Current as of: 2011
(1) Subject to specific legislative appropriation, the Department of Juvenile Justice shall establish physically secure settings designated exclusively for the placement of children in need of services who meet the criteria provided in this section.
(2) When a petition is filed alleging that a child is a child in need of services, the child must be represented by counsel at each court appearance unless the record in that proceeding affirmatively demonstrates by clear and convincing evidence that the child knowingly and intelligently waived the right to counsel after being fully advised by the court of the nature of the proceedings and the dispositional alternatives available to the court under this section. If the court decides to appoint counsel for the child and if the child is indigent, the court shall appoint an attorney to represent the child as provided under s. 985.033. Nothing precludes the court from requesting reimbursement of attorney’s fees and costs from the nonindigent parent or legal guardian.
(3) When a child is adjudicated as a child in need of services by a court, the court may order the child to be placed in a physically secure setting authorized in this section if the child has:
(a) Failed to appear for placement in a staff-secure shelter under s. 984.225, or failed to comply with any other provision of a valid court order relating to such placement and, as a result of such failure, has been found to be in direct or indirect contempt of court; or
(b) Run away from a staff-secure shelter following placement under s. 984.225 or s. 984.09.
The department or an authorized representative of the department must verify to the court that a bed is available for the child. If a bed is not available, the court must stay the placement until a bed is available, and the department must place the child’s name on a waiting list. The child who has been on the waiting list the longest has first priority for placement in the physically secure setting.
(4) A child may be placed in a physically secure setting for up to 90 days. If a child has not been reunited with his or her parent, guardian, or legal custodian at the expiration of the placement in a physically secure setting, the court may order that the child remain in the physically secure setting for an additional 30 days if the court finds that reunification could be achieved within that period.
(5)(a) The court shall review the child’s placement once every 45 days as provided in s. 984.20.
(b) At any time during the placement of a child in need of services in a physically secure setting, the department or an authorized representative of the department may submit to the court a report that recommends:
1. That the child has received all of the services available from the physically secure setting and is ready for reunification with a parent or guardian; or
2. That the child is unlikely to benefit from continued placement in the physically secure setting and is more likely to have his or her needs met in a different type of placement.
(c) The court shall determine if the parent, guardian, or custodian has reasonably participated in and has financially contributed to the child’s counseling and treatment program.
(d) If the court finds an inadequate level of support or participation by the parent, guardian, or custodian before the end of the placement, the court shall direct that the child be handled as a dependent child, jurisdiction shall be transferred to the Department of Children and Family Services, and the child’s care shall be governed by chapter 39.
(e) If the child requires residential mental health treatment or residential care for a developmental disability, the court shall refer the child to the Department of Children and Family Services for the provision of necessary services.
(6) Prior to being ordered to a physically secure setting, the child must be afforded all rights of due process required under s. 985.037. While in the physically secure setting, the child shall receive appropriate assessment, treatment, and educational services that are designed to eliminate or reduce the child’s truant, ungovernable, or runaway behavior. The child and family shall be provided with family counseling and other support services necessary for reunification.
(7) The court shall order the parent, guardian, or legal custodian to cooperate with efforts to reunite the child with the family, participate in counseling, and pay all costs associated with the care and counseling provided to the child and family, in accordance with the family’s ability to pay as determined by the court. Placement of a child under this section is designed to provide residential care on a temporary basis. Such placement does not abrogate the legal responsibilities of the parent, guardian, or legal custodian with respect to the child, except to the extent that those responsibilities are temporarily altered by court order.
s. 13, ch. 97-281; s. 75, ch. 98-280; s. 127, ch. 99-3;
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