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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Title XXX
SOCIAL WELFARE
Chapter 409
SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE
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F.S. 409.147
409.147 Florida Children’s Initiatives.
(1) LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND INTENT.
(a) The Legislature finds that:
1. There are neighborhoods in this state where the infrastructure and opportunities that middle-class communities take for granted are nonexistent or so marginal that they are ineffective.
2. In many instances, children living in these neighborhoods are not read to by an adult on a regular basis and attend a prekindergarten education program at a much lower rate than children in other communities. These children experience below-average performance on standardized tests and graduate from high school in fewer numbers. Most of these children are eligible for the free or reduced-price school lunch program.
3. Children in these neighborhoods often suffer from high rates of asthma, a higher risk of lead poisoning, higher rates of childhood obesity, inadequate health care, and they are routinely exposed to violence and crime.
4. In spite of these obstacles, these neighborhoods are many times home to strong individuals and institutions that are committed to making a difference in the lives of children and their families.
(b) It is therefore the intent of the Legislature to assist disadvantaged areas within the state in creating a community-based service network that develops, coordinates, and provides quality education, accessible health care, youth development programs, opportunities for employment, and safe and affordable housing for children and families living within its boundaries.
(2) POLICY AND PURPOSE.It is the policy of this state to provide the necessary means to assist local communities, the children and families who live in those communities, and the private sector in creating a sound educational, social, and economic environment. To achieve this objective, the state intends to provide investments sufficient to encourage community partners to commit financial and other resources to severely disadvantaged areas. The purpose of this section is to establish a process that clearly identifies the severely disadvantaged areas and provides guidance for developing a new social service paradigm that systematically coordinates programs that address the critical needs of children and their families and for directing efforts to rebuild the basic infrastructure of the community. The Legislature, therefore, declares the creation of Florida Children’s Initiatives, through the collaborative efforts of government and the private sector, to be a public purpose.
(3) DEFINITIONS.As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Governing body” means the commission or other legislative body charged with governing a county or municipality.
(b) “Ounce” means the Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida, Inc.
(c) “Planning team” means a Florida Children’s Initiative planning team established under this section.
(d) “Resident” means a person who lives in or operates a small community-based business or organization within the boundaries of a Florida Children’s Initiative.
(4) FLORIDA CHILDREN’S INITIATIVE NOMINATING PROCESS.A county or municipality, or a county and one or more municipalities together, may apply to the Ounce to designate an area as a Florida Children’s Initiative after the governing body:
(a) Adopts a resolution that:
1. Finds that an area exists in such county or municipality, or in the county and one or more municipalities, that chronically exhibits extreme and unacceptable levels of poverty, unemployment, physical deterioration, as well as limited access to quality educational, health care, and social services.
2. Determines that the rehabilitation, conservation, or redevelopment, or a combination thereof, of the area is necessary for improving the health, wellness, education, living conditions, and livelihoods of the children and families who live in the county or municipality.
3. Determines that the revitalization of the area can occur only if this state and the private sector invest resources to improve infrastructure and the provision of services.
(b) Establishes a planning team as provided in subsection (5).
(c) Develops and adopts a strategic community plan as provided in subsection (6).
(d) Identifies or creates a not-for-profit corporation as provided in subsection (7).
(5) FLORIDA CHILDREN’S INITIATIVE PLANNING TEAM.
(a) After the governing body adopts the resolution described in subsection (4), the county or municipality shall establish a Florida Children’s Initiative planning team.
(b) The planning team shall include residents and representatives from community-based organizations and other community institutions. At least half of the members of the planning team must be residents.
(c) The planning team shall:
1. Develop a planning process that sets the direction for, builds a commitment to, and develops the capacity to realize the Florida Children’s Initiative concept.
2. Develop a vision of what the Florida Children’s Initiative will look like when the challenges, problems, and opportunities in the Florida Children’s Initiative are successfully addressed.
3. Identify important opportunities, strengths, challenges, and problems in the Florida Children’s Initiative.
4. Develop a strategic community plan consisting of goals, objectives, tasks, the designation of responsible parties, the identification of resources needed, timelines for implementation of the plan, and procedures for monitoring outcomes.
(d) The planning team shall designate working groups to specifically address each of the following focus areas:
1. Early development and care of children.
2. Education of children and youth.
3. Health and wellness.
4. Youth support.
5. Parent and guardian support.
6. Adult education, training, and jobs.
7. Community safety.
8. Housing and community development.
(6) FLORIDA CHILDREN’S INITIATIVE STRATEGIC COMMUNITY PLAN.After the governing body adopts the resolution described in subsection (4), the working groups shall develop objectives and identify strategies for each focus area. The objectives, specified by focus area, for a working group may include, but not be limited to:
(a) Early development and care of children.
1. Providing resources to enable every child to be adequately nurtured during the first 3 years of life.
2. Ensuring that all schools are ready for children and all children are ready for school by the time they reach kindergarten.
3. Facilitating enrollment in half-day or full-day prekindergarten for all 3-year-old and 4-year-old children.
4. Strengthening parent and guardian relationships with care providers.
5. Providing support and education for families and child care providers.
(b) Education of children and youth.
1. Increasing the level and degree of knowledge and accountability of persons who are responsible for the development and well-being of all children in each Florida Children’s Initiative.
2. Transforming the structure and function of schools to increase the quality and amount of time spent on instruction and increase programmatic options and offerings.
3. Creating a safe and respectful environment for student learning.
4. Identifying and supporting points of alignment between a Florida Children’s Initiative community plan and the school district’s strategic plan.
(c) Health and wellness.
1. Facilitating enrollment of all eligible children in the Florida Kidcare program and providing full access to high-quality drug and alcohol treatment services.
2. Eliminating health disparities between racial and cultural groups, including improving outcomes and increasing interventions.
3. Providing fresh, good quality, affordable, and nutritious food within a Florida Children’s Initiative.
4. Providing all children in a Florida Children’s Initiative with access to safe structured and unstructured recreation.
(d) Youth support.
1. Increasing the high school graduation, postsecondary enrollment, and postsecondary completion rates among neighborhood youth.
2. Increasing leadership development and employment opportunities for neighborhood youth.
(e) Parent and guardian support.
1. Increasing parent and adult literacy.
2. Expanding access for parents to critical resources, such as jobs, transportation, day care, and after-school care.
3. Improving the effectiveness of the ways in which support systems communicate and collaborate with parents and the ways in which parents communicate and collaborate with support systems.
4. Making the services of the Healthy Families Florida program available to provide multiyear support to expectant parents and persons caring for infants and toddlers.
(f) Adult education, training, and jobs.
1. Creating job opportunities for adults that lead to career development.
2. Establishing a career and technical school, or a satellite of such a school within a Florida Children’s Initiative, which includes a one-stop career center.
(g) Community safety.
1. Providing a safe environment for all children at home, in school, and in the community.
2. Eliminating the economic, political, and social forces that lead to a lack of safety within the family, the community, schools, and institutional structures.
3. Assessing policies and practices, including sentencing, incarceration, detention, and data reporting, to reduce youth incarceration, violence, crime, and recidivism.
(h) Housing and community development.
1. Strengthening the residential real estate market.
2. Building on existing efforts to promote socioeconomic diversity when developing a comprehensive land use strategic plan.
3. Promoting neighborhood beautification strategies.
(7) FLORIDA CHILDREN’S INITIATIVES CORPORATION.
(a) The Florida Children’s Initiatives as specified in subsections (9)-(13) are administratively housed within the department. However, these initiatives are not subject to control, supervision, or direction by the department or any other department of this state.
(b) After the governing body adopts the resolution described in subsection (4), establishes a planning team as provided in subsection (5), and develops and adopts a strategic community plan as provided in subsection (6), the county or municipality shall either identify an existing, qualified not-for-profit corporation or create a not-for-profit corporation registered, incorporated, organized, and operated in compliance with chapter 617. The purpose of the not-for-profit corporation is to facilitate fundraising, to secure broad community ownership of the initiative, and, if the area selected by the governing body is designated as a Florida Children’s Initiative, to:
1. Begin to transfer responsibility for planning from the planning team to the corporation.
2. Begin the implementation and governance of the strategic community plan.
3. Update the strategic community plan every 5 years to reflect, at a minimum, the current status of the area served by the Florida Children’s Initiative; the goals, objectives, and strategies for each focus area; and the tasks required to implement the strategies for the upcoming year.
(c) The Ounce must provide technical assistance to the corporation to facilitate the achievement of the plans created under subsection (6).
(8) REQUIREMENTS FOR RECEIVING STATE FUNDING.Unless otherwise specified in the General Appropriations Act:
(a) State funding for Florida Children’s Initiatives must be awarded through a performance-based contract that links payments to the achievement of outcomes directly related to the goals, objectives, strategies, and tasks outlined in the strategic community plan.
(b) This act is intended to support the development of a network of Florida Children’s Initiatives focus areas in disadvantaged neighborhoods throughout this state. To that end, counties that do not currently have a Florida Children’s Initiative and are trying to establish an initiative have priority for designation by the Ounce.
(9) MIAMI CHILDREN’S INITIATIVE.
(a) There is created within the Liberty City neighborhood in Miami-Dade County a project called the Miami Children’s Initiative managed by an entity organized as a not-for-profit corporation registered, incorporated, organized, and operated in compliance with chapter 617 and this section. Public policy dictates that the Miami Children’s Initiative operates in the most open and accessible manner consistent with its public purpose. Therefore, the Legislature specifically declares that the Miami Children’s Initiative is subject to chapter 119, relating to public records; chapter 286, relating to public meetings and records; and chapter 287, relating to the procurement of commodities or contractual services.
(b) This initiative is designed to encompass an area that is large enough to include all of the necessary components of community life, including, but not limited to, schools, places of worship, recreational facilities, commercial areas, and common space, yet small enough to allow programs and services to reach every willing member of the neighborhood.
(10) THE NEW TOWN SUCCESS ZONE.
(a) There is created within the City of Jacksonville Council District 9 in Duval County a project called the New Town Success Zone managed by an entity organized as a not-for-profit corporation registered, incorporated, organized, and operated in compliance with chapter 617 and this section. Public policy dictates that the New Town Success Zone operates in the most open and accessible manner consistent with its public purpose. Therefore, the Legislature declares that the New Town Success Zone is subject to chapter 119, relating to public records; chapter 286, relating to public meetings and records; and chapter 287, relating to the procurement of commodities or contractual services.
(b) This initiative is designed to encompass an area that is large enough to include all of the necessary components of community life, including, but not limited to, schools, places of worship, recreational facilities, commercial areas, and common space, yet small enough to allow programs and services to reach every member of the neighborhood who is willing to participate in the project.
(11) THE ORLANDO KIDZ ZONES.
(a) There is created within the City of Orlando in Orange County a project called the Orlando Kidz Zones managed by an entity organized as a not-for-profit corporation registered, incorporated, organized, and operated in compliance with chapter 617 and this section. Public policy dictates that the Orlando Kidz Zones operates in the most open and accessible manner consistent with its public purpose. Therefore, the Legislature declares that the Orlando Kidz Zones is subject to chapter 119, relating to public records; chapter 286, relating to public meetings and records; and chapter 287, relating to the procurement of commodities or contractual services.
(b) This initiative is designed to encompass the Orlando neighborhoods of Parramore, Mercy Drive, and Englewood. All three of these neighborhoods are large enough to include all of the necessary components of community life, including, but not limited to, schools, places of worship, recreational facilities, commercial areas, and common space, yet small enough to allow programs and services to reach every member of the neighborhoods who is willing to participate in the project.
(12) THE TAMPA SULPHUR SPRINGS NEIGHBORHOOD OF PROMISE (SSNOP).
(a) There is created within the City of Tampa in Hillsborough County a project called the Tampa Sulphur Springs Neighborhood of Promise (SSNOP) managed by an entity organized as a not-for-profit corporation registered, incorporated, organized, and operated in compliance with chapter 617 and this section. Public policy dictates that the Tampa SSNOP operates in the most open and accessible manner consistent with its public purpose. Therefore, the Legislature declares that the Tampa SSNOP is subject to chapter 119, relating to public records; chapter 286, relating to public meetings and records; and chapter 287, relating to the procurement of commodities or contractual services.
(b) This initiative is designed to encompass an area that is large enough to include all of the necessary components of community life, including, but not limited to, schools, places of worship, recreational facilities, commercial areas, and common space, yet small enough to allow programs and services to reach every member of the neighborhood who is willing to participate in the project.
(13) THE OVERTOWN CHILDREN AND YOUTH COALITION.
(a) There is created within the City of Miami in Miami-Dade County a project called the Overtown Children and Youth Coalition managed by an entity organized as a not-for-profit corporation registered, incorporated, organized, and operated in compliance with chapter 617 and this section. Public policy dictates that the Overtown Children and Youth Coalition operates in the most open and accessible manner consistent with its public purpose. Therefore, the Legislature declares that the Overtown Children and Youth Coalition is subject to chapter 119, relating to public records; chapter 286, relating to public meetings and records; and chapter 287, relating to the procurement of commodities or contractual services.
(b) This initiative is designed to encompass an area that is large enough to include all of the necessary components of community life, including, but not limited to, schools, places of worship, recreational facilities, commercial areas, and common space, yet small enough to allow programs and services to reach every member of the neighborhood who is willing to participate in the project.
(14) IMPLEMENTATION.
(a) The Miami Children’s Initiative, Inc., the New Town Success Zone, the Orlando Kidz Zones, the Tampa SSNOP, and the Overtown Children and Youth Coalition have been designated as Florida Children’s Initiatives consistent with the legislative intent and purpose of s. 16, chapter 2009-43, Laws of Florida, and as such shall each assist the disadvantaged areas of this state in creating a community-based service network and programming that develops, coordinates, and provides quality education, accessible health care, youth development programs, opportunities for employment, and safe and affordable housing for children and families living within their boundaries.
(b) To implement this section for the Florida Children’s Initiatives listed in this section, the department shall contract with a not-for-profit corporation, to work in collaboration with the governing body to adopt the resolution described in subsection (4), to establish the planning team as provided in subsection (5), and to develop and adopt the strategic community plan as provided in subsection (6). The not-for-profit corporation is also responsible for the development of a strategic business plan and for the evaluation, fiscal management, and oversight of the Florida Children’s Initiatives.
History.s. 1, ch. 2008-96; s. 16, ch. 2009-43; s. 1, ch. 2013-81; s. 172, ch. 2014-19; s. 1, ch. 2018-148; s. 11, ch. 2022-67; s. 88, ch. 2023-8; s. 1, ch. 2023-280.