January 20, 2021
Print This PagePrint This Page

Bill #:
Chamber: View Search Tips
Search Term:
Year: View Search Tips
Search Term:
HB 5305

A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to child welfare; creating s. 402.7306,
3F.S.; requiring the Department of Children and Family
4Services, the Department of Health, the Agency for Persons
5with Disabilities, the Agency for Health Care
6Administration, and community-based care lead agencies to
7adopt policies for the administrative monitoring of child
8welfare providers; authorizing private-sector entities to
9establish an Internet-based data warehouse and archive for
10the maintenance of specified records of child welfare
11providers; providing agency and provider requirements;
12amending s. 402.7305, F.S.; providing a limitation on the
13frequency of monitoring of child-caring and child-placing
14service providers; prohibiting certain duplicative
15monitoring; amending s. 409.1451, F.S.; providing that
16certain services provided to young adults formerly in
17foster care are subject to a specific appropriation;
18revising provisions relating to calculating the amount of,
19issuing, and terminating an award granted under the Road-
20to-Independence Program; repealing s. 409.1663, F.S.,
21relating to adoption benefits for qualifying adoptive
22employees of state agencies; amending s. 409.1671, F.S.;
23revising provisions relating to funding for contracts
24established between the Department of Children and Family
25Services and community-based care lead agencies;
26authorizing the department to outsource certain functions;
27authorizing a community-based care lead agency to make
28certain expenditures; amending s. 409.166, F.S.;
29conforming a reference to changes made by the act;
30providing an effective date.
32Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
34     Section 1.  Section 402.7306, Florida Statutes, is created
35to read:
36     402.7306  Administrative monitoring for child welfare
37providers.-The Department of Children and Family Services, the
38Department of Health, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities,
39the Agency for Health Care Administration, and community-based
40care lead agencies shall identify and implement changes that
41improve the efficiency of administrative monitoring of child
42welfare services. To assist with that goal, each such agency
43shall adopt the following policies:
44     (1)  Limit administrative monitoring to once every 3 years
45if the child welfare provider is accredited by the Joint
46Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, the
47Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, or the
48Council on Accreditation of Children and Family Services.
49Notwithstanding the survey or inspection of an accrediting
50organization specified in this subsection, an agency specified
51in and subject to this section may continue to monitor the
52provider as necessary with respect to:
53     (a)  Ensuring that services for which the agency is paying
54are being provided.
55     (b)  Investigating complaints or suspected problems and
56monitoring the provider's compliance with any resulting
57negotiated terms and conditions, including provisions relating
58to consent decrees that are unique to a specific service and are
59not statements of general applicability.
60     (c)  Ensuring compliance with federal and state laws,
61federal regulations, or state rules if such monitoring does not
62duplicate the accrediting organization's review pursuant to
63accreditation standards.
64     (2)  Allow private-sector development and implementation of
65an Internet-based, secure, and consolidated data warehouse and
66archive for maintaining corporate, fiscal, and administrative
67records of child welfare providers. A provider shall ensure that
68the data is up to date and accessible to the applicable agency
69under this section and the appropriate agency subcontractor. A
70provider shall submit any revised, updated information to the
71data warehouse within 10 business days after receiving the
72request. An agency that conducts administrative monitoring of
73child welfare providers under this section must use the data
74warehouse for document requests. If the information provided to
75the agency by the provider's data warehouse is not current or is
76unavailable from the data warehouse and archive, the agency may
77contact the provider directly. At a minimum, the records must
78include the provider's:
79     (a)  Articles of incorporation.
80     (b)  Bylaws.
81     (c)  Governing board and committee minutes.
82     (d)  Financial audits.
83     (e)  Expenditure reports.
84     (f)  Compliance audits.
85     (g)  Organizational charts.
86     (h)  Governing board membership information.
87     (i)  Human resource policies and procedures.
88     Section 2.  Subsection (4) of section 402.7305, Florida
89Statutes, is amended to read:
90     402.7305  Department of Children and Family Services;
91procurement of contractual services; contract management.-
93department shall establish contract monitoring units staffed by
94career service employees who report to a member of the Selected
95Exempt Service or Senior Management Service and who have been
96properly trained to perform contract monitoring., with At least
97one member of the contract monitoring unit must possess
98possessing specific knowledge and experience in the contract's
99program area. The department shall establish a contract
100monitoring process that includes must include, but is need not
101be limited to, the following requirements:
102     (a)  Performing a risk assessment at the start of each
103fiscal year and preparing an annual contract monitoring schedule
104that considers includes consideration for the level of risk
105assigned. The department may monitor any contract at any time
106regardless of whether such monitoring was originally included in
107the annual contract monitoring schedule.
108     (b)  Preparing a contract monitoring plan, including
109sampling procedures, before performing onsite monitoring at
110external locations of a service provider. The plan must include
111a description of the programmatic, fiscal, and administrative
112components that will be monitored on site. If appropriate,
113clinical and therapeutic components may be included.
114     (c)  Conducting analyses of the performance and compliance
115of an external service provider by means of desk reviews if the
116external service provider will not be monitored on site during a
117fiscal year.
118     (d)  Unless the department sets forth in writing the need
119for an extension, providing a written report presenting the
120results of the monitoring within 30 days after the completion of
121the onsite monitoring or desk review.
122     (e)  Developing and maintaining a set of procedures
123describing the contract monitoring process.
125Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the
126department shall limit monitoring of a child-caring or child-
127placing services provider under this subsection to only once per
128year. Such monitoring may not duplicate administrative
129monitoring that is included in the survey of a child welfare
130provider conducted by a national accreditation organization
131specified under s. 402.7306(1).
132     Section 3.  Subsection (5) of section 409.1451, Florida
133Statutes, is amended to read:
134     409.1451  Independent living transition services.-
136Subject to a specific appropriation Based on the availability of
137funds, the department shall provide or arrange for the following
138services to young adults formerly in foster care who meet the
139prescribed conditions and are determined eligible by the
140department. The department, or a community-based care lead
141agency when the agency is under contract with the department to
142provide the services described under this subsection, shall
143develop a plan to implement those services. A plan shall be
144developed for each community-based care service area in the
145state. Each plan that is developed by a community-based care
146lead agency shall be submitted to the department. Each plan
147shall include the number of young adults to be served each month
148of the fiscal year and specify the number of young adults who
149will reach 18 years of age who will be eligible for the plan and
150the number of young adults who will reach 23 years of age and
151will be ineligible for the plan or who are otherwise ineligible
152during each month of the fiscal year; staffing requirements and
153all related costs to administer the services and program;
154expenditures to or on behalf of the eligible recipients; costs
155of services provided to young adults through an approved plan
156for housing, transportation, and employment; reconciliation of
157these expenses and any additional related costs with the funds
158allocated for these services; and an explanation of and a plan
159to resolve any shortages or surpluses in order to end the fiscal
160year with a balanced budget. The categories of services
161available to assist a young adult formerly in foster care to
162achieve independence are:
163     (a)  Aftercare support services.-
164     1.  Aftercare support services are available to assist
165young adults who were formerly in foster care in their efforts
166to continue to develop the skills and abilities necessary for
167independent living. The aftercare support services available
168include, but are not limited to, the following:
169     a.  Mentoring and tutoring.
170     b.  Mental health services and substance abuse counseling.
171     c.  Life skills classes, including credit management and
172preventive health activities.
173     d.  Parenting classes.
174     e.  Job and career skills training.
175     f.  Counselor consultations.
176     g.  Temporary financial assistance.
177     h.  Financial literacy skills training.
179The specific services to be provided under this subparagraph
180shall be determined by an aftercare services assessment and may
181be provided by the department or through referrals in the
183     2.  Temporary assistance provided to prevent homelessness
184shall be provided as expeditiously as possible and within the
185limitations defined by the department.
186     3.  A young adult who has reached 18 years of age but is
187not yet 23 years of age who leaves foster care at 18 years of
188age but who requests services prior to reaching 23 years of age
189is eligible for such services.
190     (b)  Road-to-Independence Program.-
191     1.  The Road-to-Independence Program is intended to help
192eligible students who are former foster children in this state
193to receive the educational and vocational training needed to
194achieve independence. The amount of the award may shall be based
195on the living and educational needs of the young adult and may
196be up to, but may not exceed $675 per month. Payment for a
197partial month shall be prorated on the basis of a 30-day month,
198the amount of earnings that the student would have been eligible
199to earn working a 40-hour-a-week federal minimum wage job.
200     2.  A young adult who has earned a standard high school
201diploma or its equivalent as described in s. 1003.43 or s.
2021003.435, has earned a special diploma or special certificate of
203completion as described in s. 1003.438, or has reached 18 years
204of age but is not yet 21 years of age is eligible for the
205initial award, and a young adult under 23 years of age is
206eligible for renewal awards, if he or she:
207     a.  Was a dependent child, under chapter 39, and was living
208in licensed foster care or in subsidized independent living at
209the time of his or her 18th birthday or is currently living in
210licensed foster care or subsidized independent living, or, after
211reaching the age of 16, was adopted from foster care or placed
212with a court-approved dependency guardian and has spent a
213minimum of 6 months in foster care immediately preceding such
214placement or adoption;
215     b.  Spent at least 6 months living in foster care before
216reaching his or her 18th birthday;
217     c.  Is a resident of this state as defined in s. 1009.40;
219     d.  Meets one of the following qualifications:
220     (I)  Has earned a standard high school diploma or its
221equivalent as described in s. 1003.43 or s. 1003.435, or has
222earned a special diploma or special certificate of completion as
223described in s. 1003.438, and has been admitted for full-time
224enrollment in an eligible postsecondary education institution as
225defined in s. 1009.533;
226     (II)  Is enrolled full time in an accredited high school;
228     (III)  Is enrolled full time in an accredited adult
229education program designed to provide the student with a high
230school diploma or its equivalent.
231     3.  A young adult applying for the Road-to-Independence
232Program must apply for any other grants and scholarships for
233which he or she may qualify. The department shall assist the
234young adult in the application process and may use the federal
235financial aid grant process to determine the funding needs of
236the young adult.
237     4.  An award shall be available to a young adult who is
238considered a full-time student or its equivalent by the
239educational institution in which he or she is enrolled, unless
240that young adult has a recognized disability preventing full-
241time attendance. The amount of the award, whether it is being
242used by a young adult working toward completion of a high school
243diploma or its equivalent or working toward completion of a
244postsecondary education program, shall be determined based on an
245assessment of the funding needs of the young adult. This
246assessment must consider the young adult's living and
247educational costs and other grants, scholarships, waivers,
248earnings, and other income to be received by the young adult. An
249award shall be available only to the extent that other grants
250and scholarships are not sufficient to meet the living and
251educational needs of the young adult, but an award may not be
252less than $25 in order to maintain Medicaid eligibility for the
253young adult as provided in s. 409.903.
254     5.  The amount of the award may be disregarded for purposes
255of determining the eligibility for, or the amount of, any other
256federal or federally supported assistance.
257     6.a.  The department must advertise the criteria,
258application procedures, and availability of the program to:
259     (I)  Children and young adults in, leaving, or formerly in
260foster care.
261     (II)  Case managers.
262     (III)  Guidance and family services counselors.
263     (IV)  Principals or other relevant school administrators.
264     (V)  Guardians ad litem.
265     (VI)  Foster parents.
266     b.  The department shall issue awards from the program for
267each young adult who meets all the requirements of the program
268subject to a specific appropriation to the extent funding is
270     c.  An award shall be issued on the day at the time the
271eligible student reaches 18 years of age.
272     d.  A young adult who is eligible for the Road-to-
273Independence Program, transitional support services, or
274aftercare services and who so desires shall be allowed to reside
275with the licensed foster family or group care provider with whom
276he or she was residing at the time of attaining his or her 18th
277birthday or to reside in another licensed foster home or with a
278group care provider arranged by the department.
279     e.  If the award recipient transfers from one eligible
280institution to another and continues to meet eligibility
281requirements, the award must be transferred with the recipient.
282     f.  Funds awarded to any eligible young adult under this
283program are in addition to any other services or funds provided
284to the young adult by the department through transitional
285support services or aftercare services.
286     g.  The department shall provide information concerning
287young adults receiving funding through the Road-to-Independence
288Program to the Department of Education for inclusion in the
289student financial assistance database, as provided in s.
291     h.  Funds are intended to help eligible young adults who
292are former foster children in this state to receive the
293educational and vocational training needed to become independent
294and self-supporting. The funds shall be terminated when the
295young adult has attained one of four postsecondary goals under
296subsection (3) or reaches 23 years of age, whichever occurs
297earlier. In order to initiate postsecondary education, to allow
298for a change in career goal, or to obtain additional skills in
299the same educational or vocational area, a young adult may earn
300no more than two diplomas, certificates, or credentials. A young
301adult attaining an associate of arts or associate of science
302degree shall be permitted to work toward completion of a
303bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science degree or an
304equivalent undergraduate degree. Road-to-Independence Program
305funds may not be used for education or training after a young
306adult has attained a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science
307degree or an equivalent undergraduate degree.
308     i.  The department shall evaluate and renew each award
309annually during the 90-day period before the young adult's
310birthday. In order to be eligible for a renewal award for the
311subsequent year, the young adult must:
312     (I)  Complete the number of hours, or the equivalent
313considered full time by the educational institution, unless that
314young adult has a recognized disability preventing full-time
315attendance, in the last academic year in which the young adult
316earned an award, except for a young adult who meets the
317requirements of s. 1009.41.
318     (II)  Maintain appropriate progress as required by the
319educational institution, except that, if the young adult's
320progress is insufficient to renew the award at any time during
321the eligibility period, the young adult may restore eligibility
322by improving his or her progress to the required level.
323     j.  Funds shall may be terminated during the interim
324between an award and the evaluation for a renewal award if the
325department determines that the award recipient is no longer
326enrolled in an educational institution as defined in sub-
327subparagraph 2.d., or is no longer a state resident. The
328department shall notify a recipient who is terminated and inform
329the recipient of his or her right to appeal.
330     k.  An award recipient who does not qualify for a renewal
331award or who chooses not to renew the award may subsequently
332apply for reinstatement. An application for reinstatement must
333be made before the young adult reaches 23 years of age, and a
334student may not apply for reinstatement more than once. In order
335to be eligible for reinstatement, the young adult must meet the
336eligibility criteria and the criteria for award renewal for the
338     (c)  Transitional support services.-
339     1.  In addition to any services provided through aftercare
340support or the Road-to-Independence Program, a young adult
341formerly in foster care may receive other appropriate short-term
342funding and services, which may include financial, housing,
343counseling, employment, education, mental health, disability,
344and other services, if the young adult demonstrates that the
345services are critical to the young adult's own efforts to
346achieve self-sufficiency and to develop a personal support
347system. The department or community-based care provider shall
348work with the young adult in developing a joint transition plan
349that is consistent with a needs assessment identifying the
350specific need for transitional services to support the young
351adult's own efforts. The young adult must have specific tasks to
352complete or maintain included in the plan and be accountable for
353the completion of or making progress towards the completion of
354these tasks. If the young adult and the department or community-
355based care provider cannot come to agreement regarding any part
356of the plan, the young adult may access a grievance process to
357its full extent in an effort to resolve the disagreement.
358     2.  A young adult formerly in foster care is eligible to
359apply for transitional support services if he or she has reached
36018 years of age but is not yet 23 years of age, was a dependent
361child pursuant to chapter 39, was living in licensed foster care
362or in subsidized independent living at the time of his or her
36318th birthday, and had spent at least 6 months living in foster
364care before that date.
365     3.  If at any time the services are no longer critical to
366the young adult's own efforts to achieve self-sufficiency and to
367develop a personal support system, they shall be terminated.
368     (d)  Payment of aftercare, Road-to-Independence Program, or
369transitional support funds.-
370     1.  Payment of aftercare, Road-to-Independence Program, or
371transitional support funds shall be made directly to the
372recipient unless the recipient requests in writing to the
373community-based care lead agency, or the department, that the
374payments or a portion of the payments be made directly on the
375recipient's behalf in order to secure services such as housing,
376counseling, education, or employment training as part of the
377young adult's own efforts to achieve self-sufficiency.
378     2.  After the completion of aftercare support services that
379satisfy the requirements of sub-subparagraph (a)1.h., payment of
380awards under the Road-to-Independence Program shall be made by
381direct deposit to the recipient, unless the recipient requests
382in writing to the community-based care lead agency or the
383department that:
384     a.  The payments be made directly to the recipient by check
385or warrant;
386     b.  The payments or a portion of the payments be made
387directly on the recipient's behalf to institutions the recipient
388is attending to maintain eligibility under this section; or
389     c.  The payments be made on a two-party check to a business
390or landlord for a legitimate expense, whether reimbursed or not.
391A legitimate expense for the purposes of this sub-subparagraph
392shall include automobile repair or maintenance expenses;
393educational, job, or training expenses; and costs incurred,
394except legal costs, fines, or penalties, when applying for or
395executing a rental agreement for the purposes of securing a home
396or residence.
397     3.  The community-based care lead agency may purchase
398housing, transportation, or employment services to ensure the
399availability and affordability of specific transitional services
400thereby allowing an eligible young adult to utilize these
401services in lieu of receiving a direct payment. Prior to
402purchasing such services, the community-based care lead agency
403must have a plan approved by the department describing the
404services to be purchased, the rationale for purchasing the
405services, and a specific range of expenses for each service that
406is less than the cost of purchasing the service by an individual
407young adult. The plan must include a description of the
408transition of a young adult using these services into
409independence and a timeframe for achievement of independence. An
410eligible young adult who prefers a direct payment shall receive
411such payment. The plan must be reviewed annually and evaluated
412for cost-efficiency and for effectiveness in assisting young
413adults in achieving independence, preventing homelessness among
414young adults, and enabling young adults to earn a livable wage
415in a permanent employment situation.
416     4.  The young adult who resides with a foster family may
417not be included as a child in calculating any licensing
418restriction on the number of children in the foster home.
419     (e)  Appeals process.-
420     1.  The Department of Children and Family Services shall
421adopt by rule a procedure by which a young adult may appeal an
422eligibility determination or the department's failure to provide
423aftercare, Road-to-Independence Program, or transitional support
424services, or the termination of such services, if such funds are
426     2.  The procedure developed by the department must be
427readily available to young adults, must provide timely
428decisions, and must provide for an appeal to the Secretary of
429Children and Family Services. The decision of the secretary
430constitutes final agency action and is reviewable by the court
431as provided in s. 120.68.
432     Section 4.  Section 409.1663, Florida Statutes, is
434     Section 5.  Subsections (8), (9), (10), and (11) of section
435409.1671, Florida Statutes, are renumbered as subsections (10),
436(14), (15), and (16), respectively, and new subsections (8),
437(9), (11), (12), and (13) are added to that section to read:
438     409.1671  Foster care and related services; outsourcing.-
439     (8)  A contract established between the department and a
440community-based care lead agency under this section must be
441funded by a grant of general revenue, other applicable state
442funds, or applicable federal funding sources. A community-based
443care lead agency may carry forward documented unexpended state
444funds from one fiscal year to the next. Any unexpended funds
445that remain at the end of the contract period shall be returned
446to the department. Funds carried forward may be retained through
447any contract renewals and any new procurements as long as the
448community-based care lead agency is retained by the department.
449     (9)  The method of payment for a fixed-price contract with
450a community-based care lead agency shall provide for a 2-month
451advance payment at the beginning of each fiscal year and equal
452monthly payments thereafter.
453     (11)  Notwithstanding subsection (10), the amount of the
454annual contract for a community-based care lead agency may be
455increased by excess federal funds earned in accordance with s.
457     (12)  The department may outsource programmatic,
458administrative, or fiscal monitoring oversight of community-
459based care lead agencies.
460     (13)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a
461community-based care lead agency may make expenditures for staff
462cellular telephone allowances, contracts requiring deferred
463payments and maintenance agreements, security deposits for
464office leases, related agency but not personal professional
465membership dues, promotional materials, and grant writing
466services. Expenditures for food and refreshments, other than
467those provided to clients in the care of the agency and to
468foster parents, adoptive parents, and caseworkers during
469training sessions, are not allowable.
470     Section 6.  Paragraph (b) of subsection (2) of section
471409.166, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
472     409.166  Children within the child welfare system; adoption
473assistance program.-
474     (2)  DEFINITIONS.-As used in this section, the term:
475     (b)  "Adoption assistance" means financial assistance and
476services provided to a child and his or her adoptive family.
477Such assistance may include a maintenance subsidy, medical
478assistance, Medicaid assistance, and reimbursement of
479nonrecurring expenses associated with the legal adoption. The
480term also includes a tuition exemption at a postsecondary career
481program, community college, or state university, and a state
482employee adoption benefit under s. 409.1663.
483     Section 7.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.
Site Map
Session:   Bills ·   Calendars ·   Bound Journals ·   Citator ·   Search ·   Appropriations ·   Redistricting ·   Bill Information Reports
Committee Publications
Historical Information
Statutes:   Introduction ·   View Statutes ·   Search Statutes
Disclaimer: The information on this system is unverified. The journals or printed bills of the respective chambers should be consulted for official purposes.    Copyright © 2000-2021 State of Florida.     Privacy Statement     Contact Us     Get Acrobat Reader