Last session, proviso language in the budget directed the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) to develop a plan to determine whether residential sober-living facilities should be subject to state licensure or registration requirements.  Not specifically defined in state law, a “sober home” or “recovery residence” is a residential facility designed to provide a sober living environment for individuals recovering from substance abuse.  No licensing requirements or state regulations currently exist for recovery residences, and as expected, there are good actors and bad actors; specifically, concerns exist over living conditions, lack of accountability among operators, and the provision of medical services and procedures by individuals without proper training or licensure.  In preparing its report, DCF took public comment at three meetings over the summer, attended by FAC, the Florida League of Cities, as well as several individual local governments and other stakeholders.  While the DCF report concluded that further information is needed before the agency can determine whether state regulation is necessary, FAC expects legislation to be filed on the issue in the upcoming session.  Additionally, FAC’s Health and Human Services Policy Committee will be considering a policy statement supporting minimum standards for such facilities during the Legislative Conference next month.  The DCF report can be found here:  http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/programs/samh/docs/SoberHomesPR/DCFProvisoRpt-SoberHomes.pdf.  For more information, contact Susan Harbin.