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The Florida Statutes

The 2019 Florida Statutes

Title XXX
SOCIAL WELFARE
Chapter 409
SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE
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F.S. 409.1664
409.1664 Adoption benefits for qualifying adoptive employees of state agencies.
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Child within the child welfare system” has the same meaning as provided in s. 409.166.
(b) “Qualifying adoptive employee” means a full-time or part-time employee of a state agency, a charter school established under s. 1002.33, or the Florida Virtual School established under s. 1002.37 who is paid from regular salary appropriations, or otherwise meets his or her employer’s definition of a regular rather than temporary employee, and who adopts a child within the child welfare system pursuant to chapter 63 on or after July 1, 2015. The term includes instructional personnel, as defined in s. 1012.01, who are employed by the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind.
(c) “State agency” means a branch, department, or agency of state government for which the Chief Financial Officer processes payroll requisitions, a state university or Florida College System institution as defined in s. 1000.21, a school district unit as defined in s. 1001.30, or a water management district as defined in s. 373.019.
(2) A qualifying adoptive employee who adopts a child within the child welfare system who has special needs described in s. 409.166(2)(a)2. is eligible to receive a lump-sum monetary benefit in the amount of $10,000 per such child, subject to applicable taxes. A qualifying adoptive employee who adopts a child within the child welfare system who does not have special needs described in s. 409.166(2)(a)2. is eligible to receive a lump-sum monetary benefit in the amount of $5,000 per such child, subject to applicable taxes. A qualifying adoptive employee of a charter school or the Florida Virtual School may retroactively apply for the monetary benefit provided in this subsection if such employee was employed by a charter school or the Florida Virtual School when he or she adopted a child within the child welfare system pursuant to chapter 63 on or after July 1, 2015.
(a) Benefits paid to a qualifying adoptive employee who is a part-time employee must be prorated based on the qualifying adoptive employee’s full-time equivalency at the time of applying for the benefits.
(b) Monetary benefits awarded under this subsection are limited to one award per adopted child within the child welfare system.
(c) The payment of a lump-sum monetary benefit for adopting a child within the child welfare system under this section is subject to a specific appropriation to the department for such purpose.
(3) A qualifying adoptive employee must apply to his or her agency head, or to his or her school director in the case of a qualifying adoptive employee of a charter school or the Florida Virtual School, to obtain the monetary benefit provided in subsection (2). Applications must be on forms approved by the department and must include a certified copy of the final order of adoption naming the applicant as the adoptive parent. Monetary benefits shall be approved on a first-come, first-served basis based upon the date that each fully completed application is received by the department.
(4) This section does not preclude a qualifying adoptive employee from receiving adoption assistance for which he or she may qualify under s. 409.166 or any other statute that provides financial incentives for the adoption of children.
(5) Parental leave for a qualifying adoptive employee must be provided in accordance with the personnel policies and procedures of his or her employer.
(6) The department may adopt rules to administer this section. The rules may provide for an application process such as, but not limited to, an open enrollment period during which qualifying adoptive employees may apply for monetary benefits under this section.
(7) The Chief Financial Officer shall disburse a monetary benefit to a qualifying adoptive employee upon the department’s submission of a payroll requisition. The Chief Financial Officer shall transfer funds from the department to a state university, a Florida College System institution, a school district unit, a charter school, the Florida Virtual School, or a water management district, as appropriate, to enable payment to the qualifying adoptive employee through the payroll systems as long as funds are available for such purpose.
(8) Each state agency shall develop a uniform procedure for informing employees about this benefit and for assisting the department in making eligibility determinations and processing applications. Any procedure adopted by a state agency is valid and enforceable if the procedure does not conflict with the express terms of this section.
History.s. 6, ch. 2015-130; s. 1, ch. 2017-140.