OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 832 (File 50, as amended by Senate “A”)*

AN ACT CONCERNING FAMILY ASSESSMENT CASES.

SUMMARY:

This bill extends the expungement process for unsubstantiated cases of abuse and neglect to family assessment response cases. It requires the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to seal family assessment case records, but it allows agency employees to access them to properly discharge their duties. It requires the commissioner to destroy the case files five years after DCF completes its investigation or closes the family assessment case, whichever is later, if the department has not received another report of abuse or neglect involving the family. But if a family has more than one unsubstantiated report within this period, DCF must keep the records for five years from the date it completed the most recent investigation.

The bill also renames the DCF “differential response” program as the “family assessment response” program. Under this program, when DCF receives a report of child abuse and neglect and determines that the case presents a lower risk, it can make referrals to appropriate community providers for family assessment and services after taking certain steps.

*Senate Amendment “A” clarifies that the DCF commissioner must expunge case files five years after DCF completes its investigation or closes the family assessment case, whichever is later.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2013

COMMITTEE ACTION

Children Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

12

Nay

0

(02/28/2013)

Human Services Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

17

Nay

0

(04/16/2013)

Government Administration and Elections Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

10

Nay

0

(04/29/2013)