Section 393.062, Florida Statutes 2004
393.062 Legislative findings and declaration of intent.--The Legislature finds and declares that existing state programs for the treatment of individuals who are developmentally disabled, which often unnecessarily place clients in institutions, are unreasonably costly, are ineffective in bringing the individual client to his or her maximum potential, and are in fact debilitating to a great majority of clients. A redirection in state treatment programs for individuals who are developmentally disabled is necessary if any significant amelioration of the problems faced by such individuals is ever to take place. Such redirection should place primary emphasis on programs that have the potential to prevent or reduce the severity of developmental disabilities. Further, the Legislature declares that greatest priority shall be given to the development and implementation of community-based residential placements, services, and treatment programs for individuals who are developmentally disabled which will enable such individuals to achieve their greatest potential for independent and productive living, which will enable them to live in their own homes or in residences located in their own communities, and which will permit them to be diverted or removed from unnecessary institutional placements. The Legislature finds that the eligibility criteria for intermediate-care facilities for the developmentally disabled which are specified in the Medicaid state plan in effect on the effective date of this act are essential to the system of residential services. The Legislature declares that the goal of this act, to improve the quality of life of all developmentally disabled persons by the development and implementation of community-based residential placements, services, and treatment, cannot be met without ensuring the availability of community residential opportunities for developmentally disabled persons in the residential areas of this state. The Legislature, therefore, declares that all
persons with developmental disabilities who live in licensed community homes shall have a family living environment comparable to other Floridians. The Legislature intends that such residences shall be considered and treated as a functional equivalent of a family unit and not as an institution, business, or boarding home. The Legislature declares that, in developing community-based programs and services for individuals who are developmentally disabled, private businesses, not-for-profit corporations, units of local government, and other organizations capable of providing needed services to clients in a cost-efficient manner shall be given preference in lieu of operation of programs directly by state agencies. Finally, it is the intent of the Legislature that all caretakers unrelated to individuals with developmental disabilities receiving care shall be of good moral character.
History.--s. 1, ch. 77-335; s. 3, ch. 85-54; s. 6, ch. 89-308; s. 1, ch. 99-144.