Bill Text: FL S1326 | 2020 | Regular Session | Enrolled

Bill Title: Child Welfare


Status: (Passed) 2020-07-01 - Chapter No. 2020-152 [S1326 Detail]

Download: Florida-2020-S1326-Enrolled.html
       2020 Legislature                   CS for SB 1326, 1st Engrossed
    2         An act relating to child welfare; amending s. 20.19,
    3         F.S.; requiring the Department of Children and
    4         Families to establish performance metrics; specifying
    5         goals that must be established; revising and providing
    6         duties of community alliances; revising membership of
    7         community alliances; amending s. 39.3065, F.S.;
    8         requiring sheriffs providing certain services to adopt
    9         the child welfare practice model; requiring sheriffs
   10         providing certain services to monitor program
   11         performance and meet, at least quarterly, to
   12         collaborate on specified quality assurance and
   13         initiatives; requiring the department to conduct an
   14         annual evaluation of the sheriffs’ program performance
   15         based on certain criteria; requiring the department to
   16         submit an annual report on certain information by a
   17         specified date; providing report requirements;
   18         amending s. 402.402, F.S.; requiring the department to
   19         implement certain policies and programs; requiring the
   20         annual report to include information on professional
   21         advancement of child protective investigators and
   22         supervisors; requiring attorneys contracting with the
   23         department to receive certain training within a
   24         specified time; creating s. 402.715, F.S.; requiring
   25         the department to establish an Office of Quality;
   26         providing duties of the office; amending s. 402.7305,
   27         F.S.; removing limitations on monitoring of child
   28         caring or child-placing services providers; amending
   29         s. 409.988, F.S.; revising the duties of a lead
   30         agency; amending s. 409.996, F.S.; adding
   31         responsibilities to the department of contracts
   32         regarding care for children in the child welfare
   33         system; specifying additional requirements for
   34         contracts; authorizing the department to provide
   35         technical assistance to lead agencies; authorizing the
   36         department to contract for the provision of children’s
   37         legal services; requiring the contracted attorneys to
   38         adopt the child welfare practice model and operating
   39         in the same manner as attorneys employed by the
   40         department; requiring the department and the
   41         contracted attorneys to monitor program performance;
   42         requiring the department to conduct an annual
   43         evaluation based on certain criteria; requiring the
   44         department to submit an annual report to the Governor
   45         and Legislature by a specified date; revising
   46         requirements regarding the quality assurance program
   47         for contracted services to dependent children;
   48         deleting obsolete language; requiring the department
   49         to develop a statewide accountability system;
   50         requiring that such system be implemented by a
   51         specified date; providing requirements for such
   52         accountability system; requiring the department and
   53         lead agencies to promote enhanced quality service
   54         delivery; requiring the department to submit a report
   55         to the Governor and the Legislature annually by a
   56         specified date; authorizing the department to adopt
   57         rules; requiring the department to implement pilot
   58         projects to improve child welfare outcomes in
   59         specified judicial circuits; requiring the department
   60         to establish performance metrics and standards to
   61         implement the pilot projects; requiring lead agencies
   62         in specified judicial circuits to provide certain data
   63         to the department each quarter; requiring the
   64         department to review such data; authorizing the
   65         department to advance incentive funding to certain
   66         lead agencies that meet specified requirements;
   67         requiring the department to include certain results in
   68         a specified report; providing for future expiration;
   69         deleting a provision requiring the department to
   70         convene a certain workgroup; amending s. 409.997,
   71         F.S.; specifying types of data that may be used by the
   72         department in an accountability program; adding
   73         contract compliance as a use of the data; allowing the
   74         requirements of monitoring program to be incorporated
   75         into contract management program of the department;
   76         amending s. 1004.615, F.S.; requiring the Florida
   77         Institute for Child Welfare and the Florida State
   78         University College of Social Work to design and
   79         implement a specified curriculum; providing
   80         requirements of the institute regarding the
   81         curriculum; requiring the institute to contract for
   82         certain evaluations; requiring certain entities to
   83         design and implement a career-long professional
   84         development curriculum for child welfare
   85         professionals; requiring the institute to establish a
   86         consulting program for child welfare organizations;
   87         requiring the department to develop a career ladder
   88         for child protective investigations professionals and
   89         submit a proposal to the Legislature by a specified
   90         date; providing a short title; providing an effective
   91         date.
   93  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   95         Section 1. Paragraph (b) of subsection (1) and paragraphs
   96  (b), (d), and (e) of subsection (5) of section 20.19, Florida
   97  Statutes, are amended to read:
   98         20.19 Department of Children and Families.—There is created
   99  a Department of Children and Families.
  100         (1) MISSION AND PURPOSE.—
  101         (b) The department shall develop a strategic plan for
  102  fulfilling its mission and establish a set of measurable goals,
  103  objectives, performance standards and metrics, and quality
  104  assurance requirements to ensure that the department is
  105  accountable to the people of Florida. Such goals shall, at a
  106  minimum, include those specified in s. 409.986(2).
  107         (5) COMMUNITY ALLIANCES.—
  108         (b) The duties of the community alliance include, but are
  109  not limited to:
  110         1. Joint planning for resource utilization in the
  111  community, including resources appropriated to the department
  112  and any funds that local funding sources choose to provide.
  113         2. Needs assessment and establishment of community
  114  priorities for service delivery.
  115         3. Determining community outcome goals to supplement state
  116  required outcomes.
  117         4. Serving as a catalyst for community resource
  118  development, including, but not limited to, identifying existing
  119  programs and services delivered by and assistance available from
  120  community-based and faith-based organizations, and encouraging
  121  the development and availability of such programs, services, and
  122  assistance by such organizations. The community alliance shall
  123  ensure that the community-based care lead agency is aware of
  124  such programs, services, and assistance and work to facilitate
  125  the lead agency’s appropriate use of these resources.
  126         5. Providing for community education and advocacy on issues
  127  related to delivery of services.
  128         6. Promoting prevention and early intervention services.
  129         (d) The initial membership of the community alliance in a
  130  county shall at a minimum be composed of the following:
  131         1. A representative from the department.
  132         2. A representative from county government.
  133         3. A representative from the school district.
  134         4. A representative from the county United Way.
  135         5. A representative from the county sheriff’s office.
  136         6. A representative from the circuit court corresponding to
  137  the county.
  138         7. A representative from the county children’s board, if
  139  one exists.
  140         8.A representative of a faith-based organization involved
  141  in efforts to prevent child maltreatment, strengthen families,
  142  or promote adoption.
  143         (e) At any time after the initial meeting of the community
  144  alliance, The community alliance shall adopt bylaws and may
  145  increase the membership of the alliance to include the state
  146  attorney for the judicial circuit in which the community
  147  alliance is located, or his or her designee, the public defender
  148  for the judicial circuit in which the community alliance is
  149  located, or his or her designee, and Other individuals and
  150  organizations who represent funding organizations, are community
  151  leaders, have knowledge of community-based service issues, or
  152  otherwise represent perspectives that will enable them to
  153  accomplish the duties listed in paragraph (b), if, in the
  154  judgment of the alliance, such change is necessary to adequately
  155  represent the diversity of the population within the community
  156  alliance service circuits.
  157         Section 2. Section 39.3065, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  158  read:
  159         39.3065 Sheriffs of certain counties to provide child
  160  protective investigative services; procedures; funding.—
  161         (1) As described in this section, the department of
  162  Children and Families shall, by the end of fiscal year 1999
  163  2000, transfer all responsibility for child protective
  164  investigations for Pinellas County, Manatee County, Broward
  165  County, and Pasco County to the sheriff of that county in which
  166  the child abuse, neglect, or abandonment is alleged to have
  167  occurred. Each sheriff is responsible for the provision of all
  168  child protective investigations in his or her county. Each
  169  individual who provides these services must complete the
  170  training provided to and required of protective investigators
  171  employed by the department of Children and Families.
  172         (2) During fiscal year 1998-1999, the department of
  173  Children and Families and each sheriff’s office shall enter into
  174  a contract for the provision of these services. Funding for the
  175  services will be appropriated to the department of Children and
  176  Families, and the department shall transfer to the respective
  177  sheriffs for the duration of fiscal year 1998-1999, funding for
  178  the investigative responsibilities assumed by the sheriffs,
  179  including federal funds that the provider is eligible for and
  180  agrees to earn and that portion of general revenue funds which
  181  is currently associated with the services that are being
  182  furnished under contract, and including, but not limited to,
  183  funding for all investigative, supervisory, and clerical
  184  positions; training; all associated equipment; furnishings; and
  185  other fixed capital items. The contract must specify whether the
  186  department will continue to perform part or none of the child
  187  protective investigations during the initial year. The sheriffs
  188  may either conduct the investigations themselves or may, in
  189  turn, subcontract with law enforcement officials or with
  190  properly trained employees of private agencies to conduct
  191  investigations related to neglect cases only. If such a
  192  subcontract is awarded, the sheriff must take full
  193  responsibility for any safety decision made by the subcontractor
  194  and must immediately respond with law enforcement staff to any
  195  situation that requires removal of a child due to a condition
  196  that poses an immediate threat to the child’s life. The contract
  197  must specify whether the services are to be performed by
  198  departmental employees or by persons determined by the sheriff.
  199  During this initial year, the department is responsible for
  200  quality assurance, and the department retains the responsibility
  201  for the performance of all child protective investigations. The
  202  department must identify any barriers to transferring the entire
  203  responsibility for child protective services to the sheriffs’
  204  offices and must pursue avenues for removing any such barriers
  205  by means including, but not limited to, applying for federal
  206  waivers. By January 15, 1999, the department shall submit to the
  207  President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of
  208  Representatives, and the chairs of the Senate and House
  209  committees that oversee departmental activities a report that
  210  describes any remaining barriers, including any that pertain to
  211  funding and related administrative issues. Unless the
  212  Legislature, on the basis of that report or other pertinent
  213  information, acts to block a transfer of the entire
  214  responsibility for child protective investigations to the
  215  sheriffs’ offices, the sheriffs of Pasco County, Manatee County,
  216  Broward County, and Pinellas County, beginning in fiscal year
  217  1999-2000, shall assume the entire responsibility for such
  218  services, as provided in subsection (3).
  219         (3)(a) Beginning in fiscal year 1999-2000, the sheriffs of
  220  Pasco County, Manatee County, Broward County, and Pinellas
  221  County have the responsibility to provide all child protective
  222  investigations in their respective counties. Beginning in fiscal
  223  year 2000-2001, the department of Children and Families is
  224  authorized to enter into grant agreements with sheriffs of other
  225  counties to perform child protective investigations in their
  226  respective counties. The sheriffs of other counties with which
  227  the department enters into grant agreements shall adopt the
  228  child welfare practice model, as periodically modified by the
  229  department, that is used by child protective investigators
  230  employed by the department.
  231         (b) The sheriffs shall operate, at a minimum, in accordance
  232  with the performance standards and outcome measures established
  233  by the Legislature for protective investigations conducted by
  234  the department of Children and Families.
  235         1. All sheriffs shall operate in accord with the same
  236  federal performance standards and metrics that are imposed by
  237  federal law, regulation, or funding requirements on child
  238  protective investigators employed by the department.
  239         2. Sheriffs of other counties with which the department
  240  enters into grant agreements under paragraph (a) shall operate
  241  in accordance with the same child welfare practice model
  242  principles used by, and same state performance standards and
  243  metrics that are imposed on, child protective investigators
  244  employed by the department.
  246  Each individual who provides these services must complete, at a
  247  minimum, the training provided to and required of protective
  248  investigators employed by the department of Children and
  249  Families.
  250         (c) Funds for providing child protective investigations
  251  must be identified in the annual appropriation made to the
  252  department of Children and Families, which shall award grants
  253  for the full amount identified to the respective sheriffs’
  254  offices. Notwithstanding the provisions of ss. 216.181(16)(b)
  255  and 216.351, the department of Children and Families may advance
  256  payments to the sheriffs for child protective investigations.
  257  Funds for the child protective investigations may not be
  258  integrated into the sheriffs’ regular budgets. Budgetary data
  259  and other data relating to the performance of child protective
  260  investigations must be maintained separately from all other
  261  records of the sheriffs’ offices and reported to the department
  262  of Children and Families as specified in the grant agreement.
  263         (d)The department and all sheriffs providing child
  264  protective investigative services shall collaborate to monitor
  265  program performance on an ongoing basis. The department and each
  266  sheriff, or his or her designee, shall meet at least quarterly
  267  to collaborate on federal and state quality assurance and
  268  quality improvement initiatives.
  269         (e)(d)The department shall conduct an annual evaluation of
  270  the program performance of all sheriffs providing child
  271  protective investigative services.
  272         1.For the sheriffs of Pasco County, Manatee County,
  273  Broward County, and Pinellas County, the evaluation shall only
  274  be based on the same federal performance standards and metrics,
  275  and those state performance standards and metrics that are not
  276  specific to or based on the child welfare practice model, that
  277  are imposed on child protective investigators employed by the
  278  department.
  279         2.For sheriffs of other counties with which the department
  280  enters into grant agreements under paragraph (a), this
  281  evaluation shall be based on the same child welfare practice
  282  model principles used by, and federal and state performance
  283  standards and metrics that are imposed on, child protective
  284  investigators employed by criteria mutually agreed upon by the
  285  respective sheriffs and the department of Children and Families.
  287  The program performance evaluation must be standardized
  288  statewide excepting state performance standards and metrics that
  289  are not specific to or based on the child welfare practice model
  290  not being applicable to certain sheriffs as provided in
  291  subparagraph (e)1. The department shall select random cases for
  292  evaluation. The program performance evaluation shall be
  293  conducted by a team of peer reviewers from the respective
  294  sheriffs’ offices that perform child protective investigations
  295  and representatives from the department.
  296         (f) The department of Children and Families shall produce
  297  submit an annual report regarding, at a minimum, quality
  298  performance quality, outcome-measure attainment, and cost
  299  efficiency of the services provided by all sheriffs providing
  300  child protective investigative services. The annual report shall
  301  include data and information on both the sheriffs’ and the
  302  department’s performance of protective investigations. The
  303  department shall submit the annual report to the President of
  304  the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and to
  305  the Governor no later than November 1 January 31 of each year
  306  the sheriffs are receiving general appropriations to provide
  307  child protective investigations.
  308         Section 3. Section 402.402, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  309  read:
  310         402.402 Child protection and child welfare personnel;
  311  attorneys employed by the department.—
  313  REQUIREMENTS.—The department is responsible for recruitment of
  314  qualified professional staff to serve as child protective
  315  investigators and child protective investigation supervisors.
  316  The department shall make every effort to recruit and hire
  317  persons qualified by their education and experience to perform
  318  social work functions. The department’s efforts shall be guided
  319  by the goal that by July 1, 2019, at least half of all child
  320  protective investigators and supervisors will have a bachelor’s
  321  degree or a master’s degree in social work from a college or
  322  university social work program accredited by the Council on
  323  Social Work Education. The department, in collaboration with the
  324  lead agencies, subcontracted provider organizations, the Florida
  325  Institute for Child Welfare created pursuant to s. 1004.615, and
  326  other partners in the child welfare system, shall develop a
  327  protocol for screening candidates for child protective positions
  328  which reflects the preferences specified in paragraphs (a)-(f).
  329  The following persons shall be given preference in the
  330  recruitment of qualified professional staff, but the preferences
  331  serve only as guidance and do not limit the department’s
  332  discretion to select the best available candidates:
  333         (a) Individuals with baccalaureate degrees in social work
  334  and child protective investigation supervisors with master’s
  335  degrees in social work from a college or university social work
  336  program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
  337         (b) Individuals with baccalaureate or master’s degrees in
  338  psychology, sociology, counseling, special education, education,
  339  human development, child development, family development,
  340  marriage and family therapy, and nursing.
  341         (c) Individuals with baccalaureate degrees who have a
  342  combination of directly relevant work and volunteer experience,
  343  preferably in a public service field related to children’s
  344  services, demonstrating critical thinking skills, formal
  345  assessment processes, communication skills, problem solving, and
  346  empathy; a commitment to helping children and families; a
  347  capacity to work as part of a team; an interest in continuous
  348  development of skills and knowledge; and personal strength and
  349  resilience to manage competing demands and handle workplace
  350  stresses.
  351         (2) SPECIALIZED TRAINING.—All child protective
  352  investigators and child protective investigation supervisors
  353  employed by the department or a sheriff’s office must complete
  354  specialized training either focused on serving a specific
  355  population, including, but not limited to, medically fragile
  356  children, sexually exploited children, children under 3 years of
  357  age, or families with a history of domestic violence, mental
  358  illness, or substance abuse, or focused on performing certain
  359  aspects of child protection practice, including, but not limited
  360  to, investigation techniques and analysis of family dynamics.
  361  The specialized training may be used to fulfill continuing
  362  education requirements under s. 402.40(3)(e). Individuals hired
  363  before July 1, 2014, shall complete the specialized training by
  364  June 30, 2016, and individuals hired on or after July 1, 2014,
  365  shall complete the specialized training within 2 years after
  366  hire. An individual may receive specialized training in multiple
  367  areas.
  368         (3)STAFF SUPPORT.—The department shall implement policies
  369  and programs that mitigate and prevent the impact of secondary
  370  traumatic stress and burnout among child protective
  371  investigations staff, including, but not limited to:
  372         (a)Initiatives to encourage and inspire child protective
  373  investigations staff, including recognizing their achievements
  374  on a recognition wall within their unit.
  375         (b)Formal procedures for providing support to child
  376  protective investigations staff after a critical incident such
  377  as a child fatality.
  378         (c)Initial training upon appointment to a supervisory
  379  position and annual continuing education for all supervisors on
  380  how to prevent secondary traumatic stress and burnout among the
  381  employees they supervise.
  382         (d)Monitoring levels of secondary traumatic stress and
  383  burnout among individual employees and intervening as needed.
  384  The department shall closely monitor and respond to levels of
  385  secondary traumatic stress and burnout among employees during
  386  the first 2 years after hire.
  387         (e)Ongoing training in self-care for all child protective
  388  investigations staff.
  390  Such programs may also include, but are not limited, to formal
  391  peer counseling and support programs.
  392         (4)(3) REPORT.—By each October 1, the department shall
  393  submit a report on the educational qualifications, turnover,
  394  professional advancement, and working conditions of the child
  395  protective investigators and supervisors to the Governor, the
  396  President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of
  397  Representatives.
  400  contracted with on or after July 1, 2014, whose primary
  401  responsibility is representing the department in child welfare
  402  cases shall, within the first 6 months of employment, receive
  403  training in:
  404         (a) The dependency court process, including the attorney’s
  405  role in preparing and reviewing documents prepared for
  406  dependency court for accuracy and completeness.;
  407         (b) Preparing and presenting child welfare cases, including
  408  at least 1 week shadowing an experienced children’s legal
  409  services attorney preparing and presenting cases.;
  410         (c) Safety assessment, safety decisionmaking tools, and
  411  safety plans.;
  412         (d) Developing information presented by investigators and
  413  case managers to support decisionmaking in the best interest of
  414  children.; and
  415         (e) The experiences and techniques of case managers and
  416  investigators, including shadowing an experienced child
  417  protective investigator and an experienced case manager for at
  418  least 8 hours.
  419         Section 4. Section 402.715, Florida Statutes, is created to
  420  read:
  421         402.715 Office of Quality.—Subject to an appropriation, the
  422  department shall establish a department-wide Office of Quality
  423  to ensure that the department and its contracted service
  424  providers achieve high levels of performance. Duties of the
  425  office include, but are not limited to:
  426         (1)Identifying performance standards and metrics for the
  427  department and all contracted service providers, including, but
  428  not limited to, law enforcement agencies, managing entities,
  429  community-based care lead agencies, and attorney services. Such
  430  performance standards and metrics shall be reflected in the
  431  strategic plan required under s. 20.19(1). Performance standards
  432  and metrics for the child welfare system shall, at a minimum,
  433  incorporate measures used in the results-oriented accountability
  434  system under s. 409.997.
  435         (2)Strengthening the department’s data and analytic
  436  capabilities to identify systemic strengths and deficiencies.
  437         (3)Recommending, in consultation with the relevant program
  438  office, initiatives to correct programmatic and systemic
  439  deficiencies.
  440         (4)Engaging and collaborating with contractors,
  441  stakeholders, and other relevant entities to improve quality,
  442  efficiency, and effectiveness of department programs and
  443  services.
  444         (5)Reporting systemic or persistent failures to meet
  445  performance standards and recommending corrective action to the
  446  secretary.
  447         Section 5. Section 402.7305, Florida Statutes, is amended
  448  to read:
  449         402.7305 Department of Children and Families; procurement
  450  of contractual services; contract management.—
  451         (1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
  452         (a) “Contract manager” means the department employee who is
  453  responsible for enforcing the compliance with administrative and
  454  programmatic terms and conditions of a contract. The contract
  455  manager is the primary point of contact through which all
  456  contracting information flows between the department and the
  457  contractor. The contract manager is responsible for day-to-day
  458  contract oversight, including approval of contract deliverables
  459  and invoices. All actions related to the contract shall be
  460  initiated by or coordinated with the contract manager. The
  461  contract manager maintains the official contract files.
  462         (b) “Contract monitor” means the department employee who is
  463  responsible for observing, recording, and reporting to the
  464  contract manager and other designated entities the information
  465  necessary to assist the contract manager and program management
  466  in determining whether the contractor is in compliance with the
  467  administrative and programmatic terms and conditions of the
  468  contract.
  469         (c) “Department” means the Department of Children and
  470  Families.
  471         (d) “Outsourcing” means the process of contracting with an
  472  external service provider to provide a service, in whole or in
  473  part, while the department retains the responsibility and
  474  accountability for the service.
  476         (a) Notwithstanding s. 287.057(3)(e)12., if the department
  477  intends to contract with a public postsecondary institution to
  478  provide a service, the department must allow all public
  479  postsecondary institutions in this state that are accredited by
  480  the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to bid on the
  481  contract. Thereafter, notwithstanding any other provision of
  482  law, if a public postsecondary institution intends to
  483  subcontract for any service awarded in the contract, the
  484  subcontracted service must be procured by competitive
  485  procedures.
  486         (b) When it is in the best interest of a defined segment of
  487  its consumer population, the department may competitively
  488  procure and contract for systems of treatment or service that
  489  involve multiple providers, rather than procuring and
  490  contracting for treatment or services separately from each
  491  participating provider. The department must ensure that all
  492  providers that participate in the treatment or service system
  493  meet all applicable statutory, regulatory, service quality, and
  494  cost control requirements. If other governmental entities or
  495  units of special purpose government contribute matching funds to
  496  the support of a given system of treatment or service, the
  497  department shall formally request information from those funding
  498  entities in the procurement process and may take the information
  499  received into account in the selection process. If a local
  500  government contributes matching funds to support the system of
  501  treatment or contracted service and if the match constitutes at
  502  least 25 percent of the value of the contract, the department
  503  shall afford the governmental match contributor an opportunity
  504  to name an employee as one of the persons required by s.
  505  287.057(16) to evaluate or negotiate certain contracts, unless
  506  the department sets forth in writing the reason why the
  507  inclusion would be contrary to the best interest of the state.
  508  Any employee so named by the governmental match contributor
  509  shall qualify as one of the persons required by s. 287.057(16).
  510  A governmental entity or unit of special purpose government may
  511  not name an employee as one of the persons required by s.
  512  287.057(16) if it, or any of its political subdivisions,
  513  executive agencies, or special districts, intends to compete for
  514  the contract to be awarded. The governmental funding entity or
  515  contributor of matching funds must comply with all procurement
  516  procedures set forth in s. 287.057 when appropriate and
  517  required.
  518         (c) The department may procure and contract for or provide
  519  assessment and case management services independently from
  520  treatment services.
  522  Department of Children and Families shall review the time period
  523  for which the department executes contracts and shall execute
  524  multiyear contracts to make the most efficient use of the
  525  resources devoted to contract processing and execution. Whenever
  526  the department chooses not to use a multiyear contract, a
  527  justification for that decision must be contained in the
  528  contract. Notwithstanding s. 287.057(14), the department is
  529  responsible for establishing a contract management process that
  530  requires a member of the department’s Senior Management or
  531  Selected Exempt Service to assign in writing the responsibility
  532  of a contract to a contract manager. The department shall
  533  maintain a set of procedures describing its contract management
  534  process which must minimally include the following requirements:
  535         (a) The contract manager shall maintain the official
  536  contract file throughout the duration of the contract and for a
  537  period not less than 6 years after the termination of the
  538  contract.
  539         (b) The contract manager shall review all invoices for
  540  compliance with the criteria and payment schedule provided for
  541  in the contract and shall approve payment of all invoices before
  542  their transmission to the Department of Financial Services for
  543  payment.
  544         (c) The contract manager shall maintain a schedule of
  545  payments and total amounts disbursed and shall periodically
  546  reconcile the records with the state’s official accounting
  547  records.
  548         (d) For contracts involving the provision of direct client
  549  services, the contract manager shall periodically visit the
  550  physical location where the services are delivered and speak
  551  directly to clients receiving the services and the staff
  552  responsible for delivering the services.
  553         (e) The contract manager shall meet at least once a month
  554  directly with the contractor’s representative and maintain
  555  records of such meetings.
  556         (f) The contract manager shall periodically document any
  557  differences between the required performance measures and the
  558  actual performance measures. If a contractor fails to meet and
  559  comply with the performance measures established in the
  560  contract, the department may allow a reasonable period for the
  561  contractor to correct performance deficiencies. If performance
  562  deficiencies are not resolved to the satisfaction of the
  563  department within the prescribed time, and if no extenuating
  564  circumstances can be documented by the contractor to the
  565  department’s satisfaction, the department must terminate the
  566  contract. The department may not enter into a new contract with
  567  that same contractor for the services for which the contract was
  568  previously terminated for a period of at least 24 months after
  569  the date of termination. The contract manager shall obtain and
  570  enforce corrective action plans, if appropriate, and maintain
  571  records regarding the completion or failure to complete
  572  corrective action items.
  573         (g) The contract manager shall document any contract
  574  modifications, which shall include recording any contract
  575  amendments as provided for in this section.
  576         (h) The contract manager shall be properly trained before
  577  being assigned responsibility for any contract.
  579  department shall establish contract monitoring units staffed by
  580  career service employees who report to a member of the Selected
  581  Exempt Service or Senior Management Service and who have been
  582  properly trained to perform contract monitoring. At least one
  583  member of the contract monitoring unit must possess specific
  584  knowledge and experience in the contract’s program area. The
  585  department shall establish a contract monitoring process that
  586  includes, but is not limited to, the following requirements:
  587         (a) Performing a risk assessment at the start of each
  588  fiscal year and preparing an annual contract monitoring schedule
  589  that considers the level of risk assigned. The department may
  590  monitor any contract at any time regardless of whether such
  591  monitoring was originally included in the annual contract
  592  monitoring schedule.
  593         (b) Preparing a contract monitoring plan, including
  594  sampling procedures, before performing onsite monitoring at
  595  external locations of a service provider. The plan must include
  596  a description of the programmatic, fiscal, and administrative
  597  components that will be monitored on site. If appropriate,
  598  clinical and therapeutic components may be included.
  599         (c) Conducting analyses of the performance and compliance
  600  of an external service provider by means of desk reviews if the
  601  external service provider will not be monitored on site during a
  602  fiscal year.
  603         (d) Unless the department sets forth in writing the need
  604  for an extension, providing a written report presenting the
  605  results of the monitoring within 30 days after the completion of
  606  the onsite monitoring or desk review.
  607         (e) Developing and maintaining a set of procedures
  608  describing the contract monitoring process.
  610  Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the
  611  department shall limit monitoring of a child-caring or child
  612  placing services provider under this subsection to only once per
  613  year. Such monitoring may not duplicate administrative
  614  monitoring that is included in the survey of a child welfare
  615  provider conducted by a national accreditation organization
  616  specified under s. 402.7306(1).
  617         Section 6. Paragraph (l) is added to subsection (1) of
  618  section 409.988, Florida Statutes, to read:
  619         409.988 Lead agency duties; general provisions.—
  620         (1) DUTIES.—A lead agency:
  621         (l)Shall identify an employee to serve as a liaison with
  622  the community alliance and community-based and faith-based
  623  organizations interested in collaborating with the lead agency
  624  or offering services or other assistance on a volunteer basis to
  625  the children and families served by the lead agency. The lead
  626  agency shall ensure that appropriate lead agency staff and
  627  subcontractors, including, but not limited to, case managers,
  628  are informed of the specific services or assistance available
  629  from community-based and faith-based organizations.
  630         Section 7. Section 409.996, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  631  read:
  632         409.996 Duties of the Department of Children and Families.
  633  The department shall contract for the delivery, administration,
  634  or management of care for children in the child protection and
  635  child welfare system. In doing so, the department retains
  636  responsibility for the quality of contracted services and
  637  programs and shall ensure that, at a minimum, services are
  638  delivered in accordance with applicable federal and state
  639  statutes and regulations and the performance standards and
  640  metrics specified in the strategic plan created under s.
  641  20.19(1).
  642         (1) The department shall enter into contracts with lead
  643  agencies for the performance of the duties by the lead agencies
  644  established in pursuant to s. 409.988. At a minimum, the
  645  contracts must:
  646         (a) Provide for the services needed to accomplish the
  647  duties established in s. 409.988 and provide information to the
  648  department which is necessary to meet the requirements for a
  649  quality assurance program under pursuant to subsection (19) (18)
  650  and the child welfare results-oriented accountability system
  651  under pursuant to s. 409.997.
  652         (b) Provide for tiered interventions and graduated
  653  penalties for failure to comply with contract terms or in the
  654  event of performance deficiencies. Such interventions and
  655  penalties shall may include, but are not limited to:
  656 penalties, Enhanced monitoring and reporting.,
  657         2. Corrective action plans., and
  658         3.Requirements to accept technical assistance and
  659  consultation from the department under subsection (4).
  660         4.Financial penalties, which shall require a lead agency
  661  to reallocate funds from administrative costs to direct care for
  662  children.
  663         5. Early termination of contracts, as provided in s.
  664  402.1705(3)(f) or other appropriate action to ensure contract
  665  compliance. The financial penalties shall require a lead agency
  666  to reallocate funds from administrative costs to direct care for
  667  children.
  668         (c) Ensure that the lead agency shall furnish current and
  669  accurate information on its activities in all cases in client
  670  case records in the state’s statewide automated child welfare
  671  information system.
  672         (d) Specify the procedures to be used by the parties to
  673  resolve differences in interpreting the contract or to resolve
  674  disputes as to the adequacy of the parties’ compliance with
  675  their respective obligations under the contract.
  676         (2) The department must adopt written policies and
  677  procedures for monitoring the contract for delivery of services
  678  by lead agencies which must be posted on the department’s
  679  website. These policies and procedures must, at a minimum,
  680  address the evaluation of fiscal accountability and program
  681  operations, including provider achievement of performance
  682  standards, provider monitoring of subcontractors, and timely
  683  followup of corrective actions for significant monitoring
  684  findings related to providers and subcontractors. These policies
  685  and procedures must also include provisions for reducing the
  686  duplication of the department’s program monitoring activities
  687  both internally and with other agencies, to the extent possible.
  688  The department’s written procedures must ensure that the written
  689  findings, conclusions, and recommendations from monitoring the
  690  contract for services of lead agencies are communicated to the
  691  director of the provider agency and the community alliance as
  692  expeditiously as possible.
  693         (3) The department shall receive federal and state funds as
  694  appropriated for the operation of the child welfare system,
  695  transmit these funds to the lead agencies as agreed to in the
  696  contract, and provide information on its website of the
  697  distribution of the federal funds. The department retains
  698  responsibility for the appropriate spending of these funds. The
  699  department shall monitor lead agencies to assess compliance with
  700  the financial guidelines established under pursuant to s.
  701  409.992 and other applicable state and federal laws.
  702         (4) The department may shall provide technical assistance
  703  and consultation to lead agencies as necessary for the
  704  achievement of performance standards, including, but not limited
  705  to, providing additional resources to assist the lead agencies
  706  to implement best practices or institute operational
  707  efficiencies in the provision of care to children in the child
  708  protection and child welfare system.
  709         (5) The department retains the responsibility for the
  710  review, approval or denial, and issuances of all foster home
  711  licenses.
  712         (6) The department shall process all applications submitted
  713  by lead agencies for the Interstate Compact on the Placement of
  714  Children and the Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical
  715  Assistance.
  716         (7) The department shall assist lead agencies with access
  717  to and coordination with other service programs within the
  718  department.
  719         (8) The department shall determine Medicaid eligibility for
  720  all referred children and shall coordinate services with the
  721  Agency for Health Care Administration.
  722         (9) The department shall develop, in cooperation with the
  723  lead agencies, a third-party credentialing entity approved under
  724  pursuant to s. 402.40(3), and the Florida Institute for Child
  725  Welfare established under pursuant to s. 1004.615, a
  726  standardized competency-based curriculum for certification
  727  training for child protection staff.
  728         (10) The department shall maintain the statewide adoptions
  729  website and provide information and training to the lead
  730  agencies relating to the website.
  731         (11) The department shall provide training and assistance
  732  to lead agencies regarding the responsibility of lead agencies
  733  relating to children receiving supplemental security income,
  734  social security, railroad retirement, or veterans’ benefits.
  735         (12) With the assistance of a lead agency, the department
  736  shall develop and implement statewide and local interagency
  737  agreements needed to coordinate services for children and
  738  parents involved in the child welfare system who are also
  739  involved with the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, the
  740  Department of Juvenile Justice, the Department of Education, the
  741  Department of Health, and other governmental organizations that
  742  share responsibilities for children or parents in the child
  743  welfare system.
  744         (13) With the assistance of a lead agency, the department
  745  shall develop and implement a working agreement between the lead
  746  agency and the substance abuse and mental health managing entity
  747  to integrate services and supports for children and parents
  748  serviced in the child welfare system.
  749         (14) The department shall work with the Agency for Health
  750  Care Administration to provide each Medicaid-eligible child with
  751  early and periodic screening, diagnosis, and treatment,
  752  including 72-hour screening, periodic child health checkups, and
  753  prescribed followup for ordered services, including, but not
  754  limited to, medical, dental, and vision care.
  755         (15) The department shall assist lead agencies in
  756  developing an array of services in compliance with the Title IV
  757  E waiver and shall monitor the provision of such services.
  758         (16) The department shall provide a mechanism to allow lead
  759  agencies to request a waiver of department policies and
  760  procedures that create inefficiencies or inhibit the performance
  761  of the lead agency’s duties.
  762         (17) The department may shall directly or through contract
  763  provide attorneys to prepare and present cases in dependency
  764  court and shall ensure that the court is provided with adequate
  765  information for informed decisionmaking in dependency cases,
  766  including, at a minimum, a face sheet for each case which lists
  767  the names and contact information for any child protective
  768  investigator, child protective investigation supervisor, case
  769  manager, and case manager supervisor, and the regional
  770  department official responsible for the lead agency contract.
  771  The department shall provide to the court the case information
  772  and recommendations provided by the lead agency or
  773  subcontractor. For the Sixth Judicial Circuit, the department
  774  shall contract with the state attorney for the provision of
  775  these services.
  776         (18)(a)The department may contract for the provision of
  777  children’s legal services to prepare and present cases in
  778  dependency court. The contracted attorneys shall ensure that the
  779  court is provided with adequate information for informed
  780  decisionmaking in dependency cases, including, at a minimum, a
  781  face sheet for each case which lists the names and contact
  782  information for any child protective investigator, child
  783  protective investigator supervisor, and the regional department
  784  official responsible for the lead agency contract. The
  785  contracted attorneys shall provide to the court the case
  786  information and recommendations provided by the lead agency or
  787  subcontractor. For the Sixth Judicial Circuit, the department
  788  shall contract with the state attorney for the provision of
  789  these services.
  790         (b)The contracted attorneys shall adopt the child welfare
  791  practice model, as periodically updated by the department, that
  792  is used by attorneys employed by the department. The contracted
  793  attorneys shall operate in accordance with the same federal and
  794  state performance standards and metrics imposed on children’s
  795  legal services attorneys employed by the department.
  796         (c)The department and contracted attorneys providing
  797  children’s legal services shall collaborate to monitor program
  798  performance on an ongoing basis. The department and contracted
  799  attorneys, or a representative from such contracted attorneys’
  800  offices, shall meet at least quarterly to collaborate on federal
  801  and state quality assurance and quality improvement initiatives.
  802         (d)The department shall conduct an annual program
  803  performance evaluation which shall be based on the same child
  804  welfare practice model principles and federal and state
  805  performance standards that are imposed on children’s legal
  806  services attorneys employed by the department. The program
  807  performance evaluation must be standardized statewide and the
  808  department shall select random cases for evaluation. The program
  809  performance evaluation shall be conducted by a team of peer
  810  reviewers from the respective contracted attorneys’ offices that
  811  perform children’s legal services and representatives from the
  812  department.
  813         (e)The department shall publish an annual report
  814  regarding, at a minimum, performance quality, outcome-measure
  815  attainment, and cost efficiency of the services provided by the
  816  contracted attorneys. The annual report must include data and
  817  information on the performance of both the contracted attorneys
  818  and the department’s attorneys. The department shall submit the
  819  annual report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and
  820  the Speaker of the House of Representatives no later than
  821  November 1 of each year that the contracted attorneys are
  822  receiving appropriations to provide children’s legal services
  823  for the department.
  824         (19)(18) The department, in consultation with lead
  825  agencies, shall establish a quality assurance program for
  826  contracted services to dependent children. The quality assurance
  827  program shall, at a minimum, be based on standards established
  828  by federal and state law, and national accrediting
  829  organizations, and the Office of Quality established under s.
  830  402.715, and must be consistent with the child welfare results
  831  oriented accountability system required by s. 409.997.
  832         (a) The department must evaluate each lead agency under
  833  contract at least annually. These evaluations shall cover the
  834  programmatic, operational, and fiscal operations of the lead
  835  agency and must be consistent with the child welfare results
  836  oriented accountability system required by s. 409.997. The
  837  department must consult with dependency judges in the circuit or
  838  circuits served by the lead agency on the performance of the
  839  lead agency.
  840         (b) The department and each lead agency shall monitor out
  841  of-home placements, including the extent to which sibling groups
  842  are placed together or provisions to provide visitation and
  843  other contacts if siblings are separated. The data shall
  844  identify reasons for sibling separation. Information related to
  845  sibling placement shall be incorporated into the results
  846  oriented accountability system required under pursuant to s.
  847  409.997 and into the evaluation of the outcome specified in s.
  848  409.986(2)(e). The information related to sibling placement
  849  shall also be made available to the institute established under
  850  pursuant s. 1004.615 for use in assessing the performance of
  851  child welfare services in relation to the outcome specified in
  852  s. 409.986(2)(e).
  853         (c) The department shall, to the extent possible, use
  854  independent financial audits provided by the lead agency to
  855  eliminate or reduce the ongoing contract and administrative
  856  reviews conducted by the department. If the department
  857  determines that such independent financial audits are
  858  inadequate, other audits, as necessary, may be conducted by the
  859  department. This paragraph does not abrogate the requirements of
  860  s. 215.97.
  861         (d) The department may suggest additional items to be
  862  included in such independent financial audits to meet the
  863  department’s needs.
  864         (e) The department may outsource programmatic,
  865  administrative, or fiscal monitoring oversight of lead agencies.
  866         (f) A lead agency must assure that all subcontractors are
  867  subject to the same quality assurance activities as the lead
  868  agency.
  869         (20)(19) The department and its attorneys, including
  870  contracted attorneys, have the responsibility to ensure that the
  871  court is fully informed about issues before it, to make
  872  recommendations to the court, and to present competent evidence,
  873  including testimony by the department’s employees, contractors,
  874  and subcontractors, as well as other individuals, to support all
  875  recommendations made to the court. The department’s attorneys
  876  shall coordinate lead agency or subcontractor staff to ensure
  877  that dependency cases are presented appropriately to the court,
  878  giving consideration to the information developed by the case
  879  manager and direction to the case manager if more information is
  880  needed.
  881         (21)(20) The department, in consultation with lead
  882  agencies, shall develop a dispute resolution process so that
  883  disagreements between legal staff, investigators, and case
  884  management staff can be resolved in the best interest of the
  885  child in question before court appearances regarding that child.
  886         (22)(21) The department shall periodically, and before
  887  procuring a lead agency, solicit comments and recommendations
  888  from the community alliance established in s. 20.19(5), any
  889  other community groups, or public hearings. The recommendations
  890  must include, but are not limited to:
  891         (a) The current and past performance of a lead agency.
  892         (b) The relationship between a lead agency and its
  893  community partners.
  894         (c) Any local conditions or service needs in child
  895  protection and child welfare.
  896         (23)(22) The department shall develop, in collaboration
  897  with the Florida Institute for Child Welfare, lead agencies,
  898  service providers, current and former foster children placed in
  899  residential group care, and other community stakeholders, a
  900  statewide accountability system for residential group care
  901  providers based on measureable quality standards.
  902         (a) The accountability system must:
  903         1. Promote high quality in services and accommodations,
  904  differentiating between shift and family-style models and
  905  programs and services for children with specialized or
  906  extraordinary needs, such as pregnant teens and children with
  907  Department of Juvenile Justice involvement.
  908         2. Include a quality measurement system with domains and
  909  clearly defined levels of quality. The system must measure the
  910  level of quality for each domain, using criteria that
  911  residential group care providers must meet in order to achieve
  912  each level of quality. Domains may include, but are not limited
  913  to, admissions, service planning, treatment planning, living
  914  environment, and program and service requirements. The system
  915  may also consider outcomes 6 months and 12 months after a child
  916  leaves the provider’s care. However, the system may not assign a
  917  single summary rating to residential group care providers.
  918         3. Consider the level of availability of trauma-informed
  919  care and mental health and physical health services, providers’
  920  engagement with the schools children in their care attend, and
  921  opportunities for children’s involvement in extracurricular
  922  activities.
  923         (b) After development and implementation of the
  924  accountability system in accordance with paragraph (a), the
  925  department and each lead agency shall use the information from
  926  the accountability system to promote enhanced quality in
  927  residential group care within their respective areas of
  928  responsibility. Such promotion may include, but is not limited
  929  to, the use of incentives and ongoing contract monitoring
  930  efforts.
  931         (c) The department shall submit a report to the Governor,
  932  the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of
  933  Representatives by October 1 of each year, with the first report
  934  due October 1, 2017. The report must, at a minimum, include an
  935  update on the development of a statewide accountability system
  936  for residential group care providers and a plan for department
  937  oversight and implementation of the statewide accountability
  938  system. After implementation of the statewide accountability
  939  system, the report must also include a description of the
  940  system, including measures and any tools developed, a
  941  description of how the information is being used by the
  942  department and lead agencies, an assessment of placement of
  943  children in residential group care using data from the
  944  accountability system measures, and recommendations to further
  945  improve quality in residential group care.
  946         (d) The accountability system must be implemented by July
  947  1, 2022.
  948         (e) Nothing in this subsection impairs the department’s
  949  licensure authority under s. 409.175.
  950         (f) The department may adopt rules to administer this
  951  subsection.
  952         (24) In collaboration with lead agencies, service
  953  providers, and other community stakeholders, the department
  954  shall develop a statewide accountability system based on
  955  measurable quality standards. The accountability system must be
  956  implemented by July 1, 2021.
  957         (a) The accountability system must:
  958         1. Assess the overall health of the child welfare system,
  959  by circuit, using grading criteria established by the
  960  department.
  961         2. Include a quality measurement system with domains and
  962  clearly defined levels of quality. The system must measure the
  963  performance standards for child protective investigators, lead
  964  agencies, and children’s legal services throughout the system of
  965  care, using criteria established by the department, and, at a
  966  minimum, address applicable federal- and state-mandated metrics.
  967         3. Align with the principles of the results-oriented
  968  accountability program established under s. 409.997.
  969         (b) After the development and implementation of the
  970  accountability system under this subsection, the department and
  971  each lead agency shall use the information from the
  972  accountability system to promote enhanced quality service
  973  delivery within their respective areas of responsibility.
  974         (c) By December 1 of each year, the department shall submit
  975  a report on the overall health of the child welfare system to
  976  the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of
  977  the House of Representatives.
  978         (d) The department may adopt rules to implement this
  979  subsection.
  980         (25)Subject to an appropriation, for the 2020-2021 and
  981  2021-2022 fiscal years, the department shall implement a pilot
  982  project in the Sixth and Thirteenth Judicial Circuits,
  983  respectively, aimed at improving child welfare outcomes.
  984         (a)In implementing the pilot projects, the department
  985  shall establish performance metrics and performance standards to
  986  assess improvements in safety, permanency, and the well-being of
  987  children in the local system of care for the lead agencies in
  988  those judicial circuits. Such metrics and standards must be
  989  aligned with indicators used in the most recent federal Child
  990  and Family Services Reviews.
  991         (b)The lead agencies in the Sixth and Thirteenth Judicial
  992  Circuits shall provide performance data to the department each
  993  quarter. The department shall review the data for accuracy and
  994  completeness and then shall compare the actual performance of
  995  the lead agencies to the established performance metrics and
  996  standards. Each lead agency that exceeds performance metrics and
  997  standards is eligible for incentive funding.
  998         (c)For the first quarter of each fiscal year, the
  999  department may advance incentive funding to the lead agencies in
 1000  an amount equal to one quarter of the total allocated to the
 1001  pilot project. After each quarter, the department shall assess
 1002  the performance of the lead agencies for that quarter and adjust
 1003  the subsequent quarter’s incentive funding based on its actual
 1004  prior quarter performance.
 1005         (d)The department shall include the results of the pilot
 1006  projects in the report required in subsection (24) of this
 1007  section. The report must include the department’s findings and
 1008  recommendations relating to the pilot projects.
 1009         (e)This subsection expires July 1, 2022.
 1010         (23)(a)The department, in collaboration with the Florida
 1011  Institute for Child Welfare, shall convene a workgroup on foster
 1012  home quality. The workgroup, at a minimum, shall identify
 1013  measures of foster home quality, review current efforts by lead
 1014  agencies and subcontractors to enhance foster home quality,
 1015  identify barriers to the greater availability of high-quality
 1016  foster homes, and recommend additional strategies for assessing
 1017  the quality of foster homes and increasing the availability of
 1018  high-quality foster homes.
 1019         (b)The workgroup shall include representatives from the
 1020  department, the Florida Institute for Child Welfare, foster
 1021  parents, current and former foster children, foster parent
 1022  organizations, lead agencies, child-placing agencies, other
 1023  service providers, and others as determined by the department.
 1024         (c)The Florida Institute for Child Welfare shall provide
 1025  the workgroup with relevant research on, at a minimum, measures
 1026  of quality of foster homes; evidence-supported strategies to
 1027  increase the availability of high-quality foster homes, such as
 1028  those regarding recruitment, screening, training, retention, and
 1029  child placement; descriptions and results of quality improvement
 1030  efforts in other jurisdictions; and the root causes of placement
 1031  disruption.
 1032         (d)The department shall submit a report to the Governor,
 1033  the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of
 1034  Representatives by November 15, 2017. The report shall, at a
 1035  minimum:
 1036         1.Describe the important dimensions of quality for foster
 1037  homes;
 1038         2.Describe the foster home quality enhancement efforts in
 1039  the state, including, but not limited to, recruitment,
 1040  retention, placement procedures, systems change, and quality
 1041  measurement programs, and any positive or negative results;
 1042         3.Identify barriers to the greater availability of high
 1043  quality foster homes;
 1044         4.Discuss available research regarding high-quality foster
 1045  homes; and
 1046         5.Present a plan for developing and implementing
 1047  strategies to increase the availability of high-quality foster
 1048  homes. The strategies shall address important elements of
 1049  quality, be based on available research, include both
 1050  qualitative and quantitative measures of quality, integrate with
 1051  the community-based care model, and be respectful of the privacy
 1052  and needs of foster parents. The plan shall recommend possible
 1053  instruments and measures and identify any changes to general law
 1054  or rule necessary for implementation.
 1055         Section 8. Subsections (2) and (3) of section 409.997,
 1056  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
 1057         409.997 Child welfare results-oriented accountability
 1058  program.—
 1059         (2) The purpose of the results-oriented accountability
 1060  program is to monitor and measure the use of resources, the
 1061  quality and amount of services provided, and child and family
 1062  outcomes. The program includes data analysis, research review,
 1063  and evaluation. The program shall produce an assessment of
 1064  individual entities’ performance, as well as the performance of
 1065  groups of entities working together on a local, judicial
 1066  circuit, regional, and statewide basis to provide an integrated
 1067  system of care. Data analyzed and communicated through the
 1068  accountability program shall inform the department’s development
 1069  and maintenance of an inclusive, interactive, and evidence
 1070  supported program of quality improvement which promotes
 1071  individual skill building as well as organizational learning.
 1072  The department may use Additionally, outcome data generated by
 1073  the program regarding performance drivers, process improvements,
 1074  short-term and long-term outcomes, and quality improvement
 1075  efforts to determine contract compliance and may be used as the
 1076  basis for payment of performance incentives if funds for such
 1077  payments are made available through the General Appropriations
 1078  Act. The information compiled and utilized in the accountability
 1079  program must incorporate, at a minimum:
 1080         (a) Valid and reliable outcome measures for each of the
 1081  goals specified in this subsection. The outcome data set must
 1082  consist of a limited number of understandable measures using
 1083  available data to quantify outcomes as children move through the
 1084  system of care. Such measures may aggregate multiple variables
 1085  that affect the overall achievement of the outcome goals. Valid
 1086  and reliable measures must be based on adequate sample sizes, be
 1087  gathered over suitable time periods, and reflect authentic
 1088  rather than spurious results, and may not be susceptible to
 1089  manipulation.
 1090         (b) Regular and periodic monitoring activities that track
 1091  the identified outcome measures on a statewide, regional, and
 1092  provider-specific basis. Monitoring reports must identify trends
 1093  and chart progress toward achievement of the goals specified in
 1094  this subsection. The accountability program may not rank or
 1095  compare performance among community-based care regions unless
 1096  adequate and specific adjustments are adopted which account for
 1097  the diversity in regions’ demographics, resources, and other
 1098  relevant characteristics. The requirements of the monitoring
 1099  program may be incorporated into the department’s quality
 1100  assurance and contract management programs program.
 1101         (c) An analytical framework that builds on the results of
 1102  the outcomes monitoring procedures and assesses the statistical
 1103  validity of observed associations between child welfare
 1104  interventions and the measured outcomes. The analysis must use
 1105  quantitative methods to adjust for variations in demographic or
 1106  other conditions. The analysis must include longitudinal studies
 1107  to evaluate longer term outcomes, such as continued safety,
 1108  family permanence, and transition to self-sufficiency. The
 1109  analysis may also include qualitative research methods to
 1110  provide insight into statistical patterns.
 1111         (d) A program of research review to identify interventions
 1112  that are supported by evidence as causally linked to improved
 1113  outcomes.
 1114         (e) An ongoing process of evaluation to determine the
 1115  efficacy and effectiveness of various interventions. Efficacy
 1116  evaluation is intended to determine the validity of a causal
 1117  relationship between an intervention and an outcome.
 1118  Effectiveness evaluation is intended to determine the extent to
 1119  which the results can be generalized.
 1120         (f) Procedures for making the results of the accountability
 1121  program transparent for all parties involved in the child
 1122  welfare system as well as policymakers and the public, which
 1123  shall be updated at least quarterly and published on the
 1124  department’s website in a manner that allows custom searches of
 1125  the performance data. The presentation of the data shall provide
 1126  a comprehensible, visual report card for the state and each
 1127  community-based care region, indicating the current status of
 1128  the outcomes relative to each goal and trends in that status
 1129  over time. The presentation shall identify and report outcome
 1130  measures that assess the performance of the department, the
 1131  community-based care lead agencies, and their subcontractors
 1132  working together to provide an integrated system of care.
 1133         (g) An annual performance report that is provided to
 1134  interested parties including the dependency judge or judges in
 1135  the community-based care service area. The report shall be
 1136  submitted to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the
 1137  Speaker of the House of Representatives by October 1 of each
 1138  year.
 1139         (3)The department shall establish a technical advisory
 1140  panel consisting of representatives from the Florida Institute
 1141  for Child Welfare established pursuant to s. 1004.615, lead
 1142  agencies, community-based care providers, other contract
 1143  providers, community alliances, and family representatives. The
 1144  President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of
 1145  Representatives shall each appoint a member to serve as a
 1146  legislative liaison to the panel. The technical advisory panel
 1147  shall advise the department on the implementation of the
 1148  results-oriented accountability program.
 1149         Section 9. Present subsections (6) and (7) of section
 1150  1004.615, Florida Statutes, are renumbered as subsections (9)
 1151  and (10), respectively, and new subsections (6) and (7) and
 1152  subsection (8) are added to that section, to read:
 1153         1004.615 Florida Institute for Child Welfare.—
 1154         (6)The institute and the Florida State University College
 1155  of Social Work shall design and implement a curriculum that
 1156  enhances knowledge and skills for the child welfare practice.
 1157  The institute and the college shall create the curriculum using
 1158  interactive and interdisciplinary approaches and include
 1159  opportunities for students to gain an understanding of real
 1160  world child welfare cases. The institute shall disseminate the
 1161  curriculum to other interested state universities and colleges
 1162  and provide implementation support. The institute shall contract
 1163  with a person or entity of its choosing, by November 1, 2020, to
 1164  evaluate the curriculum and make recommendations for
 1165  improvement. The college shall implement the curriculum during
 1166  the 2021-2022 school year. This subsection is subject to an
 1167  appropriation.
 1168         (7)The institute, in collaboration with the department,
 1169  community-based care lead agencies, providers of case management
 1170  services, and other child welfare stakeholders, shall design and
 1171  implement a career-long professional development curriculum for
 1172  child welfare professionals at all levels and from all
 1173  disciplines. The professional development curriculum must
 1174  enhance the performance of the current child welfare workforce,
 1175  address issues related to retention, complement the social work
 1176  curriculum, and be developed using social work principles. The
 1177  professional development curriculum shall provide career-long
 1178  coaching, training, certification, and mentorship. The institute
 1179  must provide the professional support on a continuous basis
 1180  through online and in-person services. The professional
 1181  development curriculum must be available by July 1, 2021. This
 1182  subsection is subject to an appropriation.
 1183         (8)The institute shall establish a consulting program for
 1184  child welfare organizations to enhance workforce culture,
 1185  supervision, and related management processes to improve
 1186  retention, effectiveness, and overall well-being of staff to
 1187  support improved child welfare outcomes. The institute shall
 1188  select child welfare organizations through a competitive
 1189  application process and provide ongoing analysis,
 1190  recommendations, and support from a team of experts on a long
 1191  term basis to address systemic and operational workforce
 1192  challenges. This subsection is subject to an appropriation.
 1193         Section 10. The Department of Children and Families, in
 1194  collaboration with the Florida Institute of Child Welfare, shall
 1195  develop an expanded career ladder for child protective
 1196  investigations staff. The career ladder shall include multiple
 1197  levels of child protective investigator classifications,
 1198  corresponding milestones and professional development
 1199  opportunities necessary for advancement, and compensation
 1200  ranges. The department must submit a proposal for the expanded
 1201  career ladder to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and
 1202  the Speaker of the House of Representatives no later than
 1203  November 1, 2020.
 1204         Section 11. Sections 1, 3, and 6 of this act may be cited
 1205  as the “State of Hope Act.”
 1206         Section 12. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.