Florida Senate - 2020                              CS for SB 122
       By the Committee on Children, Families, and Elder Affairs; and
       Senators Rouson, Berman, Hooper, and Book
       586-02427-20                                           2020122c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to child welfare; providing a short
    3         title; amending s. 39.202, F.S.; expanding the list of
    4         entities with access to certain records that relate to
    5         child abandonment, abuse, or neglect held by the
    6         Department of Children and Families; amending s.
    7         39.303, F.S.; requiring Child Protection Teams to be
    8         capable of providing certain training relating to head
    9         trauma and brain injuries in children younger than a
   10         specified age; amending s. 39.401, F.S.; authorizing
   11         the parent or legal guardian of a child to request a
   12         second medical evaluation of a child under certain
   13         circumstances; requiring the court to consider such
   14         evaluation when determining whether to remove the
   15         child from the home; amending s. 39.8296, F.S.;
   16         revising the membership of the curriculum committee
   17         established to develop a specified training program;
   18         requiring the training program to include certain
   19         training relating to head trauma and brain injuries in
   20         children younger than a specified age; amending s.
   21         402.40, F.S.; revising legislative findings and
   22         providing legislative intent; requiring the department
   23         to develop and implement a specified child welfare
   24         workforce development framework in collaboration with
   25         other specified entities; providing requirements for
   26         the department relating to workforce education
   27         requirements; requiring the department to submit an
   28         annual report to the Governor and the Legislature by a
   29         specified date; requiring community-based care lead
   30         agencies to submit a plan and timeline to the
   31         department relating to certain child welfare staff by
   32         a specified date; providing requirements for the
   33         department related to workforce training; providing
   34         legislative findings; requiring the department to
   35         establish an Office of Well-Being and Support;
   36         requiring the department to contract with certain
   37         university-based centers to develop and coordinate the
   38         implementation of a specified helpline; requiring the
   39         department to submit a report on the implementation of
   40         such helpline to the Governor and the Legislature on a
   41         specified date; providing additional duties for third
   42         party credentialing entities; requiring certain
   43         attorneys employed by the department to complete
   44         certain training by a specified date; deleting
   45         definitions; deleting provisions relating to core
   46         competencies and specializations; amending s. 409.988,
   47         F.S.; requiring a lead agency to ensure that certain
   48         individuals receive specified training relating to
   49         head trauma and brain injuries in children younger
   50         than a specified age; revising the types of services a
   51         lead agency is required to provide; creating s.
   52         943.17298, F.S.; requiring law enforcement officers to
   53         complete training relating to head trauma and brain
   54         injuries in children younger than a specified age as
   55         part of either basic recruit training or continuing
   56         training or education by a specified date; amending s.
   57         1004.615, F.S.; revising the purpose of the Florida
   58         Institute for Child Welfare; revising requirements for
   59         the institute; revising the contents of the annual
   60         report that the institute must provide to the Governor
   61         and the Legislature; deleting obsolete provisions;
   62         repealing s. 402.402, F.S., relating to child
   63         protection and child welfare personnel and attorneys
   64         employed by the department; amending ss. 409.996 and
   65         1009.25, F.S.; conforming provisions to changes made
   66         by the act; providing an effective date.
   68  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   70         Section 1. This act may be cited as “Jordan’s Law.”
   71         Section 2.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of section
   72  39.202, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   73         39.202 Confidentiality of reports and records in cases of
   74  child abuse or neglect.—
   75         (2) Except as provided in subsection (4), access to such
   76  records, excluding the name of, or other identifying information
   77  with respect to, the reporter which shall be released only as
   78  provided in subsection (5), shall be granted only to the
   79  following persons, officials, and agencies:
   80         (a) Employees, authorized agents, or contract providers of
   81  the department, the Department of Health, the Agency for Persons
   82  with Disabilities, the Office of Early Learning, or county
   83  agencies responsible for carrying out:
   84         1. Child or adult protective investigations;
   85         2. Ongoing child or adult protective services;
   86         3. Early intervention and prevention services;
   87         4. Healthy Start services;
   88         5. Licensure or approval of adoptive homes, foster homes,
   89  child care facilities, facilities licensed under chapter 393,
   90  family day care homes, providers who receive school readiness
   91  funding under part VI of chapter 1002, or other homes used to
   92  provide for the care and welfare of children;
   93         6. Employment screening for caregivers in residential group
   94  homes; or
   95         7. Services for victims of domestic violence when provided
   96  by certified domestic violence centers working at the
   97  department’s request as case consultants or with shared clients;
   98  or
   99         8.Credentialing of child welfare services staff pursuant
  100  to s. 402.40.
  102  Also, employees or agents of the Department of Juvenile Justice
  103  responsible for the provision of services to children, pursuant
  104  to chapters 984 and 985.
  105         Section 3.  Paragraph (h) of subsection (3) of section
  106  39.303, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  107         39.303 Child Protection Teams and sexual abuse treatment
  108  programs; services; eligible cases.—
  109         (3) The Department of Health shall use and convene the
  110  Child Protection Teams to supplement the assessment and
  111  protective supervision activities of the family safety and
  112  preservation program of the Department of Children and Families.
  113  This section does not remove or reduce the duty and
  114  responsibility of any person to report pursuant to this chapter
  115  all suspected or actual cases of child abuse, abandonment, or
  116  neglect or sexual abuse of a child. The role of the Child
  117  Protection Teams is to support activities of the program and to
  118  provide services deemed by the Child Protection Teams to be
  119  necessary and appropriate to abused, abandoned, and neglected
  120  children upon referral. The specialized diagnostic assessment,
  121  evaluation, coordination, consultation, and other supportive
  122  services that a Child Protection Team must be capable of
  123  providing include, but are not limited to, the following:
  124         (h) Such training services for program and other employees
  125  of the Department of Children and Families, employees of the
  126  Department of Health, and other medical professionals as is
  127  deemed appropriate to enable them to develop and maintain their
  128  professional skills and abilities in handling child abuse,
  129  abandonment, and neglect cases. The training services must
  130  include training in the recognition of and appropriate responses
  131  to head trauma and brain injury in a child under 6 years of age
  132  as required under ss. 39.8296, 402.40, and 943.17298.
  134  A Child Protection Team that is evaluating a report of medical
  135  neglect and assessing the health care needs of a medically
  136  complex child shall consult with a physician who has experience
  137  in treating children with the same condition.
  138         Section 4.  Subsection (3) of section 39.401, Florida
  139  Statutes, is amended to read:
  140         39.401 Taking a child alleged to be dependent into custody;
  141  law enforcement officers and authorized agents of the
  142  department.—
  143         (3) If the child is taken into custody by, or is delivered
  144  to, an authorized agent of the department, the agent shall
  145  review the facts supporting the removal with an attorney
  146  representing the department. The purpose of the review is to
  147  determine whether there is probable cause for the filing of a
  148  shelter petition.
  149         (a) If the facts are not sufficient, the child shall
  150  immediately be returned to the custody of the parent or legal
  151  custodian.
  152         (b) If the facts are sufficient and the child has not been
  153  returned to the custody of the parent or legal custodian, the
  154  department shall file the petition and schedule a hearing, and
  155  the attorney representing the department shall request that a
  156  shelter hearing be held within 24 hours after the removal of the
  157  child. While awaiting the shelter hearing, the authorized agent
  158  of the department may place the child in licensed shelter care
  159  or may release the child to a parent or legal custodian or
  160  responsible adult relative or the adoptive parent of the child’s
  161  sibling who shall be given priority consideration over a
  162  licensed placement, or a responsible adult approved by the
  163  department if this is in the best interests of the child.
  164  Placement of a child which is not in a licensed shelter must be
  165  preceded by a criminal history records check as required under
  166  s. 39.0138. In addition, the department may authorize placement
  167  of a housekeeper/homemaker in the home of a child alleged to be
  168  dependent until the parent or legal custodian assumes care of
  169  the child.
  170         (c)If the decision to remove a child from the home is
  171  predicated upon a medical evaluation performed by a Child
  172  Protection Team pursuant to s. 39.303, the parent or legal
  173  guardian of the child may request that a second, independent
  174  evaluation be performed by a physician who has met the relevant
  175  qualifications of s. 39.303(2)(b) in order to determine whether
  176  the child has been the victim of abuse or neglect. The court
  177  must consider this evaluation when determining whether to remove
  178  a child from the home.
  179         Section 5. Paragraph (b) of subsection (2) of section
  180  39.8296, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  181         39.8296 Statewide Guardian Ad Litem Office; legislative
  182  findings and intent; creation; appointment of executive
  183  director; duties of office.—
  184         (2) STATEWIDE GUARDIAN AD LITEM OFFICE.—There is created a
  185  Statewide Guardian Ad Litem Office within the Justice
  186  Administrative Commission. The Justice Administrative Commission
  187  shall provide administrative support and service to the office
  188  to the extent requested by the executive director within the
  189  available resources of the commission. The Statewide Guardian Ad
  190  Litem Office shall not be subject to control, supervision, or
  191  direction by the Justice Administrative Commission in the
  192  performance of its duties, but the employees of the office shall
  193  be governed by the classification plan and salary and benefits
  194  plan approved by the Justice Administrative Commission.
  195         (b) The Statewide Guardian Ad Litem Office shall, within
  196  available resources, have oversight responsibilities for and
  197  provide technical assistance to all guardian ad litem and
  198  attorney ad litem programs located within the judicial circuits.
  199         1. The office shall identify the resources required to
  200  implement methods of collecting, reporting, and tracking
  201  reliable and consistent case data.
  202         2. The office shall review the current guardian ad litem
  203  programs in Florida and other states.
  204         3. The office, in consultation with local guardian ad litem
  205  offices, shall develop statewide performance measures and
  206  standards.
  207         4. The office shall develop a guardian ad litem training
  208  program. The office shall establish a curriculum committee to
  209  develop a guardian ad litem the training program specified in
  210  this subparagraph. The curriculum committee shall include, but
  211  not be limited to, dependency judges, directors of circuit
  212  guardian ad litem programs, active certified guardians ad litem,
  213  a mental health professional who specializes in the treatment of
  214  children, a member of a child advocacy group, a representative
  215  of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, an
  216  individual with a degree in social work, and a social worker
  217  experienced in working with victims and perpetrators of child
  218  abuse. The training program must include training in the
  219  recognition of and appropriate responses to head trauma and
  220  brain injury in a child under 6 years of age developed by the
  221  Child Protection Team Program within the Department of Health.
  222         5. The office shall review the various methods of funding
  223  guardian ad litem programs, shall maximize the use of those
  224  funding sources to the extent possible, and shall review the
  225  kinds of services being provided by circuit guardian ad litem
  226  programs.
  227         6. The office shall determine the feasibility or
  228  desirability of new concepts of organization, administration,
  229  financing, or service delivery designed to preserve the civil
  230  and constitutional rights and fulfill other needs of dependent
  231  children.
  232         7. In an effort to promote normalcy and establish trust
  233  between a court-appointed volunteer guardian ad litem and a
  234  child alleged to be abused, abandoned, or neglected under this
  235  chapter, a guardian ad litem may transport a child. However, a
  236  guardian ad litem volunteer may not be required or directed by
  237  the program or a court to transport a child.
  238         8. The office shall submit to the Governor, the President
  239  of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and
  240  the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court an interim report
  241  describing the progress of the office in meeting the goals as
  242  described in this section. The office shall submit to the
  243  Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House
  244  of Representatives, and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court a
  245  proposed plan including alternatives for meeting the state’s
  246  guardian ad litem and attorney ad litem needs. This plan may
  247  include recommendations for less than the entire state, may
  248  include a phase-in system, and shall include estimates of the
  249  cost of each of the alternatives. Each year the office shall
  250  provide a status report and provide further recommendations to
  251  address the need for guardian ad litem services and related
  252  issues.
  253         Section 6.  Section 402.40, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  254  read:
  255         (Substantial rewording of section. See
  256         s. 402.40, F.S., for present text.)
  257         402.40Child welfare workforce; development; training;
  258  certification; well-being.—
  260         (a) The Legislature finds that positive outcomes for
  261  children and families involved with the child welfare system
  262  often are attributable to the strong commitment of a well
  263  trained, highly skilled, well-resourced, and dedicated child
  264  welfare workforce and that the child welfare system is only as
  265  good as the individuals who conduct investigations, provide
  266  services to children and families, and manage service delivery.
  267         (b) The Legislature also finds that child welfare agencies
  268  experience barriers to establishing and maintaining a stable,
  269  effective, and diverse workforce because of issues relating to
  270  recruitment, education and training, inadequate supervision,
  271  retention and staff turnover, and lack of support for frontline
  272  individuals.
  273         (c) The Legislature further finds that, although numerous
  274  initiatives have been developed to address these challenges,
  275  isolated interventions often fail to yield positive results,
  276  whereas implementing an integrated framework across multiple
  277  domains can help child welfare agencies achieve effective
  278  outcomes.
  279         (d) It is the intent of the Legislature to ensure a
  280  systematic approach to child welfare workforce staff development
  281  and the well-being of individuals providing child welfare
  282  services by establishing a uniform statewide program.
  284  to promote competency-based, outcome-focused, and data-driven
  285  approaches to workforce development, the department, in
  286  collaboration with the Florida Institute for Child Welfare,
  287  shall develop and implement a comprehensive child welfare
  288  development workforce framework using a nationally recognized
  289  model for workforce development. The framework must address, at
  290  a minimum, all of the following components:
  291         (a) Recruitment and hiring.
  292         (b) Education and professional preparation.
  293         (c) Professional training and development.
  294         (d)Supervision.
  295         (e) Retention.
  296         (f) Caseload and workload.
  297         (g)Workforce well-being and support.
  298         (h) Work-life balance and flexible scheduling.
  299         (i) Agency culture and climate.
  301         (a)The department shall make every effort to recruit and
  302  hire qualified professional staff to serve as child protective
  303  investigators and child protective investigation supervisors who
  304  are qualified by their education and experience to perform
  305  social work functions. The department, in collaboration with the
  306  lead agencies, subcontracted provider organizations, the Florida
  307  Institute for Child Welfare, and other partners in the child
  308  welfare system, shall develop a protocol for screening
  309  candidates for child protective positions which reflects the
  310  preferences specified in subparagraphs 1., 2., and 3. The
  311  following persons must be given preference in recruitment, but
  312  this preference serves only as guidance and does not limit the
  313  department’s discretion to select the best available candidates:
  314         1. Individuals with a baccalaureate degree in social work,
  315  and child protective investigation supervisors with a master’s
  316  degree in social work, from a college or university social work
  317  program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
  318         2. Individuals with a bachelor’s degree or a master’s
  319  degree in psychology, sociology, counseling, special education,
  320  education, human development, child development, family
  321  development, marriage and family therapy, or nursing.
  322         3. Individuals with baccalaureate degrees who have a
  323  combination of directly relevant work and volunteer experience,
  324  preferably in a public service field related to children’s
  325  services, which demonstrates critical thinking skills, formal
  326  assessment processes, communication skills, problem solving, and
  327  empathy; a commitment to helping children and families; a
  328  capacity to work as part of a team; an interest in continuous
  329  development of skills and knowledge; and sufficient personal
  330  strength and resilience to manage competing demands and handle
  331  workplace stresses.
  332         (b) By each October 1, the department shall submit a report
  333  on the educational qualifications, turnover, and working
  334  conditions of child protective investigators and supervisors to
  335  the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of
  336  the House of Representatives.
  337         (c)By January 1, 2021, the community-based care lead
  338  agencies shall submit to the department a plan and timeline for
  339  recruiting and hiring child welfare staff providing care for
  340  dependent children which meet the same educational requirements
  341  as required for child protective investigators and child
  342  protective investigation supervisors under this subsection. The
  343  plan and timeline must include the same recruiting and hiring
  344  requirements for child welfare staff employed by subcontractors.
  345         (4) WORKFORCE TRAINING.—
  346         (a) In order to enable the state to recruit and retain a
  347  qualified and diverse child welfare workforce that is well
  348  trained, well-supervised, and well-supported, the department
  349  shall establish a program for a comprehensive system to provide
  350  both preservice and inservice child welfare competency-based
  351  training that all child welfare staff, including all staff
  352  providing care for dependent children employed by a community
  353  based care lead agency or by a subcontractor of such agency, are
  354  required to participate in and successfully complete,
  355  appropriate to their areas of responsibility. Such program must
  356  include training in the recognition of and appropriate responses
  357  to head trauma and brain injury in a child under 6 years of age,
  358  which must be developed by the Child Protection Team Program
  359  within the Department of Health.
  360         (b)A community-based care lead agency may develop
  361  additional training for persons delivering child welfare
  362  services in the agency’s service area if the curriculum does not
  363  conflict with training required in paragraph (a).
  364         (c) By October 1, 2021, the department shall establish,
  365  maintain, and oversee the operation of at least one regional
  366  child welfare professional development center in this state. The
  367  department shall determine the number and location of, and the
  368  timeframe for establishing, additional development centers and
  369  shall contract for the operation of the centers with a public
  370  postsecondary institution pursuant to s. 402.7305.
  371         (5)WORKFORCE WELL-BEING AND SUPPORT.—The Legislature finds
  372  that vicarious trauma, burnout, and lack of self-care can
  373  challenge all first responders, including child welfare
  374  professionals. First responders who care for others often need
  375  peer counseling, crisis support, and other resilience-building
  376  services to normalize issues and promote retention. The
  377  Legislature further finds that these activities are best
  378  provided by those with shared life experiences who may provide
  379  assistance that traditional mental health or employee assistance
  380  programs are unable to provide.
  381         (a)The department shall establish an Office of Well-Being
  382  and Support.
  383         (b) The department shall contract with one or more
  384  university-based centers that have expertise in behavioral
  385  health to develop and coordinate the implementation of a
  386  helpline that is operational 24 hours per day and 7 days a week,
  387  staffed by former child welfare supervisors and caseworkers and
  388  child protective investigators, and reflective of the nationally
  389  recognized best practice reciprocal peer support model. The
  390  helpline must be capable of providing peer support, telephone
  391  assessment, and referral services.
  392         (c) The department shall submit a report providing an
  393  update on the activities of the office and implementation of the
  394  helpline to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the
  395  Speaker of the House of Representatives on December 1, 2020.
  396         (6)WORKFORCE CERTIFICATION.—The department shall approve
  397  one or more third-party credentialing entities for the purpose
  398  of developing and administering child welfare certification
  399  programs for persons who provide child welfare services. A
  400  third-party credentialing entity shall request such approval in
  401  writing from the department. In order to obtain approval, the
  402  third-party credentialing entity must:
  403         (a) Establish professional requirements and standards that
  404  applicants must achieve in order to obtain a child welfare
  405  certification and to maintain such certification.
  406         (b) Develop and apply core competencies and examination
  407  instruments according to nationally recognized certification and
  408  psychometric standards.
  409         (c) Maintain a professional code of ethics and a
  410  disciplinary process that apply to all persons holding child
  411  welfare certification.
  412         (d) Maintain a database, accessible to the public, of all
  413  persons holding child welfare certification, including any
  414  history of ethical violations.
  415         (e) Require annual continuing education for persons holding
  416  child welfare certification and require certified professionals
  417  to comply with the training requirements in subsection (4) as a
  418  condition of renewal or initial certification. The third-party
  419  credentialing entity shall track and report compliance with this
  420  section to the department on an annual basis.
  421         (f) Administer a continuing education provider program to
  422  ensure that only qualified providers offer continuing education
  423  opportunities for certificateholders.
  424         (g)All certified child welfare professionals must follow
  425  the requirements of the third-party credentialing entities code
  426  of ethical and professional conduct and disciplinary procedures.
  427         1.The department, community based care lead agencies,
  428  sheriff offices and their contracted providers shall report all
  429  allegations of suspected or known violations of ethical or
  430  professional misconduct standards to the department approved
  431  third-party credentialing entity, including all allegations made
  432  to the department’s Office of Inspector General on certified
  433  personnel.
  434         2.The third-party credentialing entity shall review all
  435  case records involving the death of a child or other critical
  436  incident to ensure compliance with the third-party credentialing
  437  entity’s published code of ethical and professional conduct and
  438  disciplinary procedures.
  439         3.The department shall provide the third-party
  440  credentialing entity with all reports necessary to conduct a
  441  thorough investigation on all certified child welfare service
  442  providers involved with the case.
  443         4.The third-party credentialing entity shall immediately
  444  suspend the certification of all certified individuals involved
  445  in the case pending the results of the initial review of the
  446  certified professional’s role and performance as it relates to
  447  the case circumstance.
  448         5.The department or sub-contracted employer of the
  449  certified staff must immediately remove the individual from
  450  their duties that require certification as a condition of
  451  employment until the initial review is complete and the third
  452  party credentialing entity determines if an ethics case is
  453  warranted.
  454         6.Any decision by a department approved credentialing
  455  entity to deny, revoke, or suspend a certification, or otherwise
  456  impose sanctions on an individual who is certified, is
  457  reviewable by the department. Upon receiving an adverse
  458  determination, the person aggrieved may request an
  459  administrative hearing pursuant to ss. 120.569 and 120.57(1)
  460  within 30 days after completing any appeals process offered by
  461  the credentialing entity or the department, as applicable.
  462         7.The third-party credentialing entity shall track and
  463  report compliance with this subsection to the department.
  464         (h) Maintain an advisory committee, including
  465  representatives from each region of the department, each
  466  sheriff’s office providing child protective services, and each
  467  community-based care lead agency, who shall be appointed by the
  468  organization they represent. The third-party credentialing
  469  entity may appoint additional members to the advisory committee.
  471         (a) There is created within the State Treasury a Child
  472  Welfare Training Trust Fund to be used by the Department of
  473  Children and Families for the purpose of funding the
  474  professional development of persons providing child welfare
  475  services.
  476         (b) One dollar from every noncriminal traffic infraction
  477  collected pursuant to s. 318.14(10)(b) or s. 318.18 shall be
  478  deposited into the Child Welfare Training Trust Fund.
  479         (c) In addition to the funds generated by paragraph (b),
  480  the trust fund shall receive funds generated from an additional
  481  fee on birth certificates and dissolution of marriage filings,
  482  as specified in ss. 382.0255 and 28.101, respectively, and may
  483  receive funds from any other public or private source.
  484         (d) Funds that are not expended by the end of the budget
  485  cycle or through a supplemental budget approved by the
  486  department shall revert to the trust fund.
  488  WELFARE CASES.—With the exception of attorneys hired after July
  489  1, 2014, but before July 1, 2020, who shall complete the
  490  training required under this subsection by January 31, 2021,
  491  attorneys hired by the department on or after July 1, 2014,
  492  whose primary responsibility is representing the department in
  493  child welfare cases shall receive training within the first 6
  494  months of employment in:
  495         (a) The dependency court process, including the attorney’s
  496  role in preparing and reviewing documents prepared for
  497  dependency court for accuracy and completeness;
  498         (b) Preparing and presenting child welfare cases, including
  499  at least 1 week of shadowing an experienced children’s legal
  500  services attorney who is preparing and presenting cases;
  501         (c) Safety assessment, safety decisionmaking tools, and
  502  safety plans;
  503         (d) Developing information presented by investigators and
  504  case managers to support decisionmaking in the best interest of
  505  children; and
  506         (e) The experiences and techniques of case managers and
  507  investigators, including shadowing an experienced child
  508  protective investigator and an experienced case manager for at
  509  least 8 hours.
  510         (8) ADOPTION OF RULES.—The department shall adopt rules
  511  necessary to administer this section.
  512         Section 7.  Paragraph (f) of subsection (1) and subsection
  513  (3) of section 409.988, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  514         409.988 Lead agency duties; general provisions.—
  515         (1) DUTIES.—A lead agency:
  516         (f) Shall ensure that all individuals providing care for
  517  dependent children participate in and successfully complete the
  518  program of receive appropriate training relevant to the
  519  individual’s area of responsibility and meet the minimum
  520  employment standards established by the department pursuant to
  521  s. 402.40. The training curriculum must include training in the
  522  recognition of and appropriate responses to head trauma and
  523  brain injury in a child under 6 years of age developed by the
  524  Child Protection Team Program within the Department of Health.
  525         (3) SERVICES.—A lead agency must provide dependent children
  526  with services that are supported by research or that are
  527  recognized as best practices in the child welfare field. The
  528  agency shall give priority to the use of services that are
  529  evidence-based and trauma-informed and may also provide other
  530  innovative services, including, but not limited to, family
  531  centered and cognitive-behavioral interventions designed to
  532  mitigate out-of-home placements and intensive family
  533  reunification services that combine child welfare and mental
  534  health services for families with dependent children under 6
  535  years of age.
  536         Section 8.  Section 943.17298, Florida Statutes, is created
  537  to read:
  538         943.17298 Training in the recognition of and responses to
  539  head trauma and brain injury.—Each law enforcement officer must
  540  successfully complete training on the subject of the recognition
  541  of and appropriate responses to head trauma and brain injury in
  542  a child under 6 years of age developed by the Child Protection
  543  Team Program within the Department of Health to aid an officer
  544  in the detection of head trauma and brain injury due to child
  545  abuse. Such training must be completed as part of the basic
  546  recruit training for a law enforcement officer, as required
  547  under s. 943.13(9), or as a part of continuing training or
  548  education required under s. 943.135(1), before July 1, 2022.
  549         Section 9.  Section 1004.615, Florida Statutes, is amended
  550  to read:
  551         1004.615 Florida Institute for Child Welfare.—
  552         (1) There is established the Florida Institute for Child
  553  Welfare within the Florida State University College of Social
  554  Work. The purpose of the institute is to advance the well-being
  555  of children and families who are involved with, or at risk of
  556  becoming involved with, the child welfare system by facilitating
  557  and supporting statewide partnerships to develop competency
  558  based education, training, and support to prepare a diverse
  559  group of social work professionals for careers in child welfare
  560  by improving the performance of child protection and child
  561  welfare services through research, policy analysis, evaluation,
  562  and leadership development. The institute shall consist of a
  563  consortium of public and private universities offering degrees
  564  in social work and shall be housed within the Florida State
  565  University College of Social Work.
  566         (2) Using such resources as authorized in the General
  567  Appropriations Act, the Department of Children and Families
  568  shall collaborate contract with the institute for performance of
  569  the duties described in subsection (3) (4) using state
  570  appropriations, public and private grants, and other resources
  571  obtained by the institute.
  572         (3) In order to increase and retain a higher percentage of
  573  professionally educated social workers in the child welfare
  574  system and serve as a statewide resource for child welfare
  575  workforce education and training, the institute, in
  576  collaboration with the Department of Children and Families,
  577  shall:
  578         (a) Design and disseminate a continuum of social work
  579  education and training which emphasizes child welfare workforce
  580  stabilization and professionalization by aligning social work
  581  curriculum and training with critical practice skills pursuant
  582  to s. 402.40.
  583         (b) Identify methods to promote continuing professional
  584  development and systems of workplace support for existing child
  585  welfare staff.
  586         (c) Develop a best practice model for providing feedback on
  587  curriculum to social work programs and for ensuring that interns
  588  who will be entering the child welfare profession are well
  589  supervised by university personnel during their internships.
  590         (d) Create a Title IV-E program designed to provide
  591  professional education and monetary support to undergraduate and
  592  graduate social work students who intend to pursue or continue a
  593  career in child welfare. Goals of the program should include:
  594         1. Increasing the number of individuals in the child
  595  welfare workforce who have a bachelor’s degree or master’s
  596  degree in social work.
  597         2. Prioritizing the enrollment of current child welfare
  598  staff employed by the state.
  599         3. Prioritizing the enrollment of students who reflect the
  600  diversity of the state’s child welfare population.
  601         4. Providing specific program support through the provision
  602  of specialized competency-based child welfare curriculum and
  603  monetary support to students.
  604         (e) Engage in evaluation and dissemination of evidence
  605  based and promising practices in child welfare and build high
  606  quality evaluation into new program models and pilots.
  608  The institute shall also provide consultation on the creation of
  609  the Office of Well-Being and Support within the Department of
  610  Children and Families pursuant to s. 402.40 The institute shall
  611  work with the department, sheriffs providing child protective
  612  investigative services, community-based care lead agencies,
  613  community-based care provider organizations, the court system,
  614  the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Florida Coalition
  615  Against Domestic Violence, and other partners who contribute to
  616  and participate in providing child protection and child welfare
  617  services.
  618         (4) The institute shall:
  619         (a) Maintain a program of research which contributes to
  620  scientific knowledge and informs both policy and practice
  621  related to child safety, permanency, and child and family well
  622  being.
  623         (b) Advise the department and other organizations
  624  participating in the child protection and child welfare system
  625  regarding scientific evidence on policy and practice related to
  626  child safety, permanency, and child and family well-being.
  627         (c) Provide advice regarding management practices and
  628  administrative processes used by the department and other
  629  organizations participating in the child protection and child
  630  welfare system and recommend improvements that reduce
  631  burdensome, ineffective requirements for frontline staff and
  632  their supervisors while enhancing their ability to effectively
  633  investigate, analyze, problem solve, and supervise.
  634         (d) Assess the performance of child protection and child
  635  welfare services based on specific outcome measures.
  636         (e) Evaluate the scope and effectiveness of preservice and
  637  inservice training for child protection and child welfare
  638  employees and advise and assist the department in efforts to
  639  improve such training.
  640         (f) Assess the readiness of social work graduates to assume
  641  job responsibilities in the child protection and child welfare
  642  system and identify gaps in education which can be addressed
  643  through the modification of curricula or the establishment of
  644  industry certifications.
  645         (g) Develop and maintain a program of professional support
  646  including training courses and consulting services that assist
  647  both individuals and organizations in implementing adaptive and
  648  resilient responses to workplace stress.
  649         (h) Participate in the department’s critical incident
  650  response team, assist in the preparation of reports about such
  651  incidents, and support the committee review of reports and
  652  development of recommendations.
  653         (i) Identify effective policies and promising practices,
  654  including, but not limited to, innovations in coordination
  655  between entities participating in the child protection and child
  656  welfare system, data analytics, working with the local
  657  community, and management of human service organizations, and
  658  communicate these findings to the department and other
  659  organizations participating in the child protection and child
  660  welfare system.
  661         (j) Develop a definition of a child or family at high risk
  662  of abuse or neglect. Such a definition must consider
  663  characteristics associated with a greater probability of abuse
  664  and neglect.
  665         (5) The President of the Florida State University shall
  666  appoint a director of the institute. The director must be a
  667  child welfare professional with a degree in social work who
  668  holds a faculty appointment in the Florida State University
  669  College of Social Work. The institute shall be administered by
  670  the director, and the director’s office shall be located at the
  671  Florida State University. The director is responsible for
  672  overall management of the institute and for developing and
  673  executing the work of the institute consistent with the
  674  responsibilities in subsection (3) (4). The director shall
  675  engage individuals in other state universities with accredited
  676  colleges of social work to participate in the institute.
  677  Individuals from other university programs relevant to the
  678  institute’s work, including, but not limited to, economics,
  679  management, law, medicine, and education, may also be invited by
  680  the director to contribute to the institute. The universities
  681  participating in the institute shall provide facilities, staff,
  682  and other resources to the institute to establish statewide
  683  access to institute programs and services.
  684         (5)(6) By each October 1 of each year, the institute shall
  685  provide a written report to the Governor, the President of the
  686  Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives which
  687  outlines its activities in the preceding year, reports
  688  significant research findings, as well as results of other
  689  programs, and provides specific recommendations for improving
  690  education, training, and support for individuals in the child
  691  welfare workforce child protection and child welfare services.
  692         (a) The institute shall include an evaluation of the
  693  results of the educational and training requirements for child
  694  protection and child welfare personnel established under this
  695  act and recommendations for application of the results to child
  696  protection personnel employed by sheriff’s offices providing
  697  child protection services in its report due October 1, 2017.
  698         (b) The institute shall include an evaluation of the
  699  effects of the other provisions of this act and recommendations
  700  for improvements in child protection and child welfare services
  701  in its report due October 1, 2018.
  702         (7) The institute shall submit a report with
  703  recommendations for improving the state’s child welfare system.
  704  The report shall address topics including, but not limited to,
  705  enhancing working relationships between the entities involved in
  706  the child protection and child welfare system, identification of
  707  and replication of best practices, reducing paperwork,
  708  increasing the retention of child protective investigators and
  709  case managers, and caring for medically complex children within
  710  the child welfare system, with the goal of allowing the child to
  711  remain in the least restrictive and most nurturing environment.
  712  The institute shall submit an interim report by February 1,
  713  2015, and final report by October 1, 2015, to the Governor, the
  714  President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of
  715  Representatives.
  716         Section 10.  Section 402.402, Florida Statutes, is
  717  repealed.
  718         Section 11.  Subsection (9) of section 409.996, Florida
  719  Statutes, is amended to read:
  720         409.996 Duties of the Department of Children and Families.
  721  The department shall contract for the delivery, administration,
  722  or management of care for children in the child protection and
  723  child welfare system. In doing so, the department retains
  724  responsibility for the quality of contracted services and
  725  programs and shall ensure that services are delivered in
  726  accordance with applicable federal and state statutes and
  727  regulations.
  728         (9) The department shall develop, in cooperation with the
  729  lead agencies, a third-party credentialing entity approved
  730  pursuant to s. 402.40(3), and the Florida Institute for Child
  731  Welfare established pursuant to s. 1004.615, a standardized
  732  competency-based curriculum for certification training for child
  733  protection staff.
  734         Section 12.  Paragraph (h) of subsection (1) of section
  735  1009.25, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  736         1009.25 Fee exemptions.—
  737         (1) The following students are exempt from the payment of
  738  tuition and fees, including lab fees, at a school district that
  739  provides workforce education programs, Florida College System
  740  institution, or state university:
  741         (h) Pursuant to s. 402.403, child protection and child
  742  welfare personnel as defined in s. 402.402 who are enrolled in
  743  an accredited bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in social
  744  work program, provided that the student attains at least a grade
  745  of “B” in all courses for which tuition and fees are exempted.
  746         Section 13. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.