97-004949 Priscilla Ghans vs. Department Of Children And Family Services
 Status: Closed
Recommended Order on Thursday, May 21, 1998.

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Summary: Petitioner failed to establish facts to show entitlement to licensure as a family foster home.





12Petitioner, )


15vs. ) Case No. 97-4949





30Respondent. )



35Upon due notice, William R. Cave, an Administrative Law

44Judge for the Division of Administrative Hearings, held a formal

54hearing in this matter on January 14, 1998, in Labelle, Florida.


66For Petitioner: Priscilla Ghans, pro se

72Post Office Box 2252

76Clewiston, Florida 33440

79For Respondent: Eugenie G. Rehak, Esquire

85Department of Children

88and Family Services

91Post Office Box 60085

95Fort Myers, Florida 33906


103Should Petitioner's application for foster home licensure be



114By letter dated September 4, 1997, the Department of

123Children and Family Services (Department) advised Petitioner that

131her application for licensure as a foster home had been denied.

142The basis of the denial was: (a) Petitioner's failure to meet

153minimum standards concerning sufficient income for foster home;

161(b) that a current member of Petitioner's household had been

171convicted of criminal offenses which were disqualifying offenses

179under Chapter 435, Florida Statutes; and (c) Petitioner's

187inappropriate actions concerning E. O., a foster child previously

196under Petitioner's care. Additionally, the Department advised

203Petitioner of her right to a formal hearing.

211By letter dated September 29, 1997, Petitioner requested a

220hearing pursuant to Chapter 120, Florida Statutes.

227By a Notice dated October 20, 1997, the Department referred

237this matter to the Division of Administrative Hearings (Division)

246for the assignment of an Administrative Law Judge and for the

257conduct of a hearing.

261At the hearing, Petitioner testified in her own behalf and

271presented the testimony of Hyacinth Ewin and Samuel Simmons.

280Petitioner's Composite Exhibit One and Exhibit Two were received

289as evidence. Petitioner's Exhibit Three was rejected. The

297Department presented the testimony of Michele Altman, Leola

305Horton, Valerie Walter, Linda Tillman, and Patricia Richardson.

313The Department's Exhibits A-3 through A-9 were received as

322evidence. Rules 65-13.010 and 65-13.011, Florida Administrative

329Code, were officially recognized.

333There was no transcript of this proceeding filed with the

343Division. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Court Reporter

353was instructed to retain all of the exhibits so that she could

365copy the exhibits and furnish the parties copies, where

374necessary. By letter dated February 16, 1998, the Court Reporter

384returned two exhibits to the undersigned and advised the

393undersigned that, where necessary, copies of the exhibits had

402been furnished to the parties. By order dated February 18, 1998,

413the parties were advised that they had until 5:00 p.m. on

424March 4, 1998, to file their respective proposed recommended

433orders. The Department timely filed its proposed recommended

441order under the extended time frame. Petitioner elected not to

451file a proposed recommended order.


459Upon consideration of the oral and documentary evidence

467adduced at the hearing, the following relevant findings of fact

477are made:

4791. Petitioner operated a family foster home at 1028

488Mississippi Avenue, Clewiston, Florida, which had been licensed

496by the Department or its predecessor, Department of Health and

506Rehabilitative Services, from April 18, 1991, through April 1,


5162. In December 1996, the Petitioner was advised that the

526Department's licensing staff would be recommending that

533Petitioner's family foster home not be granted licensure at the

543end of Petitioner's current licensure period of April 1, 1997.

5533. By letter dated March 17, 1997, the Department advised

563Petitioner that the Department would not be furnishing her a

573packet for relicensure except upon request by Petitioner.

581Subsequently, Petitioner requested a relicensure packet and made

589application for relicensure of her family foster home located at

5991028 Mississippi Avenue, Clewiston, Florida.

6044. After reviewing Petitioner's application for renewal of

612her family foster home license, the Department, by letter dated

622September 4, 1997, advised Petitioner that her application for

631renewal of her family foster home located at 1028 Mississippi

641Avenue, Clewiston, Florida, had been denied. The denial letter

650provides in pertinent part as follows:

656The Department of Children and Families

662hereby denies Priscilla Ghans a license for

669purposes of providing substitute care for

675children in the custody of the State of

683Florida and in support thereof, would show

690the following:

6921. Ms. Ghans' current income and expenses

699are insufficient to meet the requirements of

706Rule 65C-13.025(5), Florida Administrative

710Code. (Formerly known as Rule 10M-6 F.A.C.)

7172. Paul Beadle, a current household member,

724has criminal offenses which are disqualifying

730within Chapter 435 of the Florida Statutes.

737In accordance with Section 409.175(5)(h),

742Florida Statutes, a license may not be issued

750if any member of the household failed to pass

759background screening.

7613. In addition, Priscilla Ghans was licensed

768as a foster parent in 1996. E.O. was a

777foster child placed in her home in 1996.

785During his placement, Ms. Ghans failed to

792provide adequate supervision which is a

798violation of Sections 409.175(4)(a)(1,2,4)

804and (8)(b)1, Florida Statutes and Rule 65C-

81113.024(1)(b)(1,a), Florida Administrative


8164. When E. O. left her home, his personal

825belongings were placed in a garbage bag along

833with trash and debris. The majority of his

841clothes were unwearable in that they were to

849small or unsuitable. This is a violation of

857Rule 65C-13.024(1)(b)(1,c) and (3,a-d)

863Florida Administrative Code. . . .

8695. Petitioner's monthly expenses total $491.00.

875Petitioner's monthly income from Social Security and SSI total


8856. A Financial Statement filed with the Department by

894Petitioner refers to Petitioner having a savings account but does

904not indicate the amount of the savings account or if this savings

916account is available for monthly expenses. Neither the

924Department nor Petitioner offered any other evidence concerning

932this savings account.

9357. Likewise, there was testimony that Petitioner's son,

943Paul Beadle, paid Petitioner room and board while with

952Petitioner. However, there was no evidence as to the amount

962Beadle paid Petitioner for room and board.

9698. On June 23, 1997, Beadle pled nolo contendere to: (a)

980possession of cocaine, a third degree felony, and a violation of

991893.13(6((a), Florida Statutes; (b) possession of marijuana

998(20 grams or less), a first degree misdemeanor, and a violation

1009of Section 893.13(6)(b), Florida Statutes; and (c) possession of

1018paraphernalia, a first degree misdemeanor, and a violation of

1027Section 893.147, Florida Statutes. Since the felony offense was

1036committed less than three years ago, Beadle cannot be granted an

1047exemption from disqualification under Section 435.07(1)(a),

1053Florida Statutes.

10559. Paul Beadle lived in the home with Petitioner up until

1066July 1997. Although Petitioner has never established the date

1075that Beadle moved from her home, she contends that Beadle has

1086moved out of her home. However, Petitioner testified that in the

1097past when Beadle wanted to return, she has always allowed him to

1109move back home.

111210. E.O., a foster child approximately 13 years of age, was

1123placed in Petitioner's family foster home in 1996. After his

1133placement, Petitioner allowed E.O. to attend a block party in the

1144neighborhood without being under her supervision or the

1152supervision of any properly screened adult. Around 11:00 p.m.,

1161E.O. had to bang on the door in order to get in since Petitioner

1175had gone to sleep.

117911. On another occasion, E.O. made plans to stay overnight

1189with a friend. However, the friend's parents had not been

1199screened to supervise foster children. On this occasion, the

1208father of the friend called Petitioner to advise her that E.O.

1219could not spend the night. Although E.O. did not return home

1230until the next morning, Petitioner did not contact law

1239enforcement or the Department.

124312. Petitioner also went shopping without advising E.O.

1251that she was leaving or when she would return. E.O., who had

1263never been given a key by Petitioner, attempted to break into

1274Petitioner's home.

127613. E.O. was removed from Petitioner's care in August 1996

1286on an emergency basis when E.O. threatened suicide.

1294Subsequently, E.O.'s clothing was retrieved from Petitioner in

1302two plastic bags and delivered to Valerie Welter, foster parent

1312who had taken E.O. Upon opening the bags of clothing, it was

1324clear that Petitioner had failed to properly maintain the clothes

1334and had failed to furnished E.O. with clothes of the proper size.


134914. The Division of Administrative Hearings has

1356jurisdiction over the parties and the subject matter of this

1366proceeding pursuant to Sections 120.57(1), Florida Statutes.

137315. Sections 409.175(1)(a), (2)(c),(e),(i),and (k),

1381(4)(a)2., 5.,.and 8., (5)(h), and (8)(a),(b)1.,2.,3.,and 4.,

1393Florida Statutes, provide in pertinent part as follows:

1401(1)(a) The purpose of this section is to

1409protect the health, safety, and well-being of

1416all children in the state who are cared for

1425by family foster homes, residential child-

1431caring agencies, and child-placing agencies

1436by providing for the establishment of

1442licensing requirements for such homes and

1448agencies and providing procedures to

1453determine adherence to these requirements.

1458* * *

1461(2) As used in this section, the term:

1469* * *

1472(c) "Child" means any unmarried person under

1479the age of 18 years.

1484* * *

1487(e) "Family foster home" means a private

1494residence in which children who are

1500unattended by a parent or legal guardian are

1508provided 24-hour care. . . .

1514* * *

1517(f) "License" means "license" as defined in

1524s. 120.52(9). A license under this section

1531is issued to a family foster home or other

1540facility and is not a professional license of

1548any individual. Receipt of a license under

1555this section shall not create a property

1562right in the recipient. A license under this

1570act is a public trust and a privilege, and is

1580not an entitlement. This privilege must

1586guide the finder if fact or trier of law at

1596any administrative proceeding or court action

1602initiated by the department.

1606* * *

1609(i) "Personnel" means all owners, operators,

1615employees, and volunteers working in

1620a. . .family foster home. . . .For purposes

1629of screening, the term shall include any

1636member, over the age of 12 years, of the

1645family of the owner or operator or any person

1654other than a client, over the age of 12

1663years, residing with the owner or operator if

1671the agency or family foster home is located

1679in or adjacent to the home of the owner or

1689operator or if the family member of, or

1697person residing with, the owner or operator

1704has any direct contact with the children.

1711* * *

1714(k) "Screening" means the act of assessing

1721the background of personnel and includes, but

1728is not limited to, employment history checks

1735as provided in Chapter 435, using level 2

1743standards for screening set forth in that


1751* * *

1754(4)(a) The department shall adopt and amend

1761licensing rules for family foster homes,

1767residential child-caring agencies, and child-

1772placing agencies. . . . The requirements for

1780licensure and operation of family foster

1786homes, residential child-caring agencies, and

1791child-placing agencies shall include:

1795* * *

17982. The provision of food, clothing,

1804educational opportunities, services,

1807equipment, and individual supplies to assure

1813the healthy physical, emotional, and mental

1819development of the children served.

1824* * *

18275. The good moral character based upon

1834screening, education, training, and

1838experience requirements for personnel.

1842* * *

18458. Satisfactory evidence of financial

1850ability to provide care for the children in

1858compliance with licensing requirements.

1862* * *

1865(5)(h) Upon determination that the applicant

1871meets the state minimum licensing

1876requirements, the department shall issue a

1882license without charge to a specific person

1889or agency at a specific location. A license

1897may be issued if all screening materials have

1905been timely submitted; however, a license may

1912not be issued or renewed if any person at the

1922home or agency has failed the required

1929screening .

1931* * *

1934(8)(a) The department may deny, suspend, or

1941revoke a license.

1944(b) Any of the following actions by a home

1953or agency or its personnel is ground for

1961denial, suspension, or revocation of a


19681. An intentional act or negligent act

1975materially affecting the health or safety of

1982children in the home or agency.

19882. A violation of the provisions of this

1996section or of licensing rules promulgated

2002pursuant to this section.

20063. Noncompliance with the requirements for

2012good moral character as specified in

2018paragraph (4)(a).

20204. Failure to dismiss personnel found in

2027noncompliance with the requirements for good

2033moral character. (Emphasis Furnished)

203716. Section 435.04(2)(cc), Florida Statutes, provides as


2045(2) The security background investigations

2050under this section must ensure that no

2057persons subject to the provisions of this

2064section have been found guilty of, regardless

2071of adjudication, of entered a plea of nolo

2079contendere or guilty to, any offense

2085prohibited under any of the following

2091provisions of the Florida Statutes or under

2098any similar statute of another jurisdiction.

2104* * *

2107(cc) Chapter 893, relating to drug abuse

2114prevention and control, only if the offense

2121was a felony or if any other person involved

2130in the offense was a minor.

213617 Rule 65C-13.010(1)(b)1.a., 3.a. c. and d., provides as


2146(1) Responsibilities of the Substitute

2151Parent to the Child.

2155* * *

2158(b) Family Care Activities.

21621. Daily living tasks.

2166a. The substitute parents are expected to

2173provide structure and daily activities

2178designed to promote the individual physical,

2184social, intellectual, spiritual, and

2188emotional development of the children in

2194their home.

2196* * *

21993. Clothing and Personal Belongings.

2204a. All children should be provided with

2211their own clean, well-fitting, attractive

2216clothing appropriate to their age, sex and

2223individual needs, in keeping with community

2229standards and appropriate to the season.

2235* * *

2238c. All children must be allowed to bring,

2246retain and acquire personal belongings while

2252in care. Substitute parents must help each

2259child protect and preserve possessions which

2265are important to the child.

2270d. When the child leaves the family home the

2279substitute care parents must send along with

2286him all serviceable clothing and personal

2292belongings bought for, earned or given to the

2300child. This includes any toys, bicycles,

2306radios, or other things that are the child's

2314personal belongings.

231618. The reference to Rules 65C-13.024 and 65C-13.025,

2324Florida Administrative Code, in the Denial of Foster Home License

2334is clearly a scrivener's error since these rules have never been

2345promulgated by the Department. However, during the hearing

2353Petitioner was made aware that the Department was relying on

2363Rules 65C-13.010 and 65C-13.011, Florida Administrative Code,

2370rather than the rules cited in the denial letter. In fact, the

2382Department requested and was granted official recognition of

2390Rules 65C-13.010 and 65C-13.011, Florida Administrative Code,

2397without objection from Petitioner. Likewise, Petitioner was on

2405notice of the statutory violations that the Department was

2414relying upon.

241619. The burden is upon the Petitioner to establish facts to

2427show her entitlement to licensure as a family foster home.

2437Although Petitioner's son, Paul Beadle is no longer living in

2447Petitioner's home and would not prevent Petitioner from being

2456licensed, Petitioner has committed other serious statutory and

2464rule violations which prevent her licensure as a family foster

2474home. Petitioner has failed to meet her burden to show

2484entitlement to licensure as a family foster home.


2493Based on the foregoing Findings of Fact and Conclusions of

2503Law, it is recommended that the Department enter a final order

2514denying Petitioner's application for licensure as a family foster


2524DONE AND ENTERED this 21st day of May, 1998, in Tallahassee,

2535Leon County, Florida.


2541Administrative Law Judge

2544Division of Administrative Hearings

2548The DeSoto Building

25511230 Apalachee Parkway

2554Tallahassee, Florida 32399-3060

2557(850) 488-9675 SUNCOM 278-9675

2561Fax Filing (850) 921-6947

2565Filed with the Clerk of the

2571Division of Administrative Hearings

2575this 21st day of May, 1998.


2583Priscilla Ghans

2585Post Office Box 2252

2589Clewiston, Florida 33440

2592Eugenie G. Rehak, Esquire

2596Department of Children

2599and Family Services

2602Post Office Box 60085

2606Fort Myers, Florida 33906

2610Gregory D. Venz, Agency Clerk

2615Department of Children

2618and Family Services

2621Building 2, Room 204

26251317 Winewood Boulevard

2628Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0700

2631Richard A. Doran

2634General Counsel

2636Department of Children

2639and Family Services

2642Building 2, Room 204

26461317 Winewood Boulevard

2649Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0700


2658All parties have the right to submit written exceptions within 15

2669days from the date of this Recommended Order. Any exceptions to

2680this Recommended Order should be filed with the agency that will

2691issue the Final Order in this case.

Select the PDF icon to view the document.
Date: 08/14/1998
Proceedings: Final Order filed.
Date: 08/12/1998
Proceedings: Agency Final Order
Date: 08/12/1998
Proceedings: Recommended Order
Date: 05/21/1998
Proceedings: Recommended Order sent out. CASE CLOSED. Hearing held 01/14/98.
Date: 02/18/1998
Proceedings: Order Setting Time for Filing Proposed Recommended Orders sent out. (PRO`s due by 3/4/98)
Date: 02/17/1998
Proceedings: Agency`s Exhibit List filed.
Date: 02/02/1998
Proceedings: Exhibits filed.
Date: 01/28/1998
Proceedings: Proposed Finds of Fact and Conclusions of Law (Respondent) (filed via facsimile).
Date: 01/14/1998
Proceedings: CASE STATUS: Hearing Held.
Date: 01/12/1998
Proceedings: (Respondent) Notice of Filing Exhibits; Cover Letter (filed via facisimile) filed.
Date: 01/07/1998
Proceedings: (Respondent) Request for Official Recognition filed.
Date: 11/26/1997
Proceedings: Amended Notice of Hearing (as to location only) sent out. (hearing set for 1/14/98; 9:00am; Labelle)
Date: 11/20/1997
Proceedings: Notice of Hearing sent out. (hearing set for 1/14/98; 9:00am; Sarasota)
Date: 10/27/1997
Proceedings: Initial Order issued.
Date: 10/22/1997
Proceedings: Notice; Request for A 120 Hearing, letter form; Agency Action Letter filed.

Case Information

Date Filed:
Date Assignment:
Last Docket Entry:
LaBelle, Florida

Related DOAH Cases(s) (1):

Related Florida Statute(s) (7):

Related Florida Rule(s) (4):