What is the Nancy C. Detert Champion for Children Act?
- 03 Jul 2023
- Posted By WebSiteAdmin
This law was signed into effect on June 16 by the Governor after it passed unanimously in both houses. After a 5 year effort pushing it though by Florida Youth SHINE (FYS) the bill became a reality. So, what does this law actually do?
The law is aimed at helping children in foster care by improving safety, education, contact with siblings, normalcy, and access to food, shelter, and healthcare. The reason behind this law was simple. All too after children were not receiving these kinds of care after they were placed in a new home. The law requires case managers to contact the child at least every six months to facilitate these goals.
It also establishes in law the Children’s Ombudsman Office of the Department of Children and Families, which is required to consult with children and young adults who are or were in out-of-home care when producing documents that provide clear and helpful information. The ombudsman will act as a resource for children, young adults, and their caregivers to find relevant policies, understand them, and make recommendations to DCF to improve those policies and services.
A number of legislation, including ones that extend foster care to age 21, encourage “normalcy,” pay for college tuition, assist young people in getting driver’s licenses, and lessen sibling separation, have been passed by the Florida Legislature with the intention of protecting and enhancing the lives of foster children. To ensure that the kids who can benefit from them are made aware of their existence, the state does not, however, have educational standards in place.
After the late senator who fought for the rights of Florida children in foster care, the “Nancy C. Detert Champion for Children Act” was created. Rebekka Behr, the state chair of Florida Youth SHINE, met Sen. Detert while participating in the Senate Page Program while she was a foster child in Palm Beach County.
“Many foster kids don’t know they can participate in extracurricular activities and have normalcy to partake in such programs,” said Behr. “During this program was when I met Senator Detert and I learned that she passed laws like the normalcy bill and extended foster care. Passing these bills led to me being able to stay in extended foster so I could prepare to attend college.”
“We heard from hundreds of youth for years that they never knew they had a right to attend school or participate in extracurricular activities, or have their healthcare needs met,” Seldine shared. “Every child deserves the opportunity to thrive and be kept safe, and now every child will know they have a right to that even if they are in foster care.”