(1) Contacts with Children.

Terms Used In Florida Regulations 65C-30.007

  • Dependent: A person dependent for support upon another.
  • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • Guardian: A person legally empowered and charged with the duty of taking care of and managing the property of another person who because of age, intellect, or health, is incapable of managing his (her) own affairs.
  • Jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
  • Testimony: Evidence presented orally by witnesses during trials or before grand juries.
    (a) The case manager shall make face-to-face contact with every child under supervision and living in Florida no less frequently than every 30 days in the child’s residence. If the child lives in a county other than the county of jurisdiction, this shall be accomplished as provided in Rule Fla. Admin. Code R. 65C-30.018
    (b) Initial contact shall occur within two (2) working days of case transfer or the date of the court order for supervision, whichever occurs first.
    (c) Contacts shall include observations and private discussion with the child as to the child’s safety and well-being.
    (d) The safety plan shall establish the frequency of visitation by the case manager, but in no case shall the contact be less frequently than every 30 days.
    (e) Face-to-face contacts with the child and caregiver shall occur at least once every seven (7) days as long as the child remains in shelter status. The frequency of contact, while in shelter status, may be modified after the case management supervisor documents in FSFN that all of the following conditions have been met:
    1. The child is in the care of a relative, non-relative, or a licensed foster parent and is not demonstrating any behaviors that may lead to a placement disruption.
    2. The child has not experienced any placement changes and the case has been open to case management for more than 30 days.
    3. The child’s needs have been assessed and all therapeutic services needed are being provided.
    4. The child, if developmentally appropriate, and the out-of-home caregiver are in agreement with the modification to the frequency of contact with the case manager.
    5. The safety plan for the family does not require more frequent face-to-face contact between the child and case manager.
    (f) If the frequency of face-to-face visits while in shelter status are modified pursuant to paragraph (e), above, the case manager must document the reasons why the child is still in shelter status in FSFN.
    (g) After disposition, the frequency of contacts may be modified, but in no case shall contacts be less frequently than every 30 days for a child.
    1. The case manager must document all contacts in FSFN, including case plan and safety plan monitoring, no later than 2 business days from the contact.
    2. Contact with a child outside the child’s current place of residence shall occur in an environment in which the child is comfortable, such as an early education or child care program, school setting, or child’s therapeutic setting.
    (h) At least every 90 days, or more frequently if warranted based on the safety plan, the case manager shall make an unannounced visit to the child’s current place of residence. When a child is with a parent in a certified domestic violence shelter or a residential treatment program, visitation arrangements shall be coordinated with program staff and may occur outside of the facility.
    (2) Contacts with Parent or Legal Guardian, and Caregiver Living in Florida.
    (a) The case manager shall establish and maintain regular face-to-face contact a minimum of every 30 days with the parents or legal guardians and caregiver of any child unless parental rights have been terminated or the court rules otherwise. If the parent, legal guardian, or caregiver lives in a county other than the county of jurisdiction, this shall be accomplished as provided by Rule Fla. Admin. Code R. 65C-30.018
    (b) During these contacts case manager shall discuss with parents, legal guardians or caregiver the safety plan, the case plan progress and the child’s progress in terms of health, and well-being.
    (c) If the case manager learns that a new household member has moved into the child’s home, the following background checks must be completed and documented as part of the ongoing family functioning assessment or progress update, and the judicial review and the Unified Home Study must be updated within 30 days:
    1. Local criminal records check, including 911 calls, for new household members aged 12 and older;
    2. Florida Crime Information Center (FCIC) check for new household members aged 12 and older;
    3. Juvenile delinquency check for new household members aged 12 to 26;
    4. Department of Corrections Offenders Search for new household members aged 18 and older;
    5. Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) Florida Sexual Offenders and Predators Search & National registry check for new household members aged 18 and older;
    6. Florida abuse/neglect history check on all new household members;
    7. Out-of-state abuse/neglect records for new household members aged 18 and older who have resided in any other state during the past five years; and
    8. A records check conducted by a Florida Clerk of Court or the Comprehensive Case Information System (CCIS), at a minimum in the location where the local criminal records check is conducted, for all new household members aged 12 and older.
    (3) Child and parent or caregiver living out of Florida. The office of the Florida Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children shall ensure that the child welfare staff in the receiving state is notified of the Florida requirement for face-to-face contact a minimum of every 30 days with the child and the parent or legal guardian.
    (a) The case manager shall maintain contact a minimum of every 30 days with the supervising worker in the other state to obtain updates regarding the child and family’s progress.
    (b) Documentation of the contact and progress by the child and family shall be entered in FSFN.
    (4) If a face-to-face visit with a child or parent or legal guardian is not completed, the case manager shall document in FSFN alternate contacts completed or attempted. The case manager’s immediate supervisor shall review the circumstances surrounding the attempted visit and expectations as to further efforts to complete the visit.
    (5) If a child is on runaway status or his or her whereabouts are unknown, the case manager shall meet the requirements of Rule Fla. Admin. Code R. 65C-30.019 Documentation of the efforts to locate the child shall be documented in FSFN.
    (6) All contacts and attempted contacts shall be documented in the case file within two (2) business days of the contact or attempted contact. The documentation shall provide evidence of the following:
    (a) Sufficiency of current safety plan and whether it is the least intrusive;
    (b) Progress towards completion of case plan outcomes;
    (c) Effectiveness of current services and identification of additional services needed;
    (d) Observations of the child’s development, physical condition and interaction with the parent or caregiver and household members;
    (e) Assessment of progress in tasks and services aimed at ensuring the child’s health, safety and well-being needs; and,
    (f) For children in an out-of-home placement:
    1. Age 13 and older, documentation shall include comments from the child and caregiver concerning progress in learning identified life skills,
    2. Frequency of visitation between the child, siblings and parents, any reason visitation is not occurring, and efforts to facilitate visits.
    (7) In addition to the contacts required every 30 days, the case manager shall maintain ongoing communication with all service providers involved with the child and family to determine the sufficiency as well as the effectiveness of any safety management or treatment services. Both progress in and problems with service delivery shall be documented and steps shall be taken to resolve any delays or problems in service delivery or client participation.
    (8) While service intervention is in progress, the case manager shall gather information from the parent(s), children and other family members, providers, and other relevant persons to:
    (a) Determine whether or not the service is addressing the identified diminished caregiver protective capacities;
    (b) Monitor and document whether the safety management servies are still sufficiently managing the danger;
    (c) Share information with the provider, such as changes in the family situation, changes with the child, any feedback from the family regarding the service and its effectiveness for them;
    (d) Request progress reports and updates on problems and successes regarding the treatment; and,
    (e) Take actions to modify the case plan when activities are no longer sufficient to support the achievement of case plan outcomes.
    (f) Document all contacts with service providers.
    (9) A safety plan must be modified to provide the least intrusive safety actions when any of the following changes occur:
    (a) Conditions for return of the child have been met.
    (b) A new danger threat has been identified.
    (c) Danger threats have been eliminated.
    (d) There is any change in the required criteria for an in-home safety plan:
    1. The parent’s willingness to cooperate with safety service providers.
    2. The family conditions or behaviors associated with a calm and consistent home environment.
    3. The availability of safety service provider(s).
    4. Results of a professional evaluation are necessary or have been received, which inform changes to the current safety plan.
    5. The parents have a home location which is adequate for implementation of an in-home safety plan.
    (10) If the case manager becomes aware of conditions or activities in the child’s home, current living arrangment or another location that threaten the safety of the child, the case manager shall take such steps as are necessary to protect the child. All concerns shall be relayed to the caregiver and to licensing staff, as appropriate. The case manager shall notify Children’s Legal Services (CLS) of the new placement and CLS shall notify the court.
    (11) The case manager is responsible for knowing if a child is at risk of disruption and working with the caregiver to avoid such disruption. Should a placement change be necessary, the child will continue to be placed in the least restrictive setting. The case manager shall notify CLS of the new placement and CLS shall notify the court.
    (12) Determination of Citizenship and Required Actions for Children Who Are Not U.S. Citizens.
    (a) For each child adjudicated dependent due to abuse, neglect or abandonment, the case manager shall determine whether the child is a U.S. citizen.
    1. If the child is not a U.S. citizen, the case manager shall determine whether the permanency plan for the child will include remaining in the United States or whether there is an option for a safe reunification with the parent or legal guardian located in another country. This includes a consideration of whether the parents or legal guardian can successfully complete a case plan.
    2. If the permanency plan will include the child remaining in the United States, and the child is in need of documentation to effectuate this plan, the case manager shall refer the case to an authorized legal services immigration provider for a determination as to whether the child “may be eligible” for special immigrant juvenile (SIJ) status [see 8 C.F.R. §204.11(a)] or other immigration relief.
    3. Within 60 days of an order finding that the child is eligible for SIJ status, the case manager shall assure that contracted or pro bono legal services have sufficient documentation to file a petition for SIJ status and the application for adjustment of status to the appropriate federal authorities on behalf of the child.
    a. The case manager shall give the legal services provider proof of the child’s age. This proof may include a passport or some other official foreign identity document issued by a foreign government. Any foreign document must be translated into English. If such a document is not available, the case manager must discuss with either the legal services provider or CLS the possibility of obtaining a court Order with specific findings regarding the child’s age.
    b. If a child has also been adjudicated delinquent, the case manager shall obtain all DJJ records and give them to the legal service provider to submit with the federal application for SIJ status. These records must be certified copies of the records of disposition.
    (b) Requirement to Inform the Court.
    1. During the first judicial review regarding the case, the Department, CBC or contracted service provider shall report to the court whether the child is a U.S. citizen.
    2. If the child is not a U.S. citizen, the Department, CBC or contracted service provider shall inform the court of the steps that have been taken to address the child’s citizenship or residency status.
    3. The information shall be provided to the court through a Judicial Review Social Study Report or testimony of the case manager, or it may be provided through both means.
    4. The child shall be referred to an authorized immigration legal service provider as soon as it is clear that there may be an issue regarding the child’s immigration status.
    (c) Provision of Needed Services. Regardless of the citizenship or immigration status of the child, he or she must be provided any needed services. If federally funded programs, such as Medicaid, are dependent on citizenship or a qualified alien status, the benefits and services must be provided with state general revenue funds or with the funding provided to the supervising CBC provider.
Rulemaking Authority 39.012, 39.0121(13), 39.5075(8) FS. Law Implemented 39.0138, 39.5075, 39.6011, 39.6012 FS. History—New 5-4-06, Amended 2-25-16, 4-17-16, 8-22-16, 9-21-20.