The Department of Children and Families does not directly provide community-based behavioral health services. Instead, it contracts for the delivery of services through seven managing entities. The managing entities are responsible for the planning, implementation, administration, monitoring, data collection and reporting, and analysis for behavioral health care in their regions. Managing entities contract with local network service providers for the provision of prevention, treatment, and recovery support services. Managing entities also work to create linkages among various services and systems, including juvenile justice and adult criminal justice, child welfare, housing services, homeless systems of care, and health.
The programs provided services for 452,537 individuals in Fiscal Year 2020-21;
215,964 adults and 236,573 children.
The substance abuse program serves adolescents and adults affected by substance misuse, abuse, or dependence.
The mental health program services are focused on
Each of the program's client groups has performance measures and standards included in the department's Long Range Program Plan that provide an indication of the program's success in meeting needs. For example, 58% of children successfully completed substance abuse treatment services, above the legislative standard of 48% for Fiscal Year 2020-21. The following table shows selected performance measures for the program.
|Program Performance in Fiscal Year 2020-21|
|Percentage of adults with serious mental illness who are competitively employed||32%|
|Percentage of school days seriously emotionally disturbed children attended||94%|
|Percentage of children with emotional disturbance with improved functioning||29%|
|Percentage of children with serious emotional disturbance with improved functioning||27%|
|Percentage of adults who successfully complete substance abuse treatment services||53%|
|Source: Long Range Program Plan, Department of Children and Families.|
|PROGRAM: COMMUNITY SERVICES|
|COMMUNITY SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES||
Peer Specialists. The 2022 Legislature enacted Ch. 2022-13, Laws of Florida, which promotes the use of peer specialists to assist an individual's recovery from substance use disorder or mental illness. The legislation recognizes peer specialists as an essential element of a coordinated system of care. The law includes requirements around certification and training; revises background screening requirements and adds offenses for which those seeking certification may seek an exemption from eligibility disqualification; allows peer specialists to work with adults while an exemption is pending; and doubles the number of days a service provider can work under the supervision of a certified peer specialist while an exemption is pending.
Substance Abuse Service Providers. The 2022 Legislature enacted Ch. 2022-31, Laws of Florida, which makes several changes to provisions governing the licensure and regulation of substance abuse treatment programs and providers, including recovery residences and recovery residence administrators. Those applying for licensure as substance abuse providers must identify recovery residences they will refer to and accept patients from; those already licensed must provide identify recovery residences they have referred patients to and accepted them from in a computer system maintained by the Department of Children and Families (DCF) by July 1, 2022. The law sets limits on the number of patients a certified recovery residence administrator may manage at one time. Additionally, the law requires the DCF to include approval for contingency management programs in its regional funding priorities.
Mental Health of Students. The 2022 Legislature enacted Ch. 2022-126, Laws of Florida, requires the Department of Education to annually share school-related involuntary examination data with the DCF for use in DCF's biennial analysis of involuntary examinations of minors in Florida. Charter schools are required to comply with involuntary examination data reporting requirements. The law also requires district superintendents to designate a mental health coordinator for each school district. Additionally, each school district's annual mental health assistance allocation plan must include policies and procedures that require the provision of information on additional behavioral health services and resources to students receiving services, their families, and anyone living in the same household as a student receiving services, when receiving those services could benefit the student's well-being.
Mental Health and Substance Abuse. The 2022 Legislature enacted Chs. 2022-36 and 2022-41, Laws of Florida, which makes several changes to procedures surrounding voluntary and involuntary examinations of individuals under the Baker and Marchman Acts.
Chapter 2022-36, Laws of Florida, authorizes emergency contact information to be released to certain entities and requires law enforcement officers to search certain electronic databases for the emergency contact information of patients being transported to a receiving facility; revises the conditions under which a patient's communications outside of a receiving facility may be restricted; and requires receiving facilities to offer voluntary patients the option to authorize the release of clinical information to specified individuals within 24 hours of admission. Additionally, the law makes revisions to protocols pertaining to the discharge of patients subject to an involuntary Baker Act examination, including permitting the use of telehealth and allowing specified psychiatric advanced practice registered nurses to conduct discharge examinations. The law also makes several changes related to the Commission on Mental Health and Substance Abuse pertaining to meetings; reimbursements; ability to access information and records, including exempt and confidential information; and moving the commission's interim report due date to January 1, 2023.
Chapter 2022-41, Laws of Florida, revises the voluntariness provision under the Baker Act to allow a minor's voluntary admission to a receiving facility or hospital after a clinical review of the minor's assent has been conducted, rather than a hearing on the minor's consent as required previously. Additionally, law enforcement officers transporting an individual to a receiving facility for an involuntary examination under the Baker or Marchman Acts are required to use restraint in the least restrictive manner available and appropriate under the circumstances.
|The Acute Care Services Utilization Database Meets Statutory Requirements; Limitations Exist for Certain Types of Analyses, Report 19-12, November 2019|
The Auditor General reports on department operations are located on its website.
Websites of Interest
Commission on Mental Health and Substance Abuse
Department of Children and Families, Get Help
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
National Institute on Drug Abuse
National Institutes of Mental Health
Performance measures and standards for the department may be found in its Long Range Program Plan and Planning and Performance Measures, which reports the department's performance on external and internal measures for its various programs. The measures allow the user to view performance at both a statewide and geographic region level.