January 25, 2020
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The Florida Statutes

The 2003 Florida Statutes

Title XXIX
PUBLIC HEALTH
Chapter 397
SUBSTANCE ABUSE SERVICES
View Entire Chapter
Section 397.451, Florida Statutes 2003

397.451  Background checks of service provider personnel.--

(1)  PERSONNEL BACKGROUND CHECKS; REQUIREMENTS AND EXCEPTIONS.--

(a)  Background checks shall apply as follows:

1.  All owners, directors, and chief financial officers of service providers are subject to level 2 background screening as provided under chapter 435.

2.  All service provider personnel who have direct contact with children receiving services or with adults who are developmentally disabled receiving services are subject to level 2 background screening as provided under chapter 435.

(b)  Members of a foster family and persons residing with the foster family who are between 12 and 18 years of age are not required to be fingerprinted but must have their backgrounds checked for delinquency records. Members of the foster family and persons residing with the foster family over 18 years of age are subject to full background checks.

(c)  A volunteer who assists on an intermittent basis for fewer than 40 hours per month and is under direct and constant supervision by persons who meet all personnel requirements of this chapter is exempt from fingerprinting and background check requirements.

(d)  Service providers that are exempt from licensing provisions of this chapter are exempt from personnel fingerprinting and background check requirements, except as otherwise provided in this section. A church or nonprofit religious organization exempt from licensure under this chapter is required to comply with personnel fingerprinting and background check requirements.

(e)  Personnel employed by the Department of Corrections in a substance abuse service component who have direct contact with unmarried inmates under the age of 18 or with inmates who are developmentally disabled are exempt from the fingerprinting and background check requirements of this section.

(f)  Service provider personnel who request an exemption from disqualification must submit the request within 30 days after being notified of a pending disqualification. The employment of service provider personnel shall not be adversely affected pending disposition of the request for an exemption. Disapproval of a request for an exemption shall result in the immediate dismissal of the service provider personnel from employment with the provider.

(2)  EMPLOYMENT HISTORY CHECKS; CHECKS OF REFERENCES.--The department shall assess employment history checks and checks of references for all owners, directors, and chief financial officers, and the directors shall assess employment history checks and checks of references for each employee who has direct contact with children receiving services or adults who are developmentally disabled receiving services.

(3)  PERSONNEL EXEMPT FROM BEING REFINGERPRINTED OR RECHECKED.--

(a)  Service provider personnel who have been fingerprinted or had their backgrounds checked pursuant to chapter 393, chapter 394, chapter 402, or chapter 409, or this section, and teachers who have been fingerprinted pursuant to chapter 1012, who have not been unemployed for more than 90 days thereafter and who, under the penalty of perjury, attest to the completion of such fingerprinting or background checks and to compliance with the provisions of this section and the standards contained in chapter 435 and this section, are not required to be refingerprinted or rechecked.

(b)  Service provider owners, directors, or chief financial officers who are not covered by paragraph (a) who provide proof of compliance with the level 2 background screening requirements which has been submitted within the previous 5 years in compliance with any other state health care licensure requirements are not required to be refingerprinted or rechecked.

(4)  EXEMPTIONS FROM DISQUALIFICATION.--

(a)  The department may grant to any service provider personnel an exemption from disqualification as provided in s. 435.07.

(b)  Since rehabilitated substance abuse impaired persons are effective in the successful treatment and rehabilitation of substance abuse impaired adolescents, for service providers which treat adolescents 13 years of age and older, service provider personnel whose background checks indicate crimes under s. 817.563, s. 893.13, or s. 893.147 may be exempted from disqualification from employment pursuant to this paragraph.

(c)  The department may grant exemptions from disqualification which would limit service provider personnel to working with adults in substance abuse treatment facilities.

(5)  PAYMENT FOR PROCESSING OF FINGERPRINTS AND STATE CRIMINAL RECORDS CHECKS.--The employing service provider or the personnel who are having their backgrounds checked are responsible for paying the costs of processing fingerprints and criminal records checks.

(6)  DISQUALIFICATION FROM RECEIVING STATE FUNDS.--State funds may not be disseminated to any service provider owned or operated by an owner, director, or chief financial officer who has been convicted of, has entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, or has had adjudication withheld for, a violation of s. 893.135 pertaining to trafficking in controlled substances, or a violation of the law of another state, the District of Columbia, the United States or any possession or territory thereof, or any foreign jurisdiction which is substantially similar in elements and penalties to a trafficking offense in this state, unless the owner's or director's civil rights have been restored.

History.--s. 3, ch. 93-39; s. 20, ch. 94-134; s. 20, ch. 94-135; s. 46, ch. 94-218; s. 16, ch. 95-152; s. 13, ch. 95-158; s. 36, ch. 95-228; s. 2, ch. 95-407; s. 126, ch. 95-418; s. 9, ch. 96-268; s. 222, ch. 96-406; s. 10, ch. 99-188; s. 12, ch. 2000-320; s. 6, ch. 2002-196; s. 1, ch. 2002-212; s. 986, ch. 2002-387.

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