Keeping Children Safe Act of 2007, creates a presumption that visitation or contact is contrary
to the best interest of a child when a parent, stepparent, grandparent, step grandparent, relative, or caregiver is alleged to have committed or has been found to have committed sexual abuse of a child.
Visitation or other contact with an individual to whom this presumption applies shall be permitted only after a hearing and being so ordered by the court. Section 39.0139 restricts the court from ordering visitation or contact with a person subject to this presumption unless the visitation or contact occurs in a supervised visitation program that conforms to specified standards.
Section 39.0139 requires visitation ordered at a shelter hearing, an arraignment hearing, a disposition hearing, or with a grandparent or step grandparent, to follow these newly created requirements.
Protection against influencing testimony:
- If a party or participant is told by the child, or has other firsthand knowledge that a person is attempting to influence the testimony of the child, the court shall immediately suspend visitation or other contact. The court shall then hold a hearing and determine whether it is in the best interests of the child to prohibit or restrict visitation or other contact.
- If a child is in therapy because of the allegations or convictions in § 39.0139(3)(a) and the child's therapist says the visitation or other contact is impeding the child's therapeutic progress, the court shall hold a hearing within 7 business days to review the terms, conditions, or appropriateness of continued visitation or other contact.
The Florida Family Visitation Network is required to develop standards for supervised visitation programs and requires all supervised visitation projects established by the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences of the University of Florida to comply with those standards.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES STAFF ANALYSIS, July 2007