The Department intends to amend 65C-28.018, F.A.C., to comply with the provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act. The new provisions promote educational stability for children in foster ...  

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    DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

    Family Safety and Preservation Program

    RULE NO.:RULE TITLE:

    65C-28.018Meeting the Child's Educational Needs

    PURPOSE AND EFFECT: The Department intends to amend Rule 65C-28.018, F.A.C., to comply with the provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act. The new provisions promote educational stability for children in foster care and take effect on December 10, 2016.

    SUMMARY: The amendments (1) Set forth factors that must be considered prior to making a determination that remaining in the school of origin is not in the child’s best interest; and (2) Delete unnecessary language.

    SUMMARY OF STATEMENT OF ESTIMATED REGULATORY COSTS AND LEGISLATIVE RATIFICATION: The Agency has determined that this will not have an adverse impact on small business or likely increase directly or indirectly regulatory costs in excess of $200,000 in the aggregate within one year after the implementation of the rule. A SERC has not been prepared by the Agency.

    The Agency has determined that the proposed rule is not expected to require legislative ratification based on the statement of estimated regulatory costs or if no SERC is required, the information expressly relied upon and described herein: The Department used a checklist to conduct an economic analysis and determine if there is an adverse impact or regulatory costs associated with this rule that exceeds the criteria in section 120.541(2)(a), F.S. Based upon this analysis, the Department has determined that the proposed rule is not expected to require legislative ratification.

    Any person who wishes to provide information regarding a statement of estimated regulatory costs, or provide a proposal for a lower cost regulatory alternative must do so in writing within 21 days of this notice.

    RULEMAKING AUTHORITY: 39.012, 39.0121(13), FS.

    LAW IMPLEMENTED: 39.6012(2)(b)4., FS.

    IF REQUESTED WITHIN 21 DAYS OF THE DATE OF THIS NOTICE, A HEARING WILL BE SCHEDULED AND ANNOUNCED IN THE FAR.

    THE PERSON TO BE CONTACTED REGARDING THE PROPOSED RULE IS: Jodi Abramowitz. Jodi can be reached at Jodi.abramowitz@myflfamilies.com or (850)717-4189

     

    THE FULL TEXT OF THE PROPOSED RULE IS:

     

    65C-28.018 Meeting the Child’s Educational Needs.

    (1) Maintaining the child’s school stability while in out-of-home care is first priority, unless remaining in the same school of origin or educational setting is not in the best interest of the child as documented in FSFN.

    (a) The caregiver will work with the child welfare professional, child’s parent or guardian, guardian ad litem, child’s attorney, and educational surrogate, if appointed, to ensure school stability for the child determine the best educational setting:

    1. At the time of placement in out-of-home care; and

    2. At the time of any subsequent placement changes.; and,

    3. When it is determined that it is not in the best interest for the child to remain in the child’s current educational setting.

    (b) Educational settings include any setting set forth in Section 1002.20(6), F.S.

    (c) Factors to be considered prior to making a determination that remaining in the school of origin is not in the child’s best interest shall in determining the best educational setting for the child include:

    1. The child’s desire to remain in the school of origin.

    2. Whether the child has a sibling(s), close friends, and/or a mentor at the school of origin

    3. Cultural and community connections.

    41. The ability to implement an I.E.P, if applicable.

    52. The impact a change would have on academic credits.

    63. The availability of extracurricular activities important to the child.

    74. Course offerings.

    5. Cultural and community connections.

    86. The child’s medical and behavioral health needs.

    97. The child’s permanency goal and timeframe for achieving permanency.

    (d) If remaining in the school of origin is deemed to not be in the child’s best interest, then the change Changes in educational settings should be made at logical junctures, including during school breaks and at the end of a grading period.

    (2) School Enrollment and Records. When a child enters care or changes schools as the result of a change in placement or any other reason, the child welfare professional responsible for the case shall immediately prepare and submit the necessary paperwork, in accordance with local agreement, to notify the child’s school that the child is in out-of-home care.

    (3) If no suitable out-of-home care placement is found within the same geographic boundaries as the school of origin, the child welfare professional shall review the child’s educational progress, records, and the specifics of any special programs in which the child is enrolled or through which the child receives services, and compare the child’s educational needs and current services with the services that are available in the school which serves the geographic area of the intended placement.

    (4) When a child remains If it is in the child’s best interest to remain in the school of origin, the child welfare professional shall, in accordance with local agreement, contact the foster care liaison or other designees as identified within the school district for the child’s school of origin to make arrangements for determine whether the child meets the requirements of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C.A. §11431 et seq., as a “child awaiting foster care placement” or whether the school district will otherwise provide transportation to the school of origin, in accordance with local agreement even if the child is moved to another county.

    (a) If the school district agrees to provide transportation, the child welfare professional shall immediately arrange transportation to the school of origin in the interim period while awaiting the school district to begin providing the transportation.

    (b) If the school district refuses to provide transportation, or declines to define the child as homeless such that the child is not entitled to the protections of the McKinney-Vento Act, the child welfare professional shall:

    1. Discuss this denial with Children’s Legal Services to determine whether the child should engage in the McKinney-Vento dispute resolution process; and,

    2. Explore other transportation options to maintain school stability.

    (5) Special Education Considerations.

    (a) When a child has, is suspected of having, or is identified in any assessment of having a disability, the child welfare professional shall communicate with contact the Children’s Legal Services attorney to determine whether the child’s parent  or legal guardian to determine if they are is willing and able to continue to serve as the child’s educational decision maker.

    (b) If the child’s parent or legal guardian is unwilling or unable to serve as the child’s educational decision maker, the child welfare professional CLS  Attorney shall:

    1. Determine whether the out-of-home caregiver, excluding child-caring agency staff and theraputic foster parents, is willing and able to attend the necessary training and to serve as the child’s surrogate parent; or

    2. Request the Children’s Legal Services (CLS) attorney sSeek the appointment of a surrogate parent by the court.

    (6) Documentation. The child welfare professional shall document in FSFN the following for each child:

    (a) Information about the current school or educational setting of the child.

    (b) All schools or educational settings the child has attended since the date the child has been in the custody of the Department.

    (c) The length of time the child has spent in each school or educational setting.

    (d) The number of high school credits each age child 14 years or older has earned.

    (e) The child’s surrogate parent, if one has been appointed.

    (f) The reason for any change in the child’s educational setting.

    (g) Information regarding the child’s educational records, which may include:

    1. Report cards;

    2. Transcripts;

    3. Individual Education Plan; and,

    4. A 504 plan, developed under the provisions of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

    Rulemaking Authority 39.012, 39.0121(13) FS. Law Implemented 39.6012(2)(b)4. FS. History–New 5-8-16,Amended_____.

     

    NAME OF PERSON ORIGINATING PROPOSED RULE: Amy Hand

    NAME OF AGENCY HEAD WHO APPROVED THE PROPOSED RULE: Mike Carroll

    DATE PROPOSED RULE APPROVED BY AGENCY HEAD: 9/12/16

    DATE NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULE DEVELOPMENT PUBLISHED IN FAR: 9/21/16

Document Information

Comments Open:
9/22/2016
Summary:
The amendments (1) Set forth factors that must be considered prior to making a determination that remaining in the school of origin is not in the child’s best interest; and (2) Delete unnecessary language.
Purpose:
The Department intends to amend 65C-28.018, F.A.C., to comply with the provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act. The new provisions promote educational stability for children in foster care and take effect on December 10, 2016.
Rulemaking Authority:
39.012, 39.0121(13), F.S.
Law:
39.6012(2)(b)4., F.S.
Contact:
Jodi Abramowitz. Jodi can be reached at Jodi.abramowitz@myflfamilies.com or 850-717-4189.
Related Rules: (1)
65C-28.018.