PA 16-11—SB 72

Committee on Children

Appropriations Committee


SUMMARY: This act requires the Department of Children and Families (DCF), by January 1, 2017, to develop a written form notifying foster parents and relative caregivers of the support they may receive from the department. Starting on that date, DCF must provide this form to foster parents and relative caregivers when it places a child with them and at their request. The act does not create or permit a cause of action for a violation of any of its provisions.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2016


The written form (“notification of support”) must inform foster parents and relative caregivers of the support and services they may receive from DCF, as well as actions they may take on behalf of children in their care. These include the following:

1. receiving a copy of the notification of support when a child is placed with them and subsequently at their request;

2. being a member of the child's placement and treatment teams and being notified of, and included in, DCF-scheduled meetings concerning the child;

3. communicating with the child's social worker about the child's domestic, social, educational, medical, and mental health needs;

4. being notified on a timely basis of all court hearings and administrative case review meetings, including permanency hearings and hearings on motions to revoke commitment of a child in the care of the foster parent or relative caregiver;

5. receiving information, support, and guidance from professional service providers, including referrals to other professionals regarding the child, and help in identifying and obtaining services;

6. receiving open and timely responses to requests for information or services relevant to the care of the child, including access to a regional office on-call system and Careline numbers to reach professional staff after business hours;

7. having access to the domestic, social, educational, medical, and mental health records of a child placed or considered for placement with the foster parent or relative caregiver, provided information identifying the child's birth parents is not disclosed without the birth parent's permission;

8. receiving information on DCF policies on the roles and responsibilities of foster parents or relative caregivers;

9. receiving appropriate training and support to enhance the skills of the foster parent or relative caregiver in meeting any post-licensing training requirements;

10. expressing concerns about a child's treatment plan, advocating for services on the child's behalf, refusing to accept a child for placement, or requesting a child's removal for good cause;

11. communicating with a child's former foster parent, prospective adoptive parent, relative caregiver, or birth parent without risking DCF retaliation;

12. seeking help in navigating DCF's problem resolution process as described in its Foster Parent and Adoptive Parent Handbook (presumably the Foster Care Manual on DCF's website); and

13. receiving information to meet the child's immediate needs no later than 24 hours after accepting an emergency placement or, if such information is not immediately available, no later than 30 days after the placement.

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