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Senate Bill No. 300

Public Act No. 04-88

AN ACT CONCERNING SPECIAL STUDY FOSTER CARE.

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

Section 1. Section 17a-114 of the general statutes, as amended by section 7 of public act 03-243, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2004):

(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.

[(a)] (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 by the department. [for that purpose. ] Any person licensed by the department [to accept placement of a child is deemed to be licensed to accept placement as a foster family or prospective adoptive family] 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 for perpetrator information.

[(b)] (c) Notwithstanding the requirements of subsection [(a)] (b) of this section, the commissioner may place a child with a relative who is not licensed or, if the child is fourteen years of age or older, 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 or special study foster parent attests that such relative or special study foster parent and any adult living within the household [have] 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 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, except any safety standard, for a child placed with a relative, on a case-by-case basis, from such procedure or standard, except any safety standard, based on the home of the relative and the needs and best interests of such child. The reason for any waiver granted 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 caretaker who is a relative of such child.

Approved May 10, 2004