Section 409.1679, Florida Statutes 2004
409.1679 Additional requirements, effective date, reimbursement methodology, and evaluation.--
(1) The programs established under ss. 409.1676 and 409.1677 are to be operational within 6 months after those sections take effect, and, beginning 1 month after this section takes effect and continuing until full operation of those programs is realized, the department shall provide to the Legislature monthly written status reports on the progress toward implementing those programs.
(2) The programs established under ss. 409.1676 and 409.1677 must be included as part of the annual evaluation currently required under s. 409.1671. With respect to these specific programs and models, the annual evaluation must be conducted by an independent third party and must include, by specific site, the level of attainment of the targeted outcomes listed in subsection (3). The evaluation of the model programs must include, at a minimum, an assessment of their cost-effectiveness, of their ability to successfully implement the assigned program elements, and of their attainment of performance standards that include legislatively established standards for similar programs and other standards determined jointly by the department and the providers and stated in a contract.
(3) Each program established under ss. 409.1676 and 409.1677 must meet the following expectations, which must be included in its contracts with the department or lead agency:
(a) No more than 10 percent of the children served may move from one living environment to another, unless the child is returned to family members or is moved, in accordance with the treatment plan, to a less-restrictive setting. Each child must have a comprehensive transitional plan that identifies the child's living arrangement upon leaving the program and specific steps and services that are being provided to prepare for that arrangement. Specific expectations as to the time period necessary for the achievement of these permanency goals must be included in the contract.
(b) Each child must receive a full academic year of appropriate educational instruction. No more than 10 percent of the children may be in more than one academic setting in an academic year, unless the child is being moved, in accordance with an educational plan, to a less-restrictive setting. Each child must demonstrate academic progress and must be performing at grade level or at a level commensurate with a valid academic assessment.
(c) Siblings must be kept together in the same living environment 100 percent of the time, unless that is determined by the provider not to be in the children's best interest. When siblings are separated in placement, the decision must be reviewed and approved by the court within 30 days.
(d) The program must experience a caregiver turnover rate and an incidence of child runaway episodes which are at least 50 percent below the rates experienced in the rest of the state.
(e) In addition to providing a comprehensive assessment, the program must provide, 100 percent of the time, any or all of the following services that are indicated through the assessment: residential care; transportation; behavioral health services; recreational activities; clothing, supplies, and miscellaneous expenses associated with caring for these children; necessary arrangements for or provision of educational services; and necessary and appropriate health and dental care.
(f) The children who are served in this program must be satisfied with the services and living environment.
(g) The caregivers must be satisfied with the program.
(4) Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 409.141, the Department of Children and Family Services shall fairly and reasonably reimburse the programs established under ss. 409.1676 and 409.1677 based on a prospective per diem rate, which must be specified annually in the General Appropriations Act. Funding for these programs shall be made available from resources appropriated and identified in the General Appropriations Act.
History.--s. 7, ch. 2001-68.