July 12, 2020
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HB 627

A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to transitional services for youth;
3amending s. 985.03, F.S.; defining the term "transition to
4adulthood"; creating s. 985.461, F.S.; providing
5legislative intent concerning transition to adulthood
6services for youth in the custody of the Department of
7Juvenile Justice; providing for eligibility for services
8from both departments for youth served by the department
9who are legally in the custody of the Department of
10Children and Family Services; providing that an
11adjudication of delinquency does not, by itself,
12disqualify a youth in foster care from certain services
13from the Department of Children and Family Services;
14providing powers and duties of the Department of Juvenile
15Justice for transition services; providing for
16assessments; providing for a plan for a youth leading to
17independence; amending s. 985.0301, F.S.; providing for
18retention of court jurisdiction over a child for a
19specified period beyond the child's 19th birthday if the
20child is participating in a transition to adulthood
21program; providing an effective date.
23Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
25     Section 1.  Subsections (56) and (57) of section 985.03,
26Florida Statutes, are renumbered as subsections (57) and (58),
27respectively, and a new subsection (56) is added to that section
28to read:
29     985.03  Definitions.-As used in this chapter, the term:
30     (56)  "Transition to adulthood" means services for youth in
31the custody of the department or under the supervision of the
32department with the objective of acquisition of knowledge,
33skills, and aptitudes that are essential to pro-social, self-
34supporting adult life. The services available under this
35definition may include, but are not limited to:
36     (a)  Assessment of the youth's ability and readiness for
37adult life.
38     (b)  A plan for the youth to acquire knowledge,
39information, and counseling sufficient to make a successful
40transition to adulthood.
41     (c)  Services that have proven effective towards achieving
42the objective of transition to adulthood.
43     Section 2.  Section 985.461, Florida Statutes, is created
44to read:
45     985.461  Transition to adulthood.-
46     (1)  The Legislature finds that older youths are faced with
47the need to learn how to support themselves. Additional tasks
48for these youths are to support themselves with legal means and
49to overcome the stigma of being delinquent. The source in most,
50but not all, cases for expediting this transition process is
52     (2)  It is the intent of the Legislature that the
53department may provide to older youths in its custody or under
54its supervision opportunities to participate in transition to
55adulthood services while in the department's commitment programs
56or in probation or conditional release programs in the
57community. These activities should be reasonable and appropriate
58for the youths' respective ages or for any special needs they
59may have and shall provide them with services to build life
60skills and increase their ability to live independently and
61become self-sufficient.
62     (3)  Youth served by the department who are legally in the
63custody of the Department of Children and Family Services, and
64who entered a juvenile justice placement from a foster care
65placement, remain eligible to receive services pursuant to s.
66409.1451. Court-ordered commitment or probation with the
67department is not a barrier to eligibility for the array of
68sources available to a youth if he or she were in dependency
69foster care alone.
70     (4)  For dependent children in the foster care system,
71adjudication for delinquency may not be considered, by itself,
72as disqualifying criteria for eligibility in the Independent
73Living Program of the Department of Children and Family
74Services. If upon exiting a departmental residential program the
75youth's family abandons or deserts him or her or otherwise
76refuses to resume their parental duties, the adjudication of
77delinquency is not an impediment to a subsequent adjudication of
78dependency and eligibility for the foster care system operated
79by the Department of Children and Family Services.
80     (5)  To support the provision of opportunities for
81participation in transition to adulthood services and within
82appropriated resources, the department may:
83     (a)  Assess the child's skills and abilities to live
84independently and become self-sufficient. The specific services
85to be provided to a child shall be determined using an
86assessment of his or her readiness for adult life.
87     (b)  Develop a list of age-appropriate activities and
88responsibilities to be incorporated in the child's written case
89plan for any youth 17 years of age or older who is under the
90custody or supervision of the department. Activities may
91include, but are not limited to, life skills training, including
92training to develop banking and budgeting skills, interviewing
93and career planning skills, parenting skills, personal health
94management, and time management or organizational skills;
95educational support; employment training; and counseling.
96     (c)  Provide information related to social security
97insurance benefits and public assistance.
98     (d)  Request parental or guardian permission for the youth
99to participate in the transition to adulthood services. Upon
100such consent, the age-appropriate activities shall be
101incorporated into the youth's written case plan. This plan may
102include specific goals and objectives and be reviewed and
103updated at least quarterly. If the parent or guardian is
104cooperative, the plan must not interfere with the parent's or
105guardian's rights to nurture and train his or her child in ways
106that are otherwise in compliance with the law and any court
108     (e)  Contract for transition to adulthood programs, which
109include residential services and assistance, that allow for the
110child to live independently of the daily care and supervision of
111an adult in a setting that is not required to be licensed under
112s. 409.175. A child under the care or supervision of the
113department who has reached 17 years of age but is not yet 19
114years of age is eligible for such services if he or she is not a
115danger to the public and is able to demonstrate at least
116minimally sufficient skill and aptitude for living with
117decreased adult supervision, as determined by the department,
118using established procedures and assessments.
119     (6)  For a child who is 17 years of age or older, under the
120department's care or supervision, and without benefit of parents
121or legal guardians capable of assisting the child in the
122transition to adult life, the department may provide an
123assessment to determine the child's skills and abilities to live
124independently and become self-sufficient. Based on the results
125of the assessment, and within existing resources, services and
126training may be provided to the child to develop the necessary
127skills and abilities prior to the child's 18th birthday.
128     (7)  Services focused on the transition to adulthood for a
129child must be part of an overall plan leading to the total
130independence of the child from the department's supervision. The
131plan must include, but need not be limited to, a description of
132the skills of the child and a plan for learning additional
133identified skills; the behavior that the child has exhibited
134which indicates an ability to be responsible and a plan for
135developing additional responsibilities, as appropriate; a plan
136for future educational, vocational, and training skills; present
137financial and budgeting capabilities and a plan for improving
138resources and abilities; a description of the proposed
139residence; documentation that the child understands the specific
140consequences of his or her conduct in such a program;
141documentation of proposed services to be provided by the
142department and other agencies, including the type of service and
143the nature and frequency of contact; and a plan for maintaining
144or developing relationships with family, other adults, friends,
145and the community, as appropriate.
146     Section 3.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (5) of section
147985.0301, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
148     985.0301  Jurisdiction.-
149     (5)(a)  Notwithstanding ss. 743.07, 985.43, 985.433,
150985.435, 985.439, and 985.441, and except as provided in ss.
151985.461, 985.465, and 985.47 and paragraph (f), when the
152jurisdiction of any child who is alleged to have committed a
153delinquent act or violation of law is obtained, the court shall
154retain jurisdiction, unless relinquished by its order, until the
155child reaches 19 years of age, with the same power over the
156child that the court had prior to the child becoming an adult.
157For purposes of s. 985.461, the court may retain jurisdiction
158for an additional 365 days beyond the child's 19th birthday if
159the child is participating in a transition to adulthood program.
160     Section 4.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.
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