PA 11-120—HB 6352

Select Committee on Children

Human Services Committee

Government Administration and Elections Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING THE MEMBERSHIP OF THE ADVISORY COUNCIL ON CHILDREN AND FAMILIES AND MODIFICATIONS TO STATUTES CONCERNING THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

SUMMARY: This act adds two members to the State Advisory Council on Children and Families (SAC) and adds foster parents to its membership. It deletes the Department of Children and Families' (DCF) duty to prepare a plan on (1) delinquent children to be placed in the Connecticut Juvenile Training School and (2) an approach to juvenile rehabilitation. It also deletes the requirement that DCF adopt regulations concerning discharge planning for, and ongoing DCF involvement with, high-risk newborns. Instead, it requires DCF to coordinate with birthing hospitals to disseminate information on the care of high-risk newborns.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011, except for the provision on SAC membership, which is effective October 1, 2011.

STATE ADVISORY COUNCIL ON CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

The governor appoints all members of the council (see BACKGROUND), which the act increases from 17 to 19 members. By law, at least 50% of the members must be parents or family members of children who are receiving or have received behavioral health, child welfare, or juvenile services. The act adds foster parents to this portion of the membership.

PLAN FOR DELINQUENT CHILDREN

The act eliminates the requirement, enacted in 1999, that DCF prepare a plan for convicted delinquents committed to the department and placed in the then-new Connecticut Juvenile Training School for at least one year. The plan had to include provisions for a comprehensive approach to juvenile rehabilitation.

CARE OF HIGH-RISK NEWBORNS

The act eliminates the requirement that DCF adopt regulations on the procedures principal providers (e. g. , nurses and nursing assistants) of daily direct care for high-risk newborns in birthing hospitals must follow to participate in the discharge planning process and ongoing DCF functions concerning these newborns. Instead, DCF must coordinate with birthing hospitals to disseminate information on these procedures. (Birthing hospitals care for women during delivery of a child or for women and their newborns following birth. )

BACKGROUND

State Advisory Council on Children and Families

By law, SAC makes recommendations to DCF about programs, legislation, and other matters to improve services; annually advises the commissioner on her proposed budget; explains DCF's policies, duties, and programs to the public; issues reports to the governor and commissioner as needed; helps to develop, and reviews and comments on, DCF's strategic plan; receives quarterly reports from the commissioner on DCF's progress in carrying out the strategic plan; independently monitors DCF's progress in achieving the plan's goals; and offers DCF assistance and an outside perspective to help it achieve its goals.

DCF provides the council with funding for administrative support and to facilitate participation by council members representing families and youth.

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