Connecticut Seal

Substitute House Bill No. 5217

Public Act No. 12-82

AN ACT CONCERNING REVISIONS TO STATUTES CONCERNING THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES.

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

Section 1. Subdivision (3) of section 17a-1 of the 2012 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2012):

(3) "Advisory committee" means the Children's Behavioral Health Advisory Committee; [to the council; ]

Sec. 2. Subsection (a) of section 17a-4 of the 2012 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2012):

(a) There shall be a State Advisory Council on Children and Families which shall consist of nineteen members as follows: (1) Thirteen members appointed by the Governor, including at least [five] two persons who are child care professionals, two persons eighteen to twenty-five years of age, inclusive, served by the Department of Children and Families, one child psychiatrist licensed to practice medicine in this state and at least one attorney who has expertise in legal issues related to children and youth [. The balance of the advisory council] and seven persons who shall be representative of young persons, parents and others interested in the delivery of services to children and youths, including child protection, behavioral health, juvenile justice and prevention services, [. No less than fifty per cent of the council's members shall be parents, foster parents or family members of children who have received, or are receiving, behavioral health services, child welfare services or juvenile services and] at least four of whom shall be parents, foster parents or family members of children who have received, or are receiving, behavioral health services, child welfare services or juvenile services; and (2) six members representing the regional advisory councils established pursuant to section 17a-30, appointed one each by the members of each council. On and after October 1, 2014, no more than half the members of the council shall be persons who receive income from a private practice or any public or private agency that delivers mental health, substance abuse, child abuse prevention and treatment, child welfare services or juvenile services. Members of the council shall serve without compensation, except for necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties. The Department of Children and Families shall provide the council with funding to facilitate the participation of those members representing families and youth, as well as for other administrative support services. Members shall serve on the council for terms of two years each and no member shall serve for more than [two] three consecutive terms. The commissioner shall be an ex-officio member of the council without vote and shall attend its meetings. 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. The council shall elect a chairperson and vice-chairperson to act in the chairperson's absence.

Sec. 3. Section 17a-4a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2012):

(a) There is established a Children's Behavioral Health Advisory Committee [to the State Advisory Council on Children and Families] which shall promote and enhance the provision of behavioral health services for all children in this state.

(b) The Children's Behavioral Health Advisory Committee shall be composed of the following ex-officio voting members: (1) The Commissioner of Children and Families or the commissioner's designee; (2) the Commissioner of Social Services or the commissioner's designee; (3) the Executive Director of the Children's Health Council or said director's designee; (4) the Chief Court Administrator or said administrator's designee; (5) the Commissioner of Education or the commissioner's designee; (6) the Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services or the commissioner's designee; (7) the Commissioner of Developmental Services or the commissioner's designee; (8) the executive director of the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities or the director's designee; and the following public members: (A) Two members appointed by the Governor, one of whom shall be a parent of a child who receives behavioral health services and one of whom shall be a provider of behavioral health services; (B) six members, one of whom shall be appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate, one of whom shall be appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives, one of whom shall be appointed by the majority leader of the Senate, one of whom shall be appointed by the majority leader of the House of Representatives, one of whom shall be appointed by the minority leader of the Senate and one of whom shall be appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives, and all of whom shall be knowledgeable on issues relative to children in need of behavioral health services and family supports; and (C) sixteen members appointed by the [chairperson of the State Advisory Council on] Commissioner of Children and Families. The membership of the advisory committee shall fairly and adequately represent parents of children who have a serious emotional disturbance. At least fifty-one per cent of the members of the advisory committee shall be persons who are parents or relatives of a child who has or had a serious emotional disturbance or persons who had a serious emotional disturbance as children and no more than half the members of the committee shall be persons who receive income from a private practice or any public or private agency that delivers behavioral health services.

(c) All appointments to the advisory committee shall be made no later than sixty days after July 1, 2000. Any vacancy shall be filled by the appointing authority. Members shall serve two-year terms and no public member shall serve for more than two consecutive terms.

(d) The advisory committee shall elect two cochairpersons from among its members, one of whom shall be the parent of a child with a serious emotional disturbance. The advisory committee shall meet at least bimonthly. Members of the advisory committee shall serve without compensation, except for necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.

(e) Not later than October first of each year, the advisory committee shall submit a status report on local systems of care and practice standards for state-funded behavioral health programs to the Commissioner of Children and Families and the State Advisory Council on Children and Families.

(f) Not later than October first of each odd-numbered year, the advisory committee shall submit recommendations concerning the provision of behavioral health services for all children in the state to the Commissioner of Children and Families and the State Advisory Council on Children and Families. The recommendations shall address, but shall not be limited to, the following: (1) The target population for children with behavioral health needs, and assessment and benefit options for children with such needs; (2) the appropriateness and quality of care for children with behavioral health needs; (3) the coordination of behavioral health services provided under the HUSKY Plan with services provided by other publicly-funded programs; (4) performance standards for preventive services, family supports and emergency service training programs; (5) assessments of community-based and residential care programs; (6) outcome measurements by reviewing provider practice; and (7) a medication protocol and standards for the monitoring of medication and after-care programs.

Sec. 4. Subsection (d) of section 17a-28 of the 2012 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2012):

(d) Any information disclosed from a person's record shall not be further disclosed to another individual or entity without the written consent of the person, except [pursuant to] (1) pursuant to section 19a-80 or 19a-80f, provided such disclosure is otherwise permitted pursuant to subsections (b) and (c) of this section, [or] (2) pursuant to the order of a court of competent jurisdiction, or (3) as otherwise provided by law.

Sec. 5. Subsection (g) of section 17a-28 of the 2012 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2012):

(g) The department shall disclose records, subject to subsections (b) and (c) of this section, without the consent of the person who is the subject of the record, to:

(1) The person named in the record or such person's authorized representative, provided such disclosure shall be limited to information (A) contained in the record about such person or about such person's biological or adoptive minor child, if such person's parental rights to such child have not been terminated; and (B) information identifying an individual who reported abuse or neglect of the person, including any tape recording or an oral report pursuant to section 17a-103, as amended by this act, if a court determines that there is reasonable cause to believe the reporter knowingly made a false report or that the interests of justice require disclosure;

(2) An employee of the department for any purpose reasonably related to the business of the department;

(3) A guardian ad litem or attorney appointed to represent a child or youth in litigation affecting the best interests of the child or youth;

(4) The Attorney General, any assistant attorney general or any other legal counsel retained to represent the department during the course of a legal proceeding involving the department or an employee of the department;

(5) The Child Advocate or the Child Advocate's designee;

(6) The Chief Public Defender or the Chief Public Defender's designee for purposes of ensuring competent representation by the attorneys with whom the Chief Public Defender contracts to provide legal and guardian ad litem services to the subjects of such records and for ensuring accurate payments for services rendered by such attorneys;

(7) The Chief State's Attorney or the Chief State's Attorney's designee for purposes of investigating or prosecuting an allegation [of] related to child abuse or neglect, provided such prosecuting authority shall have access to records of a delinquency defendant, who is not being charged with an offense related to child abuse, only while the case is being prosecuted and after obtaining a release;

(8) A state or federal law enforcement officer for purposes of investigating an allegation [of] related to child abuse or neglect;

(9) Any foster or prospective adoptive parent, if the records pertain to a child or youth currently placed with the foster or prospective adoptive parent, or a child or youth being considered for placement with the foster or prospective adoptive parent, and the records are necessary to address the social, medical, psychological or educational needs of the child or youth, provided no information identifying a biological parent is disclosed without the permission of such biological parent;

(10) The Governor, when requested in writing in the course of the Governor's official functions, the Legislative Program Review and Investigations Committee, the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to human services and the judiciary and the select committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to children, when requested in writing in the course of said committees' official functions, and upon a majority vote of said committees, provided no names or other identifying information is disclosed unless it is essential to the gubernatorial or legislative purpose;

(11) The Department of Public Health for the purpose of (A) determining the suitability of a person to care for children in a facility licensed pursuant to section 19a-77, 19a-80 or 19a-87b; (B) determining the suitability of such person for licensure; or (C) an investigation conducted pursuant to section 19a-80f;

(12) The Department of Developmental Services, to allow said department to determine eligibility, facilitate enrollment and plan for the provision of services to a child who is a client of said department and who is applying to enroll in or is enrolled in said department's voluntary services program. At the time that a parent or guardian completes an application for enrollment of a child in the Department of Developmental Services' voluntary services program, or at the time that said department updates a child's annual individualized plan of care, said department shall notify such parent or guardian that the Department of Children and Families may provide records to the Department of Developmental Services for the purposes specified in this subdivision without the consent of such parent or guardian;

(13) A state agency that licenses or certifies a person to educate or care for children or youth;

(14) A judge or employee of a probate court who requires access to such records in order to perform such judge's or employee's official duties;

(15) 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, or a judge of the Superior Court in a criminal prosecution for purposes of in-camera inspection whenever (A) the court has ordered that the record be provided to the court; or (B) a party to the proceeding has issued a subpoena for the record;

(16) A judge of the Superior Court and all necessary parties in a family violence proceeding when such records concern family violence with respect to the child who is the subject of the proceeding or the parent of such child who is the subject of the proceeding;

(17) The Auditors of Public Accounts, or their representative, provided no information identifying the subject of the record is disclosed unless such information is essential to an audit conducted pursuant to section 2-90;

(18) 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;

(19) The superintendent of schools for any school district for the purpose of determining the suitability of a person to be employed by the local or regional board of education for such school district pursuant to subsection (a) of section 10-221d;

[(19)] (20) The Department of Motor Vehicles for the purpose of criminal history records checks pursuant to subsection (e) of section 14-44, provided information disclosed pursuant to this subdivision shall be limited to [information obtained in an investigation conducted pursuant to section 17a-101g and information contained in the abuse and neglect registry pursuant to section 17a-101k] information included on the Department of Children and Families child abuse and neglect registry established pursuant to section 17a-101k, subject to the provisions of sections 17a-101g and 17a-101k concerning the nondisclosure of findings of responsibility for abuse and neglect; [and]

[(20)] (21) The Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services for the purpose of treatment planning for young adults who have transitioned from the care of the Department of Children and Families; and

(22) The superintendent of a public school district or the executive director or other head of a public or private institution for children providing care for children or a private school pursuant to sections 17a-101b, 17a-101c and 17a-101i, as amended by this act.

Sec. 6. Section 17a-32 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2012):

(a) The name of the Department of Children and Families facility at Connecticut Valley Hospital [shall be Riverview Hospital for Children and Youth] in the city of Middletown shall be the Albert J. Solnit Children's Center - South Campus.

(b) The name of the Department of Children and Families facility in the city of Middletown shall be the Connecticut Juvenile Training School.

(c) The name of the Department of Children and Families facility in the town of East Windsor shall be the [Connecticut Children's Place] Albert J. Solnit Children's Center - North Campus.

[(d) The name of the Department of Children and Families facility in the town of Hamden shall be High Meadows. ]

[(e)] (d) The name of the Department of Children and Families facility in the town of Hartland shall be the Wilderness School.

Sec. 7. Section 17b-221a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2012):

For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2002, and each fiscal year thereafter, revenue received by the Department of Administrative Services-Financial Services Center/Collections from Medicaid care management plans for services performed at [Riverview Hospital] Albert J. Solnit Children's Center - South Campus shall be deposited in the General Fund and credited to a nonlapsing account in the Department of Social Services and shall be available for expenditure by the Department of Social Services for the payment of Medicaid claims.

Sec. 8. Section 17a-101 of the 2012 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2012):

(a) The public policy of this state is: To protect children whose health and welfare may be adversely affected through injury and neglect; to strengthen the family and to make the home safe for children by enhancing the parental capacity for good child care; to provide a temporary or permanent nurturing and safe environment for children when necessary; and for these purposes to require the reporting of suspected child abuse or neglect, investigation of such reports by a social agency, and provision of services, where needed, to such child and family.

(b) The following persons shall be mandated reporters: Any physician or surgeon licensed under the provisions of chapter 370, any resident physician or intern in any hospital in this state, whether or not so licensed, any registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, medical examiner, dentist, dental hygienist, psychologist, a school employee, as defined in section 53a-65, social worker, police officer, juvenile or adult probation officer, juvenile or adult parole officer, member of the clergy, pharmacist, physical therapist, optometrist, chiropractor, podiatrist, mental health professional or physician assistant, any person who is a licensed or certified emergency medical services provider, any person who is a licensed or certified alcohol and drug counselor, any person who is a licensed marital and family therapist, any person who is a sexual assault counselor or a battered women's counselor as defined in section 52-146k, any person who is a licensed professional counselor, any person who is a licensed foster parent, any person paid to care for a child in any public or private facility, child day care center, group day care home or family day care home licensed by the state, any employee of the Department of Children and Families, any employee of the Department of Public Health who is responsible for the licensing of child day care centers, group day care homes, family day care homes or youth camps, the Child Advocate and any employee of the Office of the Child Advocate and any family relations counselor, family relations counselor trainee or family services supervisor employed by the Judicial Department.

(c) The Commissioner of Children and Families shall develop an educational training program and refresher training program for the accurate and prompt identification and reporting of child abuse and neglect. Such training program and refresher training program shall be made available to all persons mandated to report child abuse and neglect at various times and locations throughout the state as determined by the Commissioner of Children and Families. Such training program shall be provided to all new school employees, as defined in section 53a-65, within available appropriations.

[(d) Any mandated reporter, as defined in subsection (b) of this section, who fails to report to the Commissioner of Children and Families pursuant to section 17a-101a shall be required to participate in an educational and training program established by the commissioner. The program may be provided by one or more private organizations approved by the commissioner, provided the entire costs of the program shall be paid from fees charged to the participants, the amount of which shall be subject to the approval of the commissioner. ]

[(e)] (d) On or before October 1, 2011, the Department of Children and Families, in consultation with the Department of Education, shall develop a model mandated reporting policy for use by local and regional boards of education. Such policy shall state applicable state law regarding mandated reporting and any relevant information that may assist school districts in the performance of mandated reporting. Such policy shall include, but not be limited to, the following information: (1) Those persons employed by the local or regional board of education who are required pursuant to this section to be mandated reporters, (2) the type of information that is to be reported, (3) the time frame for both written and verbal mandated reports, (4) a statement that the school district may conduct its own investigation into an allegation of abuse or neglect by a school employee, provided such investigation does not impede an investigation by the Department of Children and Families, and (5) a statement that retaliation against mandated reporters is prohibited. Such policy shall be updated and revised as necessary.

Sec. 9. Section 17a-101a of the 2012 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2012):

(a) Any mandated reporter, as defined in section 17a-101, as amended by this act, who in the ordinary course of such person's employment or profession has reasonable cause to suspect or believe that any child under the age of eighteen years (1) has been abused or neglected, as defined in section 46b-120, (2) has had nonaccidental physical injury, or injury which is at variance with the history given of such injury, inflicted upon such child, or (3) is placed at imminent risk of serious harm, shall report or cause a report to be made in accordance with the provisions of sections 17a-101b to 17a-101d, inclusive.

(b) Any person required to report under the provisions of this section who fails to make such report or fails to make such report within the time period prescribed in sections 17a-101b to 17a-101d, inclusive, and section 17a-103, as amended by this act, shall be fined not less than five hundred dollars or more than two thousand five hundred dollars and shall be required to participate in an educational and training program. [pursuant to subsection (d) of section 17a-101] The program may be provided by one or more private organizations approved by the commissioner, provided the entire cost of the program shall be paid from fees charged to the participants, the amount of which shall be subject to the approval of the commissioner.

(c) The Commissioner of Children and Families, or the commissioner's designee, shall promptly notify the Chief State's Attorney when there is reason to believe that any such person has failed to make a report in accordance with this section.

Sec. 10. Section 17a-101e of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2012):

(a) No employer shall discharge, or in any manner discriminate or retaliate against, any employee who in good faith makes a report pursuant to sections 17a-101a to 17a-101d, inclusive, as amended by this act, and 17a-103, as amended by this act, testifies or is about to testify in any proceeding involving child abuse or neglect. The Attorney General may bring an action in Superior Court against an employer who violates this subsection. The court may assess a civil penalty of not more than two thousand five hundred dollars and may order such other equitable relief as the court deems appropriate.

(b) Any person, institution or agency which, in good faith, makes, or in good faith does not make, the report pursuant to sections 17a-101a to 17a-101d, inclusive, as amended by this act, and 17a-103, as amended by this act, shall be immune from any liability, civil or criminal, which might otherwise be incurred or imposed and shall have the same immunity with respect to any judicial proceeding which results from such report provided such person did not perpetrate or cause such abuse or neglect.

(c) Any person who is alleged to have knowingly made a false report of child abuse or neglect pursuant to sections 17a-101a to 17a-101d, inclusive, as amended by this act, and 17a-103, as amended by this act, shall be referred to the office of the Chief State's Attorney for purposes of a criminal investigation.

[(c)] (d) Any person who knowingly makes a false report of child abuse or neglect pursuant to sections 17a-101a to 17a-101d, inclusive, as amended by this act, and 17a-103, as amended by this act, shall be fined not more than two thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than one year or both.

Sec. 11. Subsection (e) of section 17a-101i of the 2012 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2012):

(e) On or before February 1, 2012, each local and regional board of education shall adopt a written policy, in accordance with the provisions of subsection [(e)] (d) of section 17a-101, as amended by this act, regarding the reporting by school employees, as defined in section 53a-65, of suspected child abuse in accordance with sections 17a-101a to 17a-101d, inclusive, as amended by this act, and 17a-103, as amended by this act. Such policy shall be distributed annually to all school employees employed by the local or regional board of education. The local or regional board of education shall document that all such school employees have received such written policy and completed the training and refresher training programs required by subsection (c) of section 17a-101, as amended by this act.

Sec. 12. Subsection (b) of section 17a-101o of the 2012 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2012):

(b) The Department of Children and Families shall develop a policy for the investigation of delayed reports by mandated reporters. Such policy shall include, but not be limited to, when referrals to the appropriate law enforcement agency for delayed reporting are required and when the department shall require mandated reporters who have been found to have delayed making a report to participate in the educational and training program pursuant to subsection [(d)] (b) of section [17a-101] 17a-101a, as amended by this act.

Sec. 13. Subsection (a) of section 17a-103 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2012):

(a) Any mandated reporter acting outside his professional capacity and any other person having reasonable cause to suspect or believe that any child under the age of eighteen is in danger of being abused, or has been abused or neglected, as defined in section 46b-120, may cause a written or oral report to be made to the Commissioner of Children and Families or his representative or a law enforcement agency. The Commissioner of Children and Families or his representative shall use his best efforts to obtain the name and address of a person who causes a report to be made pursuant to this section. In the case of an oral report, such report shall be recorded on tape and the commissioner or his representative shall announce to the person making such report that such report is being recorded and shall state the penalty for knowingly making a false report of child abuse or neglect under subsection [(c)] (d) of section 17a-101e, as amended by this act.

Sec. 14. Subsection (a) of section 52-259a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2012):

(a) Any member of the Division of Criminal Justice or the Division of Public Defender Services, any employee of the Judicial Department, acting in the performance of such employee's duties, the Attorney General, an assistant attorney general, the Consumer Counsel, any attorney employed by the Office of Consumer Counsel within the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the Department of Revenue Services, the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, the Freedom of Information Commission, the Board of Labor Relations, the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities, the Office of the Victim Advocate, [or] the Department of Social Services or the Department of Children and Families, or any attorney appointed by the court to assist any of them or to act for any of them in a special case or cases, while acting in such attorney's official capacity or in the capacity for which such attorney was appointed, shall not be required to pay the fees specified in sections 52-258, 52-259, and 52-259c, subsection (a) of section 52-356a, subsection (a) of section 52-361a, section 52-367a, subsection (b) of section 52-367b and subsection (n) of section 46b-231.

Sec. 15. Section 17a-107 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

On or before February 1, 1987, the Commissioner of [Youth Services] Children and Families shall adopt such regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, as are necessary to carry out the provisions of [subsection (e) of section 17a-101] section 17a-101g.

Sec. 16. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2012) (a) If the Superior Court grants a petition to terminate parental rights and appoints the Commissioner of Children and Families as statutory parent, the commissioner may, after the expiration of any appeal or appeal period, file a petition for adoption, together with a written agreement of adoption, in the Superior Court that granted the termination of parental rights.

(b) All social studies, psychological reports and court documents previously filed in the termination of parental rights proceeding shall be available to the court, subject to the rules of evidence, for review and consideration in acting upon the petition for adoption of such child. The court shall, to the extent possible, protect the confidentiality of biological relatives, unless such information has been previously disclosed.

(c) The Department of Children and Families shall prepare and submit with the petition for adoption an adoption social study regarding the proposed adoption, which shall include, but not be limited to, information required in reports filed with courts of probate pursuant to subdivisions (2) and (3) of subsection (b) of section 45a-727 of the general statutes. All studies and reports filed with or subsequent to the filing of the petition for adoption shall be available to the adoptive parents. The studies and reports shall be admissible in evidence subject to the right of any interested party to require that the person making it appear as a witness, if available, and such person shall be subject to examination. The court shall, to the extent possible, protect the confidentiality of the biological relatives, unless such information has been previously disclosed.

(d) Upon receipt of the petition and the adoption social study, the court shall set a time and date for a hearing and shall give reasonable notice to the Department of Children and Families and all other parties of the adoption agreement, the child, if over twelve years of age, the attorney for the child, and any such other parties, as the court may require.

(e) Prior to acting on the petition, the court may continue the matter for further investigation and report, issue orders of notice or take other action. At the hearing, the court may deny the petition, or, if the court is satisfied that the adoption is in the best interests of the child, the court shall enter a decree approving the adoption.

(f) The adoptive parents shall be entitled to receive copies of the records and other information relating to the history of the child maintained by the commissioner. The adoptive parents shall be entitled to receive copies of the records, provided, if required by law, the copies have been edited to protect the identity of the biological parents and any other person whose identity is confidential.

(g) The provisions of subdivision (3) of subsection (c) of section 45a-727 of the general statutes, sections 45a-731, 45a-732, 45a-736, 45a-737, 45a-743 to 45a-746, inclusive, 45a-748 to 45a-753, inclusive, 45a-755 and 45a-756 of the general statutes shall apply to adoption proceedings in the Superior Court and the Superior Court shall have all the powers granted to probate courts under said subdivision and sections.

Sec. 17. Subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of section 46b-121 of the 2012 supplement to the general statutes, as amended by section 83 of public act 09-7 of the September special session and section 6 of public act 11-240, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2012):

(a) (1) Juvenile matters in the civil session include all proceedings concerning uncared-for, neglected or abused children and youths within this state, termination of parental rights of children committed to a state agency, adoption proceedings pursuant to section 501 of this act, matters concerning families with service needs, contested matters involving termination of parental rights or removal of guardian transferred from the Probate Court and the emancipation of minors, but does not include matters of guardianship and adoption or matters affecting property rights of any child or youth over which the Probate Court has jurisdiction, except that appeals from probate concerning adoption, termination of parental rights and removal of a parent as guardian shall be included.

Sec. 18. Section 46b-124 of the 2012 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2012):

(a) For the purposes of this section, "records of cases of juvenile matters" includes, but is not limited to, court records, records regarding juveniles maintained by the Court Support Services Division, records regarding juveniles maintained by an organization or agency that has contracted with the Judicial Branch to provide services to juveniles, records of law enforcement agencies including fingerprints, photographs and physical descriptions, and medical, psychological, psychiatric and social welfare studies and reports by juvenile probation officers, public or private institutions, social agencies and clinics.

(b) All records of cases of juvenile matters, as provided in section 46b-121, as amended by this act, except delinquency proceedings, or any part thereof, and all records of appeals from probate brought to the superior court for juvenile matters pursuant to section 45a-186, shall be confidential and for the use of the court in juvenile matters, and open to inspection or disclosure to any third party, including bona fide researchers commissioned by a state agency, only upon order of the Superior Court, except that: (1) The records concerning any matter transferred from a court of probate pursuant to section 45a-623 or subsection (g) of section 45a-715 or any appeal from probate to the superior court for juvenile matters pursuant to subsection (b) of section 45a-186 shall be available to the court of probate from which such matter was transferred or from which such appeal was taken; (2) such records shall be available to (A) the attorney representing the child or youth, including the Division of Public Defender Services, in any proceeding in which such records are relevant, (B) the parents or guardian of the child or youth until such time as the child or youth reaches the age of majority or becomes emancipated, (C) an adult adopted person in accordance with the provisions of sections 45a-736, 45a-737 and 45a-743 to 45a-757, inclusive, (D) employees of the Division of Criminal Justice who in the performance of their duties require access to such records, (E) employees of the Judicial Branch who in the performance of their duties require access to such records, (F) another court under the provisions of subsection (d) of section 46b-115j, (G) the subject of the record, upon submission of satisfactory proof of the subject's identity, pursuant to guidelines prescribed by the Office of the Chief Court Administrator, provided the subject has reached the age of majority or has been emancipated, (H) the Department of Children and Families, and (I) the employees of the Division of Public Defender Services who, in the performance of their duties related to Division of Public Defender Services assigned counsel, require access to such records; and (3) all or part of the records concerning a youth in crisis with respect to whom a court order was issued prior to January 1, 2010, may be made available to the Department of Motor Vehicles, provided such records are relevant to such order. Any records of cases of juvenile matters, or any part thereof, provided to any persons, governmental and private agencies, and institutions pursuant to this section shall not be disclosed, directly or indirectly, to any third party not specified in subsection (d) of this section, except as provided by court order or in the report required under section 54-76d or 54-91a.

(c) All records of cases of juvenile matters involving delinquency proceedings, or any part thereof, shall be confidential and for the use of the court in juvenile matters and shall not be disclosed except as provided in this section.

(d) Records of cases of juvenile matters involving delinquency proceedings shall be available to (1) Judicial Branch employees who, in the performance of their duties, require access to such records, and (2) employees and authorized agents of state or federal agencies involved in (A) the delinquency proceedings, (B) the provision of services directly to the child, or (C) the design and delivery of treatment programs pursuant to section 46b-121j. Such employees and authorized agents include, but are not limited to, law enforcement officials, state and federal prosecutorial officials, school officials in accordance with section 10-233h, court officials including officials of both the regular criminal docket and the docket for juvenile matters and officials of the Division of Criminal Justice, the Division of Public Defender Services, the Department of Children and Families, the Court Support Services Division and agencies under contract with the Judicial Branch. Such records shall also be available to (i) the attorney representing the child, including the Division of Public Defender Services, in any proceeding in which such records are relevant, (ii) the parents or guardian of the child, until such time as the subject of the record reaches the age of majority, (iii) the subject of the record, upon submission of satisfactory proof of the subject's identity, pursuant to guidelines prescribed by the Office of the Chief Court Administrator, provided the subject has reached the age of majority, (iv) law enforcement officials and prosecutorial officials conducting legitimate criminal investigations, (v) a state or federal agency providing services related to the collection of moneys due or funding to support the service needs of eligible juveniles, provided such disclosure shall be limited to that information necessary for the collection of and application for such moneys, and (vi) members and employees of the Board of Pardons and Paroles and employees of the Department of Correction who, in the performance of their duties, require access to such records, provided the subject of the record has been convicted of a crime in the regular criminal docket of the Superior Court and such records are relevant to the performance of a risk and needs assessment of such person while such person is incarcerated, the determination of such person's suitability for release from incarceration or for a pardon, or the determination of the supervision and treatment needs of such person while on parole or other supervised release. Records disclosed pursuant to this subsection shall not be further disclosed, except that information contained in such records may be disclosed in connection with bail or sentencing reports in open court during criminal proceedings involving the subject of such information.

(e) Records of cases of juvenile matters involving delinquency proceedings, or any part thereof, may be disclosed upon order of the court to any person who has a legitimate interest in the information and is identified in such order. Records disclosed pursuant to this subsection shall not be further disclosed, except as specifically authorized by a subsequent order of the court.

(f) Records of cases of juvenile matters involving delinquency proceedings, or any part thereof, shall be available to the victim of the crime committed by such child to the same extent as the record of the case of a defendant in a criminal proceeding in the regular criminal docket of the Superior Court is available to a victim of the crime committed by such defendant. The court shall designate an official from whom such victim may request such information. Records disclosed pursuant to this subsection shall not be further disclosed, except as specifically authorized by a subsequent order of the court.

(g) Information concerning a child who has escaped from a detention center or from a facility to which he has been committed by the court or for whom an arrest warrant has been issued with respect to the commission of a felony may be disclosed by law enforcement officials.

(h) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit any person employed by the Judicial Branch from disclosing any records, information or files in his possession to any person employed by the Division of Criminal Justice as a prosecutorial official, inspector or investigator who, in the performance of his duties, requests such records, information or files, or to prohibit any such employee of said division from disclosing any records, information or files in his possession to any such employee of the Judicial Branch who, in the performance of his duties, requests such records, information or files.

(i) 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 any record disclosed to such state's attorney pursuant to this section and may disclose, without a court order, information and material contained in any such record which could be the subject of a disclosure order.

(j) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (d) of this section, any information concerning a child that is obtained during any mental health screening or assessment of such child, during the provision of services pursuant to subsection (b) of section 46b-149, or during the performance of an educational evaluation pursuant to subsection (e) of section 46b-149, shall be used solely for planning and treatment purposes and shall otherwise be confidential and retained in the files of the entity providing such services or performing such screening, assessment or evaluation. Such information may be further disclosed only for the purposes of any court-ordered evaluation or treatment of the child or provision of services to the child, or pursuant to sections 17a-101 to 17a-101e, inclusive, 17b-450, 17b-451 or 51-36a. Such information shall not be subject to subpoena or other court process for use in any other proceeding or for any other purpose.

(k) Records of cases of juvenile matters involving delinquency proceedings, or any part thereof, containing information that a child has been convicted as delinquent for a violation of subdivision (e) of section 1-1h, subsection (c) of section 14-147, subsection (a) of section 14-215, section 14-222, subsection (b) of section 14-223, subsection (a), (b) or (c) of section 14-224, section 30-88a or subsection (b) of section 30-89, shall be disclosed to the Department of Motor Vehicles for administrative use in determining whether administrative sanctions regarding such child's motor vehicle operator's license are warranted. Records disclosed pursuant to this subsection shall not be further disclosed.

(l) Records of cases of juvenile matters involving adoption proceedings, or any part thereof, shall be confidential and may only be disclosed pursuant to sections 45a-743 to 45a-757, inclusive.

Sec. 19. Subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of section 45a-727 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2012):

(2) The application shall incorporate a declaration that to the best of the knowledge and belief of the declarant there is no other proceeding pending or contemplated in any other court affecting the custody of the child to be adopted, or if there is such a proceeding, a statement in detail of the nature of the proceeding and affirming that the proposed adoption would not conflict with or interfere with the other proceeding. The court shall not proceed on any application which does not contain such a declaration. [The application shall be signed by one or more of the parties to the agreement, who may waive notice of any hearing on it. ] For the purposes of this declaration, visitation rights granted by any court shall not be considered as affecting the custody of the child.