Connecticut Seal

Substitute Senate Bill No. 1037

Public Act No. 05-246

AN ACT CONCERNING A NURTURING FAMILIES NETWORK, DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES ACCREDITATION AND REVISION OF CERTAIN DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES STATUTES.

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

Section 1. Section 17a-3 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2005):

(a) The department shall plan, create, develop, operate or arrange for, administer and evaluate a comprehensive and integrated state-wide program of services, including preventive services, for children and youth whose behavior does not conform to the law or to acceptable community standards, or who are mentally ill, including deaf and hearing impaired children and youth who are mentally ill, emotionally disturbed, substance abusers, delinquent, abused, neglected or uncared for, including all children and youth who are or may be committed to it by any court, and all children and youth voluntarily admitted to the department for services of any kind. Services shall not be denied to any such child or youth solely because of other complicating or multiple disabilities. The department shall work in cooperation with other child-serving agencies and organizations to provide or arrange for preventive programs, including but not limited to teenage pregnancy and youth suicide prevention, for children and youth and their families. The program shall provide services and placements that are clinically indicated and appropriate to the needs of the child or youth. In furtherance of this purpose, the department shall: [(a)] (1) Maintain the Connecticut Juvenile Training School and other appropriate facilities exclusively for delinquents; [(b)] (2) develop a comprehensive program for prevention of problems of children and youth and provide a flexible, innovative and effective program for the placement, care and treatment of children and youth committed by any court to the department, transferred to the department by other departments, or voluntarily admitted to the department; [(c)] (3) provide appropriate services to families of children and youth as needed to achieve the purposes of sections 17a-1 to 17a-26, inclusive, 17a-28 to 17a-49, inclusive, and 17a-51; [(d)] (4) establish incentive paid work programs for children and youth under the care of the department and the rates to be paid such children and youth for work done in such programs and may provide allowances to children and youth in [his] the custody of the department; [(e)] (5) be responsible to collect, interpret and publish statistics relating to children and youth within the department; [(f)] (6) conduct studies of any program, service or facility developed, operated, contracted for or supported by the department in order to evaluate its effectiveness; [(g)] (7) establish staff development and other training and educational programs designed to improve the quality of departmental services and programs, provided no social worker trainee shall be assigned a case load prior to completing training, and may establish educational or training programs for children, youth, parents or other interested persons on any matter related to the promotion of the well-being of children, or the prevention of mental illness, emotional disturbance, delinquency and other disabilities in children and youth; [(h)] (8) develop and implement aftercare and follow-up services appropriate to the needs of any child or youth under [his] the care of the department; [(i)] (9) establish a case audit unit to monitor each [region's] area office's compliance with regulations and procedures; [(j)] (10) develop and maintain a database listing available community service programs funded by the department; [(k)] (11) provide outreach and assistance to persons caring for children whose parents are unable to do so by informing such persons of programs and benefits for which they may be eligible; and [(l)] (12) collect data sufficient to identify the housing needs of children served by the department and share such data with the Department of Economic and Community Development. [; (m)]

(b) The department shall prepare and submit biennially to the General Assembly a five-year master plan. The master plan shall include, but not be limited to: (1) The long-range goals and the current level of attainment of such goals of the department; (2) a detailed description of the types and amounts of services presently provided to the department's clients; (3) a detailed forecast of the service needs of current and projected target populations; (4) detailed cost projections for alternate means of meeting projected needs; (5) funding priorities for each of the five years included in the plan and specific plans indicating how the funds are to be used; (6) a written plan for the prevention of child abuse and neglect; (7) a comprehensive mental health plan for children and adolescents, including children with complicating or multiple disabilities; (8) a comprehensive plan for children and youth who are substance abusers, developed in conjunction with the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services pursuant to the provisions of sections 19a-2a and 19a-7; and (9) an overall assessment of the adequacy of children's services in Connecticut. The plan shall be prepared within existing funds appropriated to the department. [; and (n)]

(c) The department shall prepare a plan to keep children who are convicted as delinquent and will be committed to the Department of Children and Families and placed in the Connecticut Juvenile Training School in such facility for at least one year after their referral to the department, which plan shall include provisions for development of a comprehensive approach to juvenile rehabilitation.

Sec. 2. Section 17a-9 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) The commissioner shall appoint, after consultation with the state advisory council, and may remove in a like manner, two deputy commissioners who shall be in the unclassified service. The deputy commissioner for program services shall be a clinically competent professional person experienced in one or more fields of children's services and in the administration of such services, and shall be responsible for the supervision of all clinical treatment and program services of the department. The deputy commissioner of administrative services shall have experience in business or institutional administration and shall be responsible for the organizational and general administrative services of the department.

[(b) The commissioner shall appoint, after consultation with the state advisory council, and may remove in a like manner, six regional administrators who shall be in the unclassified service. Each regional administrator shall have skill and experience in the field of children's services and in the administration of such services. Each regional administrator shall be subject to the direction of the commissioner and shall be responsible for the operation and administration of services provided or funded by the department in the regions created by the commissioner pursuant to subsection (a) of section 17a-30. ]

[(c)] (b) The commissioner shall appoint, in accordance with chapter 67, after consultation with the state advisory council, and may remove in like manner, such directors as [he] the commissioner deems necessary, provided any director's title or duties may be changed as the commissioner deems necessary after consultation with the state advisory council.

[(d)] (c) The commissioner shall, in accordance with chapter 67 and after consultation with the state advisory council, appoint the administrative heads of all of the institutions and facilities transferred to the department and such other institutions and facilities as now are or hereafter may be established by or transferred to the department. Such administrative heads shall have skill and experience in the administration of children's services and shall manage their institutions and facilities in accordance with the regulations and orders of the commissioner.

Sec. 3. Section 17a-11 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2005):

(a) The commissioner may, in the commissioner's discretion, admit to the department on a voluntary basis any child or youth who, in the commissioner's opinion, could benefit from any of the services offered or administered by, or under contract with, or otherwise available to, the department. Application for voluntary admission shall be made in writing by the parent or guardian of a child under fourteen years of age or by such person himself or herself if he or she is a child fourteen years of age or older or a youth.

(b) A child or youth voluntarily admitted to the department shall be deemed to be within the care of the commissioner until such admission is terminated. The commissioner shall terminate the admission of any child or youth voluntarily admitted to the department within ten days after receipt of a written request for termination from a parent or guardian of any child under fourteen years of age or from a child if such child is fourteen years of age or older, or youth, unless prior to the expiration of that time the commissioner has sought and received from the Superior Court an order of temporary custody as provided by law. The commissioner may terminate the admission of any child or youth voluntarily admitted to the department after giving reasonable notice in writing to the parent or guardian of any child under fourteen years of age and to a child fourteen years of age or older, and to any youth. Any child or youth admitted voluntarily to the department may be placed in, or transferred to, any resource, facility or institution within the department or available to the commissioner except the Connecticut Juvenile Training School, provided the commissioner shall give written notice to such child or youth and to the parent or guardian of the child of the commissioner's intention to make a transfer at least ten days prior to any actual transfer, unless written notice is waived by those entitled to receive it, or unless an emergency commitment of such child or youth is made pursuant to section 17a-502.

(c) Not more than one hundred twenty days after admitting a child or youth on a voluntary basis, the department shall petition the probate court for the district in which a parent or guardian of the child or youth resides for a determination as to whether continuation in care is in the child's or youth's best interest and, if so, whether there is an appropriate case service or permanency plan. A case service plan shall be required for all children and youth receiving services voluntarily from the department who are not in an out-of-home placement. A permanency plan shall be required for all children and youth voluntarily admitted to the department and placed by the department in a foster home licensed pursuant to section 17a-114 or a facility licensed pursuant to section 17a-145 or 17a-154. Upon receipt of such application, the court shall set a time and place for hearing to be held within thirty days of receipt of the application, unless continued by the court for cause shown. The court shall order notice of the hearing to be given by regular mail at least five days prior to the hearing to the Commissioner of Children and Families, and by certified mail, return receipt requested, at least five days prior to the hearing to the parents or guardian of the child and the minor, if over twelve years of age. If the whereabouts of the parent or guardian are unknown, or if delivery cannot reasonably be effected, then notice shall be ordered to be given by publication. In making its determination, the court shall consider the items specified in subsection (d) of this section. The court shall possess continuing jurisdiction in proceedings under this section.

(d) (1) Ten months after admitting a child or youth on a voluntary basis and annually thereafter if the child or youth remains in the custody of the commissioner and remains placed in a foster home licensed pursuant to section 17a-114 or a facility licensed pursuant to section 17a-145 or 17a-154, the commissioner shall file a motion for review of a permanency plan. A hearing on such motion shall be held not later than thirty days after the filing of such motion. The court shall provide notice to the child or youth and such child's or youth's parent or guardian of the time and place of the hearing on such motion not less than ten days prior to the date of such hearing.

(2) At a permanency hearing held in accordance with the provisions of subdivision (1) of this subsection, the court shall approve a permanency plan that is in the best interests of the child or youth and takes into consideration the child's or youth's need for permanency. The health and safety of the child or youth shall be of paramount concern in formulating such plan. At such hearing, the court shall consider among other things: (A) The appropriateness of the department's plan for service to the child or youth and his or her family; (B) the treatment and support services that have been offered and provided to the child or youth to strengthen and reunite the family; (C) if return home is not likely for the child or youth, the efforts that have been made or should be made to evaluate and plan for other modes of care; and (D) any further efforts which have been or will be made to promote the best interests of the child or youth.

(3) The permanency plan pursuant to subdivision (2) of this subsection may include the goal of (A) placement of the child or youth with the parent or guardian, (B) transfer of guardianship, (C) long-term foster care with a relative licensed as a foster parent or certified as a relative caregiver, (D) termination of parental rights and adoption, or (E) such other planned permanent living arrangement ordered by the court provided the commissioner has documented a compelling reason why it would not be in the best interest of the child or youth for the permanency plan to include the goals in subparagraphs (A) to (D), inclusive, of this subdivision. Such other planned permanent living arrangement may include, but not be limited to, placement of a child or youth in an independent living program or long-term foster care with an identified foster parent.

(4) At a permanency hearing, the court shall review the status of the child or youth and the progress being made to implement the permanency plan, determine a timetable for attaining the permanency prescribed by the plan and determine whether the commissioner has made reasonable efforts to achieve the permanency plan. At the conclusion of the hearing, the court may: (A) Direct that the services being provided, or the placement of the child or youth and reunification efforts, be continued if the court, after hearing, determines that continuation of the child or youth in services or placement is in the child's or youth's best interests, or (B) direct that the child's or youth's services or placement be modified to reflect the child's or youth's best interest.

(e) The commissioner shall adopt regulations in accordance with chapter 54 describing the documentation required for voluntary admission and for informal administrative case review, upon request, of any denial of an application for voluntary admission.

(f) Any person aggrieved by a decision of the commissioner denying voluntary services may appeal such decision through an administrative hearing held pursuant to chapter 54.

(g) Notwithstanding any provision of sections 17a-1 to 17a-26, inclusive, and 17a-28 to 17a-49, inclusive, to the contrary, any person already under the care and supervision of the Commissioner of Children and Families who has passed such person's eighteenth birthday but has not yet reached such person's twenty-first birthday, may be permitted to remain voluntarily under the supervision of the commissioner, provided said commissioner, in said commissioner's discretion, determines that such person would benefit from further care and support from the Department of Children and Families.

(h) Upon motion of any interested party in a Probate Court proceeding under this section, the probate court of record may transfer the file for cause shown to a probate court for a district other than the district in which the initial or permanency hearing was held. The file shall be transferred by the probate court of record making copies of all recorded documents in the court file, certifying each of them, and delivering the certified copies to the probate court to which the matter is transferred.

Sec. 4. Section 17a-22b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) Each community collaborative shall, within available appropriations, (1) complete a local needs assessment which shall include objectives and performance measures, (2) specify the number of children and youth requiring behavioral health services, (3) specify the number of children and youth actually receiving community-based and residential services and the type and frequency of such services, and (4) complete an annual self-evaluation process and a review of discharge summaries. Each community collaborative shall submit its local needs assessment to the Commissioner of Children and Families and the Commissioner of Social Services.

(b) The [regional] area offices of the Department of Children and Families shall contract with lead service agencies, within available appropriations, to coordinate the care of all children and youth enrolled in Connecticut Community KidCare residing within their designated catchment areas, including children and youth with complex behavioral health service needs. The lead service agencies shall employ or subcontract for the employment of care coordinators to assist families in establishing and implementing individual service plans for children and youth with complex behavioral health service needs and to improve clinical outcomes and cost effectiveness. Parents shall be afforded a choice of contracted providers for authorized services.

(c) Each community collaborative may establish the number of members and the type of representatives to ensure that the membership of such collaborative is appropriately balanced. The chief elected officers of municipalities served by a community collaborative may designate a member to serve as a representative of the chief elected officials. A community collaborative, at a minimum, shall consist of representatives from the local or regional board of education, special education program, youth services bureau, local departments of social services and public health, representatives from private organizations serving children and youth and a substantial number of parents of children and youth with behavioral health needs. A community collaborative shall participate in the [regional] area advisory councils established under section 17a-30, provide outreach to community resources, coordinate behavioral health services by forming, with the consent of the family, child specific teams for children and youth with complex behavioral health service needs, conduct community need assessments to identify service gaps and service barriers, identify priority investment areas for the state and lead service agencies and provide public education and support. A community collaborative shall establish a governance structure, determine membership and identify or establish a fiscal agent.

(d) The Commissioner of Children and Families and the Commissioner of Social Services shall, within available appropriations, provide or arrange for the administrative services necessary to operate Connecticut Community KidCare.

Sec. 5. Section 17a-22d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

The Commissioner of Children and Families may, within available appropriations, provide financial assistance for the establishment of an organization, with local chapters in each [region] area served by the Department of Children and Families, that shall provide family-to-family support and family advocates for children, youth and their families, and when requested by the family, assist the family with the individual service plan process and otherwise encourage active family participation in treatment and Connecticut Community KidCare planning. Such organization shall assure that families have input into the development and implementation of their individual service plans, including those established pursuant to section 17a-127, and into policy and planning for, and the implementation and evaluation of, Connecticut Community KidCare.

Sec. 6. Section 17a-22e of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

On and after October 1, 2002, the Commissioners of Children and Families and Social Services shall submit quarterly reports concerning the implementation of Connecticut Community KidCare to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to human services, public health and education. Not later than January 1, 2004, and annually thereafter, the commissioners shall submit a report to said joint standing committees concerning (1) the number, ages, sex and race of children and youth in out-of-state residential facilities, (2) the number, ages, sex and race of children and youth in in-state residential facilities, (3) the number, ages, sex and race of children and youth in nonresidential treatment, (4) annual public funds expended for out-of-state placements, the sources of such funds and the average cost per child and youth of such out-of-state placement, (5) annual public funds expended for in-state residential placements, the sources of such funds and the average cost per child and youth of such in-state residential placement, (6) annual public funds expended for nonresidential treatment by type of service provided, the sources of such funds and the average cost per child and youth of such nonresidential treatment, (7) the average length of stay in out-of-state and in-state placements, (8) the number, ages, sex and race of children and youth placed in out-of-home treatment compared to the total number of children and youth in each [region] service delivery area of the state, and (9) expenditures made during each reporting period.

Sec. 7. Section 17a-30 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) The commissioner shall create [regions consistent with the subdistricts established by the council on human services pursuant to subsection (a) of section 4-60n of the general statutes, revision of 1958, revised to 1975,] distinct service areas and shall create in each such [region a regional] area, an area advisory council to advise the commissioner and the area director on the development and delivery of services of the department in that [region] area and to facilitate the coordination of services for children, youth and their families in the [region] area.

(b) Each [regional] area advisory council shall consist of no more than twenty-one persons, a majority of whom shall be persons who earn less than fifty per cent of their salaries from the provision of services to children, youth and their families, and the balance representative of private providers of human services throughout the [region] area. The commissioner, or the commissioner's designee, shall appoint one-third of the representatives of each group for a term of three years, one-third for a term of two years, and one-third for a term of one year. No person may serve more than two consecutive three-year terms. All subsequent appointments to replace those whose terms have expired shall be for a term of three years. No person may serve on more than one area advisory council at a time. The area director shall make a good faith effort to ensure that, to the extent possible, the membership is qualified and closely reflects the gender and racial diversity of the area. All members shall serve without compensation. Each [regional] area advisory council shall elect [a chairman and a vice-chairman to act in the chairman's absence] two cochairpersons. Each [regional] area advisory council shall meet at least quarterly, or more often at the call of the [chairman] cochairpersons or a majority of the council members. The area director or a designee of the area director shall be an ex-officio member of the council without the right to vote. Any member who fails to attend three consecutive meetings or fifty per cent of all meetings during any calendar year shall be deemed to have resigned. A majority of the members in office, but not less than six members shall constitute a quorum.

Sec. 8. Section 17a-47 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

There shall be a legal division which shall consist of attorneys-at-law assigned to [each regional office of the department, who shall be assistant attorneys general on the staff and under the direct supervision of the Attorney General. Said division] the Department of Children and Families, who shall be on the staff and under the supervision of the Commissioner of Children and Families. There shall also be assistant attorneys general on the staff and under the direct supervision of the Attorney General. Such assistant attorneys general shall diligently prosecute petitions of neglect giving priority to petitions which allege child abuse as the grounds of neglect. [The Department of Children and Families shall cooperate with such attorneys in preparation of their cases and shall render such assistance to them] Such assistant attorneys general and the department shall cooperate in preparation of such cases as shall be necessary to protect the safety and best interest of the child named in the petition.

Sec. 9. Section 17a-55 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

The Commissioner of Children and Families shall implement a system of awarding grants to community service programs whereby such programs are funded proportionate to their effectiveness in treating clients of the department. The evaluation of a program shall be based on (1) an analysis of program outcomes; (2) an assessment of [regional] needs for treatment services in each service delivery area; and (3) the availability of the program to clients of the department. The Department of Children and Families shall collect, maintain and analyze the data to be used in the evaluation process on an ongoing basis. The commissioner shall impose a probationary period on a program found to be ineffective and shall propose requirements for the improvement of such a program. The commissioner shall determine the length of the probationary period and shall cease to fund a program which has not met the proposed requirements for improvement within such period.

Sec. 10. Section 17a-56 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) The [Commissioner of Children and Families] Children's Trust Fund Council shall establish the structure for a state-wide system for [Healthy Families Connecticut, which is based on the national Healthy Families model, and] a Nurturing Families Network, which is intended to demonstrate the benefits of preventive services by significantly reducing the abuse and neglect of infants and by enhancing parent-child relationships through hospital-based assessment with home outreach follow-up on infants and their families within families identified as high risk.

(b) Within available appropriations, the [Commissioner of Children and Families] Children's Trust Fund Council shall establish [healthy families] Nurturing Families Network pilot programs in geographic areas which are not currently served by prevention outreach services and which have a high rate of confirmed child abuse and neglect, a high rate of infant mortality and low birthweight infants, or a high rate of teen pregnancy. [On and after July 1, 1997, the commissioner shall establish three additional pilot sites. Services shall be provided on a voluntary basis to families identified through the assessment process as having a high risk of child abuse or neglect. ]

(c) The [healthy families] Nurturing Families Network pilot programs shall: (1) Provide a comprehensive risk assessment of all newborn children and their families; (2) identify families that would benefit most from the program; (3) provide and coordinate support services including, but not limited to, community-based home visiting intervention services, counseling, child care and primary health care services; and (4) provide follow-up and support services until the child attains the age of five.

(d) The [Commissioner of Children and Families] Children's Trust Fund Council shall: (1) Develop the comprehensive risk assessment to be used by the pilot programs; (2) develop the training program, standards, and protocols for the pilot programs; and (3) develop, issue and evaluate requests for proposals to procure the services required by this section. In evaluating the proposals, the [commissioner] Children's Trust Fund Council shall take into consideration the most effective and consistent service delivery system allowing for the continuation of current public and private programs.

(e) The [Commissioner of Children and Families] Children's Trust Fund Council shall establish a data system to enable the [pilot] programs to document the following information in a standard manner: (1) The level of screening and assessment; (2) profiles of risk and family demographics; (3) the incidence of child abuse and neglect; (4) rates of child development; and (5) any other information the [commissioner] Children's Trust Fund Council deems appropriate.

(f) The [Commissioner of Children and Families] Children's Trust Fund Council shall report to the General Assembly, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a, on the establishment, implementation and progress of [Healthy Families Connecticut,] the Nurturing Families Network, on January first and July first, of each year. [The first report shall be due on January 1, 1996. ]

Sec. 11. Subsection (b) of section 17a-79 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2005):

(b) No child in the custody of the Commissioner of Children and Families shall be admitted for diagnosis or treatment except in accordance with sections 17a-76 to 17a-78, inclusive, unless (1) the commissioner requests such admission, (2) legal counsel appointed by the [court] superior court for juvenile matters or court of probate in accordance with section 17a-76 agrees, in writing, to such admission, and (3) the child, if fourteen years of age or over consents to such admission. The parents or guardian of the person of such child, if any, shall be notified within five days of such admission that such child has been hospitalized under the provisions of this section. If the whereabouts of such parents or guardian of the person is unknown, then the nearest relative of such child shall be notified. In the event either parent or the guardian of the person of the child requests in writing the release of such child, the hospital shall release such child, unless the Commissioner of Children and Families commences commitment proceedings in accordance with sections 17a-76 and 17a-77. The hospital may detain the child for five business days after receipt of the written request in order to allow an application to be filed. If an application is filed, hospitalization shall be continued for an additional period of time to allow the application to be heard, but in no event shall hospitalization continue for more than fifteen days, or twenty-five days, if the matter has been transferred to the Superior Court, beyond the receipt of such application by the court.

Sec. 12. Subsection (b) of section 17a-114 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(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 Mental Retardation 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 for perpetrator information.

Sec. 13. Section 17a-145 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2005):

No person or entity shall care for or board a child without a license obtained from the Commissioner of Children and Families, except: (1) When a child has been placed by a person or entity holding a license from the commissioner; (2) any residential educational institution exempted by the state Board of Education under the provisions of section 17a-152; [or] (3) residential facilities licensed by the Department of Mental Retardation pursuant to section 17a-227; or (4) facilities providing child day care services, as defined in section 19a-77. The person or entity seeking a child-care facility license shall file with the commissioner an application for a license, in such form as the commissioner furnishes, stating the location where it is proposed to care for such child, the number of children to be cared for, in the case of a corporation, the purpose of the corporation and the names of its chief officers and of the actual person responsible for the child. The Commissioner of Children and Families is authorized to fix the maximum number of children to be boarded and cared for in any such home or institution or by any person or entity licensed by the commissioner. Each person or entity holding a license under the provisions of this section shall file annually, with the commissioner, a report stating the number of children received and removed during the year, the number of deaths and the causes of death, the average cost of support per capita and such other data as [he] the commissioner may prescribe.

Sec. 14. Section 20-14i of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2005):

Any provisions to the contrary notwithstanding, chapter 378 shall not prohibit the administration of medication to persons attending day programs, or residing in residential facilities, under the jurisdiction of the Departments of Children and Families, Correction, Mental Retardation and Mental Health and Addiction Services, or being detained in juvenile detention centers or residing in residential facilities dually licensed by the Department of Children and Families and the Department of Public Health, when such medication is administered by trained persons, pursuant to the written order of a physician licensed under this chapter, a dentist licensed under chapter 379, an advanced practice registered nurse licensed to prescribe in accordance with section 20-94a or a physician assistant licensed to prescribe in accordance with section 20-12d, authorized to prescribe such medication. The provisions of this section shall not apply to institutions, facilities or programs licensed pursuant to chapter 368v.

Sec. 15. Section 17a-56a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) There is established a [Healthy Families] Nurturing Families Network Advisory Commission to monitor the state-wide system for [Healthy Families Connecticut] the Nurturing Families Network developed pursuant to section 17a-56. The commission shall consist of: (1) One member appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives and one member appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate, who shall be members of the General Assembly; (2) one member appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives and one member appointed by the minority leader of the Senate, who shall be members of the General Assembly; (3) a representative of the Governor; (4) the Commissioner of Children and Families, or hiss designee; (5) the Commissioner of Social Services, or hiss designee; (6) the Commissioner of Public Health, or hiss designee; (7) the Commissioner of Education, or hiss designee; (8) the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, or hiss designee; (9) the executive director of the Commission on Children, or hiss designee; (10) a representative of the Child Advocate's Office, who shall be appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives; and (11) a representative of the Connecticut Chapter of the National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse who shall be appointed by the majority leader of the Senate.

(b) The commission shall be responsible for: (1) Reviewing [Healthy Families Connecticut] the Nurturing Families Network pilot sites and advising the General Assembly on outcomes and recommending program modifications, if necessary; (2) preparing plans to implement [Healthy Families Connecticut] the Nurturing Families Network on a state-wide basis; (3) monitoring cooperative, coordinated approaches of state and private agencies involved in [Healthy Families Connecticut] the Nurturing Families Network and expanding such approaches to incorporate other, similar activities; (4) studying state and privately funded home visitation programs as an initial step in establishing a cost-effective, collaborative and comprehensive [healthy families] Nurturing Families Network system; (5) monitoring the effects of welfare reform on the factors associated with the risk of child abuse; and (6) building a network of public and private state, regional and local organizations for the purpose of collaborating to strengthen and support families with newborns and children up to the age of five.

Sec. 16. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2005) The Commissioner of Children and Families shall apply, within a reasonable time, for accreditation of the Department of Children and Families by the Council on Accreditation. The commissioner shall comply with all procedural and administrative requirements of said council and after obtaining accreditation shall apply for renewal when such renewal is due.

Sec. 17. Subsection (a) of section 17a-101i of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective January 1, 2006):

(a) Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes to the contrary, after an investigation has been completed and the Commissioner of Children and Families, based upon the results of the investigation, has reasonable cause to believe that a child has been abused by a school employee who holds a certificate, permit or authorization issued by the State Board of Education, and the commissioner has recommended that such employee be placed on the child abuse and neglect registry established pursuant to section 17a- 101k, the commissioner shall notify the employing superintendent of such finding and shall provide records, whether or not created by the department, concerning such investigation to the superintendent who shall suspend such school employee. Such suspension shall be with pay and shall not result in the diminution or termination of benefits to such employee. Within 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, the superintendent shall notify the Commissioner of Education, or the commissioner's representative, within seventy-two hours after such termination. Upon receipt of such notice from the superintendent, the Commissioner of Education may commence certification revocation proceedings pursuant to the provisions of subsection (m) 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.

Sec. 18. Sections 17a-106c and 17a-125 of the general statutes are repealed. (Effective October 1, 2005)

Approved July 8, 2005