Effective on Sunday, April 26, 2020
  • 1(1) Initial Licensure.

    4(a) Pursuant to Section 8409.175(5)(a)1.b., F.S., 10items not related to safety can be waived for Level I licensure requirements.

    23(b) Items deemed waived will not be required for an applicant to obtain a Level I-Child Specific License through the Department;

    44(c) The waiving of items not related to safety must be approved in writing by the 60Regional Managing Director or Department designee. In determining whether to approve or deny a request for waiver, the Regional Managing Director or Department designee shall consider the strengths of the caregiver and the needs of the child with respect to the particular requirement.

    103(d) The community-based care agency (CBC) or contracted provider shall make efforts to assist a caregiver with meeting the waivable requirements.

    124(e) Waivable Requirements.

    1271. A licensing specialist who has been trained by the Department, community-based care agency (CBC), or other state entity, such as the local health department, in the areas of water supply, food holding temperature, plumbing, pest control, sewage, and garbage disposal, shall complete the “Foster Home Inspection Checklist,” incorporated by reference in Rule 65C-45.003, F.A.C.;

    1832.Evacuation and disaster preparedness plans; and

    1893. Child care. Child care for children in licensed out-of-home care shall be in a licensed early education or child care program chosen by the caregiver(s). These providers must be participating in the school readiness program through the local early learning coalition. Examples of licensed early education or child care programs include:

    241a. Gold Seal accredited child care providers or providers participating in a quality rating system;

    256b. Licensed child care providers;

    261c. Public school providers; and

    266d. License exempt child care providers, including religious exempt, registered, and non-public schools.

    279e. The cost of child care shall be assumed by the licensed out-of-home caregiver to the extent that subsidized child care is unavailable.

    3024. The home shall have space and furnishings 310to accommodate the number of people living in the home 320and be accessible to all members of the family.

    3295. Each family foster home shall have a working telephone in the home that is accessible at all times. Emergency telephone numbers shall be displayed prominently in the home. Licensed out-of-home caregivers shall notify the supervising agency within one (1) business day if their telephone number changes.

    3766. Each child shall be provided with a clean, permanent bed and mattress of his or her own. The bed shall be of sufficient size to accommodate the child.

    4057. Infants shall have their own crib which shall be maintained in good and safe condition and have a clean mattress that fits snugly in the crib frame. Cribs shall not have drop sides or be placed close to windows with curtains or cords in which the child might become entangled.

    4568. Bunk beds shall be safe and sturdy. Bunk beds shall be equipped with safety rails on the upper tier for a child under the age of 10 or for any child whose physical, mental, or emotional condition indicates the need for such protection. Beds bunked higher than two (2) tiers must have a manufacturer sticker of safety and must not be placed under or near ceiling fans. Children five (5) years old and younger may not sleep on the third tier of a three-tiered bunk bed.

    5439. Each child shall be provided with clean linens. Waterproof mattress covers should be provided for all beds and cribs 563as developmentally appropriate and necessary568.

    56910. The entry to a child’s bedroom shall not be located so as to require the child to pass through another bedroom or bathroom in order to enter their bedroom.

    59911. A child shall never share a bed with an adult or other child, regardless of age.

    61612. Children over 36 months of age shall not share a bedroom with a child of the opposite gender unless efforts are being made to maintain a sibling group. In instances where efforts are being made to maintain a sibling group, the foster family, licensing agent, and case manager shall work together in determining arrangements for the safety and best interests of the children involved. Rationale for any decision made for children over the age of 36 months to share a bedroom shall be documented in the Florida Safe Families Network (FSFN).

    70813. Children over the age of 12 months shall not share a bedroom with an adult, except in the following circumstances:

    729a. When one of the children sharing a bedroom reaches his or her 18th birthday and the out-of-home caregiver and the supervising agency approve the sleeping arrangement;

    756b. When it is deemed to be medically necessary as documented by a health care provider;

    772c. When a teen parent is sharing a bedroom with his or her child;

    786d. When a child is transitioning past his or her first birthday; or

    799e. When the adult is a former dependent child who is sharing a room with a sibling.

    81614. Each licensed home shall have a first aid kit available and accessible to all caregivers.

    83215. Each floor in the home shall have a fully charged, unexpired 2A10BC fire extinguisher. One (1) of the fire extinguishers shall be adjacent to the kitchen. There shall also be at least one (1) operating smoke alarm on each floor. There shall be a smoke alarm in each bedroom area.

    88316. The home shall not be heated by unvented gas-fired space heaters or oil heaters unless they are equipped with an oxygen depletion sensor and the home has a carbon monoxide alarm. All gas-fired devices shall be equipped with an automatic pilot gas shut-off control. All electrical wiring shall meet required building codes.

    93617. All fireplaces, space heaters, steam radiators, and hot surfaces shall be shielded against accidental contact. Access by children under six (6) years of age shall be restricted by a barrier.

    96718. Extension cords shall not extend from one room to another except for situations involving emergency loss of power. Multiple electric outlet adapters shall not be used for more than two (2) extensions at one (1) time.

    100419. Each licensed out-of-home caregiver shall have a current written plan for evacuation in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. The plan shall include where the family intends to go and information as to how the family may be reached and must be shared with the supervising agency.

    1054(2) Re-licensure.

    1056(a) The licensing specialist shall request a home environmental health inspection report to be completed by a licensing specialist who has been trained by the Department or other state entity, such as the local health department.

    1092(b) Health inspections completed by the Department of Health shall be requested 60 days in advance of the home’s relicensing due date to facilitate the receipt of an environmental health inspection report that indicates the home complies with the requirements specified in the “Foster Home Inspection Checklist,” prior to the expiration of the license. The “Foster Home Inspection Checklist,” is incorporated in Rule 65C-45.003, F.A.C.

    1159(c) For the homes that are issued a three (3) year license, the health inspection is not required annually; however, the home health inspection must be completed before the end of the three (3) year licensure period.

    1196Rulemaking Authority 409.145(5), 409.175(5) FS. Law Implemented 409.145(2), 409.175(5)(a) FS. History–New 4-26-20.