|Florida Administrative Code (Last Updated: March 21, 2017)|
|65. Department of Children and Families|
|65C. Family Safety and Preservation Program|
|65C-14. Child-Caring Agency Licensing|
1(1) The 3child-caring agency 5shall have written admission procedures which:
11(a) Establish admission criteria 15which includes the ages of the children and young adults to be served;
28(b) List the materials and forms required from the parent or guardian, or child-placing agency, and child; and,
46(c) 47For runaway shelters, include written policies and procedures governing the conditions under which it will serve children without parental consent.
67(2) The child-caring agency shall have written preplacement procedures which include a consideration of the needs of all children in the facility and professional staff expertise.
93(3) All written admission and preplacement procedures shall be made available to 105the child, the child’s parent or guardian, the child-caring or child-placing agency and the Department.
120(4) The admission of each child 126in the care and custody of the Department 134to a residential child-caring agency shall follow completion of a pre-admission study completed by the 149child-placing 150agency, and shall include the following:
156(a) A determination that group care is appropriate 164for the child’s 167needs. This determination shall be based upon interviews with the child, parent or guardian, or other persons 184with relevant information.
187(b) A determination that the child-caring agency proposed for placement can meet the child’s needs without negatively impacting the other children within the same facility or disrupting service milieu.
216(c) Orders of court commitment or a voluntary placement agreement with parents or guardian, or 231or child-placing agency234.
235(d) A social history of the child, 242the child’s 244family and any other information required by the residential child-caring agency.
255(e) A written placement agreement signed by the parents or guardian, or agency having legal custody of the child admitted, including financial arrangements, and regulations and procedures designated to encourage and facilitate parental visitation.
289(f) For transgender youth, a determination whether the youth should be placed with their gender listed on their birth certificate or their identified gender. Factors to be considered shall include:
3191. The physical safety of the transgender youth,
3272. The emotional well-being of the transgender youth,
3353. The youth’s preference,
3394. The recommendation of the youth’s guardian ad litem,
3485. The recommendation of the youth’s parent, when parental rights have not been terminated,
3626. The recommendation of the youth’s case manager; and,
3717. The recommendation of the youth’s therapist, if applicable.
380(5) 381No child shall be denied services by any child-placing agency based on race, religion, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, or transgenderism. A child-placing agency has the obligation to place each child in the most suitable setting according to that child’s individual needs, taking into account the capacity of the placement to meet the child’s needs, and the needs of the other children already placed in that setting.
448(6) No child under the age of six (6) years, or the age of enrollment in the first grade of school, shall be admitted to a residential child-caring agency except 478in the following situations:
482(a) U484nder emergency circumstances.
4871. An emergency placement of a child under six (6) years shall be documented in the child’s case record, verifying that no alternate plan for care was available at the time of admission.
5202. Continued diligent effort shall be made, including referral to the Department to place a child under age six (6) in foster care or other appropriate care. Such plans shall be made within 30 days of the child’s admission.
5593. Residential care for children under six (6) years who are part of a sibling group may be continued if separation would cause additional trauma to the child.
587(b) T589o prevent the separation of 594siblings.
5951. Siblings shall be placed in the same home whenever possible.
6062. If it is not possible to place the siblings in the same home, siblings may be placed on the same campus. Efforts to place the siblings in the same home shall be documented in the child’s record.
644(c) To prevent separation of a parenting young adult and child.
655(7) The child-caring agency shall provide prior to or at admission an orientation to living in the facility for each child and the child’s parent or guardian or child-placing agency staff. The orientation shall include the following:
692(a) Rules of the facility;
697(b) Expectations for the caregivers;
702(c) Expectations for the child;
707(d) Services offered;
710(e) Behavior management practices; and,
715(f) The inherent diversity of group home populations, including race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, gender expression, and transgenderism.
734(8) The child-caring agency shall provide each child, the child’s parent or guardian, the child’s attorney and guardian ad litem, if appointed and requested, and the Department with written policies governing the care of children, including visitation and discipline policies.
774(9) The child-caring agency shall have written policies that encourage and support family visits, mail, telephone calls, and other forms of communication with parents, relatives, friends or others with whom the child may have a significant relationship. A copy of the policies shall be provided to each child, the child’s parent or guardian, the child’s attorney and guardian ad litem, if appointed and requested, child-placing staff, and the Department.
843(10) The child-caring agency shall have a written agreement or plan with the child and parent or guardian, and the Department or the licensed child-placing agency which describes the following:
873(a) The frequency of contact with the child’s family and staff from the agency.
887(b) A plan for sharing information about the child’s care and development with the parent or guardian, and the Department.
907(c) The child-caring agency’s participation in the ongoing evaluation of the child’s needs and progress.
922(d) Visitation plans for the child’s parent or guardian, agency or the Department.
935(e) Provisions for service or treatment plan development and review.
945(f) The conditions under which the child will be discharged from the program.
958(g) A designation of responsibility for post-release services.
966(11) The written agreement shall be kept in the child’s file and shall be available for review by the Department.
986(12) A trauma-informed approach shall be used in all child-caring agencies.
997(13) Each child’s needs and trauma history shall be considered when making roommate assignments.
1011(14) The child-caring agency shall develop a written service or treatment plan within 30 days of placement for each child admitted into care. Child-caring agencies operating as an emergency shelter shall initiate service planning within 24 hours of admission.
1050(15) The development of the service or treatment plan shall include:
1061(a) The child’s parents or guardian, the child’s attorney and guardian ad litem, and other appointed representatives and a representative of the referring agency, if appropriate; and,
1088(b) Child-caring agency staff.
1092(16) The service or treatment plan shall include the following:
1102(a) An assessment of the child’s and family’s needs, strengths, weaknesses, and problems;
1115(b) An assessment of the child’s life skills; educational, vocational, recreational and physical and behavioral health needs; and a plan for meeting the child’s needs;
1140(c) Arrangements for individual or group counseling, as needed; and,
1150(d) A projection in regard to the child’s length of stay and an initial plan for discharge.
1167(17) The child-caring agency shall review each child’s service or treatment plan at least every six (6) months. The review shall involve the child, the facility staff members working directly with the child, the parent or guardian, and the child-placing agency or Department.
1210(18) At the time of the review, the service or treatment plan shall be revised to include the following:
1229(a) Progress made toward achieving the goals established in the previous service or treatment plan.
1244(b) Any changes in the service or treatment plan.
1253(c) A projected date for the child’s release from care.
1263(19) Each child in residence shall attend school in accordance with Section 12751003.21(1)(a), F.S. 1277The child-caring agency shall plan jointly with school personnel and the parent or guardian or child-placing agency staff to place children in appropriate grades and classes and to help them make an adjustment to their school.
1313(20) Maintaining the child’s school stability while in out-of-home care in the school or educational setting the child attended prior to entry into the facility is first priority, unless remaining in the same school or educational setting is not in the best interest of the child for safety or other reasons as documented in FSFN. Children shall be encouraged to participate in afterschool clubs, sports and other extracurricular activities.
1382(21) If an on-campus educational program is provided to resident children, the program shall be designed to meet the educational needs of each child. All on-campus educational programs must be accredited.
1413(22) If non-school age children are enrolled in child care, priority consideration for the choice of child care setting shall be chosen by the caregiver in the following order:
14421. Gold Seal accredited child care providers or providers participating in a quality rating system,
14572. Licensed child care providers,
14623. Public school providers,
14664. License exempt child care providers, including religious exempt, registered, and non-public schools.
1479(23) Residential child-caring agencies which provide therapeutic or psychiatric treatment programs shall integrate such programs with the child’s educational program.
1499(24) The residential child-caring agency shall encourage children of legal work age to find employment in the community in accordance with the service or treatment plan. The child-caring agency shall ensure children have transportation to and from their employment.
1538(25) The residential child-caring agency shall encourage and assist children, as age-appropriate, to explore opportunities for higher education.
1556(26) The residential child-caring agency shall provide education and instruction in life skills which shall include the following:
1574(a) Vocational exploration opportunities;
1578(b) Problem solving and decision making;
1584(c) Independent living skills;
1588(d) Social skills;
1591(e) Internet safety; and,
1595(f) In maternity homes, parenting skills and family planning.
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Related DOAH Cases:None
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