What are the laws in Florida on placement of children with my relatives?

Full Question:

What are the laws in Florida on placement of children with my relatives?
06/23/2017   |   Category: Minors ยป Placement wi...   |   State: Florida   |   #40603

Answer:

In Florida Grandparents have rights to adopt a grandchild under certain circumstances. Relatives are also considered in placement proceedings involving related children.

Florida Statutes
Title VI. CIVIL PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE
Chapter 63. ADOPTIONCurrent through 2007 Legislative Session
 
§ 63.0425. Grandparent's right to adopt

(1) When a child has lived with a grandparent for at least 6 months within the 24-month period immediately preceding the filing of a petition for termination of parental rights pending adoption, the adoption entity shall provide notice to that grandparent of the hearing on the petition for termination of parental rights pending adoption.
(2) This section shall not apply if the placement for adoption is a result of the death of the child's parent and a different preference is stated in the parent's will.
(3) This section shall not apply in stepparent adoptions.
(4) Nothing in this section shall contravene the provisions of s. 63.142(4).

History. s. 1, ch. 87-397; s. 10, ch. 2001-3; s. 6, ch. 2003-58.

Florida Statutes
Title V. JUDICIAL BRANCH
Chapter 39. PROCEEDINGS RELATING TO CHILDREN
Part VI. PETITION, ARRAIGNMENT, ADJUDICATION, AND DISPOSITIONCurrent through 2007 Legislative Session
 
§ 39.5085. Relative Caregiver Program

(1) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this section to:

(a) Recognize family relationships in which a grandparent or other relative is the head of a household that includes a child otherwise at risk of foster care placement.

(b) Enhance family preservation and stability by recognizing that most children in such placements with grandparents and other relatives do not need intensive supervision of the placement by the courts or by the department.

(c) Recognize that permanency in the best interests of the child can be achieved through a variety of permanency options, including permanent guardianship under s. 39.6221 if the guardian is a relative, by permanent placement with a fit and willing relative under s. 39.6231, by a relative, guardianship under chapter 744, or adoption, by providing additional placement options and incentives that will achieve permanency and stability for many children who are otherwise at risk of foster care placement because of abuse, abandonment, or neglect, but who may successfully be able to be placed by the dependency court in the care of such relatives.

(d) Reserve the limited casework and supervisory resources of the courts and the department for those cases in which children do not have the option for safe, stable care within the family.

(2)(a) The Department of Children and Family Services shall establish and operate the Relative Caregiver Program pursuant to eligibility guidelines established in this section as further implemented by rule of the department. The Relative Caregiver Program shall, within the limits of available funding, provide financial assistance to:

1. Relatives who are within the fifth degree by blood or marriage to the parent or stepparent of a child and who are caring full-time for that dependent child in the role of substitute parent as a result of a court's determination of child abuse, neglect, or abandonment and subsequent placement with the relative under this chapter.

2. Relatives who are within the fifth degree by blood or marriage to the parent or stepparent of a child and who are caring full-time for that dependent child, and a dependent half-brother or half-sister of that dependent child, in the role of substitute parent as a result of a court's determination of child abuse, neglect, or abandonment and subsequent placement with the relative under this chapter.

The placement may be court-ordered temporary legal custody to the relative under protective supervision of the department pursuant to s. 39.521(1)(b)3., or court-ordered placement in the home of a relative as a permanency option under s. 39.6221 or s. 39.6231 or under former s. 39.622 if the placement was made before July 1, 2006. The Relative Caregiver Program shall offer financial assistance to caregivers who are relatives and who would be unable to serve in that capacity without the relative caregiver payment because of financial burden, thus exposing the child to the trauma of placement in a shelter or in foster care.
(b) Caregivers who are relatives and who receive assistance under this section must be capable, as determined by a home study, of providing a physically safe environment and a stable, supportive home for the children under their care, and must assure that the children's well-being is met, including, but not limited to, the provision of immunizations, education, and mental health services as needed.
(c) Relatives who qualify for and participate in the Relative Caregiver Program are not required to meet foster care licensing requirements under s. 409.175.
(d) Relatives who are caring for children placed with them by the court pursuant to this chapter shall receive a special monthly relative caregiver benefit established by rule of the department. The amount of the special benefit payment shall be based on the child's age within a payment schedule established by rule of the department and subject to availability of funding. The statewide average monthly rate for children judicially placed with relatives who are not licensed as foster homes may not exceed 82 percent of the statewide average foster care rate, nor may the cost of providing the assistance described in this section to any relative caregiver exceed the cost of providing out-of-home care in emergency shelter or foster care.
(e) Children receiving cash benefits under this section are not eligible to simultaneously receive WAGES cash benefits under chapter 414.
(f) Within available funding, the Relative Caregiver Program shall provide relative caregivers with family support and preservation services, flexible funds in accordance with s. 409.165, subsidized child care, and other available services in order to support the child's safety, growth, and healthy development. Children living with relative caregivers who are receiving assistance under this section shall be eligible for Medicaid coverage.
(g) The department may use appropriate available state, federal, and private funds to operate the Relative Caregiver Program.

History. s. 1, ch. 98-78; s. 70, ch. 98-403; s. 32, ch. 99-193; s. 24, ch. 2000-139; s. 1, ch. 2002-38; s. 12, ch. 2006-86; s. 2, ch. 2007-5.