Section 435.045, Florida Statutes 2003
435.045 Requirements for placement of dependent children.--
(1)(a) Unless an election provided for in subsection (2) is made with respect to the state, the department is authorized to conduct criminal records checks equivalent to the level 2 screening required in s. 435.04(1) for any person being considered by the department for placement of a child subject to a placement decision pursuant to chapter 39. Approval shall not be granted:
1. In any case in which a record check reveals a felony conviction for child abuse, abandonment, or neglect; for spousal abuse; for a crime against children, including child pornography, or for a crime involving violence, including rape, sexual assault, or homicide but not including other physical assault or battery, if the department finds that a court of competent jurisdiction has determined that the felony was committed at any time; and
2. In any case in which a record check reveals a felony conviction for physical assault, battery, or a drug-related offense, if the department finds that a court of competent jurisdiction has determined that the felony was committed within the past 5 years.
(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), the department may place a child in a foster home which otherwise meets licensing requirements if state and local criminal records checks do not disqualify the applicant and the department has submitted fingerprint information to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for forwarding to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is awaiting the results of the federal criminal records check.
(c) Prospective and approved foster parents must disclose to the department any prior or pending local, state, or federal criminal proceedings in which they are or have been involved.
(2) For purposes of this section, and ss. 39.401(3) and 39.521(1)(d), the department and its authorized agents or contract providers are hereby designated a criminal justice agency for the purposes of accessing criminal justice information, including National Crime Information Center information, to be used for enforcing Florida's laws concerning the crimes of child abuse, abandonment, and neglect. This information shall be used solely for purposes supporting the detection, apprehension, prosecution, pretrial release, posttrial release, or rehabilitation of criminal offenders or persons accused of the crimes of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect and shall not be further disseminated or used for any other purposes.
(3) Subsection (2) shall not apply if the Governor has notified the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services in writing that the state has elected to make subsection (2) inapplicable to the state, or if the Legislature, by law, has elected to make subsection (2) inapplicable to the state.
History.--s. 153, ch. 98-403; s. 38, ch. 2000-139; s. 10, ch. 2001-68.