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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Title V
Chapter 39
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F.S. 39.3035
39.3035 Child advocacy centers; standards; state funding.
(1) Child advocacy centers are facilities that offer multidisciplinary services in a community-based, child-focused environment to children who are alleged to be victims of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect. The children served by such centers may have experienced a variety of types of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect, including, but not limited to, sexual abuse or severe physical abuse. The centers bring together, often in one location, child protective investigators, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, health care professionals, and mental health professionals to provide a coordinated, comprehensive response to victims and their caregivers.
(2) In order to become eligible for a full membership in the Florida Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers, Inc., a child advocacy center in this state shall:
(a) Be a private, nonprofit incorporated agency or a governmental entity.
(b) Be a Child Protection Team, or by written agreement incorporate the participation and services of a Child Protection Team, with established community protocols which meet all of the requirements of the National Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers, Inc.
(c) Have a neutral, child-focused facility where joint department and law enforcement interviews take place with children in appropriate cases of suspected child sexual abuse or physical abuse. All multidisciplinary agencies shall have a place to interact with the child as investigative or treatment needs require.
(d) Have a minimum designated staff that is supervised and approved by the local board of directors or governmental entity.
(e) Have a multidisciplinary case review team that meets on a regularly scheduled basis or as the caseload of the community requires. The team shall consist of representatives from the Office of the State Attorney, the department, the Child Protection Team, mental health services, law enforcement, and the child advocacy center staff. Medical personnel and a victim’s advocate may be part of the team.
(f) Provide case tracking of child abuse cases seen through the center. A center shall also collect data on the number of child abuse cases seen at the center, by sex, race, age, and other relevant data; the number of cases referred for prosecution; and the number of cases referred for mental health therapy. Case records shall be subject to the confidentiality provisions of s. 39.202.
(g) Provide referrals for medical exams and mental health therapy. The center shall provide followup on cases referred for mental health therapy.
(h) Provide training for various disciplines in the community that deal with child abuse.
(i) Have an interagency commitment, in writing, covering those aspects of agency participation in a multidisciplinary approach to the handling of child sexual abuse and serious physical abuse cases.
(3) Provide assurance that child advocacy center employees and volunteers at the center are trained and screened in accordance with s. 39.001(2).
(4) A child advocacy center within this state may not receive the funds generated pursuant to s. 938.10, state or federal funds administered by a state agency, or any other funds appropriated by the Legislature unless all of the standards of subsection (2) are met and the screening requirement of subsection (3) is met. The Florida Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers, Inc., shall be responsible for tracking and documenting compliance with subsections (2) and (3) for any of the funds it administers to member child advocacy centers.
(a) Funds for the specific purpose of funding children’s advocacy centers shall be appropriated to the Department of Children and Families from funds collected from the additional court cost imposed in cases of certain crimes against minors under s. 938.10. Funds shall be disbursed to the Florida Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers, Inc., as established under this section, for the purpose of providing community-based services that augment, but do not duplicate, services provided by state agencies.
(b) The board of directors of the Florida Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers, Inc., shall retain 10 percent of all revenues collected to be used to match local contributions, at a rate not to exceed an equal match, in communities establishing children’s advocacy centers. The board of directors may use up to 5 percent of the remaining funds to support the activities of the network office and must develop funding criteria and an allocation methodology that ensures an equitable distribution of remaining funds among network participants. The criteria and methodologies must take into account factors that include, but need not be limited to, the center’s accreditation status with respect to the National Children’s Alliance, the number of clients served, and the population of the area being served by the children’s advocacy center.
(c) At the end of each fiscal year, each children’s advocacy center receiving revenue as provided in this section must provide a report to the board of directors of the Florida Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers, Inc., which reflects center expenditures, all sources of revenue received, and outputs that have been standardized and agreed upon by network members and the board of directors, such as the number of clients served, client demographic information, and number and types of services provided. The Florida Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers, Inc., must compile reports from the centers and provide a report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives in August of each year.
History.s. 41, ch. 98-403; s. 16, ch. 99-193; s. 37, ch. 2004-265; s. 6, ch. 2006-1; s. 5, ch. 2008-16; s. 16, ch. 2014-19; s. 6, ch. 2018-110; s. 19, ch. 2019-3; s. 10, ch. 2021-170.