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Substitute Senate Bill No. 294

Public Act No. 12-58

AN ACT CONCERNING CHILDREN AND THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES.

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

Section 1. Section 17a-98 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2012):

The Commissioner of Children and Families, or any agent appointed by [him] said commissioner, shall exercise careful supervision of each child under [his] said commissioner's guardianship or care and shall maintain such contact with the child and [his] the child's foster family as is necessary to promote the child's safety and [his] physical, educational, moral and emotional development, including, but not limited to, visiting each foster home at least once every sixty days. The commissioner shall maintain such records and accounts as may be necessary for the proper supervision of all children under [his] said commissioner's guardianship or care.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2012) Not later than sixty days after a child or youth with behavioral health needs, as defined in section 17a-1 of the general statutes, is placed in the care and custody of the Commissioner of Children and Families, said commissioner shall visit the family home or homes of such child or youth. The commissioner shall conduct such visit for the purpose of assessing potential causes of such child's or youth's behavioral health needs, including, but not limited to, genetic and familial factors, and determining the resources needed to best treat such child or youth.

Sec. 3. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2012) The Department of Children and Families shall prescribe a form for foster families to use when submitting written special requests to the department including, but not limited to, requests to allow a foster child to travel overnight and out-of-state with such child's foster family. The department shall respond to such written requests not later than five business days after the request is received by the department. If the department fails to respond within such time period, such request shall be deemed approved.