Children, Youth and Families

Independent Living Services

Child Welfare and Preservation Program

RULE NO: RULE TITLE

  • 65C-31.001: Definitions
  • 65C-31.002: Case Management for Young Adults Formerly in Foster Care
  • 65C-31.003: Aftercare Support Services for Young Adults Formerly in Foster Care
  • 65C-31.004: Road to Independence Scholarship
  • 65C-31.005: Transitional Support Services for Young Adults Formerly in Foster Care
  • 65C-31.006: Young Adult Services Documentation Requirements
  • 65C-31.007: High School Needs Assessment
  • 65C-31.008: Post Secondary Needs Assessment
  • 65C-31.009: Independent Living Benefits Due Process Notification
  • 65C-31.010: Jurisdictional and Service Requirements for Young Adults Formerly in the Custody of the Department
  • 65C-31.011: Independent Living Program Budget Management

PURPOSE AND EFFECT: The number of young adults formerly in foster care who are eligible for Independent Living services continues to increase. However, the FY 2010-2011 program funding allocation cannot be sustained at the previous year's level. Prior to July 1, 2010, Section 409.1451(10), F.S., specifically prohibited the Department from adopting rules relating to the reduction in Road-to-Independence awards. The Legislature amended this sub-section during the 2010 legislative session requiring the Department to adopt rules governing the payments and conditions relating to payments for services to youth or young adults provided under Section 409.1451, F.S.

The purpose and effect of this rule is to ensure the equitable treatment of young adults formerly in foster care and to ensure their safety and well-being. These changes will provide increased fiscal oversight and accountability at all levels including the Department, Community-Based Care Lead Agencies, and young adults so as to maximize the effective and efficient operation of the Independent Living Program.

SUMMARY: This rule makes changes to permanent rule Chapter 65C-31, F.A.C., relating to the Independent Living Services Program.

Chapter 65C-31.001, F.A.C., Definitions – Removes the word “scholarship” for Road to Independence to agree with the law and to clarify that this income is tax exempt. Defines “qualifying residential facility” to include juvenile or adult correctional facility.

Rule 65C-31.002, F.A.C., Case Management for Young Adults Formerly in Foster Care – Clarifies that the Independent Living Program is not an entitlement program. Removes the word “scholarship” for Road to Independence to agree with the law and to clarify that this income is tax exempt. Requires the services worker in consultation with the young adult to determine the frequency of contact. Requires agencies to provide information to all youth regarding public assistance programs and to help the youth apply for these benefits. Reemphasizes that the youth must be advised verbally and in writing and must acknowledge in writing that the information supplied in the application is true and correct.

Rule 65C-31.003, F.A.C., Aftercare Support Services for Young Adults Formerly in Foster Care – Revises forms incorporated by reference.

Rule 65C-31.004, F.A.C., Road to Independence Program – Requires that postsecondary education institutions be covered by the Florida Tuition and Fee Exemption or be recognized by Workforce Florida, Inc. as a eligible training provider. Removes the word “scholarship” for Road to Independence to agree with current law and to clarify that this income is tax exempt. Clarifies that a Road To Independence recipient attending institutions of higher education meets the student eligibility criteria for the Food Assistance Program.

Rule 65C-31.005, F.A.C., Transitional Support Services for Young Adults Formerly in Foster Care – Revises forms incorporated by reference.

Rule 65C-31.006, F.A.C., Young Adult Services Documentation Requirements – Requires greater accountability for case managers and students in documenting enrollment and proof of attendance for students in a GED program. Requires students who participate in a GED program to take the full battery of GED exams that they have not previously passed at least twice per year and that the Community-based care lead agencies shall bear the costs. Removes the word “scholarship” for Road to Independence to agree with current law and to clarify that this income is tax exempt.

Rule 65C-31.007, F.A.C., High School Needs Assessment – Students living in a qualifying residential facility should not be assessed for Road to Independence funding but shall be assessed for aftercare and/or transitional support services. SSA benefits shall be included in the student’s budget as a deduction.

Rule 65C-31.008, F.A.C., Post Secondary Needs Assessment – Provides that students living in a qualifying residential facility should not be assessed for Road to Independence funding but shall be assessed for aftercare and/or transitional support services. SSA benefits shall be included in the student’s budget as a deduction. Clarifies that federal financial assistance does not qualify for the $1,500 disregard in determining the student’s needs.

Rule 65C-31.009, F.A.C., Independent Living Benefits Due Process Notification – This section was not considered an emergency as the only change was to remove the word “scholarship” for Road to Independence program.

Rule 65C-31.010, F.A.C., Jurisdictional and Service Requirements for Young Adults Formerly in the Custody of the Department – No change.

Rule 65C-31.011, F.A.C., Independent Living Program Budget Management – Clarifies that the contracted service providers must include all funding in their spending plan including prior funding that was not expended. Requires annual submission of a spending plan that outlines services to be provided to young adults formerly in foster care and stipulates it must be approved by the Department as well as any modification requests that are submitted throughout the year. Requires the Department to review all approved plans: six months after approval for accuracy and needed modifications and at the end of fiscal year to ensure final expenditures are allowable and clients served are eligible. Requires submission and approval of all across the board payment reductions to maximum awards to Road to Independence and/or terminations of Independent Living services due to the availability of funds. Establishes Review Team and outlines membership; requires the team to review the spending plans and modifications to the plans and make recommendations to the Director of Family Safety Program Office. Requires Lead Agencies to repay any payments that are disallowed during the Department’s six month or end of year review if they failed to comply with state or federal regulations; also requires the Lead Agencies to repay any incorrect claim discovered in any federal or state audit.

SUMMARY OF STATEMENT OF ESTIMATED REGULATORY COSTS: No Statement of Estimated Regulatory Cost was prepared.

Any person who wishes to provide information regarding a statement of estimated regulatory costs, or provide a proposal for a lower cost regulatory alternative must do so in writing within 21 days of this notice.

SPECIFIC AUTHORITY:409.145(10) FS.

LAW IMPLEMENTED: 409.1451 FS.

A HEARING WILL BE HELD AT THE DATE, TIME AND PLACE SHOWN BELOW:

DATE AND TIME:Thursday, October 21, 2010, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

PLACE: 1317 Winewood Boulevard, Building 4, Tallahassee, Florida 32399

Pursuant to the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, any person requiring special accommodations to participate in this workshop/meeting is asked to advise the agency at least 7 days before the workshop/meeting by contacting: Julie Mayo, Office of Family Safety, Department of Children and Families, 1317 Winewood Boulevard, Tallahassee, Florida 32399, 850-922-0375, or julie_mayo@dcf.state.fl.us If you are hearing or speech impaired, please contact the agency using the Florida Relay Service, 1(800)955-8771 (TDD) or 1(800)955-8770 (Voice).

THE PERSON TO BE CONTACTED REGARDING THE PROPOSED RULE DEVELOPMENT IS: Marci Kirkland, Office of Family Safety, 1317 Winewood Boulevard, Tallahassee, Florida 32399, phone: (850)487-2464, Email: Marci_Kirkland@dcf.state.fl.us

Forms Incorporated by Reference