Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Substitute Bill No. 1199

    January Session, 2011

 

*_____SB01199HS____032311____*

AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES' DIFFERENTIAL RESPONSE AND POVERTY EXEMPTION.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 17a-101g of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2011):

(a) Upon receiving a report of child abuse or neglect, as provided in sections 17a-101a to 17a-101c, inclusive, or section 17a-103, in which the alleged perpetrator is (1) a person responsible for such child's health, welfare or care, (2) a person given access to such child by such responsible person, or (3) a person entrusted with the care of a child, the Commissioner of Children and Families, or the commissioner's designee, shall cause the report to be classified and evaluated immediately. If the report contains sufficient information to warrant an investigation, the commissioner shall make the commissioner's best efforts to commence an investigation of a report concerning an imminent risk of physical harm to a child or other emergency within two hours of receipt of the report and shall commence an investigation of all other reports within seventy-two hours of receipt of the report. A report classified as lower risk may be referred for family assessment and services pursuant to subsection (g) of this section. Any such report may thereafter be referred for standard child protective services if safety concerns for the child become evident. A report referred for standard child protective services may be referred for family assessment and services at any time if the department determines there is a lower risk to the child. The department shall complete any such investigation not later than forty-five calendar days after the date of receipt of the report. If the report is a report of child abuse or neglect in which the alleged perpetrator is not a person specified in subdivision (1), (2) or (3) of this subsection, the Commissioner of Children and Families shall refer the report to the appropriate local law enforcement authority for the town in which the child resides or in which the alleged abuse or neglect occurred.

(b) The investigation shall include a home visit at which the child and any siblings are observed, if appropriate, a determination of the nature, extent and cause or causes of the reported abuse or neglect, a determination of the person or persons suspected to be responsible for such abuse or neglect, the name, age and condition of other children residing in the same household and an evaluation of the parents and the home. The report of such investigation shall be in writing. The investigation shall also include, but not be limited to, a review of criminal conviction information concerning the person or persons alleged to be responsible for such abuse or neglect and previous allegations of abuse or neglect relating to the child or other children residing in the household or relating to family violence. After an investigation into a report of abuse or neglect has been completed, the commissioner shall determine, based upon a standard of reasonable cause, whether a child has been abused or neglected, as defined in section 46b-120, as amended by this act. If the commissioner determines that abuse or neglect has occurred, the commissioner shall also determine whether: (1) There is an identifiable person responsible for such abuse or neglect; and (2) such identifiable person poses a risk to the health, safety or well-being of children and should be recommended by the commissioner for placement on the child abuse and neglect registry established pursuant to section 17a-101k. If the commissioner has made the determinations in subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection, the commissioner shall issue notice of a recommended finding to the person suspected to be responsible for such abuse or neglect in accordance with section 17a-101k.

(c) Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, no entry of the recommended finding shall be made on the child abuse or neglect registry and no information concerning the finding shall be disclosed by the commissioner pursuant to a check of the child abuse or neglect registry or request for information by a public or private entity for employment, licensure, or reimbursement for child care purposes pursuant to programs administered by the Department of Social Services or pursuant to any other general statute that requires a check of the child abuse or neglect registry until the exhaustion or waiver of all administrative appeals available to the person suspected to be responsible for the abuse or neglect, as provided in section 17a-101k.

(d) If the child abuse or neglect resulted in or involves (1) the death of a child; (2) the risk of serious physical injury or emotional harm of a child; (3) the serious physical harm of a child; (4) the arrest of a person due to abuse or neglect of a child; (5) a petition filed by the commissioner pursuant to section 17a-112 or 46b-129; or (6) sexual abuse of a child, entry of the recommended finding may be made on the child abuse or neglect registry and information concerning the finding may be disclosed by the commissioner pursuant to a check of the child abuse or neglect registry or request for information by a public or private entity for employment, licensure, or reimbursement for child care purposes pursuant to programs administered by the Department of Social Services or pursuant to any other general statute that requires a check of the child abuse or neglect registry, prior to the exhaustion or waiver of all administrative appeals available to the person suspected to be responsible for the abuse or neglect as provided in section 17a-101k.

(e) If the Commissioner of Children and Families, or the commissioner's designee, has probable cause to believe that the child or any other child in the household is in imminent risk of physical harm from the child's surroundings and that immediate removal from such surroundings is necessary to ensure the child's safety, the commissioner, or the commissioner's designee, shall authorize any employee of the department or any law enforcement officer to remove the child and any other child similarly situated from such surroundings without the consent of the child's parent or guardian. The commissioner shall record in writing the reasons for such removal and include such record with the report of the investigation conducted under subsection (b) of this section.

(f) The removal of a child pursuant to subsection (e) of this section shall not exceed ninety-six hours. During the period of such removal, the commissioner, or the commissioner's designee, shall provide the child with all necessary care, including medical care, which may include an examination by a physician or mental health professional with or without the consent of the child's parents, guardian or other person responsible for the child's care, provided reasonable attempts have been made to obtain consent of the child's parents or guardian or other person responsible for the care of such child. During the course of a medical examination, a physician may perform diagnostic tests and procedures necessary for the detection of child abuse or neglect. If the child is not returned home within such ninety-six-hour period, with or without protective services, the department shall proceed in accordance with section 46b-129.

(g) (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (a) to (f), inclusive, of this section, the commissioner may establish a program of differential response to reports of child abuse and neglect whereby the report may be referred to appropriate community providers for family assessment and services without an investigation or at any time during an investigation, provided there has been an initial safety assessment of the circumstances of a family and child and criminal background checks have been performed on all adults involved in the report.

(2) The commissioner may adopt regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 to establish a method for the department to monitor the progress of the child and family referred to a community provider pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection and to set standards for reopening an investigation pursuant to this section.

(3) Consistent with the provisions of section 17a-28, the department shall disclose all relevant information in its possession concerning the child and family, including prior child protection activity, to each provider to whom a report has been referred for use by the provider in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of unique needs of the family and the prevention of future reports. Each provider who has received a report of child abuse or neglect referred pursuant to this subsection shall disclose to the department, consistent with the provisions of section 17a-28, all relevant information gathered during assessment, diagnosis and treatment of the child and family. The department may use such information solely to monitor and ensure the continued safety and well-being of the child or children.

Sec. 2. Section 46b-120 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2011):

The terms used in this chapter shall, in its interpretation and in the interpretation of other statutes, be defined as follows:

(1) "Child" means any person under eighteen years of age who has not been legally emancipated, except that (A) for purposes of delinquency matters and proceedings, "child" means any person (i) under seventeen years of age who has not been legally emancipated, or (ii) seventeen years of age or older who, prior to attaining seventeen years of age, has committed a delinquent act or, subsequent to attaining seventeen years of age, (I) violates any order of the Superior Court or any condition of probation ordered by the Superior Court with respect to a delinquency proceeding, or (II) wilfully fails to appear in response to a summons under section 46b-133 or at any other court hearing in a delinquency proceeding of which the child had notice, and (B) for purposes of family with service needs matters and proceedings, child means a person under seventeen years of age;

(2) (A) "Youth" means any person sixteen or seventeen years of age who has not been legally emancipated, and (B) "youth in crisis" means any person seventeen years of age who has not been legally emancipated and who, within the last two years, (i) has without just cause run away from the parental home or other properly authorized and lawful place of abode, (ii) is beyond the control of the youth's parents, guardian or other custodian, or (iii) has four unexcused absences from school in any one month or ten unexcused absences in any school year;

(3) "Abused" means that a child or youth (A) has been inflicted with physical injury or injuries other than by accidental means, (B) has injuries that are at variance with the history given of them, or (C) is in a condition that is the result of maltreatment, including, but not limited to, malnutrition, sexual molestation or exploitation, deprivation of necessities, emotional maltreatment or cruel punishment;

(4) A child may be found "mentally deficient" who, by reason of a deficiency of intelligence that has existed from birth or from early age, requires, or will require, for such child's protection or for the protection of others, special care, supervision and control;

(5) (A) A child may be convicted as "delinquent" who has, while under sixteen years of age, (i) violated any federal or state law, except section 53a-172 or 53a-173, or violated a municipal or local ordinance, except an ordinance regulating behavior of a child in a family with service needs, (ii) wilfully failed to appear in response to a summons under section 46b-133 or at any other court hearing in a delinquency proceeding of which the child had notice, (iii) violated any order of the Superior Court in a delinquency proceeding, except as provided in section 46b-148, or (iv) violated conditions of probation in a delinquency proceeding as ordered by the court;

(B) A child may be convicted as "delinquent" who has (i) while sixteen years of age, violated any federal or state law, other than (I) an infraction, (II) a violation, (III) a motor vehicle offense or violation under title 14, (IV) a violation of a municipal or local ordinance, or (V) a violation of section 51-164r, 53a-172 or 53a-173, (ii) while sixteen years of age or older wilfully failed to appear in response to a summons under section 46b-133 or at any other court hearing in a delinquency proceeding of which the child had notice, (iii) while sixteen years of age or older, violated any order of the Superior Court in a delinquency proceeding, except as provided in section 46b-148, or (iv) while sixteen years of age or older, violated conditions of probation in a delinquency proceeding as ordered by the court;

[(6) A child or youth may be found "dependent" whose home is a suitable one for the child or youth, except for the financial inability of the child's or youth's parents, parent or guardian, or other person maintaining such home, to provide the specialized care the condition of the child or youth requires;]

[(7)] (6) "Family with service needs" means a family that includes a child under seventeen years of age who (A) has without just cause run away from the parental home or other properly authorized and lawful place of abode, (B) is beyond the control of the child's or youth's parent, parents, guardian or other custodian, (C) has engaged in indecent or immoral conduct, (D) is a truant or habitual truant or who, while in school, has been continuously and overtly defiant of school rules and regulations, or (E) is thirteen years of age or older and has engaged in sexual intercourse with another person and such other person is thirteen years of age or older and not more than two years older or younger than such child or youth;

[(8)] (7) A child or youth may be found "neglected" who, for reasons other than being impoverished, (A) has been abandoned, (B) is being denied proper care and attention, physically, educationally, emotionally or morally, or (C) is being permitted to live under conditions, circumstances or associations injurious to the well-being of the child or youth; [, or (D) has been abused;]

[(9)] (8) A child or youth may be found "uncared for" who is homeless or whose home cannot provide the specialized care that the physical, emotional or mental condition of the child or youth requires. For the purposes of this section, the treatment of any child or youth by an accredited Christian Science practitioner, in lieu of treatment by a licensed practitioner of the healing arts, shall not of itself constitute neglect or maltreatment;

[(10)] (9) "Delinquent act" means (A) the violation by a child under the age of sixteen of any federal or state law, except the violation of section 53a-172 or 53a-173, or the violation of a municipal or local ordinance, except an ordinance regulating behavior of a child in a family with service needs, (B) the violation by a child sixteen years of age of any federal or state law, other than (i) an infraction, (ii) a violation, (iii) a motor vehicle offense or violation under title 14, (iv) the violation of a municipal or local ordinance, or (v) the violation of section 51-164r, 53a-172 or 53a-173, (C) the wilful failure of a child, including a child who has attained the age of seventeen or older, to appear in response to a summons under section 46b-133 or at any other court hearing in a delinquency proceeding of which the child has notice, (D) the violation of any order of the Superior Court in a delinquency proceeding by a child, including a child who has attained the age of seventeen or older, except as provided in section 46b-148, or (E) the violation of conditions of probation in a delinquency proceeding by a child, including a child who has attained the age of seventeen or older, as ordered by the court;

[(11)] (10) "Serious juvenile offense" means (A) the violation of, including attempt or conspiracy to violate, section 21a-277, 21a-278, 29-33, 29-34, 29-35, subdivision (2) or (3) of subsection (a) of section 53-21, 53-80a, 53-202b, 53-202c, 53-390 to 53-392, inclusive, 53a-54a to 53a-57, inclusive, 53a-59 to 53a-60c, inclusive, 53a-70 to 53a-71, inclusive, 53a-72b, 53a-86, 53a-92 to 53a-94a, inclusive, 53a-95, 53a-101, 53a-102a, 53a-103a or 53a-111 to 53a-113, inclusive, subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of section 53a-122, subdivision (3) of subsection (a) of section 53a-123, section 53a-134, 53a-135, 53a-136a or 53a-167c, subsection (a) of section 53a-174, or section 53a-196a, 53a-211, 53a-212, 53a-216 or 53a-217b, or (B) running away, without just cause, from any secure placement other than home while referred as a delinquent child to the Court Support Services Division or committed as a delinquent child to the Commissioner of Children and Families for a serious juvenile offense;

[(12)] (11) "Serious juvenile offender" means any child convicted as delinquent for the commission of a serious juvenile offense;

[(13)] (12) "Serious juvenile repeat offender" means any child charged with the commission of any felony if such child has previously been convicted as delinquent or otherwise convicted at any age for two violations of any provision of title 21a, 29, 53 or 53a that is designated as a felony;

[(14)] (13) "Alcohol-dependent" means a psychoactive substance dependence on alcohol as that condition is defined in the most recent edition of the American Psychiatric Association's "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders"; and

[(15)] (14) "Drug-dependent" means a psychoactive substance dependence on drugs as that condition is defined in the most recent edition of the American Psychiatric Association's "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders". No child shall be classified as drug-dependent who is dependent (A) upon a morphine-type substance as an incident to current medical treatment of a demonstrable physical disorder other than drug dependence, or (B) upon amphetamine-type, ataractic, barbiturate-type, hallucinogenic or other stimulant and depressant substances as an incident to current medical treatment of a demonstrable physical or psychological disorder, or both, other than drug dependence.

Sec. 3. Section 46b-120 of the general statutes, as amended by section 82 of public act 09-7 of the September special session, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2012):

The terms used in this chapter shall, in its interpretation and in the interpretation of other statutes, be defined as follows:

(1) "Child" means any person under sixteen years of age, except that (A) for purposes of delinquency matters and proceedings, "child" means any person (i) under eighteen years of age who has not been legally emancipated, or (ii) eighteen years of age or older who, prior to attaining eighteen years of age, has committed a delinquent act and, subsequent to attaining eighteen years of age, (I) violates any order of the Superior Court or any condition of probation ordered by the Superior Court with respect to such delinquency proceeding, or (II) wilfully fails to appear in response to a summons under section 46b-133 with respect to such delinquency proceeding, and (B) for purposes of family with service needs matters and proceedings, child means a person under eighteen years of age;

(2) "Youth" means any person sixteen or seventeen years of age who has not been legally emancipated;

(3) "Abused" means that a child or youth (A) has been inflicted with physical injury or injuries other than by accidental means, (B) has injuries that are at variance with the history given of them, or (C) is in a condition that is the result of maltreatment, including, but not limited to, malnutrition, sexual molestation or exploitation, deprivation of necessities, emotional maltreatment or cruel punishment;

(4) A child may be found "mentally deficient" who, by reason of a deficiency of intelligence that has existed from birth or from early age, requires, or will require, for such child's protection or for the protection of others, special care, supervision and control;

(5) (A) A child may be convicted as "delinquent" who has (i) while under sixteen years of age, violated any federal or state law or municipal or local ordinance, except an ordinance regulating behavior of a child in a family with service needs, (ii) wilfully failed to appear in response to a summons under section 46b-133 or at any other court hearing of which the child had notice, (iii) violated any order of the Superior Court, except as provided in section 46b-148, or (iv) violated conditions of probation as ordered by the court;

(B) A child may be convicted as "delinquent" who has (i) while sixteen or seventeen years of age, violated any federal or state law, other than (I) an infraction, (II) a violation, (III) a motor vehicle offense or violation as defined in chapter 248, or (IV) a violation of a municipal or local ordinance, (ii) wilfully failed to appear in response to a summons under section 46b-133 or at any other court hearing of which the child had notice, (iii) violated any order of the Superior Court, except as provided in section 46b-148, or (iv) violated conditions of probation as ordered by the court;

[(6) A child or youth may be found "dependent" whose home is a suitable one for the child or youth, except for the financial inability of the child's or youth's parents, parent or guardian, or other person maintaining such home, to provide the specialized care the condition of the child or youth requires;]

[(7)] (6) "Family with service needs" means a family that includes a child or a youth who (A) has without just cause run away from the parental home or other properly authorized and lawful place of abode, (B) is beyond the control of the child's or youth's parent, parents, guardian or other custodian, (C) has engaged in indecent or immoral conduct, (D) is a truant or habitual truant or who, while in school, has been continuously and overtly defiant of school rules and regulations, or (E) is thirteen years of age or older and has engaged in sexual intercourse with another person and such other person is thirteen years of age or older and not more than two years older or younger than such child or youth;

[(8)] (7) A child or youth may be found "neglected" who, for reasons other than being impoverished, (A) has been abandoned, (B) is being denied proper care and attention, physically, educationally, emotionally or morally, or (C) is being permitted to live under conditions, circumstances or associations injurious to the well-being of the child or youth; [, or (D) has been abused;]

[(9)] (8) A child or youth may be found "uncared for" who is homeless or whose home cannot provide the specialized care that the physical, emotional or mental condition of the child or youth requires. For the purposes of this section, the treatment of any child or youth by an accredited Christian Science practitioner, in lieu of treatment by a licensed practitioner of the healing arts, shall not of itself constitute neglect or maltreatment;

[(10)] (9) "Delinquent act" means (A) the violation by a child under the age of sixteen of any federal or state law or municipal or local ordinance, except an ordinance regulating behavior of a child in a family with service needs, (B) the violation by a child sixteen or seventeen years of age of any federal or state law, other than (i) an infraction, (ii) a violation, (iii) a motor vehicle offense or violation under chapter 248, or (iv) a violation of a municipal or local ordinance, (C) wilful failure of a child to appear in response to a summons under section 46b-133 or at any other court hearing of which the child has notice, (D) the violation of any order of the Superior Court by a child, except as provided in section 46b-148, or (E) the violation of conditions of probation by a child as ordered by the court;

[(11)] (10) "Serious juvenile offense" means (A) the violation of, including attempt or conspiracy to violate, (i) section 21a-277, 21a-278, 29-33, 29-34, 29-35, 53-21, 53-80a, 53-202b, 53-202c, 53-390 to 53-392, inclusive, 53a-54a to 53a-56a, inclusive, 53a-59 to 53a-60c, inclusive, 53a-70 to 53a-71, inclusive, 53a-72b, 53a-86, 53a-92 to 53a-94a, inclusive, 53a-95, 53a-101, 53a-102a, 53a-103a or 53a-111 to 53a-113, inclusive, subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of section 53a-122, subdivision (3) of subsection (a) of section 53a-123, section 53a-134, 53a-135, 53a-136a, 53a-166 or 53a-167c, subsection (a) of section 53a-174, or section 53a-196a, 53a-211, 53a-212, 53a-216 or 53a-217b, by a child, or (ii) section 53a-56b or 53a-57 by a child under sixteen years of age, or (B) running away, without just cause, from any secure placement other than home while referred as a delinquent child to the Court Support Services Division or committed as a delinquent child to the Commissioner of Children and Families for a serious juvenile offense;

[(12)] (11) "Serious juvenile offender" means any child convicted as delinquent for the commission of a serious juvenile offense;

[(13)] (12) "Serious juvenile repeat offender" means any child charged with the commission of any felony if such child has previously been convicted as delinquent or otherwise convicted at any age for two violations of any provision of title 21a, 29, 53 or 53a that is designated as a felony;

[(14)] (13) "Alcohol-dependent" means a psychoactive substance dependence on alcohol as that condition is defined in the most recent edition of the American Psychiatric Association's "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders"; and

[(15)] (14) "Drug-dependent" means a psychoactive substance dependence on drugs as that condition is defined in the most recent edition of the American Psychiatric Association's "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders". No child shall be classified as drug-dependent who is dependent (A) upon a morphine-type substance as an incident to current medical treatment of a demonstrable physical disorder other than drug dependence, or (B) upon amphetamine-type, ataractic, barbiturate-type, hallucinogenic or other stimulant and depressant substances as an incident to current medical treatment of a demonstrable physical or psychological disorder, or both, other than drug dependence.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

July 1, 2011

17a-101g

Sec. 2

July 1, 2011

46b-120

Sec. 3

July 1, 2012

46b-120

HS

Joint Favorable Subst.