Senate Appropriations Committee Builds on $1.3 Billion Commitment to Child Welfare
“The goal of this bipartisan legislation is to build on our more than $1.3 billion existing commitment to child welfare through targeted policies that aim to prevent child deaths due to maltreatment, to learn from tragedies we cannot prevent, and to expand the resources needed to help families stay whole and healthy,” continued President Gaetz.
The committee substitute for Senate Bill 1666 seeks to improve the quality of child abuse investigations conducted by the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and certain sheriff’s offices by increasing child welfare expertise in the department, improving child abuse investigator qualifications, and creating a consortium of schools of social work to advise the state on child welfare policy.
The bill directs the DCF to conduct immediate investigations of deaths and other significant incidents involving children who have been known to the child protection and child welfare system. The purpose of the investigations is to identify root causes and to rapidly determine the need to change policies and practices related to child protection and child welfare.
The bill provides a definition of “medical neglect” and requires improvements in the care of medically complex children and the investigation of child abuse cases involving such children. The bill creates a new part of state law to be entitled “Community-Based Child Welfare.” In this new section, current law relating to community-based care is reorganized, obsolete provisions are removed, and certain provisions are clarified.
For more information, please visit www.FLSenate.gov.