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For Parents


  • Q: When was the Office of Health Services established?
    A: The Office of Health Services was established February 21, 2005 with the hiring of the first Chief Medical Director for the Department of Juvenile Justice. The Office is currently comprised of the Chief Medical Director, the Director of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Nursing Services Director for Detention Services, Headquarters Registered Nursing Consultant, Detention Regional Registered Nursing Consultants for North, Central and South Regions, Residential Registered Nursing Consultant, the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Coordinator, and Administrative Assistant.
  • Q: What are the role and responsibilities of the Office of Health Services?
    A: The Office of Health Services has responsibilities that span nearly all branches and offices in the Department and across the state. Issues that deal with medical, dental, mental health, substance abuse or developmental disabilities are vetted through this office. This includes, but is not limited to, policy development, technical assistance, monitoring standards, contractual language, legislative budget requests, legal concerns, investigative reports, parental concerns, individual youth medical and mental health issues and incidents, interagency partnerships, etc.
  • Q: Will my child receive medical services while in a DJJ detention or residential facility?
    A: Yes. All youth receive an initial health screening within 24 hours of admission. A detailed health history is conducted by nursing staff and a physical examination is performed by the facility physician, ARNP or Physician Assistant. All DJJ detention and residential facilities have nursing staff on-site to meet the youth’s medical needs and issues, including medication delivery.
  • Q: Will I be able to give my consent for the medical care my child receives?
    A: Yes. The DJJ Authority for Evaluation and Treatment (AET) is the Department’s general parental consent form authorizing specific health care and treatment for youth in the custody of the Department. For the purpose of the AET document, departmental custody includes those DJJ facilities where youth are housed 24 hours per day, such as, Detention Centers and Residential Commitment Programs. The AET provides limited authority for youth in DJJ facility-based non-residential programs. There are certain types of care that require additional written consent that is not addressed in the Authority for Evaluation and Treatment. The AET, once signed by the parent or legal guardian, allows a DJJ facility to continue the medications your child is receiving prior to admission, conduct routine physical examinations, and provide necessary medical and mental health treatment. After admission to the facility, a written notification that requires parental/guardian consent is required if your child’s medical condition warrants either a new prescription medication or a significant dosage change, new health care treatment, or a new vaccination/immunization has been ordered. The nursing or medical staff at the facility may also notify you by phone of these changes for your verbal consent immediately prior to sending the written notification.
  • Q: Can I bring my child’s medications to the facility?
    A: Yes. Medications that your child is currently prescribed will be continued at the facility once the medications have been verified as being a valid and current prescription. Under no circumstances may facility staff stop an appropriately prescribed medication that the youth is receiving upon admission. The facility will accept your child’s medication only if it is a current prescription from a licensed pharmacy with the child’s name on the label, intact and on the original medication container
  • Q: Does a youth have the right to refuse medication?
    A: Yes. The forced (involuntary) administration of medication is not permitted under any circumstances.
  • Q: Do we have to pay for our child's medication?
    A: If your child has private insurance, the company will be billed. If insurance is not available, then the facility or program will pay for your child’s medication(s).
  • Q: Can we send our child to his or her own physician/psychiatrist while in detention or a residential program?
    A: Facilities and Programs have an on-site physician and psychiatrist to provide services to the youth. The facility or program physician/psychiatrist should contact and consult with any existing outside physicians to ensure continuity of care.
  • Q: My child has a chronic medical condition that requires medical follow-up. How will DJJ meet my child’s medical needs?
    A: All children in a DJJ detention or residential facility with chronic medical conditions are required to have a focused medical evaluation by a physician, ARNP, or Physician Assistant. Youth are seen at least once every 3 months for focused medical evaluations, and are seen more frequently as determined by their medical condition.
  • Q: What happens when my child gets sick?
    A: Every DJJ detention or residential facility conducts Sick Call for routine illnesses. The Sick Call process is established to respond to youth’s complaints of illness or injury that are non- emergent, but require nursing care and treatment. Procedures are in place to ensure that all youth have access to regularly scheduled Sick Call. An illness or injury that is considered an emergency is handled immediately and does not wait for the next scheduled Sick Call.
  • Q: How do I get my child on Medicaid? Can we go to the Department of Children and Families (DCF), Economic Services, and apply for Medicaid, food stamps, etc.?
    A: Yes. It is best to call the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and see what information is required and make an appointment. See the Automated Community Connection to Economic Self-Sufficiency Access Florida website at http://www.myflorida.com/accessflorida or call 1-866-762-2237. THIS TELEPHONE NUMBER GOES TO THE FLORIDA RELAY LINE, NOT TO FLORIDA ACCESS OR MEDICAID.
  • Q: Are DJJ youth eligible for Medicaid?
    A: It depends upon what type of DJJ facility a youth is housed in. Once a youth is admitted into a secure juvenile justice facility (Detention Center, High Risk Residential Commitment Program or Maximum Risk Residential Commitment Program), and/or a state operated facility, Medicaid can no longer be billed. The only time DJJ youth are Medicaid eligible would be in a Low Risk or Moderate Risk non-state operated Residential program.
  • Q: My child already has Medicaid or SSI. What do I do when he is taken into custody or goes to a residential commitment program?
    A: If your child already has Medicaid and he enters a DJJ program—whether he is in detention, a Juvenile Assessment Facility, or a residential commitment program—it is your legal responsibility to notify the Medicaid office of your child’s situation. If your child is receiving SSI (Supplemental Security Insurance) benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA), it is your legal responsibility to notify SSA of your child’s situation by calling toll-free 1-800-772-1213.

    Failure to contact the Medicaid office or SSA may result in you having to pay monies back.

  • Q: If Medicaid services are terminated in detention centers and some residential programs will the family be charged back the medical costs?
    A: No.
  • Q: Are parents responsible for the medical costs if Medicaid is terminated?
    A: No.  Not while a youth is in secure detention or residential commitment.
  • Q: Who will pay for the medical treatment without Medicaid?
    A: DJJ will pay if the youth is securely detained or committed to a residential facility.
  • Q: Can my private insurance company (not Medicaid) be billed by a medical provider while my child is in detention?
    A: Yes, Any existing family insurance coverage shall be used for billing.
  • Q: What is the Medicaid reapplication process after a youth’s release from commitment?
    A: See the Automated Community Connection to Economic Self-Sufficiency Access Florida website at http://www.myflorida.com/accessflorida or call 1-866-762-2237. THIS TELEPHONE NUMBER GOES TO THE FLORIDA RELAY LINE, NOT TO FLORIDA ACCESS OR MEDICAID.