65C-30.019. Missing Children  


Effective on Thursday, January 11, 2018
  • 1(1) Notification to Law Enforcement.

    6(a) Exigent Circumstances. The child’s caregiver, legal guardian, child welfare professional or designee shall immediately report a child as missing to law enforcement when:

    301. The child is under age 13,

    372. The child has a physical or mental incapacity, or a developmental or behavioral challenge that renders the situation more dangerous than it would be for a child with more maturity or resources,

    703. The child is with others who may endanger his or her safety,

    834. The child is known or believed to be in a dangerous or life-threatening situation, or

    995. The child is missing under circumstances inconsistent with established behaviors.

    110(b) When none of the criteria in paragraph (a), apply, the child’s caregiver, legal guardian, child welfare professional or designee may take up to four (4) hours from the time the child is first discovered missing to actively search for and attempt to locate the child prior to contacting local law enforcement. Active search efforts include:

    1661. Searching the child’s belongings.

    1712. Calling/texting the child’s cell phone.

    1773. Checking the child’s computer, social media accounts, or other online accounts.

    1894. Contacting the child’s friends, relatives, or known associates.

    1985. Searching areas that the child is known to frequent.

    2086. Contacting the child’s school.

    2137. Contacting the child’s employer.

    218(c) Caregiver or Legal Guardian Notification to Child Welfare Professional. After notifying law enforcement, the caregiver or legal guardian shall immediately notify the child welfare professional or designee that the child’s whereabouts are unknown. If the child welfare professional learns that the child’s caregiver or legal guardian has not reported the child as missing to local law enforcement within the timeframes set forth in paragraphs (1)(a)-(b), of this rule, the child welfare professional or designee shall immediately report the child as missing to local law enforcement.

    304(2) Take Into Custody and Pickup Orders. The child welfare professional shall notify Children’s Legal Services or the contracted legal provider as soon as possible, but no later than 4 hours when there is sufficient information to support that a child in an active child protective investigation may be in present or impending danger or a child in a family receiving ongoing case management services is missing and a Take into Custody or Pickup Order is needed when one or more of the following conditions exist:

    390(a) Law enforcement will not initiate efforts to locate the child without a court order.

    405(b) The caregiver or legal guardian of a child not in the custody of the Department is refusing to cooperate with efforts to locate the child, including:

    4321. Has not reported the child as missing to local law enforcement within the timeframes set forth in paragraphs (1)(a)-(b), of this rule, and continues to refuse to do so despite being informed of the requirement to do so.

    4712. There is reason to believe the child’s whereabouts are known by the caregiver or legal guardian and the lack of cooperation is for the purpose of denying the child welfare professional access to the child, or the family has or is about to flee to avoid further agency intervention.

    521(c) Children’s Legal Services or the contracted legal provider shall attempt to obtain a court order as soon as possible, but no later than 4 hours, from the point of notification.

    552(3) Missing Child Reports. A missing child report shall be obtained by the caregiver, legal guardian, or child welfare professional from law enforcement at the time of notification.

    580(a) The child welfare professional or designee shall enter the electronic missing child report in the Florida Safe Families Network (FSFN) within 24 hours of learning the child is missing.

    610(b) The Department shall review the missing child report to ensure that it meets reporting criteria for case opening with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE)/Missing and Endangered Person Information Clearinghouse and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

    651(4) Notification Requirements.

    654(a) When a child in the custody of the Department wherabouts are unknown, the child welfare professional or designee shall notify the child’s caregivers or legal custodians, guardian ad litem and attorney ad litem, if appointed, and Children’s Legal Services within four (4) hours of learning a child’s whereabouts are unknown.

    705(b) Children’s Legal Services or the contracted legal provider must file notice with the court within one (1) business day after being notified that a child is missing. Notice to the court shall be documented in FSFN within two (2) business days.

    747(5) Efforts to Locate Missing Child.

    753(a) The child welfare professional shall make efforts to locate the child at least once a week, until:

    7711. The child is located,

    7762. The child turns 18, or

    7823. If investigation has not yet been transferred to case management and the child protective investigator has obtained sufficient information to close the investigation, including:

    807(I) The conditions or circumstances which were the basis for the pickup order no longer exist.

    823(II) Another state child welfare agency with comparable jurisdiction to the Department has interviewed all available subjects of the investigation and reports no concerns with the child’s current living situation and the investigator obtains the issuing court’s approval to dismiss the Take Into Custody or Pickup order.

    870(b) Child welfare professionals or their designees shall be responsible for conducting both field-based and desk activities to locate the child, including:

    8921. Onsite visits to locations where the child may be found. Only child welfare professionals and certified designees can conduct onsite visits,

    9142. Onsite collateral source contact interviews (e.g., interviews of teachers, employers, relatives, etc.),

    9273. Use of electronic databases and information systems (e.g., parent locator services, ACCESS Florida, Accurint, etc.); and,

    9444. Checking mobile apps that are popular among youth.

    953(c) For children reported missing while the family is receiving case management services, the case manager or designee shall make efforts to locate the child at a minimum of once a week for the first three (3) months the child is missing and at a minimum of once a month thereafter.

    1004(d) For children reported missing while the family is involved in a child protective investigation, the investigator or designee shall make efforts to locate the child at a minimum of once a week for 60 days from the time the child is reported missing to law enforcement.

    10511. After 60 days the weekly efforts to locate the child may be reduced to a minimum of once a month.

    10722. After 90 days the monthly efforts to locate the child may be transferred to the Regional Criminal Justice Coordinator for continuation of electronic database and information system searches. Certified Regional Criminal Justice Coordinators or their certified designees may perform additional search related activities.

    11163. The child protective investigator shall keep the investigation open while the Regional Criminal Justice Coordinator conducts searches of electronic databases and information systems until one of the conditions in paragraph (5)(a), of this rule, is identified. Upon closure of the investigation, the child protective investigator or designee shall immediately notify the Regional Criminal Justice Coordinator.

    1172(e) All efforts to locate the child shall be documented as a Missing Child – Attempt to Locate note type in FSFN within two (2) business days of the effort to locate.

    1204(6) Procedures Required When Child is Located.

    1211(a) Upon learning that a child missing in an active child protective investigation has been located, the investigator shall respond immediately to the child’s location to assess the child’s safety. If the child is located outside of the investigator’s service area, the investigator shall immediately make an Out of Town Inquiry (OTI) request to assess the child’s safety.

    12691. When the child is located, the child protective investigator or designee shall immediately notify the following individuals and agencies:

    1289a. Law enforcement,

    1292b. Guardian ad litem and attorney ad litem, if appointed; and,

    1303c. Children’s Legal Services or the contracted legal provider.

    13122. If the investigator has reason to believe the child’s caregiver or legal guardian was uncooperative with efforts to locate the child for the purpose of denying the investigator access to the child and immediate notification would further impede the investigation, the caregiver or legal guardian may be notified of the child’s whereabouts after the child’s safety has been assessed. If the investigation would not be compromised or impeded by notification of the child’s caregiver or legal guardian the investigator or designee shall immediately notify the caregiver or legal guardian when the child has been located.

    1408(b) Upon learning that a child missing while a family is receiving case management services has been located, the child welfare professional identified by the community-based care lead agency shall interview the child within 24 hours to determine the child’s need for additional services and/or change in placement. The interview shall:

    14591. Determine the primary factors that contributed to the child running away (if the child ran away); and,

    14772. Inquire into the child’s experience while absent from care, including identifying if the child has a history of running away, sexual abuse, prostitution or a current arrest on a charge of prostitution, or the child discloses being trafficked or reporting sexual exploitation. If any one of these indicators are present, the child welfare professional shall screen the child to determine if the child is a possible victim of trafficking pursuant to Chapter 65C-43, F.A.C.

    15523. 1553When the child is located, the child welfare professional or designee shall immediately notify the following individuals and agencies:

    1572a. The child’s caregiver or legal guardian,

    1579b. Law enforcement,

    1582c. Guardian ad litem and attorney ad litem, if appointed; and,

    1593d. Children’s Legal Services or the contracted legal provider.

    1602(c) All notifications provided in subparagraph (6)(a)1. or (6)(b)3., of this rule, and all efforts to interview the child shall be documented in FSFN as a Missing Child – Debriefing note type within one (2) business day of the attempted interview.

    1643(d) 1644The 1645child’s recovery shall be documented in FSFN by completing the electronic missing child report recovery form within 24 hours upon learning that a missing child has been located. The Department shall review the missing child recovery report to ensure that the case meets case closure criteria with the FDLE/Missing and Endangered Person Information Clearinghouse.

    1699Rulemaking 1700Authority 170139.012, 170239.0121(16), 170339.0141 FS. 1705Law Implemented 170739.0141 FS. 1709History–New 5-4-06, Amended 2-25-16, 1-11-18.

     

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