest of the child.

    • (g) The transition to independence and self-sufficiency for older children who remain in foster care through adolescence.

  • (2) QUALITY PARENTING.- A child in foster care shall be placed only with a caregiver who has the ability to care for the child, is willing to accept responsibility for providing care, and is willing and able to learn about and be respectful of the child’s culture, religion and ethnicity, special physical or psychological needs, any circumstances unique to the child, and family relationships. The department, the community-based care lead agency, and other agencies shall provide such caregiver with all available information necessary to assist the caregiver in determining whether he or she is able to appropriately care for a particular child.

    • (a) Roles and responsibilities of caregivers.- A caregiver shall:

      • 1. Participate in developing the case plan for the child and his or her family and work with others involved in his or her care to implement this plan. This participation includes the caregiver’s involvement in all team meetings or court hearings related to the child’s care.

      • 2. Complete all training needed to improve skills in parenting a child who has experienced trauma due to neglect, abuse, or separation from home, to meet the child’s special needs, and to work effectively with child welfare agencies, the court, the schools, and other community and governmental agencies.

      • 3. Respect and support the child’s ties to members of his or her biological family and assist the child in maintaining allowable visitation and other forms of communication.

      • 4. Effectively advocate for the child in the caregiver’s care with the child welfare system, the court, and community agencies, including the school, child care, health and mental health providers, and employers.

      • 5. Participate fully in the child’s medical, psychological, and dental care as the caregiver would for his or her biological child.

      • 6. Support the child’s school success by participating in school activities and meetings, including Individual Education Plan meetings, assisting with school assignments, supporting tutoring programs, meeting with teachers and working with an educational surrogate if one has been appointed, and encouraging the child’s participation in extracurricular activities.

      • 7. Work in partnership with other stakeholders to obtain and maintain records that are important to the child’s well-being, including child resource records, medical records, school records, photographs, and records of special events and achievements.

      • 8. Ensure that the child in the caregiver’s care who is between 13 and 17 years of age learns and masters independent living skills.

      • 9. Ensure that the child in the caregiver’s care is aware of the requirements and benefits of the Road-to-Independence Program.

      • 10. Work to enable the child in the caregiver’s care to establish and maintain naturally occurring mentoring relationships.

    • (b) Roles and responsibilities of the department, the community-based care lead agency, and other agency staff.- The department, the community-based care lead agency, and other agency staff shall:

      • 1. Include a caregiver in the development and implementation of the case plan for the child and his or her family. The caregiver shall be authorized to participate in all team meetings or court hearings related to the child’s care and future plans. The caregiver’s participation shall be facilitated through timely notification, an inclusive process, and alternative methods for participation for a caregiver who cannot be physically present.

      • 2. Develop and make available to the caregiver the information, services, training, and support that the caregiver needs to improve his or her skills in parenting children who have experienced trauma due to neglect, abuse, or separation from home, to meet these children’s special needs, and to advocate effectively with child welfare agencies, the courts, schools, and other community and governmental agencies.

      • 3. Provide the caregiver with all information related to services and other benefits that are available to the child.

    • (c) Transitions.-

      • 1. Once a caregiver accepts the responsibility of caring for a child, the child will be removed from the home of that caregiver only if:

        • a. The caregiver is clearly unable to safely or legally care for the child;

        • b. The child and his or her biological family are reunified;

        • c. The child is being placed in a legally permanent home pursuant to the case plan or a court order; or

        • d. The removal is demonstrably in the child’s best interest.

      • 2. In the absence of an emergency, if a child leaves the caregiver’s home for a reason provided under subparagraph 1., the transition must be accomplished according to a plan that involves cooperation and sharing of information among all persons involved, respects the child’s developmental stage and psychological needs, ensures the child has all of his or her belongings, allows for a gradual transition from the caregiver’s home and, if possible, for continued contact with the caregiver after the child leaves.

    • (d) Information sharing.- Whenever a foster home or residential group home assumes responsibility for the care of a child, the department and any additional providers shall make available to the caregiver as soon as is practicable all relevant information concerning the child. Records and information that are required to be shared with caregivers include, but are not limited to:

      • 1. Medical, dental, psychological, psychiatric, and behavioral history, as well as ongoing evaluation or treatment needs;

      • 2. School records;

      • 3. Copies of his or her birth certificate and, if appropriate, immigration status documents;

      • 4. Consents signed by parents;

      • 5. Comprehensive behavioral assessments and other social assessments;

      • 6. Court orders;

      • 7. Visitation and case plans;

      • 8. Guardian ad litem reports;

      • 9. Staffing forms; and

      • 10. Judicial or citizen review panel reports and attachments filed with the court, except confidential medical, psychiatric, and psychological information regarding any party or participant other than the child.

    • (e) Caregivers employed by residential group homes.- All caregivers in residential group homes shall meet the same education, training, and background and other screening requirements as foster parents.

  • (3) REASONABLE AND PRUDENT PARENT STANDARD.-

    • (a) Definitions.- As used in this subsection, the term:

      • 1. “Age-appropriate” means an activity or item that is generally accepted as suitable for a child of the same chronological age or level of maturity. Age appropriateness is based on the development of cognitive, emotional, physical, and behavioral capacity which is typical for an age or age group.

      • 2. “Caregiver” means a person with whom the child is placed in out-of-home care, or a designated official for a group care facility licensed by the department under s. 409.175.

      • 3. “Reasonable and prudent parent” standard means the standard of care used by a caregiver in determining whether to allow a child in his or her care to participate in extracurricular, enrichment, and social activities. This standard is characterized by careful and thoughtful parental decisionmaking that is intended to maintain a child’s health, safety, and best interest while encouraging the child’s emotional and developmental growth.

    • (b) Application of standard of care.-

      • 1. Every child who comes into out-of-home care pursuant to this chapter is entitled to participate in age-appropriate extracurricular, enrichment, and social activities.

      • 2. Each caregiver shall use the reasonable and prudent parent standard in determining whether to give permission for a child living in out-of-home care to participate in extracurricular, enrichment, or social activities. When using the reasonable and prudent parent standard, the caregiver must consider:

        • a. The child’s age, maturity, and developmental level to maintain the overall health and safety of the child.

        • b. The potential risk factors and the appropriateness of the extracurricular, enrichment, or social activity.

        • c. The best interest of the child, based on information known by the caregiver.

        • d. The importance of encouraging the child’s emotional and developmental growth.

        • e. The importance of providing the child with the most family-like living experience possible.

        • f. The behavioral history of the child and the child’s ability to safely participate in the proposed activity.

    • (c) Verification of services delivered.- The department and each community-based care lead agency shall verify that private agencies providing out-of-home care services to dependent children have policies in place which are consistent with this section and that these agencies promote and protect the ability of dependent children to participate in age-appropriate extracurricular, enrichment, and social activities.

    • (d) Limitation of liability.- A caregiver is not liable for harm caused to a child who participates in an activity approved by the caregiver, provided that the caregiver has acted in accordance with the reasonable and prudent parent standard. This paragraph may not be interpreted as removing or limiting any existing liability protection afforded by law.

  • (4) FOSTER PARENT ROOM AND BOARD RATES.-

    • (a) Effective January 1, 2014, room and board rates paid to foster parents are as follows:MonthlyFosterCare Rate0-5 YearsAge6-12 YearsAge13-21 YearsAge $429$440$515

    • (b) Foster parents shall receive an annual cost of living increase. The department shall calculate the new room and board rate increase equal to the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, U.S. City Average, All Items, not seasonally adjusted, or successor reports, for the preceding December compared to the prior December as initially reported by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. The department shall make available the adjusted room and board rates annually.

    • (c) The amount of the monthly foster care board rate may be increased upon agreement among the department, the community-based care lead agency, and the foster parent.

    • (d) Community-based care lead agencies providing care under contract with the department shall pay a supplemental room and board payment to foster care parents for providing independent life skills and normalcy supports to children who are 13 through 17 years of age placed in their care. The supplemental payment shall be paid monthly to the foster care parents on a per-child basis in addition to the current monthly room and board rate payment. The supplemental monthly payment shall be based on 10 percent of the monthly room and board rate for children 13 through 21 years of age as provided under this section and adjusted annually.

  • (5) RULEMAKING.- The department shall adopt by rule procedures to administer this section.

History.- s. 1, ch. 69-268; ss. 19, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 70-255; s. 26, ch. 73-334; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 273, ch. 77-147; s. 1, ch. 77-457; s. 4, ch. 78-190; s. 5, ch. 78-433; s. 101, ch. 79-164; s. 1, ch. 80-174; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 1, 3, 4, ch. 83-250; s. 39, ch. 88-337; ss. 3, 4, ch. 93-115; ss. 46, 55, ch. 94-164; s. 42, ch. 97-103; s. 37, ch. 98-280; s. 77, ch. 2000-139; s. 49, ch. 2000-153; s. 1, ch. 2000-180; s. 9, ch. 2000-217; s. 49, ch. 2001-62; ss. 2, 9, ch. 2002-19; s. 991, ch. 2002-387; s. 7, ch. 2013-178.

409.1451 - The Road-to-Independence Program

  • (1) LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND INTENT.-

    • (a) The Legislature recognizes that most children and young adults are resilient and, with adequate support, can expect to be successful as independent adults. Not unlike many young adults, some young adults who have lived in foster care need additional support and resources for a period of time after reaching 18 years of age.

    • (b) The Legislature finds that while it is important to provide young adults who have lived in foster care with education and independent living skills, there is also a need to focus more broadly on creating and preserving family relationships so that young adults have a permanent connection with at least one committed adult who provides a safe and stable parenting relationship.

    • (c) It is the intent of the Legislature that young adults who choose to participate in the program receive the skills, education, and support necessary to become self-sufficient and leave foster care with a lifelong connection to a supportive adult through the Road-to-Independence Program, either through postsecondary education services and support, as provided in subsection (2), or aftercare services.

  • (2) POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION SERVICES AND SUPPORT.-

    • (a) A young adult is eligible for services and support under this subsection if he or she:

      • 1. Was living in licensed care on his or her 18th birthday or is currently living in licensed care; or was at least 16 years of age and was adopted from foster care or placed with a court-approved dependency guardian after spending at least 6 months in licensed care within the 12 months immediately preceding such placement or adoption;

      • 2. Spent at least 6 months in licensed care before reaching his or her 18th birthday;

      • 3. Earned a standard high school diploma or its equivalent pursuant to s. 1003.428, s. 1003.4281, 2s. 1003.429, s. 1003.435, or s. 1003.438;

      • 4. Has been admitted for enrollment as a full-time student or its equivalent in an eligible postsecondary educational institution as provided in s. 1009.533. For purposes of this section, the term “full-time” means 9 credit hours or the vocational school equivalent. A student may enroll part-time if he or she has a recognized disability or is faced with another challenge or circumstance that would prevent full-time attendance. A student needing to enroll part-time for any reason other than having a recognized disability must get approval from his or her academic advisor;

      • 5. Has reached 18 years of age but is not yet 23 years of age;

      • 6. Has applied, with assistance from the young adult’s caregiver and the community-based lead agency, for any other grants and scholarships for which he or she may qualify;

      • 7. Submitted a Free Application for Federal Student Aid which is complete and error free; and

      • 8. Signed an agreement to allow the department and the community-based care lead agency access to school records.

    • (b) The amount of the financial assistance shall be as follows:

      • 1. For a young adult who does not remain in foster care and is attending a postsecondary school as provided in s. 1009.533, the amount is $1,256 monthly.

      • 2. For a young adult who remains in foster care, is attending a postsecondary school, as provided in s. 1009.533, and continues to reside in a licensed foster home, the amount is the established room and board rate for foster parents. This takes the place of the payment provided for in s. 409.145(4).

      • 3. For a young adult who remains in foster care, but temporarily resides away from a licensed foster home for purposes of attending a postsecondary school as provided in s. 1009.533, the amount is $1,256 monthly. This takes the place of the payment provided for in s. 409.145(4).

      • 4. For a young adult who remains in foster care, is attending a postsecondary school as provided in s. 1009.533, and continues to reside in a licensed group home, the amount is negotiated between the community-based care lead agency and the licensed group home provider.

      • 5. For a young adult who remains in foster care, but temporarily resides away from a licensed group home for purposes of attending a postsecondary school as provided in s. 1009.533, the amount is $1,256 monthly. This takes the place of a negotiated room and board rate.

      • 6. The amount of the award may be disregarded for purposes of determining the eligibility for, or the amount of, any other federal or federally supported assistance.

      • 7. A young adult is eligible to receive financial assistance during the months when enrolled in a postsecondary educational institution.

    • (c) Payment of financial assistance for a young adult who:

      • 1. Has chosen not to remain in foster care and is attending a postsecondary school as provided in s. 1009.533, shall be made to the community-based care lead agency in order to secure housing and utilities, with the balance being paid directly to the young adult until such time the lead agency and the young adult determine that the young adult can successfully manage the full amount of the assistance.

      • 2. Has remained in foster care under s. 39.6251 and who is attending postsecondary school as provided in s. 1009.533, shall be made directly to the foster parent or group home provider.

      • 3. Community-based care lead agencies or other contracted providers are prohibited from charging a fee associated with administering the Road-to-Independence payments.


    • (d)1. The department must advertise the availability of the stipend and must provide notification of the criteria and application procedures for the stipend to children and young adults leaving, or who were formerly in, foster care; caregivers; case managers; guidance and family services counselors; principals or other relevant school administrators; and guardians ad litem.

      • 2. If the award recipient transfers from one eligible institution to another and continues to meet eligibility requirements, the award shall be transferred with the recipient.

      • 3. The department, or an agency under contract with the department, shall evaluate each Road-to-Independence award for renewal eligibility on an annual basis. In order to be eligible for a renewal award for the subsequent year, the young adult must:

        • a. Be enrolled for or have completed the number of hours, or the equivalent, to be considered a full-time student under subparagraph (a)4., unless the young adult qualifies for an exception under subparagraph (a)4.

        • b. Maintain standards of academic progress as defined by the education institution, except that if the young adult’s progress is insufficient to renew the award at any time during the eligibility period, the young adult may continue to be enrolled for additional terms while attempting to restore eligibility as long as progress towards the required level is maintained.

      • 4. Funds may be terminated during the interim between an award and the evaluation for a renewal award if the department, or an agency under contract with the department, determines that the award recipient is no longer enrolled in an educational institution as described in subparagraph (a)4. or is no longer a resident of this state.

      • 5. The department, or an agency under contract with the department, shall notify a recipient who is terminated and inform the recipient of his or her right to appeal.

      • 6. An award recipient who does not qualify for a renewal award or who chooses not to renew the award may apply for reinstatement. An application for reinstatement must be made before the young adult reaches 23 years of age. In order to be eligible for reinstatement, the young adult must meet the eligibility criteria and the criteria for award renewal for the program.

  • (3) AFTERCARE SERVICES.-

    • (a) Aftercare services are available to a young adult who has reached 18 years of age but is not yet 23 years of age and is:

      • 1. Not in foster care.

      • 2. Temporarily not receiving financial assistance under subsection (2) to pursue postsecondary education.

    • (b) Aftercare services include, but are not limited to, the following:

      • 1. Mentoring and tutoring.

      • 2. Mental health services and substance abuse counseling.

      • 3. Life skills classes, including credit management and preventive health activities.

      • 4. Parenting classes.

      • 5. Job and career skills training.

      • 6. Counselor consultations.

      • 7. Temporary financial assistance for necessities, including, but not limited to, education supplies, transportation expenses, security deposits for rent and utilities, furnishings, household goods, and other basic living expenses.

      • 8. Financial literacy skills training.

      The specific services to be provided under this paragraph shall be determined by an assessment of the young adult and may be provided by the community-based care provider or through referrals in the community.

    • (c) Temporary assistance provided to prevent homelessness shall be provided as expeditiously as possible and within the limitations defined by the department.

  • (4) APPEALS PROCESS.-

    • (a) The department shall have a procedure by which a young adult may appeal the department’s refusal to provide Road-to-Independence Program services or support, or the termination of such services or support if funds for such services or support are available.

    • (b) The appeal procedure must be readily accessible to young adults, must provide for timely decisions, and must provide for an appeal to the department. The decision of the department constitutes final agency action and is reviewable by the court as provided in s. 120.68.

  • (5) PORTABILITY.- The services provided under this section are portable across county lines and between lead agencies.

    • (a) The service needs that are identified in the original or updated transition plan, pursuant to s. 39.6035, shall be provided by the lead agency where the young adult is currently residing but shall be funded by the lead agency who initiated the transition plan.

    • (b) The lead agency with primary case management responsibilities shall provide maintenance payments, case planning, including a written description of all services that will assist a child 16 years of age or older in preparing for the transition from care to independence, as well as regular case reviews that conform with all federal scheduling and content requirements, for all children in foster care who are placed or visiting out-of-state.

  • (6) ACCOUNTABILITY.- The department shall develop outcome measures for the program and other performance measures in order to maintain oversight of the program. No later than January 31 of each year, the department shall prepare a report on the outcome measures and the department’s oversight activities and submit the report to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the committees with jurisdiction over issues relating to children and families in the Senate and the House of Representatives. The report must include:

    • (a) An analysis of performance on the outcome measures developed under this section reported for each community-based care lead agency and compared with the performance of the department on the same measures.

    • (b) A description of the department’s oversight of the program, including, by lead agency, any programmatic or fiscal deficiencies found, corrective actions required, and current status of compliance.

    • (c) Any rules adopted or proposed under this section since the last report. For the purposes of the first report, any rules adopted or proposed under this section must be included.

  • (7) INDEPENDENT LIVING SERVICES ADVISORY COUNCIL.- The secretary shall establish the Independent Living Services Advisory Council for the purpose of reviewing and making recommendations concerning the implementation and operation of the provisions of 3s. 39.6015 and the Road-to-Independence Program. The advisory council shall function as specified in this subsection until the Legislature determines that the advisory council can no longer provide a valuable contribution to the department’s efforts to achieve the goals of the services designed to enable a young adult to live independently.

    • (a) The advisory council shall assess the implementation and operation of the Road-to-Independence Program and advise the department on actions that would improve the ability of these Road-to-Independence Program services to meet the established goals. The advisory council shall keep the department informed of problems being experienced with the services, barriers to the effective and efficient integration of services and support across systems, and successes that the system of services has achieved. The department shall consider, but is not required to implement, the recommendations of the advisory council.

    • (b) The advisory council shall report to the secretary on the status of the implementation of the Road-to-Independence Program, efforts to publicize the availability of the Road-to-Independence Program, the success of the services, problems identified, recommendations for department or legislative action, and the department’s implementation of the recommendations contained in the Independent Living Services Integration Workgroup Report submitted to the appropriate substantive committees of the Legislature by December 31, 2013. The department shall submit a report by December 31 of each year to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives which includes a summary of the factors reported on by the council and identifies the recommendations of the advisory council and either describes the department’s actions to implement the recommendations or provides the department’s rationale for not implementing the recommendations.

    • (c) Members of the advisory council shall be appointed by the secretary of the department. The membership of the advisory council must include, at a minimum, representatives from the headquarters and regional offices of the Department of Children and Families, community-based care lead agencies, the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Department of Economic Opportunity, the Department of Education, the Agency for Health Care Administration, the State Youth Advisory Board, Workforce Florida, Inc., the Statewide Guardian Ad Litem Office, foster parents, recipients of services and funding through the Road-to-Independence Program, and advocates for children in care. The secretary shall determine the length of the term to be served by each member appointed to the advisory council, which may not exceed 4 years.

    • (d) The department shall provide administrative support to the Independent Living Services Advisory Council to accomplish its assigned tasks. The advisory council shall be afforded access to all appropriate data from the department, each community-based care lead agency, and other relevant agencies in order to accomplish the tasks set forth in this section. The data collected may not include any information that would identify a specific child or young adult.

    • (e) The advisory council report required under paragraph (b) must include an analysis of the system of independent living transition services for young adults who reach 18 years of age while in foster care before completing high school or its equivalent and recommendations for department or legislative action. The council shall assess and report on the most effective method of assisting these young adults to complete high school or its equivalent by examining the practices of other states.

  • (8) PERSONAL PROPERTY.- Property acquired on behalf of a young adult in this program shall become the personal property of the young adult and is not subject to the requirements of chapter 273 relating to state-owned tangible personal property. Such property continues to be subject to applicable federal laws.

  • (9) MEDICAL ASSISTANCE FOR YOUNG ADULTS FORMERLY IN CARE.- The department or community-based care lead agency shall document that eligible young adults are enrolled in Medicaid under s. 409.903(4).

  • (10) RULEMAKING.- The department shall adopt rules to administer this section.

History.- s. 3, ch. 2002-19; s. 44, ch. 2003-1; s. 6, ch. 2003-146; s. 1, ch. 2004-362; s. 3, ch. 2005-179; ss. 11, 17, ch. 2006-194; s. 2, ch. 2007-147; s. 1, ch. 2008-122; s. 118, ch. 2010-102; s. 4, ch. 2010-158; s. 300, ch. 2011-142; s. 4, ch. 2013-21; s. 39, ch. 2013-35; s. 8, ch. 2013-178.1

Note.- A. As amended by s. 39, ch. 2013-35, and amended and substantially reworded by s. 8, ch. 2013-178. Former paragraph (3)(a) and subsection (10) were also amended by s. 4, ch. 2013-21, without reference to the substantial rewording of the section by s. 8, ch. 2013-178. As amended by s. 4, ch. 2013-21, only, paragraph (3)(a) and subsection (10) read:(a) It is the intent of the Legislature for the Department of Children and Families to assist older children in foster care and young adults who exit foster care at age 18 in making the transition to independent living and self-sufficiency as adults. The department shall provide such children and young adults with opportunities to participate in life skills activities in their foster families and communities which are reasonable and appropriate for their respective ages or for any special needs they may have and shall provide them with services to build life skills and increase their ability to live independently and become self-sufficient. To support the provision of opportunities for participation in age-appropriate life skills activities, the department shall:1. Develop a list of age-appropriate activities and responsibilities to be offered to all children involved in independent living transition services and their foster parents.2. Provide training for staff and foster parents to address the issues of older children in foster care in transitioning to adulthood, which shall include information on high school completion, grant applications, vocational school opportunities, supporting education and employment opportunities, and opportunities to participate in appropriate daily activities.3. Establish the authority of foster parents, family foster homes, residential child-caring agencies, or other authorized caregivers to approve participation in age-appropriate activities of children in their care according to a reasonable and prudent parent standard. Foster parents, family foster homes, residential child-caring agencies, or other authorized caregivers employing the reasonable and prudent parent standard in their decisionmaking shall not be held responsible under administrative rules or laws pertaining to state licensure or have their licensure status in any manner jeopardized as a result of the actions of a child engaged in the approved age-appropriate activities. Goals and objectives for participation in extracurricular, enrichment, and social activities, as well as specific information on the child’s progress toward meeting those objectives, shall be incorporated into the agency’s written judicial social study report and shall be reviewed by the court at each hearing conducted pursuant to s. 39.701.4. Provide opportunities for older children in foster care to interact with mentors.5. Develop and implement procedures for older children to directly access and manage the personal allowance they receive from the department in order to learn responsibility and participate in age-appropriate life skills activities to the extent feasible.6. Make a good faith effort to fully explain, prior to execution of any signature, if required, any document, report, form, or other record, whether written or electronic, presented to a child or young adult pursuant to this chapter and allow for the recipient to ask any appropriate questions necessary to fully understand the document. It shall be the responsibility of the person presenting the document to the child or young adult to comply with this subparagraph. * * * * * (10) RULEMAKING.- The department shall adopt rules to administer this section. The rules must provide caregivers with as much flexibility as possible to enable the children in their care to participate in normal life experiences and must reflect the considerations listed in s. 39.4091(3)(b) in connection with the reasonable and prudent parent standard established in that section. The department shall engage in appropriate planning to prevent, to the extent possible, a reduction in awards after issuance. The department shall adopt rules to govern the payments and conditions related to payments for services to youth or young adults provided under this section.B. Section 12, ch. 2013-178, provides that “[e]ffective January 1, 2014, a child or young adult who is a participant in the program shall transfer to the program services provided in this act, and his or her monthly stipend may not be reduced, the method of payment of the monthly stipend may not be changed, and the young adult may not be required to change his or her living arrangement. These conditions shall remain in effect for a child or young adult until he or she ceases to meet the eligibility requirements under which he or she entered the Road-to-Independence Program. A child or young adult applying or reapplying for the Road-to-Independence Program on or after January 1, 2014, may apply for program services only as provided in this act.”2

Note.- Repealed by s. 20, ch. 2013-27.3

Note.- Section 39.6015 does not exist; the intended reference is to s. 39.6251, which relates to continuing care for young adults.


409.1452 - Collaboration with Board of Governors, Florida College System, and Department of Education to assist children and young adults who have been or are in foster care

Effective July 1, 2013, the Department of Children and Families shall work in collaboration with the Board of Governors, the Florida College System, and the Department of Education to help address the need for a comprehensive support structure in the academic arena to assist children and young adults who have been or continue to remain in the foster care system in making the transition from a structured care system into an independent living setting. The State University System of Florida and the Florida College System shall provide postsecondary educational campus coaching positions that will be integrated into Florida College System institutions’ and university institutions’ general support services structure to provide current and former foster care children and young adults with dedicated, on-campus support. The Department of Children and Families has the sole discretion to determine which state college or university will offer a campus coaching position, based on departmental demographic data indicating greatest need. These campus coaching positions shall be employees of the selected educational institutions, focused on supporting children and young adults who have been or continue to remain in the foster care system. The Chancellors of the Florida College System and the Board of Governors shall report annually to the Department of Children and Families specific data, subject to privacy laws, about the children and young adults served by the campus coaches, including academic progress, retention rates for students enrolled in the program, financial aid requested and received, and information required by the National Youth in Transition Database.


History.- s. 11, ch. 2013-178.

409.1453 - Design and dissemination of training for foster care caregivers

The Department of Children and Families in collaboration with the Florida Foster and Adoptive Parent Association and the Quality Parenting Initiative will design and disseminate training for caregivers on skill building on the life skills necessary for youth in the foster care system.


History.- s. 13, ch. 2013-178.

409.146 - Children and families client and management information system

  • (1) The Department of Children and Family Services shall establish a children and families client and management information system which shall provide information concerning children served by the children and families programs.

  • (2) The children and families client and management information system shall provide, at a minimum, an integrated service delivery information system to implement comprehensive screening, uniform assessment, case planning, monitoring, resource matching, and outcome evaluations for all of the following program services categories and related program components as defined in s. 20.19 and chapter 39:

    • (a) Child welfare and prevention and diversion services.

    • (b) Child care services.

  • (3) The system shall be designed to promote efficient and effective use of resources and accountability designed to provide the most appropriate, least restrictive services for all clients in the children and families programs. It shall contain, at a minimum, that information deemed to be essential for ongoing administration of service delivery and outcome evaluation systems, as well as for the purpose of management decisions.

  • (4) The system shall be operated in such a manner as to facilitate the service delivery goals of the children receiving the children and families programs and services.

  • (5) The Department of Children and Family Services shall employ accepted current system development methodology to determine the appropriate design and contents of the system, as well as the most rapid feasible implementation schedule as outlined in the information resources management operational plan of the Department of Children and Family Services.

  • (6) The Department of Children and Family Services shall aggregate, on a quarterly and an annual basis, the information and statistical data of the children and families client and management information system into a descriptive report and shall disseminate the quarterly and annual reports to interested parties, including substantive committees of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

  • (7) Whenever feasible, the system shall have online computers and shall be available for data entry and retrieval at the unit level of organization by program component counselors.

  • (8) Children and families program staff responsible for services shall be trained in the use of the system.

  • (9) The Department of Children and Family Services shall provide an annual report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. In developing the system, the Department of Children and Family Services shall consider and report on the availability of, and the costs associated with using, existing software and systems, including, but not limited to, those that are operational in other states, to meet the requirements of this section. The department shall also consider and report on the compatibility of such existing software and systems with an integrated management information system. The report shall be submitted no later than December 1 of each year.

History.- s. 41, ch. 90-306; s. 11, ch. 91-158; s. 8, ch. 92-58; s. 69, ch. 94-209; s. 31, ch. 95-267; s. 112, ch. 97-101; s. 34, ch. 2011-34.

409.147 - Children’s initiatives

  • (1) LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND INTENT.-

    • (a) The Legislature finds that:

      • 1. There are neighborhoods in the state where the infrastructure and opportunities that middle-class communities take for granted are nonexistent or so marginal that they are ineffective.

      • 2. Children living in these neighborhoods are not read to by an adult on a regular basis and attend a prekindergarten education program at a much lower rate than children in other communities. These children experience below-average performance on standardized tests and graduate from high school in fewer numbers. Most of these children are eligible for the free or reduced-price school lunch program.

      • 3. Children in these neighborhoods often suffer from high rates of asthma, a higher risk of lead poisoning, and inadequate health care, and they are routinely exposed to violence and crime.

      • 4. In spite of these obstacles, these neighborhoods are many times home to strong individuals and institutions that are committed to making a difference in the lives of children and their families.

    • (b) It is therefore the intent of the Legislature to assist disadvantaged areas within the state in creating a community-based service network that develops, coordinates, and provides quality education, accessible health care, youth development programs, opportunities for employment, and safe and affordable housing for children and families living within its boundaries.

  • (2) POLICY AND PURPOSE.- It is the policy of this state to provide the necessary means to assist local communities, the children and families who live in those communities, and the private sector in creating a sound educational, social, and economic environment. To achieve this objective, the state intends to provide investments sufficient to encourage community partners to commit financial and other resources to severely disadvantaged areas. The purpose of this section is to establish a process that clearly identifies the severely disadvantaged areas and provides guidance for developing a new social service paradigm that systematically coordinates programs that address the critical needs of children and their families and for directing efforts to rebuild the basic infrastructure of the community. The Legislature, therefore, declares the creation of children’s initiatives, through the collaborative efforts of government and the private sector, to be a public purpose.

  • (3) DEFINITIONS.- As used in this section, the term:

    • (a) “Governing body” means the commission or other legislative body charged with governing a county or municipality.

    • (b) “Ounce” means the Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida, Inc.

    • (c) “Planning team” means a children’s initiative planning team established under this section.

    • (d) “Resident” means a person who lives or operates a small community-based business or organization within the boundaries of the children’s initiative.

  • (4) CHILDREN’S INITIATIVE NOMINATING PROCESS.- A county or municipality, or a county and one or more municipalities together, may apply to the Ounce to designate an area as a children’s initiative after the governing body:

    • (a) Adopts a resolution that:

      • 1. Finds that an area exists in such county or municipality, or in the county and one or more municipalities, that chronically exhibits extreme and unacceptable levels of poverty, unemployment, physical deterioration, as well as limited access to quality educational, health care, and social services.

      • 2. Determines that the rehabilitation, conservation, or redevelopment, or a combination thereof, of the area is necessary in the interest of improving the health, wellness, education, living conditions, and livelihoods of the children and families who live in the county or municipality.

      • 3. Determines that the revitalization of the area can occur only if the state and the private sector invest resources to improve infrastructure and the provision of services.

    • (b) Establishes a children’s initiative planning team as provided in subsection (5).

    • (c) Develops and adopts a strategic community plan as provided in subsection (6).

    • (d) Creates a corporation not for profit as provided in subsection (7).

  • (5) CHILDREN’S INITIATIVE PLANNING TEAM.-

    • (a) After the governing body adopts the resolution described in subsection (4), the county or municipality shall establish a children’s initiative planning team.

    • (b) The planning team shall include residents and representatives from community-based organizations and other community institutions. At least half of the members of the planning team must be residents.

    • (c) The planning team shall:

      • 1. Develop a planning process that sets the direction for, builds a commitment to, and develops the capacity to realize the children’s initiative concept.

      • 2. Develop a vision of what the children’s initiative will look like when the challenges, problems, and opportunities in the children’s initiative are successfully addressed.

      • 3. Identify important opportunities, strengths, challenges, and problems in the children’s initiative.

      • 4. Develop a strategic community plan consisting of goals, objectives, tasks, the designation of responsible parties, the identification of resources needed, timelines for implementation of the plan, and procedures for monitoring outcomes.

    • (d) The planning team shall designate working groups to specifically address each of the following focus areas:

      • 1. Early development and care of children.

      • 2. Education of children and youth.

      • 3. Health and wellness.

      • 4. Youth support.

      • 5. Parent and guardian support.

      • 6. Adult education, training, and jobs.

      • 7. Community safety.

      • 8. Housing and community development.

  • (6) CHILDREN’S INITIATIVE STRATEGIC COMMUNITY PLAN.- After the governing body adopts the resolution described in subsection (4), the working groups shall develop objectives and identify strategies for each focus area. The objectives, specified by focus area, for a working group may include, but not be limited to:

    • (a) Early development and care of children.

      • 1. Providing resources to enable every child to be adequately nurtured during the first 3 years of life.

      • 2. Ensuring that all schools are ready for children and all children are ready for school.

      • 3. Facilitating enrollment in half-day or full-day prekindergarten for all 3-year-old and 4-year-old children.

      • 4. Strengthening parent and guardian relationships with care providers.

      • 5. Providing support and education for families and child care providers.

    • (b) Education of children and youth.

      • 1. Increasing the level and degree of accountability of persons who are responsible for the development and well-being of all children in the children’s initiative.

      • 2. Changing the structure and function of schools to increase the quality and amount of time spent on instruction and increase programmatic options and offerings.

      • 3. Creating a safe and respectful environment for student learning.

      • 4. Identifying and supporting points of alignment between the children’s initiative community plan and the school district’s strategic plan.

    • (c) Health and wellness.

      • 1. Facilitating enrollment of all eligible children in the Florida Kidcare program and providing full access to high-quality drug and alcohol treatment services.

      • 2. Eliminating health disparities between racial and cultural groups, including improving outcomes and increasing interventions.

      • 3. Providing fresh, good quality, affordable, and nutritious food within the children’s initiative.

      • 4. Providing all children in the children’s initiative with access to safe structured and unstructured recreation.

    • (d) Youth support.

      • 1. Increasing the high school graduation rate.

      • 2. Increasing leadership development and employment opportunities for youth.

    • (e) Parent and guardian support.

      • 1. Increasing parent and adult literacy.

      • 2. Expanding access for parents to critical resources, such as jobs, transportation, day care, and after-school care.

      • 3. Improving the effectiveness of the ways in which support systems communicate and collaborate with parents and the ways in which parents communicate and collaborate with support systems.

      • 4. Making the services of the Healthy Families Florida program available to provide multiyear support to expectant parents and persons caring for infants and toddlers.

    • (f) Adult education, training, and jobs.

      • 1. Creating job opportunities for adults that lead to career development.

      • 2. Establishing a career and technical school, or a satellite of such a school in the children’s initiative, which includes a one-stop career center.

    • (g) Community safety.

      • 1. Providing a safe environment for all children at home, in school, and in the community.

      • 2. Eliminating the economic, political, and social forces that lead to a lack of safety within the family, the community, schools, and institutional structures.

      • 3. Assessing policies and practices, including sentencing, incarceration, detention, and data reporting, in order to reduce youth violence, crime, and recidivism.

    • (h) Housing and community development.

      • 1. Strengthening the residential real estate market.

      • 2. Building on existing efforts to promote socioeconomic diversity when developing a comprehensive land use strategic plan.

      • 3. Promoting neighborhood beautification strategies.

  • (7) CHILDREN’S INITIATIVE CORPORATION.- After the governing body adopts the resolution described in subsection (4), establishes the planning team as provided in subsection (5), and develops and adopts the strategic community plan as provided in subsection (6), the county or municipality shall create a corporation not for profit which shall be registered, incorporated, organized, and operated in compliance with chapter 617. The purpose of the corporation is to facilitate fundraising, to secure broad community ownership of the children’s initiative, and, if the area selected by the governing body is designated as a children’s initiative, to:

    • (a) Begin to transfer responsibility for planning from the planning team to the corporation.

    • (b) Begin the implementation and governance of the children’s initiative community plan.

  • (8) CREATION OF MIAMI CHILDREN’S INITIATIVE, INC.-

    • (a) There is created within the Liberty City neighborhood in Miami-Dade County a 10-year project that shall be managed by an entity organized as a corporation not for profit which shall be registered, incorporated, organized, and operated in compliance with chapter 617. An entity may not be incorporated until the governing body has adopted the resolution described in subsection (4), has established the planning team as provided in subsection (5), and has developed and adopted the strategic community plan as provided in subsection (6). The corporation shall be known as the Miami Children’s Initiative, Inc., and shall be administratively housed within the Department of Children and Family Services. However, Miami Children’s Initiative, Inc., is not subject to control, supervision, or direction by the Department of Children and Family Services in any manner. The Legislature determines, however, that public policy dictates that the corporation operate in the most open and accessible manner consistent with its public purpose. Therefore, the Legislature specifically declares that the corporation is subject to chapter 119, relating to public records, chapter 286, relating to public meetings and records, and chapter 287, relating to procurement of commodities or contractual services.

    • (b) This initiative is designed to encompass an area that is large enough to include all of the necessary components of community life, including, but not limited to, schools, places of worship, recreational facilities, commercial areas, and common space, yet small enough to allow programs and services to reach every willing member of the neighborhood.

  • (9) CREATION OF THE NEW TOWN SUCCESS ZONE.-

    • (a) There is created within the City of Jacksonville Council District 9 in Duval County a 10-year project that shall be managed by an entity organized as a corporation not for profit that is registered, incorporated, organized, and operated in compliance with chapter 617. The New Town Success Zone is not subject to control, supervision, or direction by any department of the state in any manner. The Legislature determines, however, that public policy dictates that the corporation operate in the most open and accessible manner consistent with its public purpose. Therefore, the Legislature declares that the corporation is subject to chapter 119, relating to public records, chapter 286, relating to public meetings and records, and chapter 287, relating to procurement of commodities or contractual services.

    • (b) This initiative is designed to encompass an area that is large enough to include all of the necessary components of community life, including, but not limited to, schools, places of worship, recreational facilities, commercial areas, and common space, yet small enough to allow programs and services to reach every member of the neighborhood who is willing to participate in the project.

  • (10) CREATION OF THE PARRAMORE KIDZ ZONE.-

    • (a) There is created within the City of Orlando in Orange County a 10-year project managed by an entity organized as a corporation not for profit that is registered, incorporated, organized, and operated in compliance with chapter 617. The Parramore Kidz Zone program is not subject to the control, supervision, or direction of any department of the state. The Legislature determines, however, that public policy dictates that the corporation operate in the most open and accessible manner consistent with its public purpose. Therefore, the Legislature specifically declares that the corporation is subject to chapter 119, relating to public records, chapter 286, relating to public meetings and records, and chapter 287, relating to procurement of commodities or contractual services.

    • (b) This initiative is designed to encompass an area that is large enough to include all of the necessary components of community life, including, but not limited to, schools, places of worship, recreational facilities, commercial areas, and common space, yet small enough to allow programs and services to reach every member of the neighborhood who is willing to participate in the project.

  • (11) IMPLEMENTATION.-

    • (a) The Miami Children’s Initiative, Inc., the New Town Success Zone, and the Parramore Kidz Zone have been designated as Florida Children’s Initiatives consistent with the legislative intent and purpose of s. 16, chapter 2009-43, Laws of Florida, and as such shall each assist the disadvantaged areas of the state in creating a community-based service network and programming that develops, coordinates, and provides quality education, accessible health care, youth development programs, opportunities for employment, and safe and affordable housing for children and families living within their boundaries.

    • (b) In order to implement this section for the Miami Children’s Initiative, Inc., the Department of Children and Families shall contract with a not-for-profit corporation, to work in collaboration with the governing body to adopt the resolution described in subsection (4), to establish the planning team as provided in subsection (5), and to develop and adopt the strategic community plan as provided in subsection (6). The not-for-profit corporation is also responsible for the development of a business plan and for the evaluation, fiscal management, and oversight of the Miami Children’s Initiative, Inc.

History.- s. 1, ch. 2008-96; s. 16, ch. 2009-43; s. 1, ch. 2013-81.

409.153 - Implementation of Healthy Families Florida program

The Department of Children and Family Services shall contract with a private nonprofit corporation to implement the Healthy Families Florida program. The private nonprofit corporation shall be incorporated for the purpose of identifying, funding, supporting, and evaluating programs and community initiatives to improve the development and life outcomes of children and to preserve and strengthen families with a primary emphasis on prevention. The private nonprofit corporation shall implement the program. The program shall work in partnership with existing community-based home visitation and family support resources to provide assistance to families in an effort to prevent child abuse. The program shall be voluntary for participants and shall require the informed consent of the participants at the initial contact. The Kempe Family Stress Checklist shall not be used.


History.- s. 1, ch. 98-175.

409.165 - Alternate care for children

  • (1) Within funds appropriated, the department shall establish and supervise a program of emergency shelters, runaway shelters, foster homes, group homes, agency-operated group treatment homes, nonpsychiatric residential group care facilities, psychiatric residential treatment facilities, and other appropriate facilities to provide shelter and care for dependent children who must be placed away from their families. The department, in accordance with established goals, shall contract for the provision of such shelter and care by counties, municipalities, nonprofit corporations, and other entities capable of providing needed services if:

    • (a) The services so provided are available;

    • (b) The services so provided are more cost-effective than those provided by the department; and

    • (c) Unless otherwise provided by law, such providers of shelter and care are licensed by the department.

    It is the legislative intent that the funds appropriated for the alternate care of children as described in this section may be used to meet the needs of children in their own homes or those of relatives if the children can be safely served in their own homes, or the homes of relatives, and the expenditure of funds in such manner is calculated by the department to be an eventual cost savings over placement of children.

  • (2) The department may cooperate with all child service institutions or agencies within the state which meet the rules for proper care and supervision prescribed by the department for the well-being of children.

  • (3) With the written consent of parents, custodians, or guardians, or in accordance with those provisions in chapter 39 that relate to dependent children, the department, under rules properly adopted, may place a child:

    • (a) With a relative;

    • (b) With an adult nonrelative approved by the court for long-term custody;

    • (c) With a person who is considering the adoption of a child in the manner provided for by law;

    • (d) When limited, except as provided in paragraph (b), to temporary emergency situations, with a responsible adult approved by the court;

    • (e) With a person or agency licensed by the department in accordance with s. 409.175; or

    • (f) In a subsidized independent living situation, subject to the provisions of 1s. 409.1451(4)(c),

    under such conditions as are determined to be for the best interests or the welfare of the child. Any child placed in an institution or in a family home by the department or its agency may be removed by the department or its agency, and such other disposition may be made as is for the best interest of the child, including transfer of the child to another institution, another home, or the home of the child. Expenditure of funds appropriated for out-of-home care can be used to meet the needs of a child in the child’s own home or the home of a relative if the child can be safely served in the child’s own home or that of a relative if placement can be avoided by the expenditure of such funds, and if the expenditure of such funds in this manner is calculated by the department to be a potential cost savings.

History.- s. 1, ch. 69-268; ss. 19, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 70-255; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 275, ch. 77-147; s. 1, ch. 77-457; s. 6, ch. 78-433; s. 102, ch. 79-164; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 2, 3, 4, ch. 83-250; s. 40, ch. 88-337; s. 4, ch. 91-183; ss. 3, 4, ch. 93-115; ss. 48, 53, ch. 94-164; ss. 4, 9, ch. 2002-19; s. 49, ch. 2006-1.1

Note.- Section 409.1451 was substantially reworded by s. 8, ch. 2013-178; the section no longer contains text that equates to material formerly in s. 409.1451(4)(c).


409.166 - Children within the child welfare system; adoption assistance program

  • (1) LEGISLATIVE INTENT.- It is the intent of the Legislature to protect and promote each child’s right to the security and stability of a permanent family home. The Legislature intends to make adoption assistance, including financial aid, available to prospective adoptive parents to enable them to adopt a child in the state’s foster care system who, because of his or her needs, has proven difficult to place in an adoptive home.

  • (2) DEFINITIONS.- As used in this section, the term:

    • (a) “Special needs child” means:

      • 1. A child whose permanent custody has been awarded to the department or to a licensed child-placing agency;

      • 2. A child who has established significant emotional ties with his or her foster parents or is not likely to be adopted because he or she is:

        • a. Eight years of age or older;

        • b. Developmentally disabled;

        • c. Physically or emotionally handicapped;

        • d. Of black or racially mixed parentage; or

        • e. A member of a sibling group of any age, provided two or more members of a sibling group remain together for purposes of adoption; and

      • 3. Except when the child is being adopted by the child’s foster parents or relative caregivers, a child for whom a reasonable but unsuccessful effort has been made to place the child without providing a maintenance subsidy.

    • (b) “Adoption assistance” means financial assistance and services provided to a child and his or her adoptive family. Such assistance may include a maintenance subsidy, medical assistance, Medicaid assistance, and reimbursement of nonrecurring expenses associated with the legal adoption. The term also includes a tuition exemption at a postsecondary career program, community college, or state university.

    • (c) “Child within the child welfare system” or “child” means a special needs child and any other child who was removed from the child’s caregiver due to abuse or neglect and whose permanent custody has been awarded to the department or to a licensed child-placing agency.

    • (d) “Department” means the Department of Children and Family Services.

    • (e) “Licensed child-placing agency” has the same meaning as in s. 39.01.

    • (f) “Maintenance subsidy” means a monthly payment as provided in subsection (4).

  • (3) ADMINISTRATION OF PROGRAM.-

    • (a) The department shall establish and administer an adoption program for children to be carried out by the department or by contract with a licensed child-placing agency. The program shall attempt to increase the number of persons seeking to adopt children and the number of finalized adoptions and shall extend adoption assistance, when needed, to the adoptive parents of a child.

    • (b) The department shall collect and maintain the necessary data and records to evaluate the effectiveness of the program in encouraging and promoting the adoption of children.

  • (4) ADOPTION ASSISTANCE.-

    • (a) A maintenance subsidy shall be granted only when all other resources available to a child have been thoroughly explored and it can be clearly established that this is the most acceptable plan for providing permanent placement for the child. The maintenance subsidy may not be used as a substitute for adoptive parent recruitment or as an inducement to adopt a child who might be placed without providing a subsidy. However, it shall be the policy of the department that no child be denied adoption if providing a maintenance subsidy would make adoption possible. The best interest of the child shall be the deciding factor in every case. This section does not prohibit foster parents from applying to adopt a child placed in their care. Foster parents or relative caregivers must be asked if they would adopt without a maintenance subsidy.

    • (b) The department shall provide adoption assistance to the adoptive parents, subject to specific appropriation, in the amount of $5,000 annually, paid on a monthly basis, for the support and maintenance of a child until the 18th birthday of such child or in an amount other than $5,000 annually as determined by the adoptive parents and the department and memorialized in a written agreement between the adoptive parents and the department. The agreement shall take into consideration the circumstances of the adoptive parents and the needs of the child being adopted. The amount of subsidy may be adjusted based upon changes in the needs of the child or circumstances of the adoptive parents. Changes shall not be made without the concurrence of the adoptive parents. However, in no case shall the amount of the monthly payment exceed the foster care maintenance payment that would have been paid during the same period if the child had been in a foster family home.

    • (c) The department may provide adoption assistance to the adoptive parents, subject to specific appropriation, for medical assistance initiated after the adoption of the child for medical, surgical, hospital, and related services needed as a result of a physical or mental condition of the child which existed before the adoption and is not covered by Medicaid, Children’s Medical Services, or Children’s Mental Health Services. Such assistance may be initiated at any time but shall terminate on or before the child’s 18th birthday.

  • (5) ELIGIBILITY FOR SERVICES.-

    • (a) As a condition of providing adoption assistance under this section, the adoptive parents must enter into an adoption-assistance agreement with the department which specifies the financial assistance and other services to be provided.

    • (b) A child who is handicapped at the time of adoption shall be eligible for services through the Children’s Medical Services network established under part I of chapter 391 if the child was eligible for such services prior to the adoption.

  • (6) WAIVER OF ADOPTION FEES.- The adoption fees shall be waived for all adoptive parents who adopt children in the custody of the department. Fees may be waived for families who adopt children in the custody of a licensed child-placing agency or who adopt children through independent adoptions, and who receive or may be eligible for maintenance subsidies through the department. Retroactive reimbursement of fees is not required for families who adopt children in the custody of licensed child-placing agencies.

  • (7) REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXPENSES.- The department is authorized to reimburse, retroactive to January 1, 1987, up to $1,000 in nonrecurring expenses related to the adoption of a child which have been incurred by adoptive parents. For purposes of this subsection, “nonrecurring expenses” means one-time expenses, such as attorney’s fees, court costs, birth certificate fees, travel expenses, agency fees, and physical examination fees.

  • (8) RULES.- The department shall adopt rules to administer this section.

History.- ss. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, ch. 76-203; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 1, ch. 77-293; s. 1, ch. 78-362; s. 1, ch. 83-246; s. 17, ch. 84-254; s. 5, ch. 91-99; s. 24, ch. 92-96; s. 113, ch. 97-101; s. 43, ch. 97-103; s. 181, ch. 99-8; s. 50, ch. 2000-153; s. 5, ch. 2007-124; s. 112, ch. 2008-4; s. 7, ch. 2010-158.