CHAPTER 319a
CHILD WELFARE

Table of Contents

Sec. 17a-91. (Formerly Sec. 17-32b). Commissioner of Children and Families' report on children committed to him and establishment of central registry and monitoring system.
Sec. 17a-98a. Kinship navigator program.
Sec. 17a-100a. Reporting of neglected or cruelly treated animals. Training program.
Sec. 17a-100b. Training program for animal control officers to identify and report child abuse and neglect.
Sec. 17a-101. (Formerly Sec. 17-38a). Protection of children from abuse. Mandated reporters. Educational and training programs. Model mandated reporting policy.
Sec. 17a-101a. Report of abuse, neglect or injury of child or imminent risk of serious harm to child. Penalty for failure to report. Notification of Chief State's Attorney.
Sec. 17a-101b. Oral report by mandated reporter. Notification of law enforcement agency when allegation of sexual abuse or serious physical abuse. Notification of person in charge of institution, facility or school when staff member suspected of abuse or neglect.
Sec. 17a-101c. Written report by mandated reporter.
Sec. 17a-101d. Contents of oral and written reports.
Sec. 17a-101g. Classification and evaluation of reports. Determination of abuse or neglect of child. Investigation. Notice, entry of recommended finding. Referral to local law enforcement authority. Home visit. Removal of child in imminent risk of harm. Differential response program. Regulations. Disclosure of information to providers.
Sec. 17a-101h. Coordination of investigatory activities. Interview with child. Reporter to provide information. Consent of parent, guardian or responsible person.
Sec. 17a-101i. Abuse or neglect by school employee or public or private institution or facility providing care for children. Suspension. Termination or resignation. Notification of state's attorney re conviction. Written policy re mandated reporting.
Sec. 17a-101k. Registry of findings of abuse or neglect of children maintained by Commissioner of Children and Families. Notice of finding of abuse or neglect of child. Appeal of finding. Hearing procedure. Appeal after hearing. Confidentiality. Regulations.
Sec. 17a-101o. School employee failure or delay in reporting child abuse or neglect. Policy re delayed report by mandated reporters.
Sec. 17a-101p. Reports by persons not designated as mandated reporters. Notice to Commissioner of Education.
Sec. 17a-102a. Education and training for nurses and birthing hospital staff caring for high-risk newborns re responsibilities as mandated reporters of child abuse and neglect. Information dissemination. Definitions.
Sec. 17a-103d. Written notice to parent or guardian of rights re abuse or neglect investigation at initial face-to-face contact.
Sec. 17a-103e. Reports of child abuse and neglect by a school employee. Review of records and information.
Sec. 17a-106d. Report of neglected or cruelly treated animals part of record in child abuse or neglect investigation.
Sec. 17a-114. (Formerly Sec. 17-43c). Licensing of persons for child placement required. Criminal history records checks. Exemption for temporary placement of children with relatives, nonrelatives and special study foster parents. Regulations.
Sec. 17a-126. Subsidized guardianship program.
Sec. 17a-154. (Formerly Sec. 17-52a). "Permanent family residence". Definition. Requirements.

PART I
DEPENDENT AND NEGLECTED CHILDREN

      Sec. 17a-91. (Formerly Sec. 17-32b). Commissioner of Children and Families' report on children committed to him and establishment of central registry and monitoring system. Section 17a-91 is repealed, effective July 1, 2011.

      (P.A. 73-156, S. 23; P.A. 75-420, S. 4, 6; P.A. 76-435, S. 30, 82; P.A. 77-614, S. 521, 610; P.A. 79-631, S. 52, 111; P.A. 82-314, S. 60, 63; P.A. 93-91, S. 1, 2; P.A. 99-166, S. 3; P.A. 06-102, S. 4; P.A. 11-105, S. 11.)

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      Sec. 17a-98a. Kinship navigator program. The Department of Children and Families, in consultation with the Departments of Social Services, Mental Health and Addiction Services and Developmental Services, shall establish, within available appropriations, a kinship navigator program. Such program shall ensure that: (1) When the Department of Children and Families determines that it is in the best interest of the child to be placed with a relative for foster care, the department informs the relative regarding procedures to become licensed as a foster parent, and (2) grandparents and other relatives caring for a minor child are provided with information on the array of state services and benefits for which they may be eligible, including the subsidy program established pursuant to section 17a-126. The Commissioner of Children and Families shall, within available appropriations, ensure that information on the array of services available under the kinship navigator program is accessible through the 2-1-1 Infoline program.

      (P.A. 03-42, S. 1; P.A. 06-182, S. 2; P.A. 07-73, S. 2(a); 07-174, S. 2; P.A. 11-105, S. 1.)

      History: P.A. 06-182 designated existing provisions as Subsec. (a) and amended same to change program name from "kinship foster care program" to "kinship navigator program", add consultative role for Departments of Social Services, Mental Health and Addiction Services and Mental Retardation in establishment of program, and require that program ensure grandparents and other relatives are provided with information on array of state services for which they may be eligible and that information is accessible through 2-1-1 Infoline program, and added Subsec. (b) requiring Commissioner of Children and Families to report annually on program to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to human services; pursuant to P.A. 07-73 "Department of Mental Retardation" was changed editorially by the Revisors to "Department of Developmental Services", effective October 1, 2007; P.A. 07-174 amended Subsec. (a)(2) to delete "related to such persons" and change "child" to "minor child"; P.A. 11-105 deleted former Subsec. (b) re annual report and made a conforming change, effective July 1, 2011.

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      Sec. 17a-100a. Reporting of neglected or cruelly treated animals. Training program. (a) Any employee of the Department of Children and Families who, in the course of his or her employment, has reasonable cause to suspect that an animal is being or has been harmed, neglected or treated cruelly in violation of section 53-247 shall make an oral report to the Commissioner of Agriculture in accordance with subsection (b) of this section.

      (b) A report made pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall be made as soon as practicable, but not later than forty-eight hours after the employee has reasonable cause to suspect that an animal has been harmed, neglected or treated cruelly, and shall contain the following, if known: (1) The address where the animal was observed and the name and address of the owner or other person responsible for care of the animal; (2) the name and a description of the animal; (3) the nature and extent of the harm, neglect or cruelty to the animal; and (4) the approximate date and time such harm, neglect or cruelty was suspected.

      (c) Not later than October 1, 2012, and annually thereafter, the Commissioner of Children and Families, in consultation with the Commissioner of Agriculture and within available appropriations, shall develop and implement training for Department of Children and Families employees concerning the identification of harm to, neglect of and cruelty toward animals and its relationship to child welfare case practice.

      (P.A. 11-194, S. 3.)

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      Sec. 17a-100b. Training program for animal control officers to identify and report child abuse and neglect. The Commissioner of Children and Families shall, within available appropriations, make available to all animal control officers training concerning the accurate and prompt identification and reporting of child abuse and neglect.

      (P.A. 11-194, S. 4.)

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      Sec. 17a-101. (Formerly Sec. 17-38a). Protection of children from abuse. Mandated reporters. Educational and training programs. Model mandated reporting policy. (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) 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.

      (February, 1965, P.A. 580, S. 1-3; 1967, P.A. 317; 1969, P.A. 25; 1971, P.A. 216; P.A. 73-205, S. 1; P.A. 74-293, S. 1-3; P.A. 75-270; 75-384, S. 1-6, 9; 75-420, S. 4, 6; P.A. 76-27, S. 1, 2; 76-436, S. 586, 681; P.A. 77-308, S. 1, 4; 77-614, S. 486, 521, 587, 610; P.A. 78-303, S. 85, 136; P.A. 79-631, S. 60, 111; P.A. 80-190, S. 4; P.A. 81-91, S. 2; 81-472, S. 29, 159; P.A. 82-203; P.A. 86-337, S. 6; P.A. 88-218; 88-333; P.A. 89-160, S. 1, 2; 89-168, S. 1; P.A. 92-76, S. 1; P.A. 93-91, S. 1, 2; 93-340, S. 4, 19; P.A. 94-221, S. 21; P.A. 95-103; 95-289, S. 7; P.A. 96-246, S. 1; P.A. 99-102, S. 13; P.A. 00-49, S. 6, 7; P.A. 02-106, S. 3; 02-138, S. 12; P.A. 09-185, S. 8; 09-242, S. 2; P.A. 10-43, S. 12; P.A. 11-93, S. 3.)

      History: 1967 act added nurses, teachers, principals and social workers; 1969 act included licensed practical nurses in Subsec. (a); 1971 act inserted new Subsec. (a) stating policy of state, relettered former Subsecs. (a) and (b) as (b) and (c), included medical examiners, police officers and clergymen in Subsec. (b), formerly (a), clarified and expanded provisions re circumstances requiring report, clarified to whom oral and written reports to be made in Subsec. (c), added Subsecs. (d) to (g) and designated former Subsec. (c) as Subsec. (h), making minor changes to reach conformity with rest of section as amended; P.A. 73-205 included dentists, psychologists and school guidance counselors in Subsec. (b) and added provision imposing fine for failure to report as required, amended Subsec. (c) to delete reports to health commissioner and impose 72-hour deadline for written report, amended Subsec. (d) to refer to examination rather than treatment of child, to require physician to advise parents, guardians etc. and to extend hospital custody period from 72 to 96 hours, amended Subsec. (f) to describe qualities appointed counsel must possess and to require court rather than welfare commissioner to pay fee and amended Subsec. (g) to make welfare commissioner rather than health commissioner responsible for registry; P.A. 74-293 included coroners, osteopaths, optometrists, chiropractors, podiatrists, day care center employees and mental health professionals in Subsec. (b), substituted "shall" for "may" in Subsec. (f)(2) thereby making representation by counsel mandatory and imposed deadline for adoption of regulations in Subsec. (g); P.A. 75-270 replaced welfare commissioner and department with commissioner and department of children and youth services and added provisions in Subsec. (e) for temporary custody of child; P.A. 75-384 returned duties to welfare department and commissioner, included emotional maltreatment in Subsec. (b), added provision re counsel as guardian ad litem in Subsec. (f), clarified confidentiality provision in Subsec. (g) and added provision re penalty for violation of section; P.A. 75-420 replaced welfare commissioner and department with commissioner and department of social services; P.A. 76-27 included action by commissioner of children and youth services in Subsec. (e); P.A. 76-436 replaced juvenile court with superior court in Subsecs. (d) to (f), effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 77-308 amended Subsec. (b) to refer to abuse of child by person responsible for his health, welfare or care or by person given access to child by responsible person and added reference to children neglected as defined in Sec. 17-53; P.A. 77-614 and P.A. 78-303 replaced social services commissioner and department with commissioner and department of human resources and made state police department a division within the department of public safety, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 79-631 replaced commissioner and department of human resources with commissioner and department of children and youth services; P.A. 80-190 deleted coroners in Subsec. (b); P.A. 81-91 substituted commissioner of children and youth services for commissioner of human resources in Subsec. (c); P.A. 81-472 made technical changes; P.A. 82-203 amended Subsec. (b) by substituting sexual abuse and sexual exploitation for sexual molestation in the list of examples of conditions that are the result of maltreatment; P.A. 86-337 added requirement that commissioner of children and youth services immediately notify appropriate law enforcement agency of reports of child abuse; P.A. 88-218 added physician assistants, Connecticut certified substance abuse counselors and Connecticut certified marital and family therapists to the list of persons required to report child abuse in Subsec. (b) and made a technical change in Subsec. (g); P.A. 88-333 in Subsec. (b) added a school employee as a person who has inflicted injuries, in Subsecs. (b) and (c) added reporting requirements when it is suspected or believed that the injuries were inflicted by a school employee, in Subsec. (e) specified who is to investigate when a report concerns suspected or believed injuries by a school employee and added Subdiv. (3) re reporting and suspension when an investigation produces evidence that a child has been abused by a school employee, in Subsec. (f) specified what happens if a school employee is convicted of a crime involving an act of child abuse and added Subsec. (i) re the assignment of designees by a school superintendent; P.A. 89-160 amended Subsec. (c) to require the commissioner of children and youth services and the local police department or state police to notify each other when either receives an oral report alleging serious physical abuse or sexual abuse of a child, amended Subsec. (d) to allow physicians examining a child with respect to whom abuse is suspected to perform diagnostic tests and procedures necessary for the detection of child abuse, the expenses for such tests and procedures paid for by the parents or if they are unable to pay, by the commissioner, amended Subsec. (d) to allow the commissioner during the period of temporary custody, to provide the child with all necessary care including medical care consisting of an examination, with or without parental consent and diagnostic tests and procedures necessary to detect child abuse and amended Subsec. (g) to require the commissioner to disclose the information in the registry of child abuse reports received to the legislative program review and investigations committee when requested and under certain conditions protecting confidentiality; P.A. 89-168 added a new Subsec. (j) which requires each local and regional board of education to adopt a written policy regarding the reporting, by school employees, of suspected child abuse; Sec. 17-38a transferred to Sec. 17a-101 in 1991; P.A. 92-76 included school paraprofessionals in Subsec. (b), amended Subsec. (c) to require report to commissioner of education in cases involving certified school employees, amended Subsec. (e) to require notification of commissioner of education in investigations involving certified school employees and to add language concerning certification revocation proceedings and made technical changes in Subsec. (f); 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. 93-340 amended Subsec. (b) to add dental hygienists, pharmacists, physical therapists, sexual assault counselors and battered women's counselors to list of persons required to report suspected child abuse and to make technical changes, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 94-221 amended Subsec. (f) to add notice by the state's attorney of persons holding certificates issued by the State Board of Education, expanded the reasons for the notice to include violations of Secs. 53a-71 and 53a-73a, substituted notice to the commissioner of education for notice to the State Board of Education and deleted provision for the commencement of certification revocation proceedings; P.A. 95-103 amended Subsec. (f) by adding provision that separate guardian ad litem not required to be attorney; P.A. 95-289 changed marital and family therapists from "Connecticut certified" to "licensed"; P.A. 96-246 amended Subsec. (b) by listing mandated reporters and deleting rest of subsection and deleted former Subsecs. (c) to (j), inclusive, and added new Subsec. (c) re development of educational training program for prompt identification and reporting of child abuse and neglect; P.A. 99-102 amended Subsec. (b) by deleting obsolete references to chapter 371 and osteopaths and making a technical change; P.A. 00-49 amended Subsec. (a) by making technical changes and adding the Child Advocate and any employee of the Office of Child Advocate as mandated reporters, effective July 1, 2000; P.A. 02-106 amended Subsec. (b) to add a coach of intramural or interscholastic athletics as a mandated reporter; P.A. 02-138 amended Subsec. (b) to replace "clergyman" with "member of the clergy", replace "licensed substance abuse counselor" with "licensed or certified alcohol and drug counselor", replace "day care center" with "child day care center" and add as mandated reporters a school coach, juvenile or adult probation officer, juvenile or adult parole officer, any person who is a licensed or certified emergency medical services provider, any person who is a licensed professional counselor, any person paid to care for a child in any group day care home licensed by the state, any employee of the Department of Children and Families and 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 and added new Subsec. (d) re participation of mandated reporters who fail to report in an educational and training program established by the commissioner; P.A. 09-185 amended Subsec. (b) by expanding mandated reporters to include any person licensed as a foster parent, effective July 1, 2009; P.A. 09-242 amended Subsec. (b) to include school superintendent as a mandated reporter and make a technical change; P.A. 10-43 amended Subsec. (a) to add reference to reporting of suspected child neglect and amended Subsec. (b) to include family relations counselor, family relations counselor trainee and family services supervisor employed by Judicial Department as mandated reporters; P.A. 11-93 amended Subsec. (b) by replacing titles of school employees with "school employee, as defined in section 53a-65", amended Subsec. (c) by adding provisions re development of refresher training program and re training to be provided to all new school employees and added Subsec. (e) re model mandated reporting policy, effective July 1, 2011.

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      Sec. 17a-101a. Report of abuse, neglect or injury of child or imminent risk of serious harm to child. Penalty for failure to report. Notification of Chief State's Attorney. Any mandated reporter, as defined in section 17a-101, 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. 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 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 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.

      (P.A. 96-246, S. 2; P.A. 97-319, S. 9, 22; P.A. 98-241, S. 3, 18; P.A. 02-106, S. 4; 02-138, S. 13; P.A. 11-93, S. 8.)

      History: P.A. 97-319 added provision requiring report for any child that has been abused rather than for any child in danger of being abused, effective July 1, 1997; P.A. 98-241 added "or is placed at imminent risk of serious harm by an act or failure to act on the part of such responsible person", effective July 1, 1998; P.A. 02-106 increased the penalty for failing to report from not more than $500 to not less than $500 nor more than $2,500 and made technical changes for purposes of gender neutrality; P.A. 02-138 inserted Subdiv. indicators, repositioned language re reporting of neglect, required reporting by a mandated reporter when reasonable suspicion or belief arose "in the ordinary course of such person's employment or profession" rather than "in his professional capacity", amended Subdiv. (2) to delete provision that limited reporting to injuries inflicted "by a person responsible for such child's health, welfare or care or by a person given access to such child by such responsible person", amended Subdiv. (3) to delete provision that limited reporting to when a child is placed at imminent risk of harm "by an act or failure to act on the part of such responsible person" and added requirement that a mandated reporter who fails to report participate in an educational and training program pursuant to Sec. 17a-101(d); P.A. 11-93 added provision re imposition of fine where person fails to report within required time period and added requirement that commissioner notify Chief State's Attorney of failure to report, effective July 1, 2011.

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      Sec. 17a-101b. Oral report by mandated reporter. Notification of law enforcement agency when allegation of sexual abuse or serious physical abuse. Notification of person in charge of institution, facility or school when staff member suspected of abuse or neglect. (a) An oral report shall be made by a mandated reporter as soon as practicable but not later than twelve hours after the mandated reporter has reasonable cause to suspect or believe that a child has been abused or neglected or placed in imminent risk of serious harm, by telephone or in person to the Commissioner of Children and Families or a law enforcement agency. If a law enforcement agency receives an oral report, it shall immediately notify the Commissioner of Children and Families.

      (b) If the commissioner or the commissioner's designee suspects or knows that such person has knowingly made a false report, the identity of such person shall be disclosed to the appropriate law enforcement agency and to the perpetrator of the alleged abuse.

      (c) If the Commissioner of Children and Families, or the commissioner's designee, receives a report alleging sexual abuse or serious physical abuse, including, but not limited to, a report that: (1) A child has died; (2) a child has been sexually assaulted; (3) a child has suffered brain damage or loss or serious impairment of a bodily function or organ; (4) a child has been sexually exploited; or (5) a child has suffered serious nonaccidental physical injury, the commissioner shall, within twelve hours of receipt of such report, notify the appropriate law enforcement agency.

      (d) Whenever a mandated reporter, as defined in section 17a-101, has reasonable cause to suspect or believe that any child has been abused or neglected by a member of the staff of a public or private institution or facility that provides care for such child or a public or private school, the mandated reporter shall report as required in subsection (a) of this section. The Commissioner of Children and Families or the commissioner's designee shall notify the principal, headmaster, executive director or other person in charge of such institution, facility or school, or the person's designee, unless such person is the alleged perpetrator of the abuse or neglect of such child. In the case of a public school, the commissioner shall also notify the person's employing superintendent. Such person in charge, or such person's designee, shall then immediately notify the child's parent or other person responsible for the child's care that a report has been made.

      (P.A. 96-246, S. 3; P.A. 97-319, S. 10, 22; P.A. 02-138, S. 14; P.A. 11-93, S. 11.)

      History: P.A. 97-319 divided existing Subsec. (a) into Subsecs. (a) and (b) by providing in Subsec. (a) that report be made if there is reasonable cause to suspect or believe abuse rather than if there is a suspicion or belief of abuse and inserted new Subsec. (b) re disclosure of the name of a person who knowingly made a false report, relettering prior Subsec. (b) and (d), effective July 1, 1997; P.A. 02-138 amended Subsec. (a) to decrease the time period for making the required oral report from "within twenty-four hours" to "as soon as practicable but not later than twelve hours" after the reporter has reasonable suspicion or belief of child abuse or neglect and require an oral report whenever there is reasonable suspicion or belief that a child has been "placed in imminent risk of serious harm", amended Subsec. (b) to replace "his representative" with "the commissioner's designee", amended Subsec. (c) to decrease from 24 to 12 hours the time period after receipt of the report that the commissioner is required to notify the appropriate law enforcement agency and make technical changes including changes for purposes of gender neutrality, amended Subsec. (d) to provide that the notification of the person in charge of the institution, facility or school be made by the "Commissioner of Children and Families or the commissioner's designee" rather than by the mandated reporter, add provision that such notice is not required if "such person is the alleged perpetrator of the abuse or neglect of such child" and make technical changes including changes for purposes of gender neutrality; P.A. 11-93 amended Subsec. (d) by specifying that Commissioner of Children and Families notify the principal, headmaster or executive director of an institution, facility or school and adding requirement that commissioner notify the employing superintendent, effective July 1, 2011.

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      Sec. 17a-101c. Written report by mandated reporter. Not later than forty-eight hours after making an oral report, a mandated reporter shall submit a written report to the Commissioner of Children and Families or the commissioner's designee. When a mandated reporter is a member of the staff of a public or private institution or facility that provides care for such child or public or private school the reporter shall also submit a copy of the written report to the person in charge of such institution, school or facility or the person's designee. In the case of a report concerning a school employee holding a certificate, authorization or permit issued by the State Board of Education under the provisions of sections 10-144o to 10-146b, inclusive, and 10-149, a copy of the written report shall also be sent by the Commissioner of Children and Families or the commissioner's designee to the Commissioner of Education or the commissioner's designee. In the case of an employee of a facility or institution that provides care for a child which is licensed by the state, a copy of the written report shall also be sent by the Commissioner of Children and Families to the executive head of the state licensing agency.

      (P.A. 96-246, S. 4; P.A. 97-319, S. 11, 22; P.A. 98-239, S. 18; P.A. 03-168, S. 6; P.A. 11-93, S. 9.)

      History: P.A. 97-319 deleted provision re oral information and added the words "copy of the" before each reference to "written report", effective July 1, 1997; P.A. 98-239 required the mandated reporter to send a copy of the written report to the executive head of the state licensing agency in the case of an employee of a facility or institution providing care for a child; P.A. 03-168 replaced reference to "certified school employee" with provision re school employee holding certificate, authorization or permit, effective July 1, 2003; P.A. 11-93 replaced requirement that person in charge of the institution, school or facility send report to Commissioner of Education with requirement that Commissioner of Children and Families send report, replaced requirement that mandated reporter send report to licensing agency with requirement that Commissioner of Children and Families send report, and made technical changes, effective July 1, 2011.

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      Sec. 17a-101d. Contents of oral and written reports. All oral and written reports required in sections 17a-101a to 17a-101c, inclusive, and section 17a-103, shall contain, if known: (1) The names and addresses of the child and his parents or other person responsible for his care; (2) the age of the child; (3) the gender of the child; (4) the nature and extent of the child's injury or injuries, maltreatment or neglect; (5) the approximate date and time the injury or injuries, maltreatment or neglect occurred; (6) information concerning any previous injury or injuries to, or maltreatment or neglect of, the child or his siblings; (7) the circumstances in which the injury or injuries, maltreatment or neglect came to be known to the reporter; (8) the name of the person or persons suspected to be responsible for causing such injury or injuries, maltreatment or neglect; (9) the reasons such person or persons are suspected of causing such injury or injuries, maltreatment or neglect; (10) any information concerning any prior cases in which such person or persons have been suspected of causing an injury, maltreatment or neglect of a child; and (11) whatever action, if any, was taken to treat, provide shelter or otherwise assist the child.

      (P.A. 96-246, S. 5; P.A. 11-93, S. 15.)

      History: P.A. 11-93 added new Subdiv. (9) re reasons for suspicion of causing injury, maltreatment or neglect and new Subdiv. (10) re prior cases, and redesignated existing Subdiv. (9) as Subdiv. (11), effective July 1, 2011.

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      Sec. 17a-101g. Classification and evaluation of reports. Determination of abuse or neglect of child. Investigation. Notice, entry of recommended finding. Referral to local law enforcement authority. Home visit. Removal of child in imminent risk of harm. Differential response program. Regulations. Disclosure of information to providers. (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 by the commissioner, or the commissioner's designee, 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. If the alleged perpetrator is a school employee, as defined in section 53a-65, or is employed by an institution or facility licensed or approved by the state to provide care for children, the department shall notify the Department of Education or the state agency that has issued such license or approval to the institution or facility of the report and the commencement of an investigation by the Commissioner of Children and Families. 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. 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.

      (P.A. 96-246, S. 9; P.A. 97-319, S. 13, 22; P.A. 02-138, S. 15; P.A. 05-35, S. 1; 05-207, S. 2; P.A. 11-93, S. 16; 11-240, S. 1.)

      History: P.A. 97-319 amended Subsec. (a) by deleting reference to "section 17a-101b" and substituting reference to reports made under Secs. 17a-101a to 17a-101c, inclusive, and Sec. 17a-103 and made technical changes, effective July 1, 1997; P.A. 02-138 amended Subsec. (a) to include receipt of a report of child "neglect", make provisions re the commissioner's classification, evaluation and investigation of a report applicable if the report is one "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", add provision requiring the commissioner to refer the report to the local law enforcement authority if the alleged perpetrator is not a person specified in Subdiv. (1), (2) or (3) and make technical changes for purposes of gender neutrality; P.A. 05-35 amended Subsec. (a) to extend the time frame for department to complete an investigation re report of child abuse or neglect from within 30 calendar days to not later than 45 calendar days after the date of receipt of the report; P.A. 05-207 required Commissioner of Children and Families to make determination whether a child has been abused or neglected and specified actions to be taken by commissioner if such determination was made in Subsec. (b), specified confidentiality requirements re findings in new Subsec. (c), specified exceptions to disclosure limitations in new Subsec. (d), redesignated existing Subsecs. (c) and (d) as Subsecs. (e) and (f) and made technical changes, effective December 1, 2005; P.A. 11-93 amended Subsec. (a) by adding provision requiring notice to Department of Education or other licensing agency where alleged perpetrator is employed by a school, institution or facility that provides care for children, effective July 1, 2011; P.A. 11-240 amended Subsec. (a) by adding provision re classification of reports and referral of lower risk reports for services and added Subsec. (g) allowing commissioner to establish program of differential response and to adopt regulations and requiring department to disclose information to service providers, effective July 1, 2011.

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      Sec. 17a-101h. Coordination of investigatory activities. Interview with child. Reporter to provide information. Consent of parent, guardian or responsible person. Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes, any person authorized to conduct an investigation of abuse or neglect shall coordinate investigatory activities in order to minimize the number of interviews of any child and share information with other persons authorized to conduct an investigation of child abuse or neglect, as appropriate. A person reporting child abuse or neglect shall provide any person authorized to conduct an investigation of child abuse or neglect with all information related to the investigation that is in the possession or control of the person reporting child abuse or neglect, except as expressly prohibited by state or federal law. The commissioner shall obtain the consent of parents or guardians or other persons responsible for the care of the child to any interview with a child, except that such consent shall not be required when the department has reason to believe such parent or guardian or other person responsible for the care of the child or member of the child's household is the perpetrator of the alleged abuse. If consent is not required to conduct the interview, such interview shall be conducted in the presence of a disinterested adult unless immediate access to the child is necessary to protect the child from imminent risk of physical harm and a disinterested adult is not available after reasonable search.

      (P.A. 96-246, S. 10; P.A. 11-93, S. 17.)

      History: P.A. 11-93 added provision requiring person reporting abuse or neglect to provide information related to the investigation and made a technical change, effective July 1, 2011.

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      Sec. 17a-101i. Abuse or neglect by school employee or public or private institution or facility providing care for children. Suspension. Termination or resignation. Notification of state's attorney re conviction. Written policy re mandated reporting. (a) Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes, after an investigation has been completed and the Commissioner of Children and Families, based upon the results of the investigation, (1) has reasonable cause to believe that a child has been abused or neglected by a school employee, as defined in section 53a-65, who has been entrusted with the care of a child and who holds a certificate, permit or authorization issued by the State Board of Education, or (2) has recommended that such employee be placed on the Department of Children and Families child abuse and neglect registry established pursuant to section 17a-101k, the commissioner shall, not later than five working days after such finding, notify the employing superintendent and the Commissioner of Education of such finding and shall provide records, whether or not created by the department, concerning such investigation to the superintendent and the Commissioner of Education. The superintendent shall suspend such school employee. The Commissioner of Children and Families shall provide such notice whether or not the child was a student in the employing school or school district. Such suspension shall be with pay and shall not result in the diminution or termination of benefits to such employee. Not later than seventy-two hours after such suspension the superintendent shall notify the local or regional board of education and the Commissioner of Education, or the commissioner's representative, of the reasons for and conditions of the suspension. The superintendent shall disclose such records to the Commissioner of Education and the local or regional board of education or its attorney for purposes of review of employment status or the status of such employee's certificate, permit or authorization. The suspension of a school employee employed in a position requiring a certificate shall remain in effect until the board of education acts pursuant to the provisions of section 10-151. If the contract of employment of such certified school employee is terminated, or such certified school employee resigns such employment, the superintendent shall notify the Commissioner of Education, or the commissioner's representative, within seventy-two hours after such termination or resignation. Upon receipt of such notice from the superintendent, the Commissioner of Education may commence certification revocation proceedings pursuant to the provisions of subsection (j) of section 10-145b. Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 1-210 and 1-211, information received by the Commissioner of Education, or the commissioner's representative, pursuant to this section shall be confidential subject to regulations adopted by the State Board of Education under section 10-145g.

      (b) Not later than five working days after an investigation has been completed, if (1) the Commissioner of Children and Families, based upon the results of the investigation, has reasonable cause to believe that a child has been abused or neglected by a staff member of a public or private institution or facility providing care for children or private school, and (2) the commissioner recommends that such staff member be placed on the child abuse and neglect registry established pursuant to section 17a-101k, such institution, school or facility shall suspend such staff person. Such suspension shall be with pay and shall not result in diminution or termination of benefits to such staff person. Such suspension shall remain in effect until the incident of abuse or neglect has been satisfactorily resolved by the employer of the staff person or until an appeal, conducted in accordance with section 17a-101k, has resulted in a finding that such staff person is not responsible for the abuse or neglect or does not pose a risk to the health, safety or well-being of children. If such staff member has a professional license or certificate issued by the state or a permit or authorization issued by the State Board of Education or if such institution, school or facility has a license or approval issued by the state, the commissioner shall forthwith notify the state agency responsible for issuing such license, certificate, permit, approval or authorization to the staff member and provide records, whether or not created by the department, concerning such investigation.

      (c) If a school employee, as defined in section 53a-65, or any person holding a certificate, permit or authorization issued by the State Board of Education under the provisions of sections 10-144o to 10-149, inclusive, is convicted of a crime involving an act of child abuse or neglect as described in section 46b-120 or a violation of section 53-21, 53a-71 or 53a-73a, the state's attorney for the judicial district in which the conviction occurred shall in writing notify the superintendent of the school district or the supervisory agent of the nonpublic school in which the person is employed and the Commissioner of Education of such conviction.

      (d) For the purposes of receiving and making reports, notifying and receiving notification, or investigating, pursuant to the provisions of sections 17a-101a to 17a-101h, inclusive, and 17a-103, a superintendent of a school district or a supervisory agent of a nonpublic school may assign a designee to act on such superintendent's or agent's behalf.

      (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) of section 17a-101, 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, and 17a-103. 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.

      (f) (1) All school employees, as defined in section 53a-65, hired by a local or regional board of education on or after July 1, 2011, shall be required to complete the training program developed pursuant to subsection (c) of section 17a-101. All such school employees shall complete the refresher training program, developed pursuant to subsection (c) of section 17a-101, not later than three years after completion of the initial training program, and shall thereafter retake such refresher training course at least once every three years.

      (2) On or before July 1, 2012, all school employees, as defined in section 53a-65, hired by a local or regional board of education before July 1, 2011, shall complete the refresher training program developed pursuant to subsection (c) of section 17a-101 and shall thereafter retake such refresher training course at least once every three years.

      (P.A. 96-246, S. 11; P.A. 97-319, S. 14, 22; P.A. 00-220, S. 30, 43; P.A. 01-142, S. 5; 01-173, S. 43, 44, 67; P.A. 03-168, S. 7; P.A. 05-246, S. 17; 05-257, S. 2; June 19 Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-1, S. 17; P.A. 11-93, S. 4.)

      History: P.A. 97-319 amended Subsecs. (a) and (b) by adding provisions re notification by the commissioner to the superintendent or executive director of finding of abuse by employee and by adding provisions re disclosure of records, effective July 1, 1997; P.A. 00-220 amended Subsecs. (a) and (c) to expand the applicability of section to include school employees who hold permits or authorizations, made conforming and technical changes in Subsec. (a) and added reference re violation of Sec. 53-21 in Subsec. (c), effective July 1, 2000; P.A. 01-142 amended Subsec. (b) by adding provision re notification by commissioner of state agency issuing professional license to any staff member of investigation of such staff member re abuse of child; P.A. 01-173 amended Subsecs. (a) and (d) to make technical changes for purposes of gender neutrality, effective July 1, 2001; P.A. 03-168 amended Subsec. (b) to expand references to certification to include permits and authorizations issued by the State Board of Education, effective July 1, 2003; P.A. 05-246 added provision re commissioner's recommending that school employee be placed on child abuse and neglect registry in Subsec. (a), effective January 1, 2006; P.A. 05-257 amended Subsec. (a) by making a technical change, by limiting time for notification to not later than five working days after finding and by requiring commissioner to provide notice regardless of whether child was a student in employing school or district, effective January 1, 2006; June 19 Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-1 made a technical change in Subsec. (a), effective July 1, 2009; P.A. 11-93 amended Subsec. (a) by adding requirement that Commissioner of Children and Families provide notice when child has been neglected by a school employee, adding definition of school employee, adding requirement that Commissioner of Children and Families notify Commissioner of Education of investigation findings and provide records, adding requirement that superintendent notify Commissioner of Education when school employee resigns, and making technical and conforming changes, amended Subsec. (b) by adding requirement that staff member be suspended within 5 working days of completion of investigation, adding requirement that staff member be suspended when child has been neglected by the staff member, deleting requirement that Commissioner of Children and Families notify staff person's employing executive director and provide records to the executive director, adding as a condition for suspension Commissioner of Children and Families' recommendation of placement on the child abuse and neglect registry, adding provision for appeal of suspension, adding requirement that commissioner notify the state licensing agency of staff member's suspension if the institution, school or facility holds state-issued license and making conforming changes, amended Subsec. (c) by adding definition of school employee, amended Subsec. (e) by replacing "1997" with "2012", adding requirement that the policy be adopted in accordance with Sec. 17a-101(e) and adding provision re distribution of policy and added Subsec. (f) re training program, effective July 1, 2011 (Revisor's note: In Subsec. (b)(2), a reference to Sec. 17a-101h was changed editorially by the Revisors to Sec. 17a-101k for accuracy).

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      Sec. 17a-101k. Registry of findings of abuse or neglect of children maintained by Commissioner of Children and Families. Notice of finding of abuse or neglect of child. Appeal of finding. Hearing procedure. Appeal after hearing. Confidentiality. Regulations. (a) The Commissioner of Children and Families shall maintain a registry of the commissioner's findings of abuse or neglect of children pursuant to section 17a-101g that conforms to the requirements of this section. The regulations adopted pursuant to subsection (i) of this section shall provide for the use of the registry on a twenty-four-hour daily basis to prevent or discover abuse of children and the establishment of a hearing process for any appeal by a person of the commissioner's determination that such person is responsible for the abuse or neglect of a child pursuant to subsection (b) of section 17a-101g. The information contained in the registry and any other information relative to child abuse, wherever located, shall be confidential, subject to such statutes and regulations governing their use and access as shall conform to the requirements of federal law or regulations. Any violation of this section or the regulations adopted by the commissioner under this section shall be punishable by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or imprisonment for not more than one year.

      (b) Upon the issuance of a recommended finding that an individual is responsible for abuse or neglect of a child pursuant to subsection (b) of section 17a-101g, the commissioner shall provide notice of the finding, by first class mail, not later than five business days after the issuance of such finding, to the individual who is alleged to be responsible for the abuse or neglect. The notice shall:

      (1) Contain a short and plain description of the finding that the individual is responsible for the abuse or neglect of a child;

      (2) Inform the individual of the existence of the registry and of the commissioner's intention to place the individual's name on the registry unless such individual exercises his or her right to appeal the recommended finding as provided in this section;

      (3) Inform the individual of the potential adverse consequences of being listed on the registry, including, but not limited to, the potential effect on the individual obtaining or retaining employment, licensure or engaging in activities involving direct contact with children and inform the individual of the individual's right to administrative procedures as provided in this section to appeal the finding; and

      (4) Include a written form for the individual to sign and return, indicating if the individual will invoke the appeal procedures provided in this section.

      (c) (1) Following a request for appeal, the commissioner or the commissioner's designee shall conduct an internal review of the recommended finding to be completed no later than thirty days after the request for appeal is received by the department. The commissioner or the commissioner's designee shall review all relevant information relating to the recommended finding, to determine whether the recommended finding is factually or legally deficient and ought to be reversed. Prior to the review, the commissioner shall provide the individual access to all relevant documents in the possession of the commissioner regarding the finding of responsibility for abuse or neglect of a child, as provided in section 17a-28.

      (2) The individual or the individual's representative may submit any documentation that is relevant to a determination of the issue and may, at the discretion of the commissioner or the commissioner's designee, participate in a telephone conference or face-to-face meeting to be conducted for the purpose of gathering additional information that may be relevant to determining whether the recommended finding is factually or legally deficient.

      (3) If the commissioner or the commissioner's designee, as a result of the prehearing review, determines that the recommended finding of abuse or neglect is factually or legally deficient, the commissioner or the commissioner's designee shall so indicate, in writing, and shall reverse the recommended finding. The commissioner shall send notice to the individual by certified mail of the commissioner's decision to reverse or maintain the finding not later than five business days after the decision is made. If the finding is upheld, the notice shall be made in accordance with section 4-177 and shall notify the individual of the right to request a hearing. The individual may request a hearing not later than thirty days after receipt of the notice. The hearing shall be scheduled not later than thirty days after receipt by the commissioner of the request for a hearing, except for good cause shown by either party.

      (d) (1) The hearing procedure shall be conducted in accordance with the procedures for contested cases pursuant to sections 4-177 to 4-181a, inclusive.

      (2) At the hearing, the individual may be represented by legal counsel. The burden of proof shall be on the commissioner to prove that the finding is supported by a fair preponderance of the evidence submitted at the hearing.

      (3) Not later than thirty days after the conclusion of the hearing, the hearing officer shall issue a written decision to either reverse or uphold the finding. The decision shall contain findings of fact and a conclusion of law on each issue raised at the hearing.

      (e) Any individual aggrieved by the decision of the hearing officer may appeal the decision in accordance with section 4-183. Such individual may also seek a stay of the adverse decision of the hearing officer in accordance with subsection (f) of section 4-183.

      (f) Following the issuance of a decision to uphold the finding and absent any stay of that decision issued by the commissioner or the court, the commissioner shall accurately reflect the information concerning the finding in the child abuse and neglect registry maintained pursuant to subsection (a) of this section and shall, in accordance with section 17a-101g, forward to any agency or official the information required to be disclosed pursuant to any provision of the general statutes.

      (g) Any individual against whom a finding of abuse or neglect was substantiated prior to May 1, 2000, and who has not previously appealed such finding, may appeal such finding as provided in this section.

      (h) Records containing unsubstantiated findings shall remain sealed, except that such records shall be made available to department employees in the proper discharge of their duties and shall be expunged by the commissioner five years from the completion date of the investigation if no further report is made about the individual subject to the investigation, except that if the department receives more than one report on an individual and each report is unsubstantiated, all reports and information pertaining to the individual shall be expunged by the commissioner five years from the completion date of the most recent investigation.

      (i) Not later than July 1, 2006, the Commissioner of Children and Families shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to implement the provisions of this section.

      (P.A. 96-246, S. 14; P.A. 97-319, S. 16, 22; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-2, S. 142, 165; P.A. 01-142, S. 2; P.A. 05-207, S. 1; P.A. 11-167, S. 2.)

      History: P.A. 97-319 added reference to reports made under Sec. 17a-101k and made technical change, effective July 1, 1997 (Revisor's note: Existing provisions were designated editorially by the Revisors as Subsec. (a) and section 142 of June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-2, effective July 1, 1997, was added editorially as Subsec. (b)); P.A. 01-142 amended Subsec. (a) by adding provision requiring that regulations to implement section include establishment of hearing process for appeal by person of determination of commissioner that such person is responsible for the abuse or neglect of child; P.A. 05-207 required Commissioner of Children and Families to maintain registry of findings of child abuse or neglect, rather than of reports received, and made conforming and technical changes in Subsec. (a), added notice provisions in new Subsec. (b), specified appeal procedures in new Subsec. (c), specified hearing procedures in new Subsec. (d), specified procedure re hearing decision appeals and stays in new Subsec. (e), added provisions re information reflected in registry and required disclosure in new Subsec. (f), granted right to appeal re findings prior to May 1, 2000, in new Subsec. (g), specified confidentiality requirements in new Subsec. (h), required Commissioner of Children and Families to adopt regulations in new Subsec. (i) and deleted former Subsec. (b) re release of information to Commissioner of Social Services for use in evaluating temporary family assistance program; P.A. 11-167 amended Subsec. (c)(1) by replacing reference to Sec. 17a-28(m) with reference to Sec. 17a-28.

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      Sec. 17a-101o. School employee failure or delay in reporting child abuse or neglect. Policy re delayed report by mandated reporters. (a) If the Commissioner of Children and Families suspects or knows that a mandated reporter, as defined in section 17a-101, employed by a local or regional board of education, has failed to make a report that a child has been abused or neglected or placed in immediate risk of serious harm within the time period prescribed in sections 17a-101a to 17a-101d, inclusive, and section 17a-103, the commissioner shall make a record of such delay and develop and maintain a database of such records. The commissioner shall investigate such delayed reporting. Such investigation shall be conducted in accordance with the policy developed in subsection (b) of this section, and include the actions taken by the employing local or regional board of education or superintendent of schools for the district in response to such employee's failure to report.

      (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) of section 17a-101.

      (P.A. 11-93, S. 7.)

      History: P.A. 11-93 effective July 1, 2011.

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      Sec. 17a-101p. Reports by persons not designated as mandated reporters. Notice to Commissioner of Education. When the Commissioner of Children and Families receives a report from a person not designated as a mandated reporter pursuant to section 17a-101 that such person 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 by a school employee, as defined in section 53a-65, holding a certificate, authorization or permit issued by the State Board of Education under the provisions of sections 10-144o to 10-146b, inclusive, and section 10-149, a copy of such report shall be sent by the Commissioner of Children and Families to the Commissioner of Education.

      (P.A. 11-93, S. 10.)

      History: P.A. 11-93 effective July 1, 2011.

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      Sec. 17a-102a. Education and training for nurses and birthing hospital staff caring for high-risk newborns re responsibilities as mandated reporters of child abuse and neglect. Information dissemination. Definitions. (a) Each birthing hospital shall provide education and training for nurses and other staff who care for high-risk newborns on the roles and responsibilities of such nurses and other staff as mandated reporters of potential child abuse and neglect under section 17a-101.

      (b) The Department of Children and Families shall coordinate with the birthing hospitals in the state to disseminate information regarding the procedures for the principal providers of daily direct care of high-risk newborns in birthing hospitals to participate in the discharge planning process and ongoing department functions concerning such newborns.

      (c) For purposes of this section, "birthing hospital" means a health care facility, as defined in section 19a-630, operated and maintained in whole or in part for the purpose of caring for women during delivery of a child and for women and their newborns following birth, and "high-risk newborn" means any newborn identified as such under any regulation or policy of the Department of Children and Families.

      (P.A. 01-190; P.A. 11-120, S. 3.)

      History: P.A. 11-120 amended Subsec. (b) by replacing provision re adoption of regulations with provision requiring department to coordinate with birthing hospitals to disseminate information re discharge planning process and department functions, effective July 1, 2011.

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      Sec. 17a-103d. Written notice to parent or guardian of rights re abuse or neglect investigation at initial face-to-face contact. (a) Upon receiving a complaint of abuse or neglect of a child, the Department of Children and Families shall, at the time of any initial face-to-face contact with the child's parent or guardian on or after October 1, 2011, provide the parent or guardian with written notice, in plain language, that: (1) The parent or guardian is not required to permit the representative of the department to enter the residence of the parent or guardian; (2) the parent or guardian is not required to speak with the representative of the department at that time; (3) the parent or guardian is entitled to seek the representation of an attorney and to have an attorney present when the parent or guardian is questioned by a representative of the department; (4) any statement made by the parent, guardian or other family member may be used against the parent or guardian in an administrative or court proceeding; (5) the representative of the department is not an attorney and cannot provide legal advice to the parent or guardian; (6) the parent or guardian is not required to sign any document presented by the representative of the department, including, but not limited to, a release of claims or a service agreement, and is entitled to have an attorney review such document before agreeing to sign the document; and (7) a failure of the parent or guardian to communicate with a representative of the department may have serious consequences, which may include the department's filing of a petition for the removal of the child from the home of the parent or guardian, and therefore it is in the parent's or guardian's best interest to either speak with the representative of the department or immediately seek the advice of a qualified attorney.

      (b) The department shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the notice provided to a parent or guardian pursuant to this section is written in a manner that will be understood by the parent or guardian, which reasonable efforts shall include, but not be limited to, ensuring that the notice is written in a language understood by the parent or guardian.

      (c) The representative of the department shall request the parent or guardian to sign and date the notice described in subsection (a) of this section as evidence of having received the notice. If the parent or guardian refuses to sign and date the notice upon such request, the representative of the department shall specifically indicate on the notice that the parent or guardian was requested to sign and date the notice and refused to do so and the representative of the department shall sign the notice as witness to the parent's or guardian's refusal to sign the notice. The department shall provide the parent or guardian with a copy of the signed notice at the time of the department's initial face-to-face contact with the parent or guardian.

      (P.A. 11-112, S. 1.)

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      Sec. 17a-103e. Reports of child abuse and neglect by a school employee. Review of records and information. (a) The Department of Children and Families shall conduct, at least annually, random quality assurance reviews of reports and investigations that a child has been abused or neglected by a school employee, as defined in section 53a-65. If, as a result of such review, the department discovers any issues in any report or investigation, the department shall take any necessary action to correct or satisfy such problem or issue. The department shall use such reviews to assess the quality and conduct of such investigations.

      (b) The Department of Children and Families shall review, at least annually, with the Department of Education all records and information relating to reports and investigations that a child has been abused and neglected by a school employee, as defined in section 53a-65, in the Department of Children and Families' possession to ensure that records and information are being shared properly. The departments shall address and correct any omissions or other problems in the records and information-sharing process of the departments.

      (P.A. 11-93, S. 14.)

      History: P.A. 11-93 effective July 1, 2011.

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      Sec. 17a-106d. Report of neglected or cruelly treated animals part of record in child abuse or neglect investigation. Not later than one week after receiving a report pursuant to subsection (c) of section 22-329b, the Commissioner of Children and Families shall determine if any address provided in said report is an address where the Department of Children and Families has opened an investigation of a child pursuant to a report of abuse or neglect made under this chapter. If the commissioner determines that there is an open investigation of a child at the same address as an address provided in said report, the commissioner shall provide the department's investigator with all relevant information from said report. The department shall include the information provided to the investigator in the department's record on the child.

      (P.A. 11-194, S. 2.)

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      Sec. 17a-114. (Formerly Sec. 17-43c). Licensing of persons for child placement required. Criminal history records checks. Exemption for temporary placement of children with relatives, nonrelatives and special study foster parents. Regulations. (a) As used in this section, "licensed" means a person holds a license issued by the Department of Children and Families to provide foster care, including foster care of a specific child, and "special study foster parent" means a person who is twenty-one years of age or older and who does not hold a license issued by the Department of Children and Families to provide foster care.

      (b) (1) No child in the custody of the Commissioner of Children and Families shall be placed with any person, unless such person is licensed for that purpose by the department or the Department of Developmental Services pursuant to the provisions of section 17a-227, or such person's home is approved by a child placing agency licensed by the commissioner pursuant to section 17a-149. Any person licensed by the department may be a prospective adoptive parent. The commissioner shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to establish the licensing procedures and standards.

      (2) The commissioner shall require each applicant for licensure pursuant to this section and any person sixteen years of age or older living in the household of such applicant to submit to state and national criminal history records checks prior to issuing a license to such applicant to accept placement of a child. Such criminal history records checks shall be conducted 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 and for the name of any person sixteen years of age or older living in the household of such applicant.

      (c) Notwithstanding the requirements of subsection (b) of this section, the commissioner may place a child with a relative who is not licensed, a nonrelative, if such child's sibling who is related to the caregiver is also placed with such caregiver or with a special study foster parent for a period of up to ninety days when such placement is in the best interests of the child, provided a satisfactory home visit is conducted, a basic assessment of the family is completed and such relative, nonrelative or special study foster parent attests that such relative, nonrelative or special study foster parent and any adult living within the household has not been convicted of a crime or arrested for a felony against a person, for injury or risk of injury to or impairing the morals of a child, or for the possession, use or sale of a controlled substance. Any such relative, nonrelative or special study foster parent who accepts placement of a child in excess of such ninety-day period shall be subject to licensure by the commissioner, except that any such relative who, prior to July 1, 2001, had been certified by the commissioner to provide care for a related child may continue to maintain such certification if such relative continues to meet the regulatory requirements and the child remains in such relative's care. The commissioner may grant a waiver from such procedure or standard, including any standard regarding separate bedrooms or room-sharing arrangements, for a child placed with a relative, on a case-by-case basis, if such placement is otherwise in the best interests of such child, provided no procedure or standard that is safety-related may be so waived. The reason for any waiver granted pursuant to this section shall be documented in writing. The commissioner shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to establish certification procedures and standards for a caregiver under this section. For purposes of this subsection, "sibling" includes a stepbrother, stepsister, half-brother or half-sister.

      (P.A. 88-332, S. 1, 4; P.A. 93-91, S. 1, 2; P.A. 94-216, S. 2, 4; P.A. 99-166, S. 5; P.A. 01-70, S. 1, 2; 01-142, S. 11; 01-159, S. 4; P.A. 03-243, S. 7; P.A. 04-88, S. 1; P.A. 05-207, S. 6; 05-246, S. 12; P.A. 07-8, S. 1; 07-73, S. 2(a); P.A. 11-116, S. 2; 11-166, S. 1.)

      History: Sec. 17-43c transferred to Sec. 17a-114 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. 94-216 required a relative to be licensed by the commissioner of children and families before having a child placed in his custody, required placements beyond such 45-day period to be subject to certification by the commissioner, and required the commissioner to adopt regulations to establish certification procedures for a caretaker who is a relative of such child, effective June 7, 1994; P.A. 99-166 amended Subsec. (a) by adding provision that any person licensed by department to accept placement of child is deemed to be licensed to accept placement as foster family or prospective adoptive family and provision re criminal records check by commissioner to be criminal records check requested from state police and FBI; P.A. 01-70 amended Subsec. (b) to allow commissioner to place a child with an unlicensed relative for a period of up to 90 days, in lieu of 45 days, when such placement is in the best interests of the child, to delete requirement that placements with a relative beyond the 45-day period be subject to certification by commissioner, to require licensure for any such relative who accepts placement of a child in excess of the 90-day period with an exception, and to authorize commissioner to grant a waiver, for a child placed with a relative, from a procedure or standard other than a safety standard based on relative's home and needs and best interests of the child, requiring that reason for any waiver granted be documented, effective July 1, 2001; P.A. 01-142 reinstated former Subsec. (b) re placements that was deleted by P.A. 01-159, including changes made by P.A. 01-70, and redesignated Subsec. (b) added by P.A. 01-159 as Subsec. (c); P.A. 01-159 amended Subsec. (a) by deleting provision re criminal records check, deleted existing Subsec. (b) re placements and added new Subsec. (b) re criminal history records checks; P.A. 03-243 amended Subsec. (a) by designating existing provisions as Subdiv. (1) and adding Subdiv. (2) re criminal history records checks and child abuse registry checks for applicants and persons 16 or older living in household of applicants and deleted former Subsec. (c) re fingerprinting of applicants and criminal history records and child abuse registry checks; P.A. 04-88 added new Subsec. (a) defining "licensed" and "special study foster parent" for purposes of section, allowed commissioner to place children 14 years of age or older with special study foster parents, required reasons for waivers to be in writing and redesignated existing Subsecs. (a) and (b) as new Subsecs. (b) and (c), respectively; P.A. 05-207 amended Subsec. (b)(2) to delete requirement that commissioner check state child abuse registry for perpetrator information; P.A. 05-246 amended Subsec. (b)(1) to require that persons be licensed by Department of Mental Retardation pursuant to Sec. 17a-227 or that person's home is approved by child placing agency licensed pursuant to Sec. 17a-149, effective July 8, 2005; P.A. 07-8 amended Subsec. (c) to lower the age of children placed with special study foster parents from 14 to 10 years of age and to permit placement of a child with an unlicensed nonrelative for a period of 90 days if the child's sibling who is related to the caregiver is also placed with such caregiver; pursuant to P.A. 07-73 "Department of Mental Retardation" was changed editorially by the Revisors to "Department of Developmental Services", effective October 1, 2007; P.A. 11-116 amended Subsec. (c) by specifying that commissioner may waive a separate bedroom or room-sharing standard but not a safety-related standard; P.A. 11-166 amended Subsec. (c) by deleting "if the child is ten years of age or older" re placement with a special study foster parent, effective July 1, 2011.

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      Sec. 17a-126. Subsidized guardianship program. (a) As used in this section, (1) "relative caregiver" means a person who is caring for a child related to such person because the parent of the child has died or become otherwise unable to care for the child for reasons that make reunification with the parent and adoption not viable options within the foreseeable future, and (2) "commissioner" means the Commissioner of Children and Families.

      (b) The commissioner shall establish a program of subsidized guardianship for the benefit of children in foster care who have been living with relative caregivers, who are licensed foster care providers pursuant to section 17a-114, and who have been in foster care for not less than six consecutive months. A relative caregiver may request a guardianship subsidy from the commissioner.

      (c) If a relative caregiver who is receiving a guardianship subsidy for a related child is also caring for the child's sibling who is not related to the caregiver, the commissioner shall provide a guardianship subsidy to such relative caregiver in accordance with regulations adopted by the commissioner pursuant to subsection (e) of this section. For purposes of this subsection, "child's sibling" includes a stepbrother, stepsister, a half-brother or a half-sister.

      (d) The commissioner shall provide the following subsidies under the subsidized guardianship program in accordance with this section and the regulations adopted pursuant to subsection (e) of this section: (1) A special-need subsidy, which shall be a lump sum payment for one-time expenses resulting from the assumption of care of the child and shall not exceed two thousand dollars; and (2) a medical subsidy comparable to the medical subsidy to children in the subsidized adoption program. The subsidized guardianship program shall also provide a monthly subsidy on behalf of the child payable to the relative caregiver that is based on the circumstances of the relative caregiver and the needs of the child and shall not exceed the foster care maintenance payment that would have been paid on behalf of the child if the child had remained in licensed foster care.

      (e) The commissioner shall adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, implementing the subsidized guardianship program established under this section. Such regulations shall include all federal requirements necessary to maximize federal reimbursement available to the state, including, but not limited to, (1) eligibility for the program, (2) the maximum age at which a child is no longer eligible for a guardianship subsidy, including the maximum age, for purposes of claiming federal reimbursement under Title IV-E of the Social Security Act, at which a child is no longer eligible for a guardianship subsidy, and (3) a procedure for determining the types and amounts of the subsidies.

      (f) At a minimum, the guardianship subsidy provided under this section shall continue until the child reaches the age of eighteen or the age of twenty-one if such child is in full-time attendance at a secondary school, technical school or college or is in a state accredited job training program or otherwise meets the criteria set forth in federal law. Annually, the subsidized guardian shall submit to the commissioner a sworn statement that the child is still living with and receiving support from the guardian. The parent of any child receiving assistance through the subsidized guardianship program shall remain liable for the support of the child as required by the general statutes.

      (g) A guardianship subsidy shall not be included in the calculation of household income in determining eligibility for benefits of the relative caregiver of the subsidized child or other persons living within the household of the relative caregiver.

      (h) Payments for guardianship subsidies shall be made from moneys available from any source to the commissioner for child welfare purposes. The commissioner shall develop and implement a plan that: (1) Maximizes use of the subsidized guardianship program to decrease the number of children in the legal custody of the commissioner and to reduce the number of children who would otherwise be placed into nonrelative foster care when there is a family member willing to provide care; (2) maximizes federal reimbursement for the costs of the subsidized guardianship program, provided whatever federal maximization method is employed shall not result in the relative caregiver of a child being subject to work requirements as a condition of receipt of benefits for the child or the benefits restricted in time or scope other than as specified in subsection (c) of this section; and (3) ensures necessary transfers of funds between agencies and interagency coordination in program implementation. The commissioner shall seek all federal waivers and reimbursement as are necessary and appropriate to implement this plan.

      (i) In the case of the death, severe disability or serious illness of a relative caregiver who is receiving a guardianship subsidy, the commissioner may transfer the guardianship subsidy to a new relative caregiver who meets the Department of Children and Families foster care safety requirements and is appointed as legal guardian by a court of competent jurisdiction.

      (j) Nothing in this section shall prohibit the commissioner from continuing to pay guardianship subsidies to those relative caregivers who entered into written subsidy agreements with the Department of Children and Families prior to October 5, 2009.

      (P.A. 97-272, S. 7, 9; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 98-1, S. 90, 121; P.A. 99-251, S. 1, 2; P.A. 05-254, S. 1; P.A. 07-174, S. 1; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 07-5, S. 38; P.A. 09-185, S. 7; Sept. Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-5, S. 69; P.A. 10-26, S. 8; P.A. 11-105, S. 3.)

      History: P.A. 97-272, S. 7 effective July 1, 1997 (Revisor's note: In Subsec. (e) the nonexistent word "chid" was replaced editorially by the Revisors with "child" to correct a typographical error); June Sp. Sess. P.A. 98-1 made a technical change in Subsec. (a), effective June 24, 1998; P.A. 99-251 amended Subsec. (b) by making children living with relatives who have been in foster or certified relative care for less than 18 months eligible for a subsidy and amended Subsec. (d) by deleting an obsolete reference to the date by which regulations have to be adopted, effective July 1, 1999; P.A. 05-254 lowered threshold from not less than twelve to not less than 6 months for children living with relative caregivers and who have been in foster care or certified relative care in Subsec. (b); P.A. 07-174 amended Subsec. (b) by making subsidized guardianship program mandatory rather than permissive for children who have been in foster care or certified relative care for not less than six but not more than eighteen months, added new Subsec. (c) making siblings of children living with relative caregivers eligible for subsidy, redesignated existing Subsecs. (c) to (g) as Subsecs. (d) to (h), substituted "commissioner" for "subsidized guardianship program" and replaced "for the benefit of any child in the care of a relative caregiver who has been appointed the guardian or coguardian of the child by any court of competent jurisdiction" with "under the subsidized guardianship program in accordance with this section and the regulations adopted pursuant to subsection (e) of this section" in Subsec. (d), and substituted "not later than fifteen days after the date of the request" for "within fifteen days of the request" in Subsec. (e); June Sp. Sess. P.A. 07-5 made technical changes in Subsec. (e); P.A. 09-185 added Subsec. (i) re transfer of guardianship subsidy to new relative caregiver, effective July 1, 2009; Sept. Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-5 amended Subsec. (a) by adding reference to adoption in definition of relative caregiver, amended Subsec. (b) by replacing care and custody of commissioner with foster care, inserting reference to licensing under Sec. 17a-114, replacing 18 months with 6 consecutive months and deleting provisions re establishment of subsidized guardianship program and counseling of caregivers, amended Subsec. (c) by replacing provision re commissioner to provide relative caregiver caring for a child and the child's sibling with guardianship subsidy if the sibling is in foster care between 6 and 18 months with provision re guardianship subsidy being given in accordance with regulations, amended Subsec. (d) by deleting provision re special-need subsidy given when no other resource is available, adding provision re subsidy not to exceed $2000, replacing provision requiring commissioner to establish asset test for eligibility with provision re monthly subsidy based on circumstances and needs of child and not in excess of foster care maintenance payment, amended Subsec. (e) by replacing former regulation requirements with requirements to maximize federal reimbursement, amended Subsec. (f) by specifying that guardianship subsidy is the minimum required, amended Subsec. (h)(1) by inserting reference to nonrelative foster care, amended Subsec. (h)(3) by adding requirement that commissioner seek all necessary and appropriate reimbursement, added Subsec. (i) re transfer of guardianship subsidy to new relative caregiver, added Subsec. (j) re honoring terms of existing subsidy agreements, and made conforming and technical changes, effective October 5, 2009 (Revisor's note: In Subsec. (c), the Subdiv. (2) designator was deleted editorially by the Revisors to conform with the deletion of the Subdiv. (1) designator by Sept. Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-5); P.A. 10-26 made technical changes in Subsecs. (b) and (d), effective May 10, 2010; P.A. 11-105 amended Subsec. (b) by deleting "or certified relative care", amended Subsec. (c) by deleting provision requiring sibling to be in foster care for not less than 18 months, amended Subsec. (d)(2) by deleting requirement that child lack private health insurance and amended Subsec. (f) by adding provision allowing subsidy to continue if criteria set forth in federal law is met, effective July 1, 2011.

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PART II
CHILD-CARE FACILITIES AND CHILD-PLACING AGENCIES

      Sec. 17a-154. (Formerly Sec. 17-52a). "Permanent family residence". Definition. Requirements. (a) For purposes of this section and section 17a-155, "permanent family residence" means a child care facility which meets the requirements of subsection (b) of this section and subsection (a) of section 17a-155 and which is licensed as a permanent family residence by the Department of Children and Families, hereinafter referred to as the department.

      (b) To be licensed as a permanent family residence, a child care facility must meet the following requirements:

      (1) The facility must be designed to provide permanent care to handicapped children in a home environment and family setting;

      (2) At the time the initial license is issued, the permanent family care must be provided by two adult persons, hereinafter referred to as the parents, or upon the commissioner's approval, one adult whose principal residence is the permanent family residence, who may, but need not, have children other than foster children living with them;

      (3) The parent or parents must occupy, as their principal residence, a building which is designed for residential use by one or two families and which is: (A) Owned or leased by the parent or parents or (B) owned or leased by a nonstock corporation, one of whose purposes is to protect handicapped children by providing a home environment and family setting for handicapped children;

      (4) The principal occupation of at least one parent and, in appropriate cases to be determined by the department, both parents, must be to provide direct and regular care to the foster children placed in their residence; and

      (5) The parent or parents must have indicated their intent to provide permanent foster care to handicapped children placed in their home by the department or by other child-placing agencies.

      (c) Permanent family residences licensed by the department pursuant to the provisions of this section and section 17a-155 shall be deemed private dwellings occupied by one family by the Commissioner of Public Health for purposes of compliance with the State Public Health Code and by the Commissioner of Construction Services for purposes of compliance with the State Building Code and the Fire Safety Code.

      (P.A. 80-261, S. 1, 2, 4, 7; P.A. 88-94, S. 1, 3; P.A. 93-91, S. 1, 2; 93-381, S. 9, 39; P.A. 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58; P.A. 11-8, S. 29; 11-51, S. 90.)

      History: P.A. 88-94 amended Subdiv. (2) to permit one adult to provide permanent family care and made technical revisions in Subdivs. (3) and (5) to reflect such change; Sec. 17-52a transferred to Sec. 17a-154 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. 93-381 replaced commissioner of health services with commissioner of public health and addiction services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 95-257 replaced Commissioner and Department of Public Health and Addiction Services with Commissioner and Department of Public Health, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 11-8 made technical changes in Subsec. (c), effective May 24, 2011; pursuant to P.A. 11-51, "Commissioner of Public Safety" was changed editorially by the Revisors to "Commissioner of Construction Services" in Subsec. (c), effective July 1, 2011.

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