Connecticut Seal

Substitute House Bill No. 6346

Public Act No. 13-40

AN ACT REVISING VARIOUS STATUTES CONCERNING THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES.

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

Section 1. Subsection (a) of section 17a-4 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2013):

(a) There shall be a State Advisory Council on Children and Families which shall consist of nineteen members as follows: (1) Thirteen members appointed by the Governor, including [at least] two persons who are child care professionals, two persons eighteen to twenty-five years of age, inclusive, served by the Department of Children and Families, one child psychiatrist licensed to practice medicine in this state and [at least] one attorney who has expertise in legal issues related to children and youth and seven persons who shall be representative of young persons, parents and others interested in the delivery of services to children and youths, including child protection, behavioral health, juvenile justice and prevention services, at least four of whom shall be parents, foster parents or family members of children who have received, or are receiving, behavioral health services, child welfare services or juvenile services; and (2) six members representing the regional advisory councils established pursuant to section 17a-30, appointed one each by the members of each council. On and after October 1, 2014, no more than half the members of the council shall be persons who receive income from a private practice or any public or private agency that delivers mental health, substance abuse, child abuse prevention and treatment, child welfare services or juvenile services. Members of the council shall serve without compensation, except for necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties. The Department of Children and Families shall provide the council with funding to facilitate the participation of those members representing families and youth, as well as for other administrative support services. Members shall serve on the council for terms of two years each and no member shall serve for more than three consecutive terms. The commissioner shall be an ex-officio member of the council without vote and shall attend its meetings. 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. The council shall elect a chairperson and vice-chairperson to act in the chairperson's absence.

Sec. 2. Section 17a-28 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2013):

(a) As used in this section:

(1) "Person" means (A) any individual named in a record, maintained by the department, who (i) is presently or at any prior time was a ward of or committed to the commissioner for any reason; (ii) otherwise received services, voluntarily or involuntarily, from the department; or (iii) is presently or was at any prior time the subject of an investigation by the department; (B) a parent whose parental rights have not been terminated or current guardian of an individual described in subparagraph (A) of this subdivision, if such individual is a minor; or (C) the authorized representative of an individual described in subparagraph (A) of this subdivision, if such individual is deceased;

(2) "Attorney" means the licensed attorney authorized to assert the confidentiality of or right of access to records of a person;

(3) "Authorized representative" means a parent, guardian, guardian ad litem, attorney, conservator or other individual authorized to assert the confidentiality of or right of access to records of a person;

(4) "Consent" means permission given in writing by a person, such person's attorney or authorized representative to disclose specified information, within a limited time period, regarding the person to specifically identified individuals or entities;

(5) "Records" means information created or obtained in connection with the department's child protection activities or other activities related to a child while in the care or custody of the department, including information in the registry of reports to be maintained by the commissioner pursuant to section 17a-101k;

(6) "Disclose" means (A) to provide an oral summary of records maintained by the department to an individual, agency, corporation or organization, or (B) to allow an individual, agency, corporation or organization to review or obtain copies of such records in whole, part or summary form;

(7) "Near fatality" means an act that places a child in serious or critical condition.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 1-210, 1-211 or 1-213, records maintained by the department shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed, unless the department receives written consent from the person or as provided in this section, section 17a-101g or section 17a-101k. Any unauthorized disclosure shall be punishable by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both. Any employee of the department who in the ordinary course of such person's employment has reasonable cause to suspect or believe that another employee has engaged in the unauthorized disclosure of records shall report in writing such unauthorized disclosure of records to the commissioner. The report shall include the name of the person disclosing the information and the nature of the information disclosed and to whom it was disclosed, if known.

(c) Records that (1) contain privileged communications, or (2) are confidential pursuant to any federal law or regulation shall not be disclosed except as authorized by law.

(d) Any information disclosed from a person's record shall not be further disclosed to another individual or entity without the written consent of the person, except (1) pursuant to section 19a-80 or 19a-80f, provided such disclosure is otherwise permitted pursuant to subsections (b) and (c) of this section, (2) pursuant to the order of a court of competent jurisdiction, or (3) as otherwise provided by law.

(e) The commissioner shall, upon written request, disclose the following information concerning agencies licensed by the Department of Children and Families, except foster care parents, relatives of the child who are licensed to provide foster care or prospective adoptive families: (1) The name of the licensee; (2) the date the original license was issued; (3) the current status of the license; (4) whether an agency investigation or review is pending or has been completed; and (5) any licensing action taken by the department at any time during the period such license was issued and the reason for such action, provided disclosure of such information will not jeopardize a pending investigation.

(f) The name of any individual who reports suspected abuse or neglect of a child or youth or cooperates with an investigation of child abuse or neglect shall be kept confidential upon request or upon determination by the department that disclosure of such information may be detrimental to the safety or interests of the individual, except the name of any such individual shall be disclosed pursuant to subparagraph (B) of subdivision (1) of subsection (g) of this section to (1) an employee of the department for reasons reasonably related to the business of the department; (2) a law enforcement officer for purposes of investigating abuse or neglect of a child or youth; (3) a state's attorney for purposes of investigating or prosecuting abuse or neglect of a child or youth; (4) an assistant attorney general or other legal counsel representing the department; (5) a judge of the Superior Court and all necessary parties in a court proceeding pursuant to section 17a-112 or 46b-129, or a criminal prosecution involving child abuse or neglect; (6) a state child care licensing agency; or (7) the executive director of any institution, school or facility or superintendent of schools pursuant to section 17a-101i.

(g) The department shall disclose records, subject to subsections (b) and (c) of this section, without the consent of the person who is the subject of the record, to:

(1) The person named in the record or such person's authorized representative, provided such disclosure shall be limited to information (A) contained in the record about such person or about such person's biological or adoptive minor child, if such person's parental rights to such child have not been terminated; and (B) identifying an individual who reported abuse or neglect of the person, including any tape recording of an oral report pursuant to section 17a-103, if a court determines that there is reasonable cause to believe the reporter knowingly made a false report or that the interests of justice require disclosure;

(2) An employee of the department for any purpose reasonably related to the performance of such employee's duties;

(3) A guardian ad litem or attorney appointed to represent a child or youth in litigation affecting the best interests of the child or youth;

(4) The Attorney General, any assistant attorney general or any other legal counsel retained to represent the department during the course of a legal proceeding involving the department or an employee of the department;

(5) The Child Advocate or the Child Advocate's designee;

(6) The Chief Public Defender or the Chief Public Defender's designee for purposes of ensuring competent representation by the attorneys with whom the Chief Public Defender contracts to provide legal and guardian ad litem services to the subjects of such records and for ensuring accurate payments for services rendered by such attorneys;

(7) The Chief State's Attorney or the Chief State's Attorney's designee for purposes of investigating or prosecuting an allegation related to child abuse or neglect, provided such prosecuting authority shall have access to records of a child charged with the commission of a delinquent act, who is not being charged with an offense related to child abuse, only while the case is being prosecuted and after obtaining a release;

(8) A state or federal law enforcement officer for purposes of investigating an allegation related to child abuse or neglect;

(9) Any foster or prospective adoptive parent, if the records pertain to a child or youth currently placed with the foster or prospective adoptive parent, or a child or youth being considered for placement with the foster or prospective adoptive parent, and the records are necessary to address the social, medical, psychological or educational needs of the child or youth, provided no information identifying a biological parent is disclosed without the permission of such biological parent;

(10) The Governor, when requested in writing in the course of the Governor's official functions, the Legislative Program Review and Investigations Committee, the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to human services, the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to the judiciary or the select committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to children, when requested in writing in the course of said committee's official functions, and upon a majority vote of said committee, provided no name or other identifying information is disclosed unless such information is essential to the gubernatorial or legislative purpose;

(11) The Department of Public Health for the purpose of (A) determining the suitability of a person to care for children in a facility licensed pursuant to section 19a-77, 19a-80 or 19a-87b; (B) determining the suitability of such person for licensure; or (C) an investigation conducted pursuant to section 19a-80f;

(12) The Department of Developmental Services, to allow said department to determine eligibility, facilitate enrollment and plan for the provision of services to a child who is a client of said department and who is applying to enroll in or is enrolled in said department's voluntary services program. At the time that a parent or guardian completes an application for enrollment of a child in the Department of Developmental Services' voluntary services program, or at the time that said department updates a child's annual individualized plan of care, said department shall notify such parent or guardian that the Department of Children and Families may provide records to the Department of Developmental Services for the purposes specified in this subdivision without the consent of such parent or guardian;

(13) A state agency that licenses or certifies an individual to educate or care for children or youth;

(14) A judge or employee of a probate court who requires access to such records in order to perform such judge's or employee's official duties;

(15) A judge of the Superior Court for purposes of determining the appropriate disposition of a child convicted as delinquent or a child who is a member of a family with service needs;

(16) A judge of the Superior Court in a criminal prosecution for purposes of in-camera inspection whenever (A) the court has ordered that the record be provided to the court; or (B) a party to the proceeding has issued a subpoena for the record;

(17) A judge of the Superior Court and all necessary parties in a family violence proceeding when such records concern family violence with respect to the child who is the subject of the proceeding or the parent of such child who is the subject of the proceeding;

(18) The Auditors of Public Accounts, or their representative, provided no information identifying the subject of the record is disclosed unless such information is essential to an audit conducted pursuant to section 2-90;

(19) A local or regional board of education, provided the records are limited to educational records created or obtained by the state or Connecticut Unified School District #2, established pursuant to section 17a-37;

(20) The superintendent of schools for any school district for the purpose of determining the suitability of a person to be employed by the local or regional board of education for such school district pursuant to subsection (a) of section 10-221d;

(21) The Department of Motor Vehicles for the purpose of criminal history records checks pursuant to subsection (e) of section 14-44, provided information disclosed pursuant to this subdivision shall be limited to information included on the Department of Children and Families child abuse and neglect registry established pursuant to section 17a-101k, subject to the provisions of sections 17a-101g and 17a-101k concerning the nondisclosure of findings of responsibility for abuse and neglect;

(22) The Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services for the purpose of treatment planning for young adults who have transitioned from the care of the Department of Children and Families; [and]

(23) The superintendent of a public school district or the executive director or other head of a public or private institution for children providing care for children or a private school pursuant to sections 17a-101b, 17a-101c and 17a-101i; and

(24) The Department of Social Services for the purpose of (A) determining the suitability of a person for payment from the Department of Social Services for providing child care; (B) promoting the health, safety and welfare of the child or youth; or (C) investigating allegations of fraud provided no information identifying the subject of the record is disclosed unless such information is essential to any such investigation.

(h) The department may, subject to subsections (b) and (c) of this section, disclose records without the consent of the person who is the subject of the record, to:

(1) An employee or former employee of the department or such employee or former employee's authorized representative for purposes of participating in any court, administrative or disciplinary proceeding, provided such disclosure shall be limited to records that are necessary to the proceeding, as determined by the department;

(2) Multidisciplinary teams, as described in section 17a-106a;

(3) A provider of professional services for a child, youth or parent referred to such provider, provided such disclosure is limited to information necessary to provide services to the child, youth or parent;

(4) An individual or agency under contract with the department for the purposes of identifying and assessing a potential foster or adoptive home for a child or youth, provided no information identifying a biological parent of a child or youth is disclosed without the permission of such biological parent;

[(5) The Department of Social Services for the purpose of (A) determining the suitability of a person for payment from the Department of Social Services for providing child care; or (B) promoting the health, safety and welfare of the child or youth; ]

[(6)] (5) A physician examining a child with respect to whom abuse or neglect is suspected and who is authorized pursuant to section 17a-101f to keep the child in the custody of a hospital when such physician requires the information in a record of the department to determine whether to keep the child in protective custody;

[(7)] (6) An individual who reports child abuse or neglect pursuant to sections 17a-101a to 17a-101c, inclusive, or section 17a-103, who made a report of abuse or neglect, provided the information disclosed is limited to (A) the status of the investigation conducted pursuant to section 17a-101g resulting from the individual's report; and (B) in general terms, the action taken by the department as a result of such investigation;

[(8)] (7) An individual or organization engaged in the business of medical, psychological or psychiatric diagnosis and treatment and who is treating an individual who has perpetrated abuse or neglect, as determined in an investigation conducted pursuant to section 17a-101g, or who is unwilling or unable to protect a child or youth from abuse or neglect, as determined in an investigation conducted pursuant to section 17a-101g, when the commissioner, or the commissioner's designee, determines that the disclosure is necessary to accomplish the objectives of diagnosis or treatment;

[(9)] (8) A court or public agency in another state or a federally recognized Indian tribe, that is responsible for investigating child abuse or neglect, preventing child abuse and neglect or providing services to families at risk for child abuse or neglect, for the purpose of such investigation, prevention or providing services to such families;

[(10)] (9) An individual conducting bona fide research, provided no information identifying the subject of the record is disclosed unless (A) such information is essential to the purpose of the research; and (B) the department has given written approval for the use of such information;

[(11)] (10) An individual or agency involved in the collection of fees for services, provided such information is limited to the name and address of the person who received the services and the fees for services, except as provided in section 17b-225. In cases where a dispute arises over such fees or claims or where additional information is needed to substantiate the fee or claim, the Department of Children and Families may disclose the following: (A) That the person was, in fact, provided services by the department; (B) the dates and duration of such services; and (C) a general description of the types of services, including evidence that a service or treatment plan exists and has been carried out and evidence to substantiate the necessity for admission and length of stay in an institution or facility;

[(12)] (11) A law enforcement officer or state's attorney if there is reasonable cause to believe that a child or youth is being abused or neglected or at risk of being abused or neglected as a result of any suspected criminal activity by any individual;

[(13)] (12) Any individual interviewed as part of an investigation conducted pursuant to section 17a-101g, who is not otherwise entitled to such information, provided such disclosure is limited to: (A) The general nature of the allegations contained in the reports; (B) the identity of the child or youth alleged to have been abused or neglected; and (C) information necessary to effectively conduct the investigation;

[(14)] (13) Any individual, when information concerning an incident of child abuse or neglect has been made public or the commissioner reasonably believes publication of such information is likely, provided such disclosure is limited to: (A) Whether the department has received any report in accordance with sections 17a-101a to 17a-101c, inclusive, or section 17a-103; (B) in general terms, any action taken by the department, provided: (i) Names or other individually identifiable information of the child or other family members is not disclosed, regardless of whether such individually identifiable information is otherwise available, and (ii) the name or other individually identifiable information of the person suspected to be responsible for the abuse or neglect is not disclosed unless such person has been arrested for a crime due to such abuse or neglect; (C) confirmation or denial of the accuracy of information that has been made public; and (D) notwithstanding the provisions of section 46b-124, in general terms, the legal status of the case;

[(15)] (14) Any individual for the purpose of locating such individual's missing parent, child or youth, provided such disclosure is limited to information that assists in locating such missing parent, child or youth;

[(16)] (15) Any individual, when the information [concern] concerns an incident of abuse or neglect that resulted in a child or youth fatality or near fatality of a child or youth, provided disclosure of such information is in general terms and does not jeopardize a pending investigation;

[(17)] (16) A judge of a court of competent jurisdiction whenever an employee of the department is subpoenaed and ordered to testify about such records for purposes of in-camera inspection to determine if such records may be disclosed pursuant to this section if (A) the court has ordered that such records be provided to the court; or (B) a party to the proceeding has issued a subpoena for such records;

[(18)] (17) An individual who is not employed by the department who arranges, performs or assists in performing functions or activities on behalf of the department, including, but not limited to, data analysis, processing or administration, utilization reviews, quality assurance, practice management, consultation, data aggregation and accreditation services.

(i) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (e) to (h), inclusive, of this section, the department may refuse to disclose records to any individual, provided the department gives such individual notice (1) that records are being withheld; (2) of the general nature of the records being withheld; (3) of the department's reason for refusing to disclose the records; and (4) of the individual's right to judicial relief pursuant to subsection (j) of this section.

(j) (1) Any person or individual aggrieved by a violation of subsection (b) or (d), subsections (f) to (h), inclusive, or subsection (k) of this section, or a person's authorized representative, may seek judicial relief in the manner prescribed in section 52-146j.

(2) Any person, individual or authorized representative denied access to records by the commissioner under subdivision (i) of this section may petition the superior court for the venue district provided in section 46b-142 in which the person resides for an order requiring the commissioner to permit access to those records, and the court, after a hearing and an in camera review of the records in question, shall issue such an order unless it determines that permitting disclosure of all or any portion of the record (A) would be contrary to the best interests of the person or the person's authorized representative; (B) could reasonably result in the risk of harm to any individual; or (C) would contravene the public policy of the state.

(k) All written records disclosed to an individual who is not the subject of the record, an agency, an entity or an organization shall bear a stamp requiring confidentiality in accordance with the provisions of this section. Such records shall not be disclosed to another individual, agency, entity or an organization without the written consent of the person who is the subject of the record or as provided by this section. A copy of the consent form, specifying to whom and for what specific use the record is disclosed or a statement setting forth any other statutory authorization for disclosure and the limitations imposed on such disclosure, shall accompany the record. In cases where the disclosure is made orally, the individual disclosing the information shall inform the recipient that such information is governed by the provisions of this section.

(l) Whenever any person, attorney or authorized representative, having obtained access to any record, believes there are factually inaccurate entries or materials contained in such record, such person, attorney or authorized representative may add a statement to the record setting forth what such person, attorney or authorized representative believes to be an accurate statement of those facts and such statement shall become a permanent part of the record.

Sec. 3. Section 17a-93 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2013):

As used in sections 17a-90 to 17a-124, inclusive, and [17a-152] sections 17a-145 to 17a-153, inclusive:

[(a)] (1) "Child" means any person under eighteen years of age, except as otherwise specified, or any person under twenty-one years of age who is in full-time attendance in a secondary school, a technical school, a college or a state-accredited job training program;

[(b)] (2) "Parent" means natural or adoptive parent;

[(c)] (3) "Adoption" means the establishment by court order of the legal relationship of parent and child;

[(d)] (4) "Guardianship" means guardianship, unless otherwise specified, of the person of a minor and refers to the obligation of care and control, the right to custody and the duty and authority to make major decisions affecting such minor's welfare, including, but not limited to, consent determinations regarding marriage, enlistment in the armed forces and major medical, psychiatric or surgical treatment;

[(e)] (5) "Termination of parental rights" means the complete severance by court order of the legal relationship, with all its rights and responsibilities, between the child and his parent or parents so that the child is free for adoption except it shall not affect the right of inheritance of such child or the religious affiliation of such child;

[(f)] (6) "Statutory parent" means the Commissioner of Children and Families or that child-placing agency appointed by the court for the purpose of giving a minor child or minor children in adoption;

[(g)] (7) "Child-placing agency" means any agency within or without the state of Connecticut licensed or approved by the Commissioner of Children and Families in accordance with sections 17a-149 and 17a-151, and in accordance with such standards which shall be established by regulations of the Department of Children and Families;

[(h)] (8) "Child care facility" means a congregate residential setting licensed by the Department of Children and Families for the out-of-home placement of children or youths under eighteen years of age, or any person under twenty-one years of age who is in full-time attendance in a secondary school, a technical school, a college or state accredited job training program;

[(i)] (9) "Protective supervision" means a status created by court order following adjudication of neglect whereby a child's place of abode is not changed but assistance directed at correcting the neglect is provided at the request of the court through the Department of Children and Families or such other social agency as the court may specify;

[(j)] (10) "Receiving home" means a facility operated by the Department of Children and Families to receive and temporarily care for children in the guardianship or care of the commissioner;

[(k)] (11) "Protective services" means public welfare services provided after complaints of abuse, neglect or abandonment, but in the absence of an adjudication or assumption of jurisdiction by a court;

[(l)] (12) "Person responsible for the health, welfare or care of a child or youth" means a child's or a youth's parent, guardian or foster parent; an employee of a public or private residential home, agency or institution or other person legally responsible in a residential setting; or any staff person providing out-of-home care, including center-based child day care, family day care or group day care, as defined in section 19a-77;

[(m)] (13) "Foster family" means a person or persons, licensed or certified by the Department of Children and Families or approved by a licensed child-placing agency, for the care of a child or children in a private home;

[(n)] (14) "Prospective adoptive family" means a person or persons, licensed by the Department of Children and Families or approved by a licensed child-placing agency, who is awaiting the placement of, or who has a child or children placed in their home for the purposes of adoption;

[(o)] (15) "Person entrusted with the care of a child or youth" means a person given access to a child or youth by a person responsible for the health, welfare or care of a child or youth for the purpose of providing education, child care, counseling, spiritual guidance, coaching, training, instruction, tutoring or mentoring of such child or youth.

Sec. 4. Section 17a-114b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2013):

[(a)] The Commissioner of Children and Families, pursuant to the federal [Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions] Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act, shall request, annually, a free credit report on behalf of each youth sixteen years of age or older who is in the custody of the commissioner and placed in foster care. [The commissioner shall make the first such request not later than fifteen days after the youth reaches the age of sixteen years or, for youth age sixteen years of age or older who are in the custody of the commissioner and placed in foster care on or before July 1, 2010, the commissioner shall make the first such request not later than July 31, 2010. ] Upon receipt of each credit report, the commissioner or a designee of the commissioner shall review the report for evidence of identity theft, as defined in section 53a-129a and provide a copy of the report to the youth's attorney or guardian ad litem, if any. Upon receipt of the credit report, if feasible, such attorney or guardian ad litem shall review the report for evidence of identity theft, as defined in section 53a-129a, and, in conjunction with the commissioner or designee, shall assist the youth in interpreting such report and resolving any inaccuracies contained in such report. If the commissioner or the commissioner's designee finds evidence of identity theft, not later than five business days after receipt of the credit report, the commissioner shall report such findings to the office of the Chief State's Attorney.

[(b) The Commissioner of Children and Families shall review the most recent annual credit report obtained pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, if any, at the time the commissioner reviews the written plan for care, treatment and permanent placement pursuant to section 17a-15. If the commissioner found evidence of identity theft in the youth's credit report and reported such finding pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the commissioner shall advise the youth, the youth's foster parent, the youth's caseworker and any legal representative of the youth of such finding at the time the commissioner reviews the plan. ]

Sec. 5. Subsection (c) of section 17a-115a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(c) No later than [fifteen] five calendar days after the date such name-based search is performed pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, the department shall request the State Police Bureau of Identification to perform a state and national criminal history records check in accordance with section 29-17a of any person residing in the home. Such criminal history records checks shall be deemed as required by this section for purposes of said section 29-17a and the department may request that such records checks be performed in accordance with subsection (c) of section 29-17a. The results of such criminal history records checks shall be provided to the department. If any person refuses to provide fingerprints or other positive identifying information for purposes of such checks when requested, the department shall immediately remove the child from the home.

Sec. 6. Section 17a-96 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2013):

The institutions having custody of such children and the agencies and persons licensed by authority of sections 17a-90 to 17a-124, inclusive, 17a-145 to [17a-155] 17a-153, inclusive, 17a-175 to 17a-182, inclusive, and 17a-185 shall make such reports to the Commissioner of Children and Families at such reasonable times and in such form and covering such data as the commissioner directs. The commissioner and his deputy and agents shall supervise the placing of such children in foster homes. The commissioner may place children who have not been properly placed in homes suitable for their care and protection. In placing any child in a foster home, the commissioner shall, if practicable, select a home of like religious faith to that of the parent or parents of such child, if such faith is known or ascertainable by the exercise of reasonable care.

Sec. 7. Subsection (a) of section 4b-1c of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2013):

(a) (1) Wherever the term "Commissioner of Public Safety" is used in the following general statutes, the term "Commissioner of Construction Services" shall be substituted in lieu thereof; and (2) wherever the term "Department of Public Safety" is used in the following general statutes, the term "Department of Construction Services" shall be substituted in lieu thereof: 10a-91d, 10a-109ff, [17a-154,] 21a-86f, 29-109, 29-117, 29-127, 29-191, 29-192, 29-199, 29-200, 29-201, 29-204, 29-221, 29-222, 29-224b, 29-232, 29-233, 29-234, 29-235, 29-236, 29-237, 29-238, 29-239, 29-240, 29-244, 29-251, 29-251a, 29-251b, 29-251c, 29-252, 29-252a, 29-254b, 29-256, 29-256a, 29-256b, 29-258, 29-261, 29-262, 29-262a, 29-263, 29-269a, 29-298a, 29-313, 29-315, 29-317, 29-319, 29-320, 29-321, 29-322, 29-325, 29-331, 29-332, 29-333, 29-337, 29-338, 29-339, 29-344, 29-345, 29-346, 29-349, 29-355, 29-359, 29-367, 29-401, 29-402 and 29-403.

Sec. 8. Subsection (h) of section 26-30 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2013):

(h) The Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection may issue a group fishing license to any tax-exempt organization qualified under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or any subsequent corresponding internal revenue code of the United States, as amended from time to time, for the purpose of conducting a group fishing event or events for persons: (1) With a service-related or other disability who receive services at a facility of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs Connecticut Healthcare System, (2) who receive mental health or addiction services from: (A) The Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, (B) state-operated facilities, as defined in section 17a-458, or (C) programs or facilities funded by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, as provided for in sections 17a-468b, 17a-469, 17a-673 and 17a-676, (3) with intellectual disability or diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder who receive services from the Department of Developmental Services, as provided for in section 17a-217, or from facilities licensed by the Department of Developmental Services, as provided for in section 17a-227, or (4) receiving care from the Department of Children and Families, as provided for in section 17a-94, or from programs or child-care facilities licensed pursuant to section 17a-145 [,] or 17a-147. [or 17a-154. ] Any such organization shall conduct not more than fifty such events, including marine and inland water events, in any calendar year and each such event shall be limited to not more than fifty persons. Application for such a group fishing license shall be submitted once per calendar year on a form prescribed by the commissioner and with the necessary fee and shall provide such information as required by the commissioner. All fishing activities conducted pursuant to such group license shall be supervised by staff or volunteers of the organization conducting the event or events. Such staff or volunteers shall possess such group fishing license at the site of any such event or events. Each such staff member or volunteer shall have a license to fish. Such organization shall, not later than ten days after such group fishing event, report to the commissioner, on forms provided by the commissioner, information on the results of such event. Such information shall include, but not be limited to, the total: (i) Number of participants, (ii) hours fished, (iii) number of each species caught, and (iv) number of each species not released. Such organization shall not charge a fee to any person that participates in any such group fishing event conducted pursuant to such group fishing license and any such group fishing event shall not be used by such organization as a fund raising event.

Sec. 9. Subsection (e) of section 10-76d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2013):

(e) (1) Any local or regional board of education which provides special education pursuant to any mandates in this section shall provide transportation, to and from, but not beyond the curb of, the residence of the child, unless otherwise agreed upon by the board and the parent or guardian of the child, tuition, room and board and other items necessary to the provision of such special education except for children who are placed in a residential facility because they need services other than educational services, in which case the financial responsibility of the school district and payment to such district shall be limited to the reasonable costs of special education instruction as defined in the regulations of the State Board of Education. If a hearing board, pursuant to subsection (d) of section 10-76h, rejects the educational program prescribed by the local or regional board of education and determines that a placement by a parent or guardian was appropriate, the local or regional board of education shall reimburse the parent or guardian for the reasonable costs incurred for the provision of special education pursuant to this section from the initiation of review procedures as provided by said section 10-76h.

(2) For purposes of this subdivision, "public agency" includes the offices of a government of a federally recognized Native American tribe. Notwithstanding any other provisions of the general statutes, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1987, and each fiscal year thereafter, whenever a public agency, other than a local or regional board of education, the State Board of Education or the Superior Court acting pursuant to section 10-76h, places a child in a foster home, group home, hospital, state institution, receiving home, custodial institution or any other residential or day treatment facility, and such child requires special education, the local or regional board of education under whose jurisdiction the child would otherwise be attending school or, if no such board can be identified, the local or regional board of education of the town where the child is placed, shall provide the requisite special education and related services to such child in accordance with the provisions of this section. Within one business day of such a placement by the Department of Children and Families or offices of a government of a federally recognized Native American tribe, said department or offices shall orally notify the local or regional board of education responsible for providing special education and related services to such child of such placement. The department or offices shall provide written notification to such board of such placement within two business days of the placement. Such local or regional board of education shall convene a planning and placement team meeting for such child within thirty days of the placement and shall invite a representative of the Department of Children and Families or offices of a government of a federally recognized Native American tribe to participate in such meeting. (A) The local or regional board of education under whose jurisdiction such child would otherwise be attending school shall be financially responsible for the reasonable costs of such special education and related services in an amount equal to the lesser of one hundred per cent of the costs of such education or the average per pupil educational costs of such board of education for the prior fiscal year, determined in accordance with the provisions of subsection (a) of section 10-76f. The State Board of Education shall pay on a current basis, except as provided in subdivision (3) of this subsection, any costs in excess of such local or regional board's basic contributions paid by such board of education in accordance with the provisions of this subdivision. (B) Whenever a child is placed pursuant to this subdivision, on or after July 1, 1995, by the Department of Children and Families and the local or regional board of education under whose jurisdiction such child would otherwise be attending school cannot be identified, the local or regional board of education under whose jurisdiction the child attended school or in whose district the child resided at the time of removal from the home by said department shall be responsible for the reasonable costs of special education and related services provided to such child, for one calendar year or until the child is committed to the state pursuant to section 46b-129 or 46b-140 or is returned to the child's parent or guardian, whichever is earlier. If the child remains in such placement beyond one calendar year the Department of Children and Families shall be responsible for such costs. During the period the local or regional board of education is responsible for the reasonable cost of special education and related services pursuant to this subparagraph, the board shall be responsible for such costs in an amount equal to the lesser of one hundred per cent of the costs of such education and related services or the average per pupil educational costs of such board of education for the prior fiscal year, determined in accordance with the provisions of subsection (a) of section 10-76f. The State Board of Education shall pay on a current basis, except as provided in subdivision (3) of this subsection, any costs in excess of such local or regional board's basic contributions paid by such board of education in accordance with the provisions of this subdivision. The costs for services other than educational shall be paid by the state agency which placed the child. The provisions of this subdivision shall not apply to the school districts established within the Department of Children and Families, pursuant to section 17a-37, the Department of Correction, pursuant to section 18-99a, or the Department of Developmental Services, pursuant to section 17a-240, provided in any case in which special education is being provided at a private residential institution, including the residential components of regional educational service centers, to a child for whom no local or regional board of education can be found responsible under subsection (b) of this section, Unified School District #2 shall provide the special education and related services and be financially responsible for the reasonable costs of such special education instruction for such children. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subdivision, for the fiscal years ending June 30, 2004, to June 30, 2007, inclusive, and for the fiscal years ending June 30, 2010, to June 30, 2013, inclusive, the amount of the grants payable to local or regional boards of education in accordance with this subdivision shall be reduced proportionately if the total of such grants in such year exceeds the amount appropriated for the purposes of this subdivision for such year.

(3) Payment for children who require special education and who reside on state-owned or leased property, [or in permanent family residences as defined in section 17a-154,] and who are not the educational responsibility of the unified school districts established pursuant to section 17a-37, section 17a-240 or section 18-99a, shall be made in the following manner: The State Board of Education shall pay to the school district which is responsible for providing instruction for each such child pursuant to the provisions of this subsection one hundred per cent of the reasonable costs of such instruction. In the fiscal year following such payment, the State Board of Education shall deduct from the special education grant due the local or regional board of education under whose jurisdiction the child would otherwise be attending school, where such board has been identified, the amount for which such board would otherwise have been financially responsible pursuant to the provisions of subdivision (2) of this subsection. No such deduction shall be made for any school district which is responsible for providing special education instruction for children whose parents or legal guardians do not reside within such district. The amount deducted shall be included as a net cost of special education by the Department of Education for purposes of the state's special education grant calculated pursuant to section 10-76g, as amended by this act. [A school district otherwise eligible for reimbursement under the provisions of this subdivision for the costs of education of a child residing in a permanent family residence shall continue to be so eligible in the event that a person providing foster care in such residence adopts the child. ] Notwithstanding the provisions of this subdivision, for the fiscal years ending June 30, 2004, and June 30, 2005, and for the fiscal years ending June 30, 2012, and June 30, 2013, the amount of the grants payable to local or regional boards of education in accordance with this subdivision shall be reduced proportionately if the total of such grants in such year exceeds the amount appropriated for the purposes of this subdivision for such year.

(4) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services shall provide regular education and special education and related services to eligible residents in facilities operated by the department who are eighteen to twenty-one years of age. In the case of a resident who requires special education, the department shall provide the requisite identification and evaluation of such resident in accordance with the provisions of this section. The department shall be financially responsible for the provision of educational services to eligible residents. The Departments of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Children and Families and Education shall develop and implement an interagency agreement which specifies the role of each agency in ensuring the provision of appropriate education services to eligible residents in accordance with this section. The Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services shall be responsible for one hundred per cent of the reasonable costs of such educational services provided to eligible residents of such facilities.

(5) Application for the grant to be paid by the state for costs in excess of the local or regional board of education's basic contribution shall be made by such board of education by filing with the State Board of Education, in such manner as prescribed by the Commissioner of Education, annually on or before December first a statement of the cost of providing special education, as defined in subdivision (2) of this subsection, for a child of the board placed by a state agency in accordance with the provisions of said subdivision or, where appropriate, a statement of the cost of providing educational services other than special educational services pursuant to the provisions of subsection (b) or (g) of section 10-253, provided a board of education may submit, not later than March first, claims for additional children or costs not included in the December filing. Payment by the state for such excess costs shall be made to the local or regional board of education as follows: Seventy-five per cent of the cost in February and the balance in May. The amount due each town pursuant to the provisions of this subsection and the amount due to each town as tuition from other towns pursuant to this section shall be paid to the treasurer of each town entitled to such aid, provided the treasurer shall treat such grant or tuition received, or a portion of such grant or tuition, which relates to special education expenditures incurred pursuant to subdivisions (2) and (3) of this subsection in excess of such board's budgeted estimate of such expenditures, as a reduction in expenditures by crediting such expenditure account, rather than town revenue. The state shall notify the local or regional board of education when payments are made to the treasurer of the town pursuant to this subdivision.

Sec. 10. Subsection (b) of section 10-76g of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2013):

(b) Any local or regional board of education which provides special education pursuant to the provisions of sections 10-76a to 10-76g, inclusive, as amended by this act, for any exceptional child described in subparagraph (A) of subdivision (5) of section 10-76a, under its jurisdiction, excluding (1) children placed by a state agency for whom a board of education receives payment pursuant to the provisions of subdivision (2) of subsection (e) of section 10-76d, as amended by this act, and (2) children who require special education, who reside on state-owned or leased property, [or in permanent family residences, as defined in section 17a-154,] and who are not the educational responsibility of the unified school districts established pursuant to sections 17a-37, 17a-240 and 18-99a, shall be financially responsible for the reasonable costs of special education instruction, as defined in the regulations of the State Board of Education, in an amount equal to (A) for any fiscal year commencing prior to July 1, 2005, five times the average per pupil educational costs of such board of education for the prior fiscal year, determined in accordance with the provisions of subsection (a) of section 10-76f, and (B) for the fiscal year commencing July 1, 2005, and each fiscal year thereafter, four and one-half times such average per pupil educational costs of such board of education. The State Board of Education shall pay on a current basis any costs in excess of the local or regional board's basic contribution paid by such board in accordance with the provisions of this subsection. Any amounts paid by the State Board of Education on a current basis pursuant to this subsection shall not be reimbursable in the subsequent year. Application for such grant shall be made by filing with the Department of Education, in such manner as prescribed by the commissioner, annually on or before December first a statement of the cost of providing special education pursuant to this subsection, provided a board of education may submit, not later than March first, claims for additional children or costs not included in the December filing. Payment by the state for such excess costs shall be made to the local or regional board of education as follows: Seventy-five per cent of the cost in February and the balance in May. The amount due each town pursuant to the provisions of this subsection shall be paid to the treasurer of each town entitled to such aid, provided the treasurer shall treat such grant, or a portion of the grant, which relates to special education expenditures incurred in excess of such town's board of education budgeted estimate of such expenditures, as a reduction in expenditures by crediting such expenditure account, rather than town revenue. Such expenditure account shall be so credited no later than thirty days after receipt by the treasurer of necessary documentation from the board of education indicating the amount of such special education expenditures incurred in excess of such town's board of education budgeted estimate of such expenditures.

Sec. 11. Subsections (c) and (d) of section 17a-11 of the general statutes are repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2013):

(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 youths 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 youths 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 first class mail at least five days prior to the hearing to the Commissioner of Children and Families, and by first class mail 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.

Sec. 12. Subsection (a) of section 17a-22g of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2013):

(a) The Judicial Branch and each state agency, community-based program, organization or individual that provides behavioral health or substance abuse prevention and treatment programs that are operated, funded or licensed by the Department of Children and Families pursuant to sections 17a-20, 17a-114, 17a-145, 17a-147, 17a-149, 17a-151 [,] and 17a-152 [and 17a-154] shall provide case specific information to the department for purposes directly connected with the administration of Connecticut Community KidCare in such form and manner as the department requests. The provisions of this section shall be subject to the confidentiality requirements as set forth in applicable federal law.

Sec. 13. Subsection (f) of section 5-259 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2013):

(f) The Comptroller, with the approval of the Attorney General and of the Insurance Commissioner, shall arrange and procure a group hospitalization and medical and surgical insurance plan or plans for any person who adopts a child from the state foster care system, any person who has been a foster parent for the Department of Children and Families for six months or more, [a parent in a permanent family residence for six months or more,] and any dependent of such adoptive parent [,] or foster parent [or parent in a permanent family residence] who elects coverage under such plan or plans. The Comptroller may also arrange for inclusion of such person and any such dependent in an existing group hospitalization and medical and surgical insurance plan offered by the state. Any adoptive parent [,] or foster parent [or a parent in a permanent family residence] and any dependent who elects coverage shall pay one hundred per cent of the premium charged for such coverage directly to the insurer, provided such adoptive parent [,] or foster parent [or parent] and all such dependents shall be included in such group hospitalization and medical and surgical insurance plan. A person and his dependents electing coverage pursuant to this subsection shall be eligible for such coverage until no longer an adoptive parent [,] or a foster parent. [or a parent in a permanent family residence. ] An adoptive parent shall be eligible for such coverage until the coverage anniversary date on or after whichever of the following occurs first, the date on which the child: Becomes covered under a group health plan through the dependent's own employment; or attains the age of twenty-six. As used in this section "dependent" means a spouse or natural or adopted child if such child is wholly or partially dependent for support upon the adoptive parent [,] or foster parent. [or parent in a permanent family residence. ]

Sec. 14. Sections 17a-154 and 17a-155 of the general statutes are repealed. (Effective October 1, 2013)

Approved May 28, 2013