Terms Used In Florida Statutes > Chapter 39 > Part II
abandonment: means a situation in which the parent or legal custodian of a child or, in the absence of a parent or legal custodian, the caregiver, while being able, has made no significant contribution to the child's care and maintenance or has failed to establish or maintain a substantial and positive relationship with the child, or both. See Florida Statutes 39.01
Abuse: means any willful act or threatened act that results in any physical, mental, or sexual abuse, injury, or harm that causes or is likely to cause the child's physical, mental, or emotional health to be significantly impaired. See Florida Statutes 39.01
Adoption: means the act of creating the legal relationship between parent and child where it did not exist, thereby declaring the child to be legally the child of the adoptive parents and their heir at law, and entitled to all the rights and privileges and subject to all the obligations of a child born to the adoptive parents in lawful wedlock. See Florida Statutes 39.01
Affidavit: A written statement of facts confirmed by the oath of the party making it, before a notary or officer having authority to administer oaths.
Allegation: something that someone says happened.
Appraisal: A determination of property value.
assessment: means the gathering of information for the evaluation of a child's and caregiver's physical, psychiatric, psychological, or mental health; developmental delays or challenges; and educational, vocational, and social condition and family environment as they relate to the child's and caregiver's need for rehabilitative and treatment services, including substance abuse treatment services, mental health services, developmental services, literacy services, medical services, family services, and other specialized services, as appropriate. See Florida Statutes 39.01
Caregiver: means the parent, legal custodian, permanent guardian, adult household member, or other person responsible for a child's welfare as defined in subsection (54). See Florida Statutes 39.01
Child Protection Team: means a team of professionals established by the Department of Health to receive referrals from the protective investigators and protective supervision staff of the department and to provide specialized and supportive services to the program in processing child abuse, abandonment, or neglect cases. See Florida Statutes 39.01
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.
False report: means a report of abuse, neglect, or abandonment of a child to the central abuse hotline, which report is maliciously made for the purpose of:
(a) Harassing, embarrassing, or harming another person;
(b) Personal financial gain for the reporting person;
(c) Acquiring custody of a child; or
(d) Personal benefit for the reporting person in any other private dispute involving a child. See Florida Statutes 39.01
Family: means a collective body of persons, consisting of a child and a parent, legal custodian, or adult relative, in which:
(a) The persons reside in the same house or living unit; or
(b) The parent, legal custodian, or adult relative has a legal responsibility by blood, marriage, or court order to support or care for the child. See Florida Statutes 39.01
Felony: A crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
Foster care: means care provided a child in a foster family or boarding home, group home, agency boarding home, child care institution, or any combination thereof. See Florida Statutes 39.01
Grand jury: agreement providing that a lender will delay exercising its rights (in the case of a mortgage,
Institutional child abuse or neglect: means situations of known or suspected child abuse or neglect in which the person allegedly perpetrating the child abuse or neglect is an employee of a public or private school, public or private day care center, residential home, institution, facility, or agency or any other person at such institution responsible for the child's welfare as defined in subsection (54). See Florida Statutes 39.01
Joint resolution: A legislative measure which requires the approval of both chambers.
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.
Juvenile sexual abuse: means any sexual behavior by a child which occurs without consent, without equality, or as a result of coercion. See Florida Statutes 39.01
Lawsuit: A legal action started by a plaintiff against a defendant based on a complaint that the defendant failed to perform a legal duty, resulting in harm to the plaintiff.
Legal custody: means a legal status created by a court which vests in a custodian of the person or guardian, whether an agency or an individual, the right to have physical custody of the child and the right and duty to protect, nurture, guide, and discipline the child and to provide him or her with food, shelter, education, and ordinary medical, dental, psychiatric, and psychological care. See Florida Statutes 39.01
Licensed child-caring agency: means a person, society, association, or agency licensed by the department to care for, receive, and board children. See Florida Statutes 39.01
Licensed child-placing agency: means a person, society, association, or institution licensed by the department to care for, receive, or board children and to place children in a licensed child-caring institution or a foster or adoptive home. See Florida Statutes 39.01
Misdemeanor: Usually a petty offense, a less serious crime than a felony, punishable by less than a year of confinement.
Nonrelative: means a person unrelated by blood or marriage or a relative outside the fifth degree of consanguinity. See Florida Statutes 39.01
Office: means the Office of Adoption and Child Protection within the Executive Office of the Governor. See Florida Statutes 39.01
Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability: means an entity designated by joint rule of the Legislature or by agreement between the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. See Florida Statutes 1.01
Oversight: Committee review of the activities of a Federal agency or program.
Parent: means a woman who gives birth to a child and a man whose consent to the adoption of the child would be required under…. See Florida Statutes 39.01
Party: means the parent or parents of the child, the petitioner, the department, the guardian ad litem or the representative of the guardian ad litem program when the program has been appointed, and the child. See Florida Statutes 39.01
person: includes individuals, children, firms, associations, joint adventures, partnerships, estates, trusts, business trusts, syndicates, fiduciaries, corporations, and all other groups or combinations. See Florida Statutes 1.01
Physician: means any licensed physician, dentist, podiatric physician, or optometrist and includes any intern or resident. See Florida Statutes 39.01
Probable cause: A reasonable ground for belief that the offender violated a specific law.
Protective investigation: means the acceptance of a report alleging child abuse, abandonment, or neglect, as defined in this chapter, by the central abuse hotline or the acceptance of a report of other dependency by the department; the investigation of each report; the determination of whether action by the court is warranted; the determination of the disposition of each report without court or public agency action when appropriate; and the referral of a child to another public or private agency when appropriate. See Florida Statutes 39.01
Protective supervision: means a legal status in dependency cases which permits the child to remain safely in his or her own home or other nonlicensed placement under the supervision of an agent of the department and which must be reviewed by the court during the period of supervision. See Florida Statutes 39.01
Relative: means a grandparent, great-grandparent, sibling, first cousin, aunt, uncle, great-aunt, great-uncle, niece, or nephew, whether related by the whole or half blood, by affinity, or by adoption. See Florida Statutes 39.01
Reporter: Makes a record of court proceedings and prepares a transcript, and also publishes the court's opinions or decisions (in the courts of appeals).
Subpoena: A command to a witness to appear and give testimony.
Victim: means any child who has sustained or is threatened with physical, mental, or emotional injury identified in a report involving child abuse, neglect, or abandonment, or child-on-child sexual abuse. See Florida Statutes 39.01
willful: refers to the intent to perform an action, not to the intent to achieve a result or to cause an injury. See Florida Statutes 39.01
writing: includes handwriting, printing, typewriting, and all other methods and means of forming letters and characters upon paper, stone, wood, or other materials. See Florida Statutes 1.01