The Department intends to amend Rules 65C-16.001 and .012-.013, F.A.C., to add provisions for the extension of maintenance adoption subsidy. In addition, the Department intends to create a new rule, 65C-16.0131, concerning the determination of ...  

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    DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

    Family Safety and Preservation Program

    RULE NOS.:RULE TITLES:

    65C-16.001Definitions

    65C-16.012Types of Adoption Assistance

    65C-16.013Determination of Maintenance Subsidy Payments

    65C-16.0131Determination of Extension of Maintenance Subsidy Payments

    PURPOSE AND EFFECT: The Department intends to amend Rules 65C-16.001 and .012-.013, F.A.C., to add provisions for the extension of maintenance adoption subsidy. In addition, the Department intends to create a new rule, 65C-16.0131, concerning the determination of extension of maintenance subsidy payments.

    Ch. 2018-103, Laws of Florida, amended section 409.166, F.S., regarding adoption assistance payments and requires the Department to adopt rules to implement the statute.

    SUMMARY: The amendments and new rule will add a definition for “Extension of Maintenance Adoption Subsidy” and establish guidelines for the determination of the amount of subsidy payments.

    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: 409.166(8), FS.

    LAW IMPLEMENTED: 409.166(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 (850)717-4470 or Jodi.abramowitz@myflfamilies.com.

     

    THE FULL TEXT OF THE PROPOSED RULE IS:

     

    65C-16.001 Definitions.

    (1) through (12) No change.

    (13) “Extension of Maintenance Adoption Subsidy” means benefits provided to a family for a child who meets the eligibility criteria established in subsection 409.166(4), F.S.

    (13) through (17) renumbered (14) through (18) No change.

    Rulemaking Authority 63.233, 409.166(4), (8), 409.167(6) FS. Law Implemented 63.092, 63.165, 409.166, 409.167 FS. History–New 4-28-92, Amended 4-19-94, Formerly 10M-8.0013, Amended 12-4-97, 8-19-03, 11-30-08, 7-7-16,_Amended_____ .

     

    65C-16.012 Types of Adoption Assistance.

    (1) through (2) No change.

    (3) Extension of Maintenance Adoption Subsidy. A monthly payment made for support and maintenance of a special needs young adult until the young adult’s 21st birthday.

    (3) through (5) renumbered (4) through (6) No change.

    (7)(6) Tuition Fee Exemption Waiver. Children who were in the custody of the Department and who were adopted from the Department after May 5, 1997, are eligible for an exemption of undergraduate college tuition fees at Florida universities or community colleges as stated in Section 1009.25, F.S.

    (7) through (8) renumbered (8) through (9) No change.

    Rulemaking Authority 409.166(8) FS. Law Implemented 409.166 FS. History–New 2-14-84, Formerly 10M-8.18, 10M-8.018, Amended 8-19-03, 11-30-08, 7-7-16. Amended_____

     

    65C-16.013 Determination of Maintenance Subsidy Payments.

    (1) No change.

    (2) The child’s and the family’s need for subsidy must be determined prior to the adoptive placement. A family who enters into their initial subsidy agreement when the child is 16 or 17 years of age must make an election on the initial “Adoption Assistance Agreement”of whether or not to particiapte in the Extension of Maintenance Adoption subsidy program. and Nno subsidy payment may be made prior to all parties signing the “Adoption Assistance Agreement,” CF-FSP 5079, PDF October 2010, incorporated by reference and available at http://www.flrules.org/Gateway/reference.asp?No=Ref-06974.

    (a) through (c) No change.

    (3) through (8) No change.

    (9) The “Adoption Assistance Agreement,” incorporated in subsection (2), of this rule, must be signed and dated by all parties prior to the finalization of the adoption and uploaded into the Florida Safe Families Network (FSFN). The effective date of the agreement is the date the child was placed with the family as an adoptive placement and the Memorandum of Agreement to Adopt, CF-FSP 5072, incorporated by reference in paragraph 65C-16.002(2)(c), F.A.C., was signed by the potential adoptive caregiver and the CBC or subcontracted agency. If not completed on the same date, the effective date will be the latter of the two. Payments may not be made for any months in which there is no adoption assistance agreement in place.

    (10) through (15) No change.

    Rulemaking Authority 409.166(8) FS. Law Implemented 409.166(4) FS. History–New 2-14-84, Formerly 10M-8.20, Amended 5-20-91, 4-19-94, Formerly 10M-8.020, Amended 12-23-97, 8-19-03, 11-30-08, 7-7-16, 10-30-16, 12-18-16, 9-25-17, 2-5-18. Amended_____

     

    65C-16.0131 Determination of Extension of Maintenance Subsidy Payments.

    (1) The purpose of the Extension of Maintenance Adoption Subsidy is to make available to prospective adoptive parents financial aid that would enable them to adopt a special needs child who is 16 or 17 years of age. Every adoptive family adopting a child at the age of 16 or 17 must be advised of the availability of Extension of Maintenance Adoption Subsidy and the purpose for which it is intended.

    (2) Extension of Maintenance Adoption Subsidy payments may be made until the young adult reaches age 21, if the child is engaged in one of the qualifying activities specified in subparagraph 409.166(4)(d), F.S.

    (3) The young adult and the family’s need for subsidy must be determined prior to the young adult’s 18th birthday and no subsidy payment will be made until after the young adult turns 18 years old and all parties have signed the “Extension of Maintenance Adoption Assistance Agreement,” CF-FSP 5433, June 2018, incorporated by reference and available at http://www.flrules.org/Gateway/reference.asp?No=Ref-XXX.

    (a) If the Department or community-based care (CBC) agency was responsible for the placement and care of the young adult, the CBC agency in the county where the court had jurisdiction is responsible for entering into the Extension of Maintenance Adoption Assistance Agreement and paying the Extension of Maintenance Adoption Subsidy, even if the young adult and family lives in another county.

    (b) If the Department or CBC agency was not responsible for the placement and care of the young adult at the time of adoption, the CBC agency in the adoptive parents’ county of residence is responsible for determining whether the young adult meets the requirements to receive the Extension of Maintenance Adoption Subsidy, must enter into the Extension of Maintenance Adoption Agreement and pay the Extension of Maintenance Adoption Subsidy.

    (c) When the need for the Extension of Maintenance Adoption Subsidy is not determined prior to the child’s 18th birthday and the adoptive parents feel they have been wrongly denied the subsidy benefits on behalf of an adopted child, they have the right to appeal the denial pursuant to Chapter 120, F.S. If it is found that the subsidy was wrongly denied, retroactive payment will be made dating back to the date the family requested the subsidy in writing.

    (4) Medical and/or mental health evaluations shall be required to document the need for an enhancement to the Extension of Maintenance Adoption Subsidy that exceeds the statewide standard foster care board rate and the young adult’s initial subsidy amount. Medical and/or mental health evaluations must be no more than 12 months old.

    (5) The CBC or subcontractor agency adoption staff shall inform the adoptive parent(s) that the Extension of Maintenance Adoption Subsidy, unlike foster care board rate payments, is not intended to cover the complete cost of the young adult’s care. The Extension of Maintenance Adoption payment is intended to be a continuation in assisting the adoptive parent with the extra costs associated with supporting the young adult with special needs.

    (6) The determination of the monthly Extension of Maintenance Adoption Subsidy is based on the needs of the young adult at the time of the negotiation and the projected future needs of the young adult based on the family and medical history of the young adult and birth family or, for adoptions finalized on or after January 1, 2019, as stated in Section 409.166(4), F.S.

        (7) An Extension of Maintenance Adoption Subsidy may be negotiated up to 100% of the statewide foster care board rate. A subsidy may exceed 100% of the statewide foster care board rate only when an exception is granted by the Department’s regional managing director or designee and documented on the “Maintenance Adoption Subsidy Approval” form CF-FSP 5077, August 2018, incorporated by reference and available at http://www.flrules.org/Gateway/reference.asp?No=Ref-XXX. Requests for exceptions must be in writing. In determining whether to grant an exception, the regional managing director or designee shall consider the medical, behavioral, and therapeutic needs of the young adult at the time of the negotiation, as well as the projected future needs of the young adult based on the mental health, substance use and/or misuse, and medical history of the young adult and birth family. In no case shall the subsidy exceed the foster care maintenance payment for which the young adult is or would be eligible if the young adult had been placed in a family foster home. The Extension of Maintenance Adoption Subsidy is not intended to cover services which can be obtained through family insurance, Medicaid, Children’s Medical Services, medical subsidy, or through special education plans provided by the public school district.

    (8) The “Extension of Maintenance Adoption Assistance Agreement,” incorporated in subsection (3) of this rule, must be signed and dated by all parties prior to the young adult’s 18th birthday and uploaded into FSFN in the file cabinet located in the post adoption case. The effective date of the agreement is the date the young adult turns 18 years old. Payments may not be made for any months in which there is no Extension of Maintenance Adoption Assistance Agreement in place and/or the child is not participating in a qualifying activity.

    (9) The child welfare professional shall advise the family that it is their responsibility to notify the Department or CBC of any change in circumstances, including moving out of state, no later than 48 hours after the change.

    (10) The Extension of Maintenance Adoption Assistance Agreement remains in effect until whichever of the following occurs first:

    (a) The young adult reaches 21 years of age.

    (b) The young adult no longer meets one of the qualifying activities specified in subparagraph 409.166(4)(d), F.S.

    (c) The adoptive parents are no longer providing any support to the young adult, the young adult marries, or the young adult enters the military. Support includes emotional and/or financial support, even in situations when the young adult is no longer living in the home.

    (d) The young adult dies.

    (e) The adoptive parent(s) die.

    (11)  If the adoptive parent and young adult have not provided documentation that the young adult is participating in a qualifying activity, the Department or designee must retain the maintenance subsidy payment until such documentation is provided.

    (12) The adoptive parent and young adult can re-enter the Extension of Maintenance Adoption Subsidy Program until the youth reaches the age of 21 if they provide documentation to support that the young adult meets one of the qualifying activities pursuant to subparagraphs 409.166 (4)(a)-(d), F.S.

    (13) Adoptive parents may request an increase in the maintenance adoption subsidy after the Extension of Maintenance Adoption Assistance Agreement was approved due to increased needs of the young adult or a change in the family’s ability to meet the needs of the young adult.

    (a) The negotiation of this increase shall be based on the family foster, therapeutic foster, or medical foster home board rate at the time of the request. Requests for increases must be submitted in writing by the adoptive parents to the CBC that issues the subsidy payment and approval shall be based on the merit of each case.

    (b) If the increase request is approved, retroactive payment will be made dating back to the date the family requested the increased subsidy in writing.

    (c) If the increase request is denied, the designated Department staff shall send a denial letter with notification of the adoptive parents’ right to appeal the denial pursuant to Chapter 120, F.S. If it is found that the increase was wrongfully denied, the effective date of the new subsidy will be the date the written request for an increased was received. A new Extension of Maintenance Adoption Assistance Agreement must be signed by all parties with the new approved amount documented.

    (14) No change shall be made to an Extension of Maintenance Adoption Subsidy without concurrence of the adoptive parents except as provided by federal regulation or state law. The Extension of Maintenance Adoption Assistance Agreement is not transferable to another caregiver.

    Rulemaking Authority 409.166(8) FS. Law Implemented 409.166(4) FS. History–New.

     

    NAME OF PERSON ORIGINATING PROPOSED RULE: Valerie Proctor

    NAME OF AGENCY HEAD WHO APPROVED THE PROPOSED RULE: Rebecca Kapusta

    DATE PROPOSED RULE APPROVED BY AGENCY HEAD: October 3, 2018

    DATE NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULE DEVELOPMENT PUBLISHED IN FAR: October 5, 2018

Document Information

Comments Open:
10/16/2018
Summary:
The amendments and new rule will add a definition for “Extension of Maintenance Adoption Subsidy” and establish guidelines for the determination of the amount of subsidy payments.
Purpose:
The Department intends to amend Rules 65C-16.001 and .012-.013, F.A.C., to add provisions for the extension of maintenance adoption subsidy. In addition, the Department intends to create a new rule, 65C-16.0131, concerning the determination of extension of maintenance subsidy payments. Ch. 2018-103, Laws of Florida, amended section 409.166, F.S., regarding adoption assistance payments and requires the Department to adopt rules to implement the statute.
Rulemaking Authority:
409.166(8), F.S.
Law:
409.166(4), F.S.
Contact:
Jodi Abramowitz. Jodi can be reached at 850-717-4470 or Jodi.abramowitz@myflfamilies.com.
Related Rules: (4)
65C-16.001. Definitions
65C-16.012. Types of Adoption Assistance
65C-16.013. Determination of Maintenance Subsidy Payments
65C-16.0131.