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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Chapter 985
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F.S. 985.461
985.461 Transition to adulthood.
(1) The Legislature finds that youth are faced with the need to learn how to support themselves within legal means and overcome the stigma of being delinquent. In most cases, parents expedite this transition. It is the intent of the Legislature that the department provide youth in its custody or under its supervision with opportunities for participating in transition-to-adulthood services while in the department’s commitment programs or in probation or conditional release programs in the community. These services should be reasonable and appropriate for the youths’ respective ages or special needs and provide activities that build life skills and increase the ability to live independently and become self-sufficient.
(2) Youth served by the department who are in the custody of the Department of Children and Families and who entered juvenile justice placement from a foster care placement, if otherwise eligible, may receive independent living transition services pursuant to s. 409.1451. Court-ordered commitment or probation with the department is not a barrier to eligibility for the array of services available to a youth who is in the dependency foster care system only.
(3) For a dependent child in the foster care system, adjudication for delinquency does not, by itself, disqualify such child for eligibility in the Department of Children and Families’ independent living program.
(4) As part of the child’s treatment plan, the department may provide transition-to-adulthood services to children released from residential commitment. To support participation in transition-to-adulthood services and subject to appropriation, the department may:
(a) Assess the child’s skills and abilities to live independently and become self-sufficient. The specific services to be provided shall be determined using an assessment of his or her readiness for adult life.
(b) Use community reentry teams to assist in the development of a list of age-appropriate activities and responsibilities to be incorporated in the child’s written case plan for any youth who is under the custody or supervision of the department. Community reentry teams may include representatives from school districts, law enforcement, workforce development services, community-based service providers, the Guardian Ad Litem Program, and the youth’s family. Such community reentry teams must be created within existing resources provided to the department. Activities may include, but are not limited to, life skills training, including training to develop banking and budgeting skills, interviewing and career planning skills, parenting skills, personal health management, and time management or organizational skills; educational support; employment training; and counseling.
(c) Provide information related to social security insurance benefits and public assistance.
(d) Request parental or guardian permission for the youth to participate in transition-to-adulthood services. Upon such consent, age-appropriate activities shall be incorporated into the youth’s written case plan. This plan may include specific goals and objectives and shall be reviewed and updated at least quarterly. If the parent or guardian is cooperative, the plan may not interfere with the parent’s or guardian’s rights to nurture and train his or her child in ways that are otherwise in compliance with the law and court order.
(e) Contract for transition-to-adulthood services that include residential services and assistance and allow the child to live independently of the daily care and supervision of an adult in a setting that is not licensed under s. 409.175. A child under the care or supervision of the department is eligible for such services if he or she does not pose a danger to the public and is able to demonstrate minimally sufficient skills and aptitude for living under decreased adult supervision, as determined by the department, using established procedures and assessments.
(f) Assist the child in building a portfolio of educational and vocational accomplishments, necessary identification, resumes, and cover letters in an effort to enhance the child’s employability.
(g) Collaborate with school district contacts to facilitate appropriate educational services based on the child’s identified needs.
(5) For a child under the department’s care or supervision, and without benefit of parents or legal guardians capable of assisting the child in the transition to adult life, the department may provide an assessment to determine the child’s skills and abilities to live independently and become self-sufficient. Based on the assessment and within existing resources, services and training may be provided in order to develop the necessary skills and abilities.
(6) The provision of transition-to-adulthood services must be part of an overall plan leading to the total independence of the child from department supervision. The plan must include, but need not be limited to:
(a) A description of the child’s skills and a plan for learning additional identified skills;
(b) The behavior that the child has exhibited which indicates an ability to be responsible and a plan for developing additional responsibilities, as appropriate;
(c) A plan for the provision of future educational, vocational, and training skills;
(d) Present financial and budgeting capabilities and a plan for improving resources and abilities;
(e) A description of the proposed residence;
(f) Documentation that the child understands the specific consequences of his or her conduct in such a program;
(g) Documentation of proposed services to be provided by the department and other agencies, including the type of services and the nature and frequency of contact; and
(h) A plan for maintaining or developing relationships with family, other adults, friends, and the community, as appropriate.
History.s. 2, ch. 2011-236; s. 352, ch. 2014-19; s. 27, ch. 2014-162; s. 5, ch. 2019-10.