OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5185

AN ACT CONCERNING INTERVIEWS IN CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT CASES.

SUMMARY:

By law, any person authorized to conduct investigations of alleged child abuse or neglect must coordinate investigatory activities to minimize the number of interviews of any child. Under current law, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) commissioner must obtain the consent of the child's parents, guardians, or another responsible person to any interview with the child unless DCF has reason to believe that the adult or a member of the child's household perpetrated the alleged abuse (but not neglect). Under this bill, DCF must instead have a documented, compelling reason to believe that seeking such consent would place the child at imminent risk of physical harm.

Under the bill, a documented, compelling reason could include criminal conviction information concerning the alleged perpetrator and previous allegations of abuse or neglect relating to the child or other children in the household or family violence.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2012

BACKGROUND

Related Bill

sHB 5363, favorably reported by the Judiciary Committee, is virtually identical to this bill. It does not define a “documented compelling reason.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Select Committee on Children

Joint Favorable Substitute Change of Reference

Yea

12

Nay

0

(03/13/2012)

Human Services Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

16

Nay

0

(03/22/2012)