CHAPTER 319
DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

Table of Contents

Sec. 17a-3. (Formerly Sec. 17-412). Powers and duties of department. Master plan.
Sec. 17a-6a. Commissioner to require applicants to submit to state and national criminal history records checks. State child abuse registry checks for applicants.
Sec. 17a-9. (Formerly Sec. 17-417). Appointment of deputy commissioners, directors and administrative heads.
Sec. 17a-11. (Formerly Sec. 17-419). Voluntary admission. Termination of admission. Case service and permanency plans. Review by probate court. Regulations. Appeal.
Sec. 17a-22b. Local needs assessment by community collaborative. Lead service agencies to coordinate care of children and youth enrolled in Connecticut Community KidCare. Community collaborative composition and responsibilities.
Sec. 17a-22d. Establishment of organization with regional local chapters to provide family-to-family support, family advocates and assistance with individual service plan process and to encourage participation in Connecticut Community KidCare planning.
Sec. 17a-22e. Reports re implementation of Connecticut Community KidCare to General Assembly.
Sec. 17a-22f. Behavioral health services. Contract with administrative services organization to provide clinical management and other services. Policies and procedures. Regulations.
Sec. 17a-22h. Behavioral Health Partnership. Development and implementation.
Sec. 17a-22i. Designation of directors for Behavioral Health Partnership. Duties. Memorandum of understanding for direction of administrative services organization.
Sec. 17a-22j. Behavioral Health Partnership Oversight Council. Established. Members. Duties. Annual report.
Sec. 17a-22k. Behavioral Health Partnership clinical management committee. Established. Members.
Sec. 17a-22l. Grievance procedures, appeals.
Sec. 17a-22m. Annual evaluation of Behavioral Health Partnership. Report to General Assembly.
Sec. 17a-22n. Department of Children and Families to monitor implementation of Behavioral Health Partnership. Annual report to General Assembly.
Sec. 17a-22o. Behavioral Health Partnership provider rates. Establishment. Review by Behavioral Health Partnership Oversight Council.
Sec. 17a-22p. Administrative services organization for Behavioral Health Partnership. Services to be provided. Coordination of Behavioral Health Partnership and Medicaid managed care benefits.
Sec. 17a-22q. Certification of providers of behavioral health Medicaid Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment Services and rehabilitation services for HUSKY Plan Part A.
Sec. 17a-22aa. Availability of flexible emergency funding for children with psychiatric disabilities.
Sec. 17a-28. (Formerly Sec. 17-431). Definitions. Confidentiality of and access to records; exceptions. Procedure for aggrieved persons. Regulations.
Sec. 17a-30. (Formerly Sec. 17-434). Area advisory councils. Appointment and terms.
Sec. 17a-47. (Formerly Sec. 17-445). Legal division re child abuse and neglect.
Sec. 17a-50. (Formerly Sec. 17-500). Children's Trust Fund established. Regulations. Children's Trust Fund Council. Parent Trust Fund. Report.
Sec. 17a-55. Awarding of grants to community service programs based upon effectiveness.
Sec. 17a-56. Nurturing Families Network.
Sec. 17a-56a. Nurturing Families Network Advisory Commission.
Sec. 17a-61a. Accreditation of Department of Children and Families by Council on Accreditation.
Sec. 17a-79. (Formerly Sec. 17-205f). Hospitalization of child for diagnosis or treatment of mental disorder.

PART I
GENERAL PROVISIONS

      Sec. 17a-3. (Formerly Sec. 17-412). Powers and duties of department. Master plan. (a) The department shall plan, create, develop, operate or arrange for, administer and evaluate a comprehensive and integrated state-wide program of services, including preventive services, for children and youth whose behavior does not conform to the law or to acceptable community standards, or who are mentally ill, including deaf and hearing impaired children and youth who are mentally ill, emotionally disturbed, substance abusers, delinquent, abused, neglected or uncared for, including all children and youth who are or may be committed to it by any court, and all children and youth voluntarily admitted to the department for services of any kind. Services shall not be denied to any such child or youth solely because of other complicating or multiple disabilities. The department shall work in cooperation with other child-serving agencies and organizations to provide or arrange for preventive programs, including but not limited to teenage pregnancy and youth suicide prevention, for children and youth and their families. The program shall provide services and placements that are clinically indicated and appropriate to the needs of the child or youth. In furtherance of this purpose, the department shall: (1) Maintain the Connecticut Juvenile Training School and other appropriate facilities exclusively for delinquents; (2) develop a comprehensive program for prevention of problems of children and youth and provide a flexible, innovative and effective program for the placement, care and treatment of children and youth committed by any court to the department, transferred to the department by other departments, or voluntarily admitted to the department; (3) provide appropriate services to families of children and youth as needed to achieve the purposes of sections 17a-1 to 17a-26, inclusive, 17a-28 to 17a-49, inclusive, and 17a-51; (4) establish incentive paid work programs for children and youth under the care of the department and the rates to be paid such children and youth for work done in such programs and may provide allowances to children and youth in the custody of the department; (5) be responsible to collect, interpret and publish statistics relating to children and youth within the department; (6) conduct studies of any program, service or facility developed, operated, contracted for or supported by the department in order to evaluate its effectiveness; (7) establish staff development and other training and educational programs designed to improve the quality of departmental services and programs, provided no social worker trainee shall be assigned a case load prior to completing training, and may establish educational or training programs for children, youth, parents or other interested persons on any matter related to the promotion of the well-being of children, or the prevention of mental illness, emotional disturbance, delinquency and other disabilities in children and youth; (8) develop and implement aftercare and follow-up services appropriate to the needs of any child or youth under the care of the department; (9) establish a case audit unit to monitor each area office's compliance with regulations and procedures; (10) develop and maintain a database listing available community service programs funded by the department; (11) provide outreach and assistance to persons caring for children whose parents are unable to do so by informing such persons of programs and benefits for which they may be eligible; and (12) collect data sufficient to identify the housing needs of children served by the department and share such data with the Department of Economic and Community Development.

      (b) The department shall prepare and submit biennially to the General Assembly a five-year master plan. The master plan shall include, but not be limited to: (1) The long-range goals and the current level of attainment of such goals of the department; (2) a detailed description of the types and amounts of services presently provided to the department's clients; (3) a detailed forecast of the service needs of current and projected target populations; (4) detailed cost projections for alternate means of meeting projected needs; (5) funding priorities for each of the five years included in the plan and specific plans indicating how the funds are to be used; (6) a written plan for the prevention of child abuse and neglect; (7) a comprehensive mental health plan for children and adolescents, including children with complicating or multiple disabilities; (8) a comprehensive plan for children and youth who are substance abusers, developed in conjunction with the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services pursuant to the provisions of sections 19a-2a and 19a-7; and (9) an overall assessment of the adequacy of children's services in Connecticut. The plan shall be prepared within existing funds appropriated to the department.

      (c) The department shall prepare a plan to keep children who are convicted as delinquent and will be committed to the Department of Children and Families and placed in the Connecticut Juvenile Training School in such facility for at least one year after their referral to the department, which plan shall include provisions for development of a comprehensive approach to juvenile rehabilitation.

      (1969, P.A. 664, S. 2; P.A. 75-524, S. 3, 30; P.A. 79-165; P.A. 86-15; P.A. 89-191, S. 2; P.A. 91-268, S. 1; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 91-8, S. 55; P.A. 94-232, S. 1; P.A. 95-250, S. 1; 95-257, S. 5, 58; P.A. 96-211, S. 1, 5, 6; 96-238, S. 15, 25; P.A. 97-272, S. 6; P.A. 99-26, S. 11, 17, 39; P.A. 05-246, S. 1.)

      History: P.A. 75-524 essentially rewrote section, clarifying and extending department's responsibilities; P.A. 79-165 added Subdiv. (i) re master plan; P.A. 86-15 required biennial, rather than annual, submission of master plan; P.A. 89-191 added youth suicide prevention as part of the prevention programs the department is required to provide or arrange for; Sec. 17-412 transferred to Sec. 17a-3 in 1991; P.A. 91-268 added provision in Subdiv. (g) prohibiting a social worker trainee from working on assigned cases until the completion of training, added new Subdivs. (i) establishing a case audit unit, and (j) requiring the development of a list of community service programs, and relettered the remaining Subdiv. accordingly; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 91-8 added new Subdivs. (k) re providing outreach and assistance regarding various programs and benefits to persons caring for the children of others, and (l) re collecting housing data to identify and provide housing assistance to children in need and relettered the previous Subdiv. (Revisor's note: The reference in Subdiv. (c) to Sec. 17a-51 was deleted editorially by the Revisors to reflect the repeal of that section by P.A. 93-216, S. 8); P.A. 94-232 added teenage pregnancy to requirement for preventive programs and added new Subdiv. (8) to require a comprehensive plan for substance abusers; P.A. 95-250 and P.A. 96-211 replaced Commissioner and Department of Housing with Commissioner and Department of Economic and Community Development; P.A. 95-257 replaced Commissioner and Department of Public Health and Addiction Services with Commissioner and Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 96-238 added reference to deaf and hearing impaired children and youth who are mentally ill and added children with complicating or multiple disabilities to Subdiv. (7), effective July 1, 1996 (Revisor's note: In Subdiv. (d) the Revisor's editorially replaced a comma with the word "and" before the words "the rates" in the phrase "... under the care of the department and the rates to be paid such ..."); P.A. 97-272 added provision requiring that programs provide services and placements that are clinically indicated and appropriate; P.A. 99-26 added Subsec. (n) to require the department to prepare a plan to keep delinquent children placed in the new Connecticut Juvenile Training School in such facility for at least one year, effective May 7, 1999, and amended Subsec. (a) to replace "Long Lane School" with "the Connecticut Juvenile Training School" and amended Subsec. (n) to delete "new" before "Connecticut Juvenile Training School", effective upon the filing with the Governor and the General Assembly of written certification by the Commissioner of Children and Families that the new Connecticut Juvenile Training School is operational (Revisor's note: Said written certification was filed with the Senate and House Clerks on September 20, 2001, and with the Governor on September 21, 2001); P.A. 05-246 divided section into new Subsecs. (a), (b) and (c), made technical changes throughout and changed "region's compliance" to "area office's compliance" in Subsec. (a)(9).

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      Sec. 17a-6a. Commissioner to require applicants to submit to state and national criminal history records checks. State child abuse registry checks for applicants. The Commissioner of Children and Families shall (1) require each applicant for a position with the department to state in writing whether such person has ever been convicted of a crime or whether criminal charges are pending against such person at the time such person submits an application, and (2) require each applicant to submit to state and national criminal history records checks, in accordance with section 29-17a. The commissioner shall also check the state child abuse registry established pursuant to section 17a-101k for the name of such applicant.

      (P.A. 03-243, S. 6; P.A. 05-207, S. 5.)

      History: P.A. 05-207 deleted requirement that commissioner check state child abuse registry for perpetrator information.

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      Sec. 17a-9. (Formerly Sec. 17-417). Appointment of deputy commissioners, directors and administrative heads. (a) The commissioner shall appoint, after consultation with the state advisory council, and may remove in a like manner, two deputy commissioners who shall be in the unclassified service. The deputy commissioner for program services shall be a clinically competent professional person experienced in one or more fields of children's services and in the administration of such services, and shall be responsible for the supervision of all clinical treatment and program services of the department. The deputy commissioner of administrative services shall have experience in business or institutional administration and shall be responsible for the organizational and general administrative services of the department.

      (b) The commissioner shall appoint, in accordance with chapter 67, after consultation with the state advisory council, and may remove in like manner, such directors as the commissioner deems necessary, provided any director's title or duties may be changed as the commissioner deems necessary after consultation with the state advisory council.

      (c) The commissioner shall, in accordance with chapter 67 and after consultation with the state advisory council, appoint the administrative heads of all of the institutions and facilities transferred to the department and such other institutions and facilities as now are or hereafter may be established by or transferred to the department. Such administrative heads shall have skill and experience in the administration of children's services and shall manage their institutions and facilities in accordance with the regulations and orders of the commissioner.

      (1969, P.A. 664, S. 8; P.A. 75-400, S. 1, 2; 75-524, S. 6, 30; P.A. 79-104; P.A. 87-518, S. 2, 5; P.A. 93-216, S. 1; P.A. 95-339, S. 7, 8; P.A. 05-246, S. 2.)

      History: P.A. 75-400 included two assistant superintendents; P.A. 75-524 specified council's advisory status, increased number of deputy commissioners to two and specified their qualifications and duties, and replaced previous provisions re appointments of division and institution heads with new Subsecs. (b) and (c); P.A. 79-104 amended Subsec. (b) to allow change in director's duties or titles after consultation with council; P.A. 87-518 inserted new Subsec. (b), authorizing appointment of six regional directors, and two assistant directors for each regional director, and relettered remaining subsections accordingly; Sec. 17-417 transferred to Sec. 17a-9 in 1991; P.A. 93-216 amended Subsec. (a) to increase number of deputy commissioners from two to three by separating support services as separate position, amended Subsec. (b) to replace directors with administrators and to delete provisions re assistant regional directors and amended Subsec. (c) to delete provisions requiring appointment of persons to fill specified directorships; P.A. 95-339 amended Subsec. (a) to reduce the number of deputy commissioners from three to two and to delete language describing the experience required for and the responsibilities of the eliminated position of deputy commissioner for support services, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 05-246 deleted former Subsec. (b) re appointment and qualification of regional administrators, redesignated existing Subsecs. (c) and (d) as Subsecs. (b) and (c) and made a technical change in redesignated Subsec. (b), effective July 8, 2005.

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      Sec. 17a-11. (Formerly Sec. 17-419). Voluntary admission. Termination of admission. Case service and permanency plans. Review by probate court. Regulations. Appeal. (a) The commissioner may, in the commissioner's discretion, admit to the department on a voluntary basis any child or youth who, in the commissioner's opinion, could benefit from any of the services offered or administered by, or under contract with, or otherwise available to, the department. Application for voluntary admission shall be made in writing by the parent or guardian of a child under fourteen years of age or by such person himself or herself if he or she is a child fourteen years of age or older or a youth.

      (b) A child or youth voluntarily admitted to the department shall be deemed to be within the care of the commissioner until such admission is terminated. The commissioner shall terminate the admission of any child or youth voluntarily admitted to the department within ten days after receipt of a written request for termination from a parent or guardian of any child under fourteen years of age or from a child if such child is fourteen years of age or older, or youth, unless prior to the expiration of that time the commissioner has sought and received from the Superior Court an order of temporary custody as provided by law. The commissioner may terminate the admission of any child or youth voluntarily admitted to the department after giving reasonable notice in writing to the parent or guardian of any child under fourteen years of age and to a child fourteen years of age or older, and to any youth. Any child or youth admitted voluntarily to the department may be placed in, or transferred to, any resource, facility or institution within the department or available to the commissioner except the Connecticut Juvenile Training School, provided the commissioner shall give written notice to such child or youth and to the parent or guardian of the child of the commissioner's intention to make a transfer at least ten days prior to any actual transfer, unless written notice is waived by those entitled to receive it, or unless an emergency commitment of such child or youth is made pursuant to section 17a-502.

      (c) Not more than one hundred twenty days after admitting a child or youth on a voluntary basis, the department shall petition the probate court for the district in which a parent or guardian of the child or youth resides for a determination as to whether continuation in care is in the child's or youth's best interest and, if so, whether there is an appropriate case service or permanency plan. A case service plan shall be required for all children and youth receiving services voluntarily from the department who are not in an out-of-home placement. A permanency plan shall be required for all children and youth voluntarily admitted to the department and placed by the department in a foster home licensed pursuant to section 17a-114 or a facility licensed pursuant to section 17a-145 or 17a-154. Upon receipt of such application, the court shall set a time and place for hearing to be held within thirty days of receipt of the application, unless continued by the court for cause shown. The court shall order notice of the hearing to be given by regular mail at least five days prior to the hearing to the Commissioner of Children and Families, and by certified mail, return receipt requested, at least five days prior to the hearing to the parents or guardian of the child and the minor, if over twelve years of age. If the whereabouts of the parent or guardian are unknown, or if delivery cannot reasonably be effected, then notice shall be ordered to be given by publication. In making its determination, the court shall consider the items specified in subsection (d) of this section. The court shall possess continuing jurisdiction in proceedings under this section.

      (d) (1) Ten months after admitting a child or youth on a voluntary basis and annually thereafter if the child or youth remains in the custody of the commissioner and remains placed in a foster home licensed pursuant to section 17a-114 or a facility licensed pursuant to section 17a-145 or 17a-154, the commissioner shall file a motion for review of a permanency plan. A hearing on such motion shall be held not later than thirty days after the filing of such motion. The court shall provide notice to the child or youth and such child's or youth's parent or guardian of the time and place of the hearing on such motion not less than ten days prior to the date of such hearing.

      (2) At a permanency hearing held in accordance with the provisions of subdivision (1) of this subsection, the court shall approve a permanency plan that is in the best interests of the child or youth and takes into consideration the child's or youth's need for permanency. The health and safety of the child or youth shall be of paramount concern in formulating such plan. At such hearing, the court shall consider among other things: (A) The appropriateness of the department's plan for service to the child or youth and his or her family; (B) the treatment and support services that have been offered and provided to the child or youth to strengthen and reunite the family; (C) if return home is not likely for the child or youth, the efforts that have been made or should be made to evaluate and plan for other modes of care; and (D) any further efforts which have been or will be made to promote the best interests of the child or youth.

      (3) The permanency plan pursuant to subdivision (2) of this subsection may include the goal of (A) placement of the child or youth with the parent or guardian, (B) transfer of guardianship, (C) long-term foster care with a relative licensed as a foster parent or certified as a relative caregiver, (D) termination of parental rights and adoption, or (E) such other planned permanent living arrangement ordered by the court provided the commissioner has documented a compelling reason why it would not be in the best interest of the child or youth for the permanency plan to include the goals in subparagraphs (A) to (D), inclusive, of this subdivision. Such other planned permanent living arrangement may include, but not be limited to, placement of a child or youth in an independent living program or long-term foster care with an identified foster parent.

      (4) At a permanency hearing, the court shall review the status of the child or youth and the progress being made to implement the permanency plan, determine a timetable for attaining the permanency prescribed by the plan and determine whether the commissioner has made reasonable efforts to achieve the permanency plan. At the conclusion of the hearing, the court may: (A) Direct that the services being provided, or the placement of the child or youth and reunification efforts, be continued if the court, after hearing, determines that continuation of the child or youth in services or placement is in the child's or youth's best interests, or (B) direct that the child's or youth's services or placement be modified to reflect the child's or youth's best interest.

      (e) The commissioner shall adopt regulations in accordance with chapter 54 describing the documentation required for voluntary admission and for informal administrative case review, upon request, of any denial of an application for voluntary admission.

      (f) Any person aggrieved by a decision of the commissioner denying voluntary services may appeal such decision through an administrative hearing held pursuant to chapter 54.

      (g) Notwithstanding any provision of sections 17a-1 to 17a-26, inclusive, and 17a-28 to 17a-49, inclusive, to the contrary, any person already under the care and supervision of the Commissioner of Children and Families who has passed such person's eighteenth birthday but has not yet reached such person's twenty-first birthday, may be permitted to remain voluntarily under the supervision of the commissioner, provided said commissioner, in said commissioner's discretion, determines that such person would benefit from further care and support from the Department of Children and Families.

      (h) Upon motion of any interested party in a Probate Court proceeding under this section, the probate court of record may transfer the file for cause shown to a probate court for a district other than the district in which the initial or permanency hearing was held. The file shall be transferred by the probate court of record making copies of all recorded documents in the court file, certifying each of them, and delivering the certified copies to the probate court to which the matter is transferred.

      (1969, P.A. 664, S. 12; 1971, P.A. 265; P.A. 73-69, S. 1, 2; P.A. 75-524, S. 8, 30; P.A. 77-604, S. 13, 84; P.A. 78-238; 78-280, S. 29, 127; P.A. 93-91, S. 1, 2; P.A. 97-272, S. 5; P.A. 98-52, S. 9; P.A. 99-26, S. 18, 39; P.A. 00-76, S. 3; May 9 Sp. Sess. P.A. 02-7, S. 37; P.A. 03-278, S. 51, 52; P.A. 05-246, S. 3.)

      History: 1971 act specified admission in residential facilities, provided that community services may be offered to those not committed or voluntarily admitted and allowed person fourteen or older to apply himself, deleting reference to his "consent in writing"; P.A. 73-69 included admission to facilities "under contract with, or otherwise available to" department; P.A. 75-524 divided section into subsections, deleted provision re community services, clarified who is to make application, deleted provision re two-year limit and extension of admission, clarified termination procedure for those voluntarily admitted, added proviso re notice of intent to transfer voluntarily admitted child or youth and added Subsec. (c); P.A. 77-604 made technical correction; P.A. 78-238 added Subsec. (d); P.A. 78-280 replaced juvenile court with superior court in Subsec. (b); Sec. 17-419 transferred to Sec. 17a-11 in 1991; P.A. 93-91 substituted commissioner and department of children and families for commissioner and department of children and youth services, effective July 1, 1993 (Revisor's note: The words "the department of" in the phrase "commissioner of the department of children and youth services" were deleted editorially by the Revisors to conform with customary statutory usage and the reference in Subsec. (d) to Sec. 17a-51 was deleted editorially by the Revisors to reflect the repeal of that section by P.A. 93-216, S. 8); P.A. 97-272 inserted new Subsecs. (c) re petition to Probate Court for determination if care is in child's best interest, (d) re dispositional hearing on status of child and (f) re appeal, made technical changes and relettered the section accordingly; P.A. 98-52 amended Subsec. (c) adding "for the district in which a parent or guardian of the child or youth resides", and providing that notice to Commissioner of Children and Families be by regular mail and by certified mail, return receipt requested, to parents or guardian, amended Subsec. (d) adding "for the district in which a parent or guardian of child or youth resides" and added Subsec. (h) re transfer of file for cause shown to other probate court; P.A. 99-26 amended Subsec. (b) to replace "Long Lane School" with "the Connecticut Juvenile Training School", effective upon the filing with the Governor and the General Assembly of written certification by the Commissioner of Children and Families that the new Connecticut Juvenile Training School is operational (Revisor's note: Said written certification was filed with the Senate and House Clerks on September 20, 2001, and with the Governor on September 21, 2001); P.A. 00-76 moved provision re continuing jurisdiction of the court and requiring dispositional hearing at least every twelve months from Subsec. (d) to Subsec. (c), and in Subsec. (d) deleted "for the district in which a parent or guardian of the child or youth resides" re where the commissioner files motion requesting dispositional hearing in Probate Court; May 9 Sp. Sess. P.A. 02-7 amended Subsec. (a) to make technical changes for purposes of gender neutrality, amended Subsec. (b) to make technical changes, amended Subsec. (c) to replace "case service plan" with "permanency plan", delete provision that the court "shall conduct a further dispositional hearing whenever it deems necessary or desirable, but at least every twelve months" and make a technical change, amended Subsec. (d) to replace existing provisions re dispositional hearing and order of disposition with Subdiv. (1) re filing of and hearing on a motion for review of permanency plan, Subdiv. (2) re factors considered by the court at permanency hearing and criteria for permanency plan, Subdiv. (3) re goals of permanency plan and Subdiv. (4) re responsibilities of the court at permanency hearing and options of the court with respect to continuation or modification of the child's or youth's services or placement and amended Subsec. (g) to make technical changes for purposes of gender neutrality, effective August 15, 2002; P.A. 03-278 made technical changes in Subsecs. (d)(4) and (h), effective July 9, 2003; P.A. 05-246 required case service plan for children and youth not in an out-of-home placement who voluntarily receive services and a permanency plan for those voluntarily admitted to department and placed in foster home licensed pursuant to Sec. 17a-114 or facility licensed pursuant to Sec. 17a-145 or 17a-154 in Subsec. (c) and added provision in Subsec. (d)(1) re children and youths who remain placed in licensed foster home or facility.

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      Sec. 17a-22b. Local needs assessment by community collaborative. Lead service agencies to coordinate care of children and youth enrolled in Connecticut Community KidCare. Community collaborative composition and responsibilities. (a) Each community collaborative shall, within available appropriations, (1) complete a local needs assessment which shall include objectives and performance measures, (2) specify the number of children and youth requiring behavioral health services, (3) specify the number of children and youth actually receiving community-based and residential services and the type and frequency of such services, and (4) complete an annual self-evaluation process and a review of discharge summaries. Each community collaborative shall submit its local needs assessment to the Commissioner of Children and Families and the Commissioner of Social Services.

      (b) The area offices of the Department of Children and Families shall contract with lead service agencies, within available appropriations, to coordinate the care of all children and youth enrolled in Connecticut Community KidCare residing within their designated catchment areas, including children and youth with complex behavioral health service needs. The lead service agencies shall employ or subcontract for the employment of care coordinators to assist families in establishing and implementing individual service plans for children and youth with complex behavioral health service needs and to improve clinical outcomes and cost effectiveness. Parents shall be afforded a choice of contracted providers for authorized services.

      (c) Each community collaborative may establish the number of members and the type of representatives to ensure that the membership of such collaborative is appropriately balanced. The chief elected officers of municipalities served by a community collaborative may designate a member to serve as a representative of the chief elected officials. A community collaborative, at a minimum, shall consist of representatives from the local or regional board of education, special education program, youth services bureau, local departments of social services and public health, representatives from private organizations serving children and youth and a substantial number of parents of children and youth with behavioral health needs. A community collaborative shall participate in the area advisory councils established under section 17a-30, provide outreach to community resources, coordinate behavioral health services by forming, with the consent of the family, child specific teams for children and youth with complex behavioral health service needs, conduct community need assessments to identify service gaps and service barriers, identify priority investment areas for the state and lead service agencies and provide public education and support. A community collaborative shall establish a governance structure, determine membership and identify or establish a fiscal agent.

      (d) The Commissioner of Children and Families and the Commissioner of Social Services shall, within available appropriations, provide or arrange for the administrative services necessary to operate Connecticut Community KidCare.

      (June Sp. Sess. P.A. 00-2, S. 4, 53; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-2, S. 44, 69; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-9, S. 129, 131; P.A. 05-246, S. 4.)

      History: June Sp. Sess. P.A. 00-2 effective July 1, 2000; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-2 made substantial revisions to section, deleting an obsolete reference and designating existing provisions as Subsec. (a), amended Subsec. (a) by substituting "community collaborative" for "local system of care", substituting in Subdiv. (1) "performance" for "outcome", adding in Subdivs. (2) and (3) references to "youth", and deleting the definition of "local system of care", added Subsec. (b) re regional offices of department and lead service agencies, added Subsec. (c) re composition of a community collaborative and responsibilities of such collaborative, and added Subsec. (d) re Commissioners of Children and Families and Social Services providing or arranging for administrative services necessary to operate Connecticut Community KidCare, effective July 1, 2001; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-9 revised effective date of June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-2 but without affecting this section; P.A. 05-246 changed "regional offices" to "area offices" in Subsec. (b) and "regional advisory councils" to "area advisory councils" in Subsec. (c), effective July 8, 2005.

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      Sec. 17a-22d. Establishment of organization with regional local chapters to provide family-to-family support, family advocates and assistance with individual service plan process and to encourage participation in Connecticut Community KidCare planning. The Commissioner of Children and Families may, within available appropriations, provide financial assistance for the establishment of an organization, with local chapters in each area served by the Department of Children and Families, that shall provide family-to-family support and family advocates for children, youth and their families, and when requested by the family, assist the family with the individual service plan process and otherwise encourage active family participation in treatment and Connecticut Community KidCare planning. Such organization shall assure that families have input into the development and implementation of their individual service plans, including those established pursuant to section 17a-127, and into policy and planning for, and the implementation and evaluation of, Connecticut Community KidCare.

      (June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-2, S. 47, 69; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-9, S. 129, 131; P.A. 03-19, S. 34; P.A. 05-246, S. 5.)

      History: June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-2 effective July 1, 2001; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-9 revised effective date of June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-2 but without affecting this section; P.A. 03-19 made technical changes, effective May 12, 2003; P.A. 05-246 changed "region" to "area", effective July 8, 2005.

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      Sec. 17a-22e. Reports re implementation of Connecticut Community KidCare to General Assembly. Section 17a-22e is repealed, effective July 1, 2005.

      (June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-2, S. 48, 69; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-9, S. 129, 131; P.A. 05-246, S. 6; 05-280, S. 104.)

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      Sec. 17a-22f. Behavioral health services. Contract with administrative services organization to provide clinical management and other services. Policies and procedures. Regulations. (a) The Commissioner of Social Services may, with regard to the provision of behavioral health services provided pursuant to a state plan under Title XIX or Title XXI of the Social Security Act: (1) Contract with an administrative services organization to provide clinical management, provider network development and other administrative services; and (2) delegate responsibility to the Department of Children and Families for the clinical management portion of such administrative contract.

      (b) For purposes of this section, the term "clinical management" describes the process of evaluating and determining the appropriateness of the utilization of behavioral health services, providing assistance to clinicians or beneficiaries to ensure appropriate use of resources and may include, but is not limited to, authorization, concurrent and retrospective review, discharge review, quality management, provider certification and provider performance enhancement. The Commissioners of Social Services and Children and Families shall jointly develop clinical management policies and procedures. The Department of Social Services may implement policies and procedures necessary to carry out the purposes of this section, including any necessary changes to existing behavioral health policies and procedures concerning utilization management, while in the process of adopting such policies and procedures in regulation form, provided the commissioner publishes notice of intention to adopt the regulations in the Connecticut Law Journal within twenty days of implementing such policies and procedures. Policies and procedures implemented pursuant to this subsection shall be valid until the earlier of (1) the time such regulations are effective, or (2) December 31, 2006.

      (May 9 Sp. Sess. P.A. 02-7, S. 58; P.A. 05-280, S. 94.)

      History: May 9 Sp. Sess. P.A. 02-7 effective August 15, 2002; P.A. 05-280 amended Subsec. (a)(1) to add provider network development and Subsec. (a)(2) to eliminate limitation on delegation of clinical management portion of administrative contract to Department of Children and Families to that pertaining to children under eighteen years of age or individuals otherwise receiving behavioral health services from department, and amended Subsec. (b) to extend time period during which policies and procedures are valid if not adopted as regulations to December 1, 2006, from December 1, 2003, effective July 13, 2005.

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      Sec. 17a-22h. Behavioral Health Partnership. Development and implementation. (a) The Commissioners of Social Services and Children and Families shall develop and implement an integrated behavioral health service system for HUSKY Part A and HUSKY Part B members, children enrolled in the voluntary services program operated by the Department of Children and Families and may, at the discretion of the Commissioners of Children and Families and Social Services, include other children, adolescents and families served by the Department of Children and Families, which shall be known as the Behavioral Health Partnership. The Behavioral Health Partnership shall seek to increase access to quality behavioral health services through: (1) Expansion of individualized, family-centered, community-based services; (2) maximization of federal revenue to fund behavioral health services; (3) reduction in the unnecessary use of institutional and residential services for children; (4) capture and investment of enhanced federal revenue and savings derived from reduced residential services and increased community-based services; (5) improved administrative oversight and efficiencies; and (6) monitoring of individual outcomes, provider performance, taking into consideration the acuity of the patients served by each provider, and overall program performance.

      (b) The Behavioral Health Partnership shall operate in accordance with the financial requirements specified in this subsection. Prior to the conversion of any grant-funded services to a rate-based, fee-for-service payment system, the Department of Social Services and the Department of Children and Families shall submit documentation verifying that the proposed rates seek to cover the reasonable cost of providing services to the Behavioral Health Partnership Oversight Council, established pursuant to section 17a-22j.

      (P.A. 05-280, S. 92.)

      History: P.A. 05-280 effective July 1, 2005.

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      Sec. 17a-22i. Designation of directors for Behavioral Health Partnership. Duties. Memorandum of understanding for direction of administrative services organization. (a) The Commissioner of Children and Families and the Commissioner of Social Services shall each designate a director for the Behavioral Health Partnership. Each director shall coordinate the responsibilities of his or her department, within the statutory authority of each department, for the planning, development, administration and evaluation of the activities specified under subsection (a) of section 17a-22h to increase access to quality behavioral health services.

      (b) The departments shall direct the activities of the administrative services organization, retained in accordance with section 17a-22f, under terms established in a memorandum of understanding, in the development of a community system of care to:

      (1) Alleviate hospital emergency department overcrowding;

      (2) Reduce unnecessary admissions and lengths of stay in hospitals and residential treatment settings; and

      (3) Increase availability of outpatient services.

      (P.A. 05-280, S. 93.)

      History: P.A. 05-280 effective July 1, 2005.

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      Sec. 17a-22j. Behavioral Health Partnership Oversight Council. Established. Members. Duties. Annual report. (a) There is established a Behavioral Health Partnership Oversight Council which shall advise the Commissioners of Children and Families and Social Services on the planning and implementation of the Behavioral Health Partnership.

      (b) The council shall consist of the following members:

      (1) The chairpersons and ranking members of the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to human services, public health, appropriations and the budgets of state agencies, or their designees;

      (2) A member of the Community Mental Health Strategy Board, established pursuant to section 17a-485b, as selected by said board;

      (3) The Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services, or said commissioner's designee;

      (4) Sixteen members appointed by the chairpersons of the advisory council on Medicaid managed care, established pursuant to section 17b-28;

      (A) Two of whom are representatives of general or specialty psychiatric hospitals;

      (B) One of whom is an adult with a psychiatric disability;

      (C) One of whom is an advocate for adults with psychiatric disabilities;

      (D) Two of whom are parents of children who have a behavioral health disorder or have received child protection or juvenile justice services from the Department of Children and Families;

      (E) One of whom has expertise in health policy and evaluation;

      (F) One of whom is an advocate for children with behavioral health disorders;

      (G) One of whom is a primary care provider serving HUSKY children;

      (H) One of whom is a child psychiatrist serving HUSKY children;

      (I) One of whom is either an adult with a substance use disorder or an advocate for adults with substance use disorders;

      (J) One of whom is a representative of school-based health clinics;

      (K) One of whom is a provider of community-based behavioral health services for adults;

      (L) One of whom is a provider of residential treatment for children;

      (M) One of whom is a provider of community-based services for children with behavioral health problems; and

      (N) One of whom is a member of the advisory council on Medicaid managed care;

      (5) Four nonvoting ex-officio members, one each appointed by the Commissioners of Social Services, Children and Families and Mental Health and Addiction Services to represent his or her department and one appointed by the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management to represent said department; and

      (6) One representative from the administrative services organization and from each Medicaid managed care organization, to be nonvoting ex-officio members.

      (c) All appointments to the council shall be made no later than July 1, 2005. Any vacancy shall be filled by the appointing authority.

      (d) The chairpersons of the advisory council on Medicaid managed care shall select the chairpersons of the Behavioral Health Partnership Oversight Council from among the members of such oversight council. Such chairpersons shall convene the first meeting of the council, which shall be held not later than August 1, 2005. The council shall meet at least monthly thereafter.

      (e) The Joint Committee on Legislative Management shall provide administrative support to the chairpersons and assistance in convening the council's meetings.

      (f) The council shall make specific recommendations on matters related to the planning and implementation of the Behavioral Health Partnership which shall include, but not be limited to: (1) Review of any contract entered into by the Departments of Children and Families and Social Services with an administrative services organization, to assure that the administrative services organization's decisions are based solely on clinical management criteria developed by the clinical management committee established in section 17a-22k; (2) review of behavioral health services pursuant to Title XIX and Title XXI of the Social Security Act to assure that federal revenue is being maximized; and (3) review of periodic reports on the program activities, finances and outcomes, including reports from the director of the Behavioral Health Partnership on achievement of service delivery system goals, pursuant to section 17a-22i. The council may conduct or cause to be conducted an external, independent evaluation of the Behavioral Health Partnership.

      (g) On or before March 1, 2006, and annually thereafter, the council shall submit a report to the Governor and, in accordance with section 11-4a, to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to human services, public health and appropriations and the budgets of state agencies, on the council's activities and progress.

      (P.A. 05-280, S. 95.)

      History: P.A. 05-280 effective July 13, 2005.

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      Sec. 17a-22k. Behavioral Health Partnership clinical management committee. Established. Members. There is established a clinical management committee to develop clinical management guidelines to be used for the Behavioral Health Partnership. The committee shall consist of two members selected by the Commissioner of Children and Families, two members selected by the Commissioner of Social Services, one member selected by the Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services and two members selected by the Behavioral Health Partnership Oversight Council, established pursuant to section 17a-22j. Members of the committee shall have requisite expertise or experience in behavioral health services.

      (P.A. 05-280, S. 96.)

      History: P.A. 05-280 effective July 1, 2005.

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      Sec. 17a-22l. Grievance procedures, appeals. The Departments of Children and Families and Social Services shall develop consumer grievance procedures and shall submit such procedures to the Behavioral Health Partnership Oversight Council for review and comment. The Departments of Children and Families and Social Services shall establish time frames for appealing decisions made by the administrative services organization, including an expedited review in emergency situations. Any procedure for appeals shall require that an appeal be heard not later than thirty days after such appeal is filed and shall be decided not later than forty-five days after such appeal is filed.

      (P.A. 05-280, S. 97.)

      History: P.A. 05-280 effective July 1, 2005.

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      Sec. 17a-22m. Annual evaluation of Behavioral Health Partnership. Report to General Assembly. On or before October 1, 2006, and annually thereafter, the Commissioners of Children and Families and Social Services shall conduct an evaluation of the Behavioral Health Partnership and shall report, in accordance with section 11-4a, to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to appropriations and the budgets of state agencies, public health and human services on the provision of behavioral health services under the Behavioral Health Partnership, including information on the status of the administrative services organization implementation, the status of the collaboration among the Departments of Children and Families and Social Services, the services provided, the number of persons served, program outcomes and spending by child and adult populations.

      (P.A. 05-280, S. 98.)

      History: P.A. 05-280 effective July 1, 2005.

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      Sec. 17a-22n. Department of Children and Families to monitor implementation of Behavioral Health Partnership. Annual report to General Assembly. The Department of Children and Families shall monitor the implementation of the Behavioral Health Partnership and shall report annually to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to human services, public health and appropriations and the budgets of state agencies as to any estimated cost savings, if any, resulting from implementation of the Behavioral Health Partnership.

      (P.A. 05-280, S. 99.)

      History: P.A. 05-280 effective July 1, 2005.

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      Sec. 17a-22o. Behavioral Health Partnership provider rates. Establishment. Review by Behavioral Health Partnership Oversight Council. (a) The Departments of Children and Families and Social Services may establish provider specific inpatient, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient and other intensive service rates. Within available appropriations, the initial rates shall not be less than each provider's blend of rates from the HUSKY Plans in effect on July 1, 2005, unless the date of implementation of the Behavioral Health Partnership is later than January 1, 2006. If such implementation date is later then January 1, 2006, such initial rates, within available appropriations, shall not be less than each provider's blend of rates in effect sixty days prior to the implementation date of the Behavioral Health Partnership. Within available appropriations, the departments may provide grant payments, where necessary, to address provider financial impacts. The departments may establish uniform outpatient rates allowing a differential for child and adult services. In no event shall such rate increases exceed rates paid through Medicare for such services. The Behavioral Health Partnership Oversight Council shall review any such rate methodology as provided for in subsection (b) of this section. Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 17b-239 and 17b-241, rates for behavioral health services shall be established in accordance with this section.

      (b) All proposals for initial rates, reductions to existing rates and changes in rate methodology within the Behavioral Health Partnership shall be submitted to the Behavioral Health Partnership Oversight Council for review. If the council does not recommend acceptance, it may forward its recommendation to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to public health, human services and appropriations and the budgets of state agencies. The committees shall hold a joint public hearing on the subject of the proposed rates, to receive the partnership's rationale for making such a rate change. Not later than ninety days after submission by the departments, the committees of cognizance shall make recommendations to the departments regarding the proposed rates. The departments shall make every effort to incorporate recommendations of both the council and the committees of cognizance when setting rates.

      (P.A. 05-280, S. 100.)

      History: P.A. 05-280 effective July 1, 2005.

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      Sec. 17a-22p. Administrative services organization for Behavioral Health Partnership. Services to be provided. Coordination of Behavioral Health Partnership and Medicaid managed care benefits. (a) The Departments of Children and Families and Social Services shall enter a joint contract with an administrative services organization to perform eligibility verification, utilization management, intensive care management, quality management, coordination of medical and behavioral health services, provider network development and management, recipient and provider services and reporting. The contract shall provide for the organization to commence such activities on or after October 1, 2005.

      (b) Claims under the Behavioral Health Partnership shall be paid by the Department of Social Services' Medicaid management information systems vendor, except that the Department of Children and Families may, at its discretion, continue to use existing claims payment systems.

      (c) The administrative services organization shall authorize services, based solely on guidelines established by the clinical management committee, established pursuant to section 17a-22k. The administrative services organization may make exceptions to the guidelines when requested by a member, or the member's legal guardian or service provider, and determined by the administrative services organization to be in the best interest of the member. Decisions regarding the interpretation of such guidelines shall be made by the Departments of Children and Families and Social Services. No administrative services organization shall have any financial incentive to approve, deny or reduce services. The administrative services organization shall ensure that service providers and persons seeking services have timely access to program information and timely responses to inquiries, including inquiries concerning the clinical guidelines for services.

      (d) The administrative services organization shall provide or arrange for on-site assistance to facilitate the appropriate placement, as soon as practicable, of children with behavioral health diagnoses who the administrative services organization knows to have been in an emergency department for over forty-eight hours. The administrative services organization shall provide or arrange for on-site assistance to arrange for the discharge or appropriate placement, as soon as practicable, for children the administrative services organization knows to have remained in an inpatient hospital unit for more than five days longer than is medically necessary, as agreed by the administrative services organization and the hospital.

      (e) The Departments of Children and Families and Social Services shall develop, in consultation with the Behavioral Health Partnership, a comprehensive plan for monitoring the performance of the administrative services organization which shall include data on service authorizations, individual outcomes, appeals, outreach and accessibility, comments from program participants compiled from written surveys and face-to-face interviews.

      (f) The Behavioral Health Partnership shall establish policies to coordinate benefits received under the partnership with those received through Medicaid managed care organizations for persons covered by both a Medicaid managed care organization and the Behavioral Health Partnership. Such policies shall specify a coordinated delivery of both physical and behavioral health care. The policies shall be submitted to the Behavioral Health Partnership Oversight Council for review and comment.

      (P.A. 05-280, S. 101.)

      History: P.A. 05-280 effective July 13, 2005.

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      Sec. 17a-22q. Certification of providers of behavioral health Medicaid Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment Services and rehabilitation services for HUSKY Plan Part A. The Commissioner of Children and Families shall have the authority to certify providers of behavioral health Medicaid Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment Services and rehabilitation services for HUSKY Plan Part A for the purpose of coverage of Medicaid Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment Services or optional rehabilitation services. The Commissioner of Children and Families may adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, for purposes of certification of such providers. The commissioner may implement policies and procedures for purposes of such certification while in the process of adopting such policies or procedures in regulation form, provided notice of intention to adopt the regulations is printed in the Connecticut Law Journal not later than twenty days after implementation and any such policies and procedures shall be valid until the time the regulations are effective.

      (P.A. 05-280, S. 102; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 05-3, S. 103.)

      History: P.A. 05-280 effective July 1, 2005; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 05-3 changed "early periodic screening, detection and treatment" to "Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment Services", effective July 1, 2005.

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      Sec. 17a-22aa. Availability of flexible emergency funding for children with psychiatric disabilities. The Commissioner of Children and Families, in consultation with the Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services and the Community Mental Health Strategy Board, established under section 17a-485b, shall, within available appropriations, maintain the availability of flexible emergency funding for children with psychiatric disabilities who are not under the supervision of the Department of Children and Families.

      (P.A. 05-280, S. 87.)

      History: P.A. 05-280 effective July 1, 2005.

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      Sec. 17a-28. (Formerly Sec. 17-431). Definitions. Confidentiality of and access to records; exceptions. Procedure for aggrieved persons. Regulations. (a) As used in this section:

      (1) "Person" means (A) any individual named in a record, maintained by the department, who (i) is presently or at any prior time was a ward of or committed to the commissioner for any reason; (ii) otherwise received services, voluntarily or involuntarily, from the department; or (iii) is presently or was at any prior time the subject of an investigation by the department; (B) the parent of a person, as defined in subparagraph (A) of this subdivision, if such person is a minor; or (C) the authorized representative of a person, as defined in subparagraph (A) of this subdivision, if such person is deceased;

      (2) "Attorney" means the licensed attorney authorized to assert the confidentiality of or right of access to records of a person;

      (3) "Authorized representative" means a parent, guardian, conservator or other individual authorized to assert the confidentiality of or right of access to records of a person;

      (4) "Consent" means permission given in writing by a person, his attorney or his authorized representative to disclose specified information, within a limited time period, regarding the person to specifically identified individuals;

      (5) "Records" means information created or obtained in connection with the department's child protection activities or activities related to a child while in the care or custody of the department, including information in the registry of reports to be maintained by the commissioner pursuant to section 17a-101k, provided records which are not created by the department are not subject to disclosure, except as provided pursuant to subsection (f), (l) or (n) of this section;

      (6) "Disclose" means (A) to provide an oral summary of records maintained by the department to an individual, agency, corporation or organization or (B) to allow an individual, agency, corporation or organization to review or obtain copies of such records in whole, part or summary form;

      (7) "Near fatality" means an act, as certified by a physician, that places a child in serious or critical condition.

      (b) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 1-210, 1-211 or 1-213, records maintained by the department shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed. Such records of any person may only be disclosed, in whole or in part, to any individual, agency, corporation or organization with the consent of the person or as provided in this section. Any unauthorized disclosure shall be punishable by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.

      (c) When information concerning an incident of abuse or neglect has been made public or when the commissioner reasonably believes publication of such information is likely, the commissioner or the commissioner's designee may disclose, with respect to an investigation of such abuse or neglect: (1) Whether the department has received a report in accordance with sections 17a-101a to 17a-101c, inclusive, or section 17a-103, and (2) in general terms, any action taken by the department, provided (A) the names or other individually identifiable information of the minor victim or other family member is not disclosed, and (B) the name or other individually identifiable information of the person suspected to be responsible for the abuse or neglect is not disclosed unless the person has been arrested for a crime due to such abuse or neglect.

      (d) The commissioner shall make available to the public, without the consent of the person, information in general terms or findings concerning an incident of abuse or neglect which resulted in a child fatality or near fatality of a child, provided disclosure of such information or findings does not jeopardize a pending investigation.

      (e) The commissioner shall, upon written request, disclose the following information concerning agencies licensed by the Department of Children and Families, except foster care parents, relatives of the child who are certified to provide foster care or prospective adoptive families: (1) The name of the licensee; (2) the date the original license was issued; (3) the current status of the license; (4) whether an agency investigation or review is pending or has been completed; and (5) any licensing action taken by the department at any time during the period such license was issued and the reason for such action, provided disclosure of such information will not jeopardize a pending investigation.

      (f) The commissioner or the commissioner's designee shall, upon request, promptly provide copies of records, without the consent of a person, to (1) a law enforcement agency, (2) the Chief State's Attorney or the Chief State's Attorney's designee or a state's attorney for the judicial district in which the child resides or in which the alleged abuse or neglect occurred or the state's attorney's designee, for purposes of investigating or prosecuting an allegation of child abuse or neglect, (3) the attorney appointed to represent a child in any court in litigation affecting the best interests of the child, (4) a guardian ad litem appointed to represent a child in any court in litigation affecting the best interests of the child, (5) the Department of Public Health, which licenses any person to care for children for the purposes of determining suitability of such person for licensure, subject to the provisions of sections 17a-101g and 17a-101k, (6) any state agency which licenses such person to educate or care for children pursuant to section 10-145b or 17a-101j, subject to the provisions of sections 17a-101g and 17a-101k concerning nondisclosure of findings of responsibility for abuse and neglect, (7) the Governor, when requested in writing, in the course of the Governor's official functions or the Legislative Program Review and Investigations Committee, the committee of the General Assembly on judiciary and the committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters involving children when requested in the course of such committees' official functions in writing, and upon a majority vote of said committee, provided no names or other identifying information shall be disclosed unless it is essential to the legislative or gubernatorial purpose, (8) a local or regional board of education, provided the records are limited to educational records created or obtained by the state or Connecticut-Unified School District #2, established pursuant to section 17a-37, and (9) a party in a custody proceeding under section 17a-112 or 46b-129, in the Superior Court where such records concern a child who is the subject of the proceeding or the parent of such child. A disclosure under this section shall be made of any part of a record, whether or not created by the department, provided no confidential record of the Superior Court shall be disclosed other than the petition and any affidavits filed therewith in the superior court for juvenile matters, except upon an order of a judge of the Superior Court for good cause shown. The commissioner shall also disclose the name of any individual who cooperates with an investigation of a report of child abuse or neglect to such law enforcement agency or state's attorney for purposes of investigating or prosecuting an allegation of child abuse or neglect. The commissioner or the commissioner's designee shall, upon request, subject to the provisions of sections 17a-101g and 17a-101k, promptly provide copies of records, without the consent of the person, to (A) the Department of Public Health for the purpose of determining the suitability of a person to care for children in a facility licensed under sections 19a-77 to 19a-80, inclusive, 19a-82 to 19a-87, inclusive, and 19a-87b, and (B) the Department of Social Services for determining the suitability of a person for any payment from the department for providing child care.

      (g) When the commissioner or his designee determines it to be in a person's best interest, the commissioner or his designee may disclose records, whether or not created by the department and not otherwise privileged or confidential communications under state or federal law, without the consent of a person to:

      (1) Multidisciplinary teams which are formed to assist the department in investigation, evaluation or treatment of child abuse and neglect cases or a multidisciplinary provider of professional treatment services under contract with the department for a child referred to the provider;

      (2) Any agency in another state which is responsible for investigating or protecting against child abuse or neglect for the purpose of investigating a child abuse case;

      (3) An individual, including a physician, authorized pursuant to section 17a-101f to place a child in protective custody if such individual has before him a child whom he reasonably suspects may be a victim of abuse or neglect and such individual requires the information in a record in order to determine whether to place the child in protective custody;

      (4) An individual or public or private agency responsible for a person's care or custody and authorized by the department to diagnose, care for, treat or supervise a child who is the subject of a record of child abuse or neglect or a public or private agency responsible for a person's education for a purpose related to the individual's or agency's responsibilities;

      (5) The Attorney General or any assistant attorney general providing legal counsel for the department;

      (6) Individuals or public or private agencies engaged in medical, psychological or psychiatric diagnosis or treatment of a person perpetrating the abuse or who is unwilling or unable to protect the child from abuse or neglect when the commissioner or his designee determines that the disclosure is needed to accomplish the objectives of diagnosis or treatment;

      (7) A person who reports child abuse pursuant to sections 17a-101a to 17a-101c, inclusive, and section 17a-103, who made a report of abuse involving the subject child, provided the information disclosed is limited to (A) the status of the investigation and (B) in general terms, any action taken by the department;

      (8) An individual conducting bona fide research, provided no information identifying the subjects of records shall be disclosed unless (A) such information is essential to the purpose of the research; (B) each person identified in a record or his authorized representative has authorized such disclosure in writing; and (C) the department has given written approval;

      (9) The Auditors of Public Accounts or their representative, provided no information identifying the subjects of the records shall be disclosed unless such information is essential to an audit conducted pursuant to section 2-90;

      (10) The Department of Social Services, provided the information disclosed is necessary to promote the health, safety and welfare of the child;

      (11) A judge of the Superior Court for purposes of determining the appropriate disposition of a child convicted as delinquent or a child who is a member of a family with service needs; and

      (12) The superintendents, or their designees, of state-operated facilities within the department.

      (h) The commissioner or his designee may disclose the name, address and fees for services to a person, to individuals or agencies involved in the collection of fees for such services, except as provided in section 17b-225. In cases where a dispute arises over such fees or claims or where additional information is needed to substantiate the fee or claim, such disclosure of further information shall be limited to the following: (1) That the person was in fact committed to or otherwise served by the department; (2) dates and duration of service; and (3) a general description of the service, which shall include evidence that a service or treatment plan exists and has been carried out and evidence to substantiate the necessity for admission and length of stay in any institution or facility.

      (i) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (f) and (l) of this section, the name of an individual reporting child abuse or neglect shall not be disclosed without his written consent except to (1) an employee of the department responsible for child protective services or the abuse registry; (2) a law enforcement officer; (3) an appropriate state's attorney; (4) an appropriate assistant attorney general; (5) a judge of the Superior Court and all necessary parties in a court proceeding pursuant to section 46b-129, or a criminal prosecution involving child abuse or neglect; or (6) a state child care licensing agency, executive director of any institution, school or facility or superintendent of schools pursuant to section 17a-101i.

      (j) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (g) of this section, the name of any individual who cooperates with an investigation of a report of child abuse or neglect shall be kept confidential upon request or upon determination by the department that disclosure of such information may be detrimental to the safety or interests of the individual, except the name of any such individual shall be disclosed to the persons listed in subsection (i) of this section.

      (k) Notwithstanding the confidentiality provisions of this section, the commissioner, upon request of an employee, shall disclose such records to such employee or his authorized representative which would be applicable and necessary for the purposes of an employee disciplinary hearing or appeal from a decision after such hearing.

      (l) Information disclosed from a person's record shall not be disclosed further without the written consent of the person, except if disclosed to a party or his counsel pursuant to an order of a court in which a criminal prosecution or an abuse, neglect, commitment or termination proceeding against the party is pending. A state's attorney shall disclose to the defendant or his counsel in a criminal prosecution, without the necessity of a court order, exculpatory information and material contained in such record and may disclose, without a court order, information and material contained in such record which could be the subject of a disclosure order. All written records disclosed to another individual or agency shall bear a stamp requiring confidentiality in accordance with the provisions of this section. Such material shall not be disclosed to anyone without written consent of the person or as provided by this section. A copy of the consent form specifying to whom and for what specific use the record is disclosed or a statement setting forth any other statutory authorization for disclosure and the limitations imposed thereon shall accompany such record. In cases where the disclosure is made orally, the individual disclosing the information shall inform the recipient that such information is governed by the provisions of this section.

      (m) In addition to the right of access provided in section 1-210, any person, regardless of age, his authorized representative or attorney shall have the right of access to any records made, maintained or kept on file by the department, whether or not such records are required by any law or by any rule or regulation, when those records pertain to or contain information or materials concerning the person seeking access thereto, including but not limited to records concerning investigations, reports, or medical, psychological or psychiatric examinations of the person seeking access thereto, provided that (1) information identifying an individual who reported abuse or neglect of a person, including any tape re:CHY:cording of an oral report pursuant to section 17a-103, shall not be released unless, upon application to the Superior Court by such person and served on the Commissioner of Children and Families, a judge determines, after in camera inspection of relevant records and a hearing, that there is reasonable cause to believe the reporter knowingly made a false report or that other interests of justice require such release; and (2) if the commissioner determines that it would be contrary to the best interests of the person or his authorized representative or attorney to review the records, he may refuse access by issuing to such person or representative or attorney a written statement setting forth the reasons for such refusal, and advise the person, his authorized representative or attorney of the right to seek judicial relief. When any person, attorney or authorized representative, having obtained access to any record, believes there are factually inaccurate entries or materials contained therein, he shall have the unqualified right to add a statement to the record setting forth what he believes to be an accurate statement of those facts, and said statement shall become a permanent part of said record.

      (n) (1) Any person, attorney or authorized representative aggrieved by a violation of subsection (b), (f), (g), (h), (i), (j) or (l) of this section or of subsection (m) of this section, except subdivision (2) of said subsection (m), may seek judicial relief in the same manner as provided in section 52-146j; (2) any person, attorney or authorized representative denied access to records by the commissioner under subdivision (2) of subsection (m) of this section may petition the superior court for the venue district provided in section 46b-142 in which the person resides for an order requiring the commissioner to permit access to those records, and the court after hearing, and an in camera review of the records in question, shall issue such an order unless it determines that to permit such access would be contrary to the best interests of the person or authorized representative.

      (o) The commissioner shall promulgate regulations pursuant to chapter 54, within one year of October 1, 1996, to establish procedures for access to and disclosure of records consistent with the provisions of this section.

      (P.A. 75-524, S. 20, 30; P.A. 77-246, S. 12; P.A. 78-280, S. 30, 127; P.A. 91-299, S. 1; P.A. 96-246, S. 17; P.A. 97-104; 97-259, S. 25, 41; 97-319, S. 8, 22; P.A. 98-70, S. 2; 98-239, S. 17, 35; P.A. 01-142, S. 1; P.A. 05-207, S. 3, 4.)

      History: P.A. 77-246 amended Subsec. (c) to add Subdiv. (5); P.A. 78-280 replaced juvenile court with superior court and specified "venue" districts in Subsec. (f); Sec. 17-431 transferred to Sec. 17a-28 in 1991; P.A. 91-299 in Subsec. (a) amended definitions of "person", "attorney", "authorized representative", "consent", and "records" added definition of "disclose", in Subsec. (b) added provisions re confidentiality and criminal penalty, added a new Subsec. (c) re disclosure of records to state's attorney and relettered remaining Subsecs. accordingly, amended Subsec. (d) by adding Subdivs. (1) to (10), inclusive, re disclosure of records without consent of a person and making existing Subdiv. (4) a new Subsec. and renumbering the Subparas. as Subdivs., added a new Subsec. (f) re confidentiality of a person reporting child abuse or neglect, added a new Subsec. (g) re confidentiality of name of person cooperating with investigation of child abuse or neglect, added a new Subsec. (h) re disclosure of child abuse or neglect investigation, amended existing Subsec. (d) re disclosure without written consent of a person, except in criminal cases with a court order, amended existing Subsec. (e) by adding new Subdivs. (1) and (2) re disclosure of information concerning person reporting child abuse and neglect, amended existing Subsec. (f) by making technical changes and amended existing Subsec. (g) requiring submittal of regulations re disclosure of records; P.A. 96-246 amended Subsec. (a)(5) by changing reference to Subsec. (g) of Sec. 17a-101 to Sec. 17a-101e, amended Subsecs. (b), (c) and (d) by adding provisions re disclosure of records and disclosure of information by commissioner or designee when child abuse incident has been made public or publication likely and disclosure of information re agencies licensed by department, amended Subsec. (e) by adding law enforcement agency and provided disclosure of petitions and affidavits pled in superior court for juvenile matters, amended Subsec. (f)(7) to provide disclosure to reporter of child abuse action taken by the department in general terms, amended Subsec. (f)(8) permitting disclosure to Governor, committee on judiciary and committee having cognizance of matters involving children, added Subsec. (j) permitting commissioner, upon request of employee, to disclose records necessary for employee disciplinary hearing or appeal and amended Subsec. (n) by changing "1991" to "1996"; P.A. 97-104 amended Subsec. (e) by adding Subdivs. (3) and (4) re provision of copies of records to an attorney or guardian ad litem appointed to represent a child in litigation affecting the best interests of the child; P.A. 97-259 amended Subsec. (e) to allow copies to be provided to the Department of Public Health for the purpose of determining suitability of a person to care for children in conjuction with the department's day care licensure function and to the Department of Social Services for the purpose of determining the suitability of a person for any payment from the department for providing child care, effective July 1, 1997; P.A. 97-319 amended Subsec. (e) by adding Subdivs. (3) and (4) re provision of copies of records to state agencies and the Governor, amended Subsec. (f) to expand disclosure of records to include all communications and made changes consistent with changes in Subsec. (e), amended Subsec. (h) by adding Subdivs. (4) and (5) re disclosure to judges and child placing agencies and schools, amended Subsec. (l) to prohibit the release of information identifying a person upon determination a reporter knowingly made a false report and made technical changes, effective July 1, 1997; P.A. 98-70 amended Subsec. (f) by adding new Subdivs. (10) and (11), (codified as Subsec. (g)(11) and (12) due to the relettering of Subsecs. and other amendments in P.A. 98-239), providing for disclosure of records to judge of Superior Court for determining appropriate disposition of child and to superintendents or designees of state-operated facilities within Department of Children and Families; P.A. 98-239 amended Subsec. (a) to add definition of "near fatality" as Subdiv. (7), added new provision as Subsec. (d) to require commissioner to make available to the public information re an incident of abuse or neglect which resulted in a child fatality or near fatality, relettered former Subsecs. (d) to (n) as (e) to (o), amended Subsec. (f)(6) to require commissioner to provide copies of records, upon request, to any state agency which licenses such person to educate children pursuant to section 10-145b, added new Subsec. (f)(8), requiring commissioner to provide to a local or regional board of education, upon request, copies of educational records created or obtained by the state or Connecticut-Unified School District #2 and to expand disclosure of department or nondepartment records to all persons or entities specified in Subsec. (f), eliminating reference to "such law enforcement agency or attorney", amended Subsec. (g)(4) to allow commissioner, when he determines it to be in a child's best interest, to disclose department or nondepartment records that are not privileged or confidential to public or private agencies responsible for a child's education, added new Subsec. (g)(10), authorizing disclosure of records to the Department of Social Services, provided the information disclosed is necessary to promote the health, safety and welfare of the child, and made technical changes throughout (Revisor's note: The reference in Subsec. (n)(2) to "... subdivision (2) of subsection (l) of this section ..." was changed editorially by the Revisors to "... subdivision (2) of subsection (m) of this section ..." to reflect the relettering of Subsecs. by P.A. 98-239); P.A. 01-142 amended Subsec. (f) by adding Subdiv. (9) re disclosure of records to party in custody proceeding in Superior Court where records concern child or parent, and making technical changes for the purposes of gender neutrality; P.A. 05-207 made technical changes and required name or other individually identifiable information of suspected person not to be disclosed unless person arrested for crime in Subsec. (c) and made disclosure of records to state agencies subject to provisions of Secs. 17a-101g and 17a-101k in Subsec. (f).

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      Sec. 17a-30. (Formerly Sec. 17-434). Area advisory councils. Appointment and terms. (a) The commissioner shall create distinct service areas and shall create in each such area, an area advisory council to advise the commissioner and the area director on the development and delivery of services of the department in that area and to facilitate the coordination of services for children, youth and their families in the area.

      (b) Each area advisory council shall consist of no more than twenty-one persons, a majority of whom shall be persons who earn less than fifty per cent of their salaries from the provision of services to children, youth and their families, and the balance representative of private providers of human services throughout the area. The commissioner, or the commissioner's designee, shall appoint one-third of the representatives of each group for a term of three years, one-third for a term of two years, and one-third for a term of one year. No person may serve more than two consecutive three-year terms. All subsequent appointments to replace those whose terms have expired shall be for a term of three years. No person may serve on more than one area advisory council at a time. The area director shall make a good faith effort to ensure that, to the extent possible, the membership is qualified and closely reflects the gender and racial diversity of the area. All members shall serve without compensation. Each area advisory council shall elect two cochairpersons. Each area advisory council shall meet at least quarterly, or more often at the call of the cochairpersons or a majority of the council members. The area director or a designee of the area director shall be an ex-officio member of the council without the right to vote. Any member who fails to attend three consecutive meetings or fifty per cent of all meetings during any calendar year shall be deemed to have resigned. A majority of the members in office, but not less than six members, shall constitute a quorum.

      (P.A. 75-524, S. 23, 30; P.A. 77-511, S. 2; P.A. 84-256, S. 13, 17; P.A 05-246, S. 7.)

      History: P.A. 77-511 specified Sec. 4-60n as it appears in 1975 edition of statutes; P.A. 84-256 specified facilitation of coordination of services as duty of councils, added meeting, attendance and quorum requirements, required that a majority of members of each council be persons who earn less than fifty per cent of their salaries from provision of services to children, youth and their families, and deleted provision authorizing reimbursement of members for expenses incurred in performance of duties; Sec. 17-434 transferred to Sec. 17a-30 in 1991; P.A. 05-246 replaced provisions re regions with provisions re service areas and changed "regional advisory council" to "area advisory council" in Subsecs. (a) and (b), added reference to area director in Subsec. (a) and granted commissioner's designee appointment authority, restricted service to not more that two consecutive three-year terms, prohibited persons from serving on more than one area advisory council at a time, required area director to make good faith effort to ensure membership reflects gender and racial diversity of area, replaced provisions re chairman and vice-chairman with provisions re cochairpersons and made area director or designee ex-officio member of council in Subsec. (b), effective July 8, 2005.

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      Sec. 17a-47. (Formerly Sec. 17-445). Legal division re child abuse and neglect. There shall be a legal division which shall consist of attorneys-at-law assigned to the Department of Children and Families, who shall be on the staff and under the supervision of the Commissioner of Children and Families. There shall also be assistant attorneys general on the staff and under the direct supervision of the Attorney General. Such assistant attorneys general shall diligently prosecute petitions of neglect giving priority to petitions which allege child abuse as the grounds of neglect. Such assistant attorneys general and the department shall cooperate in preparation of such cases as shall be necessary to protect the safety and best interest of the child named in the petition.

      (P.A. 77-577, S. 1; P.A. 93-91, S. 1, 2; 93-216, S. 5; P.A. 05-246, S. 8.)

      History: Sec. 17-445 transferred to Sec. 17a-47 in 1991; P.A. 93-91 substituted commissioner and department of children and families for commissioner and department of children and youth services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 93-216 removed the legal division from the department of children and youth services, removed the reference to three attorneys-at-law, placed the attorneys under the direct supervision of the attorney general and deleted provision which had stated that legal division not to be considered a replacement for, but an addition to, attorney general's staff responsible for prosecuting petitions for neglected, uncared for and dependent children; P.A. 05-246 provided that legal division to consist of attorneys assigned to Department of Children and Families and assistant attorneys general, made conforming changes and added reference to safety of child, effective July 8, 2005.

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      Sec. 17a-50. (Formerly Sec. 17-500). Children's Trust Fund established. Regulations. Children's Trust Fund Council. Parent Trust Fund. Report. (a) There is established a Children's Trust Fund, the resources of which shall be used by the council established pursuant to subsection (b) of this section to fund programs aimed at preventing child abuse and neglect and family resource programs. Said fund is intended to be in addition to those resources that would otherwise be appropriated by the state for programs aimed at preventing child abuse and neglect and family resource programs. The Children's Trust Fund Council may apply for and accept any federal funds which are available for a Children's Trust Fund and shall administer such funds in the manner required by federal law. The fund shall receive money from grants and gifts made pursuant to section 17a-18. The Children's Trust Fund Council shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to administer the fund and to set eligibility requirements for programs seeking funding. Youth service bureaus may receive funds from the Children's Trust Fund. The Parent Trust Fund, established pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, may receive funds directed to it through the Children's Trust Fund.

      (b) There shall be established, within existing resources, a Children's Trust Fund Council which shall be within the Department of Children and Families for administrative purposes only. The council shall be composed of sixteen members as follows: (1) The Commissioners of Social Services, Education, Children and Families and Public Health, or their designees; (2) a representative of the business community with experience in fund-raising, appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate; (3) a representative of the business community with experience in fund-raising, appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives; (4) a representative of the business community with experience in fund-raising, appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives; (5) a representative of the business community with experience in fund-raising, appointed by the minority leader of the Senate; (6) a parent, appointed by the majority leader of the House of Representatives; (7) a parent, appointed by the majority leader of the Senate; (8) a parent, appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate; (9) a person with expertise in child abuse prevention, appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives; (10) a person with expertise in child abuse prevention, appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives; (11) a staff member of a child abuse prevention program, appointed by the minority leader of the Senate; (12) a staff member of a child abuse prevention program, appointed by the majority leader of the House of Representatives; and (13) a pediatrician, appointed by the majority leader of the Senate. The council shall solicit and accept funds, on behalf of the Children's Trust Fund, to be used for the prevention of child abuse and neglect and family resource programs, or on behalf of the Parent Trust Fund, to be used for parent community involvement to improve the health, safety and education of children, and shall make grants to programs pursuant to subsections (a) and (c) of this section. The council may, subject to the provisions of chapter 67, employ an executive director and any necessary staff within available appropriations.

      (c) There is established a Parent Trust Fund which shall be used to fund programs aimed at improving the health, safety and education of children by training parents in civic leadership skills and supporting increased, sustained, quality parental engagement in community affairs. The fund shall receive federal or private money from grants and gifts made pursuant to section 17a-18.

      (d) On or before July 1, 1997, and annually thereafter, the Children's Trust Fund Council shall report to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to human services, public health and education concerning the source and amount of funds received by the Children's Trust Fund and the Parent Trust Fund, and the manner in which such funds were administered and disbursed.

      (June Sp. Sess. P.A. 83-20, S. 2, 4; P.A. 85-582, S. 1, 8; P.A. 89-336, S. 2, 6; P.A. 93-91, S. 1, 2; P.A. 97-237, S. 1, 3; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-2, S. 39, 69; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-9, S. 129, 131; P.A. 03-19, S. 35; P.A. 04-258, S. 25; P.A. 05-288, S. 68.)

      History: P.A. 85-582 transferred authority of children and youth services department to council, deleted reference to grants and gifts made pursuant to Sec. 17-422, substituting references to grants and gifts received pursuant to Sec. 17-501 and to proceeds of copyrights pursuant to Sec. 17-502 and added authority to expend resources for purposes other than the prevention of child abuse; Sec. 17-446a transferred to Sec. 17-500 in 1987; P.A. 89-336 amended Subsec. (a) to require that the resources of the trust fund be used by the department of children and youth services with the advice of the council and to allow the commissioner of children and youth services to apply for and accept federal funds, added a new Subsec. (b) re the children's trust fund council and added a new Subsec. (c) re the report to the general assembly; Sec. 17-500 transferred to Sec. 17a-50 in 1991; P.A. 93-91 substituted commissioner and department of children and families for commissioner and department of children and youth services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 97-237 amended Subsec. (a) by replacing references to Department and Commission of Children and Families with Children's Trust Fund Council, authorizing council to also fund family resource programs and programs preventing neglect and making technical changes, amended Subsec. (b) by placing the council within the Department of Children and Families for administrative purposes and by increasing the membership in the council from nine to sixteen and amended Subsec. (c) to require report to be submitted to the legislative committees on public health and education, effective July 1, 1997; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-2 amended Subsec. (a) to allow the Parent Trust Fund to receive funds directed to it through the Children's Trust Fund, amended Subsec. (b) to require council to solicit and accept funds on behalf of the Parent Trust Fund to be used for parent community involvement to improve the health, safety and education of children, added new Subsec. (c) establishing a Parent Trust Fund and redesignated existing Subsec. (c) as Subsec. (d), adding a reference to the Parent Trust Fund therein; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-9 revised effective date of June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-2 but without affecting this section; P.A. 03-19 made technical changes in Subsec. (a), effective May 12, 2003; P.A. 04-258 amended Subsec. (b) by permitting the council to employ an executive director and any necessary staff within available appropriations, effective July 1, 2004; P.A. 05-288 made a technical change in Subsec. (b)(1), effective July 13, 2005.

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      Sec. 17a-55. Awarding of grants to community service programs based upon effectiveness. The Commissioner of Children and Families shall implement a system of awarding grants to community service programs whereby such programs are funded proportionate to their effectiveness in treating clients of the department. The evaluation of a program shall be based on (1) an analysis of program outcomes; (2) an assessment of needs for treatment services in each service delivery area; and (3) the availability of the program to clients of the department. The Department of Children and Families shall collect, maintain and analyze the data to be used in the evaluation process on an ongoing basis. The commissioner shall impose a probationary period on a program found to be ineffective and shall propose requirements for the improvement of such a program. The commissioner shall determine the length of the probationary period and shall cease to fund a program which has not met the proposed requirements for improvement within such period.

      (P.A. 91-268, S. 2, 4; P.A. 93-91, S. 1, 2; P.A. 05-246, S. 9.)

      History: P.A. 93-91 substituted commissioner and department of children and families for commissioner and department of children and youth services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 05-246 amended Subdiv. (2) to delete "regional" and add provision re assessment of needs for treatment services in each service delivery area, effective July 8, 2005.

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      Sec. 17a-56. Nurturing Families Network. (a) The Children's Trust Fund Council shall establish the structure for a state-wide system for a Nurturing Families Network, which is intended to demonstrate the benefits of preventive services by significantly reducing the abuse and neglect of infants and by enhancing parent-child relationships through hospital-based assessment with home outreach follow-up on infants and their families within families identified as high risk.

      (b) Within available appropriations, the Children's Trust Fund Council shall establish Nurturing Families Network pilot programs in geographic areas which are not currently served by prevention outreach services and which have a high rate of confirmed child abuse and neglect, a high rate of infant mortality and low birthweight infants, or a high rate of teen pregnancy.

      (c) The Nurturing Families Network pilot programs shall: (1) Provide a comprehensive risk assessment of all newborn children and their families; (2) identify families that would benefit most from the program; (3) provide and coordinate support services including, but not limited to, community-based home visiting intervention services, counseling, child care and primary health care services; and (4) provide follow-up and support services until the child attains the age of five.

      (d) The Children's Trust Fund Council shall: (1) Develop the comprehensive risk assessment to be used by the pilot programs; (2) develop the training program, standards, and protocols for the pilot programs; and (3) develop, issue and evaluate requests for proposals to procure the services required by this section. In evaluating the proposals, the Children's Trust Fund Council shall take into consideration the most effective and consistent service delivery system allowing for the continuation of current public and private programs.

      (e) The Children's Trust Fund Council shall establish a data system to enable the programs to document the following information in a standard manner: (1) The level of screening and assessment; (2) profiles of risk and family demographics; (3) the incidence of child abuse and neglect; (4) rates of child development; and (5) any other information the Children's Trust Fund Council deems appropriate.

      (f) The Children's Trust Fund Council shall report to the General Assembly, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a, on the establishment, implementation and progress of the Nurturing Families Network, on January first and July first, of each year.

      (P.A. 95-238, S. 1; P.A. 97-288, S. 2, 6; P.A. 05-246, S. 10.)

      History: P.A. 97-288 amended Subsec. (b) by adding provision requiring the commissioner to establish three additional pilot sites, effective July 1, 1997; P.A. 05-246 replaced Commissioner of Children and Families with Children's Trust Fund Council and Healthy Families Connecticut program with Nurturing Families Network and made conforming and technical changes throughout, effective July 8, 2005.

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      Sec. 17a-56a. Nurturing Families Network Advisory Commission. (a) There is established a Nurturing Families Network Advisory Commission to monitor the state-wide system for the Nurturing Families Network developed pursuant to section 17a-56. The commission shall consist of: (1) One member appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives and one member appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate, who shall be members of the General Assembly; (2) one member appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives and one member appointed by the minority leader of the Senate, who shall be members of the General Assembly; (3) a representative of the Governor; (4) the Commissioner of Children and Families, or his designee; (5) the Commissioner of Social Services, or his designee; (6) the Commissioner of Public Health, or his designee; (7) the Commissioner of Education, or his designee; (8) the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, or his designee; (9) the executive director of the Commission on Children, or his designee; (10) a representative of the Child Advocate's Office, who shall be appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives; and (11) a representative of the Connecticut Chapter of the National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse who shall be appointed by the majority leader of the Senate.

      (b) The commission shall be responsible for: (1) Reviewing the Nurturing Families Network pilot sites and advising the General Assembly on outcomes and recommending program modifications, if necessary; (2) preparing plans to implement the Nurturing Families Network on a state-wide basis; (3) monitoring cooperative, coordinated approaches of state and private agencies involved in the Nurturing Families Network and expanding such approaches to incorporate other, similar activities; (4) studying state and privately funded home visitation programs as an initial step in establishing a cost-effective, collaborative and comprehensive Nurturing Families Network system; (5) monitoring the effects of welfare reform on the factors associated with the risk of child abuse; and (6) building a network of public and private state, regional and local organizations for the purpose of collaborating to strengthen and support families with newborns and children up to the age of five.

      (P.A. 97-288, S. 1, 6; P.A. 05-246, S. 15.)

      History: P.A. 97-288 effective July 1, 1997; P.A. 05-246 changed name from Healthy Families Advisory Commission to Nurturing Families Network Advisory Commission and made conforming changes, effective July 8, 2005.

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      Sec. 17a-61a. Accreditation of Department of Children and Families by Council on Accreditation. The Commissioner of Children and Families shall apply, within a reasonable time, for accreditation of the Department of Children and Families by the Council on Accreditation. The commissioner shall comply with all procedural and administrative requirements of said council and after obtaining accreditation shall apply for renewal when such renewal is due.

      (P.A. 05-246, S. 16.)

      History: P.A. 05-246 effective July 1, 2005.

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PART II*
COMMITMENT OF MENTALLY ILL CHILDREN

      *See Sec. 17a-487 re cooperation of Department of Children and Families and Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services in cases involving serious injury or unexpected death of persons served by both departments.

      Sec. 17a-79. (Formerly Sec. 17-205f). Hospitalization of child for diagnosis or treatment of mental disorder. (a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, any hospital may admit any child for diagnosis or treatment of a mental disorder upon the written request of the child's parent. A child fourteen years of age or over may be admitted under this section without consent of his or her parents if such child consents in writing, provided that the parents of such child, if any, shall be notified within five days of such admission that such child has been hospitalized under the provisions of this subsection. If the whereabouts of such parents are unknown, then such child's nearest relative shall be so notified. In the event that a child's parent or guardian requests in writing release of such child, or in the event a child age fourteen or older who has been admitted with his or her written consent requests in writing his or her release, the hospital shall release such child or commence commitment proceedings in accordance with sections 17a-76 and 17a-77 and the hospital may detain the child for five business days, in order to allow an application to be filed. In the event such an application is filed, such hospitalization shall be continued for an additional period of time to allow such application to be heard, but in no event shall such hospitalization continue for more than fifteen days, or twenty-five days, if the matter has been transferred to the Superior Court, beyond the receipt of such application by the court.

      (b) No child in the custody of the Commissioner of Children and Families shall be admitted for diagnosis or treatment except in accordance with sections 17a-76 to 17a-78, inclusive, unless (1) the commissioner requests such admission, (2) legal counsel appointed by the superior court for juvenile matters or court of probate in accordance with section 17a-76 agrees, in writing, to such admission, and (3) the child, if fourteen years of age or over consents to such admission. The parents or guardian of the person of such child, if any, shall be notified within five days of such admission that such child has been hospitalized under the provisions of this section. If the whereabouts of such parents or guardian of the person is unknown, then the nearest relative of such child shall be notified. In the event either parent or the guardian of the person of the child requests in writing the release of such child, the hospital shall release such child, unless the Commissioner of Children and Families commences commitment proceedings in accordance with sections 17a-76 and 17a-77. The hospital may detain the child for five business days after receipt of the written request in order to allow an application to be filed. If an application is filed, hospitalization shall be continued for an additional period of time to allow the application to be heard, but in no event shall hospitalization continue for more than fifteen days, or twenty-five days, if the matter has been transferred to the Superior Court, beyond the receipt of such application by the court.

      (P.A. 79-511, S. 5; P.A. 81-247, S. 6, 7; P.A. 86-311, S. 1; P.A. 93-91, S. 1, 2; P.A. 05-246, S. 11.)

      History: P.A. 81-247 eliminated the provision that allowed surrogate parents to request admission of a child to a hospital for diagnosis or treatment of a mental disorder; P.A. 86-311 divided the section into Subsecs. (a) and (b), in Subsec. (a) deleting language concerning the admission of a child who is in the custody of the commissioner of children and youth services for diagnosis or treatment, and adding provisions as new Subsec. (b) which provided the standard of when a child in the commissioner's custody may be admitted for diagnosis and treatment; Sec. 17-205f transferred to Sec. 17a-79 in 1991; P.A. 93-91 substituted commissioner and department of children and families for commissioner and department of children and youth services, effective July 1, 1993; P. A. 05-246 amended Subsec. (b)(2) to specify that legal counsel be appointed by the superior court for juvenile matters of the court of probate.

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