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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. 39.524
39.524 Safe-harbor placement.
(1) Except as provided in s. 39.407 or s. 985.801, a dependent child 6 years of age or older who is suspected of being or has been found to be a victim of commercial sexual exploitation as defined in s. 409.016 must be assessed, and the department must conduct a multidisciplinary staffing pursuant to s. 409.1754(2), to determine the child’s need for services and his or her need for placement in a safe house or safe foster home as provided in s. 409.1678 using the initial screening and assessment instruments provided in s. 409.1754(1). If such placement is determined to be appropriate for the child as a result of this assessment, the child may be placed in a safe house or safe foster home, if one is available. However, the child may be placed in another setting, if the other setting is more appropriate to the child’s needs or if a safe house or safe foster home is unavailable, as long as the child’s behaviors are managed so as not to endanger other children served in that setting.
(2) The results of the assessment described in s. 409.1754(1), the multidisciplinary staffing described in s. 409.1754(2), and the actions taken as a result of the assessment must be included in the disposition hearing or next judicial review of the child. At each subsequent judicial review, the court must be advised in writing of the status of the child’s placement, with special reference regarding the stability of the placement, any specialized services, and the permanency planning for the child.
(3)(a) By October 1 of each year, the department, with information from community-based care agencies, shall report to the Legislature on the prevalence of child commercial sexual exploitation; the specialized services provided and placement of such children; the local service capacity assessed pursuant to s. 409.1754; the placement of children in safe houses and safe foster homes during the year, including the criteria used to determine the placement of children; the number of children who were evaluated for placement; the number of children who were placed based upon the evaluation; the number of children who were not placed; and the department’s response to the findings and recommendations made by the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability in its annual study on commercial sexual exploitation of children, as required by s. 409.16791.
(b) The department shall maintain data specifying the number of children who were verified as victims of commercial sexual exploitation, who were referred to nonresidential services in the community, who were placed in a safe house or safe foster home, and who were referred to a safe house or safe foster home for whom placement was unavailable, and shall identify the counties in which such placement was unavailable. The department shall include this data in its report under this subsection so that the Legislature may consider this information in developing the General Appropriations Act.
History.s. 5, ch. 2012-105; s. 3, ch. 2014-161; s. 52, ch. 2014-224; s. 7, ch. 2015-2; s. 63, ch. 2016-241; s. 1, ch. 2017-23; s. 38, ch. 2017-151; s. 10, ch. 2023-77.