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Substitute Senate Bill No. 832

Public Act No. 13-54

AN ACT CONCERNING FAMILY ASSESSMENT CASES.

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

Section 1. Subsection (g) of section 17a-101g of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2013):

(g) (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (a) to (f), inclusive, of this section, the commissioner may establish a program of [differential] family assessment 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.

Sec. 2. Subsection (h) of section 17a-101k of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2013):

(h) Records containing unsubstantiated findings and records relating to family assessment cases 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 or the closure of the family assessment case, whichever is later, if no further report is made about the individual subject to the investigation or the family subject to the assessment, except that if the department receives more than one report on an individual subject to investigation or a family subject to assessment and each report is unsubstantiated, all reports and information pertaining to the individual or family shall be expunged by the commissioner five years from the completion date of the most recent investigation.

Approved May 28, 2013