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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. 39.5086
39.5086 Kinship navigator programs.
(1) DEFINITIONS.As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Kinship care” means the full-time care of a child placed in out-of-home care by the court in the home of a relative or fictive kin.
(b) “Kinship navigator program” means a program designed to ensure that kinship caregivers are provided with necessary resources for the preservation of the family.
(c) “Relative” means an individual who is caring full time for a child placed in out-of-home care by the court and who:
1. Is related to the child within the fifth degree by blood or marriage to the parent or stepparent of the child; or
2. Is related to a half-sibling of that child within the fifth degree by blood or marriage to the parent or stepparent.
(a) The purpose of a kinship navigator program is to help relative caregivers and fictive kin in the child welfare system to navigate the broad range of services available to them and the children from public, private, community, and faith-based organizations.
(b) Each community-based care lead agency shall establish a kinship navigator program that:
1. Coordinates with other state or local agencies that promote service coordination or provide information and referral services, including any entities that participate in the Florida 211 Network, to avoid duplication or fragmentation of services to kinship care families;
2. Is planned and operated in consultation with kinship caregivers and organizations representing them, youth raised by kinship caregivers, relevant governmental agencies, and relevant community-based or faith-based organizations;
3. Has a toll-free telephone hotline to provide information to link kinship caregivers, kinship support group facilitators, and kinship service providers to:
a. One another;
b. Eligibility and enrollment information for federal, state, and local benefits;
c. Relevant training to assist kinship caregivers in caregiving and in obtaining benefits and services; and
d. Relevant knowledge related to legal options available for child custody, other legal assistance, and help in obtaining legal services.
4. Provides outreach to kinship care families, including by establishing, distributing, and updating a kinship care website, or other relevant guides or outreach materials; and
5. Promotes partnerships between public and private agencies, including schools, community-based or faith-based organizations, and relevant governmental agencies, to increase their knowledge of the needs of kinship care families to promote better services for those families.
(3) RULEMAKING.The department may adopt rules to implement this section.
History.s. 3, ch. 2018-108; s. 23, ch. 2019-3; s. 7, ch. 2019-142; s. 15, ch. 2021-170.