Substitute Senate Bill No. 448
          Substitute Senate Bill No. 448

              PUBLIC ACT NO. 98-183


AN  ACT  CONCERNING  TRUANCY AND OTHER FAMILY WITH
SERVICE NEEDS CASES.


    Be  it  enacted  by  the  Senate  and House of
Representatives in General Assembly convened:
    Section 1. (NEW)  With  respect to truancy and
other  family  with   service   needs  cases,  the
judicial branch shall:
    (1)  Coordinate  programs  and  services  with
other state agencies;
    (2)  Establish  protocols  in cooperation with
the  Office  of   Policy   and   Management,   the
Department   of  Children  and  Families  and  the
Department   of   Education   for   referral    to
community-based  intervention  programs  prior  to
referral of a  case  to  the  Superior  Court  for
juvenile matters;
    (3)  Develop  and  use  procedures to evaluate
the risk and service needs of children whose cases
have  been  referred  to  the  Superior  Court for
juvenile matters; and
    (4)     Collaborate    with    community-based
programs.
    Sec.  2.  (NEW) (a) A demonstration project to
establish a  school  and  community-based  truancy
prevention  initiative  is authorized, which shall
address the needs of public  school  children  who
exhibit   patterns   of  unexcused  absences  from
school. The Office of Policy  and  Management,  in
consultation  with the Department of Education and
the judicial branch, shall  issue  a  request  for
proposals and award competitive grants. The Office
of Policy and Management, in consultation with the
Department  of  Education and the judicial branch,
shall select at least  two  demonstration  project
sites.
    (b)  To  be  eligible  for  such a competitive
grant the program shall include:
    (1)  A  description  of  the policies that the
community's  board  of   education   has   adopted
pursuant   to   section  10-198a  of  the  general
statutes, as well as the  board's  plans  to  work
with   the   leadership   of   community   truancy
prevention  initiatives  to:  (A)  Monitor  school
attendance;  (B)  enhance  any  existing in-school
truancy   prevention   programs;   (C)   establish
after-school   and   summer  school  programs  for
truants;  (D)  provide  mentoring   programs   for
children  at  risk  of being truant; (E) implement
school and community-based  intervention  programs
that   target   families  with  elementary  school
children  who  exhibit  persistent   patterns   of
absenteeism  or  truancy;  (F)  provide  in-school
alternative  education  initiatives  for   chronic
truants;  and  (G) provide monthly truancy reports
to the Office of Policy and Management.
    (2)  Participation  of  youth service bureaus,
juvenile review boards  or  other  community-based
service  networks,  to  provide  such  services as
truancy coordinators, mentorship programs and peer
mediation  for  children  as  well as truancy case
management for boards of education  prior  to  the
referral  of  a  truant  to a juvenile court. Such
proposal may also provide for diversion of truants
from the juvenile court in appropriate cases. Case
management will  include  development  of  student
intervention  action  plans, family counseling and
parental education programs and, when appropriate,
referrals  for  mental  health and substance abuse
assessments for the child and parents.
    (c)   For  those  communities  who  have  been
awarded a grant pursuant to subsection (b) of this
section,   and   established   community   truancy
prevention   initiatives,    the    Chief    Court
Administrator  may  establish  a truancy or family
with  service  needs  docket  and  the  Office  of
Alternative   Sanctions  shall,  within  available
appropriations, make available to such communities
the  following:  (1)  A  risk and needs assessment
tool; and (2) funding for nonjudicial diversion of
appropriate truancy cases to youth service bureaus
and juvenile review boards. For  court  sanctioned
intervention  programs  the  Office of Alternative
Sanctions shall: (A) Provide  parenting  education
programs;  (B)  expand  existing programs to serve
truancy cases; (C) provide intensive outreach  and
monitoring, including intensive probation services
for chronic truancy cases; (D) provide for  mental
health assessment and outpatient mental health and
substance abuse  services;  and  (E)  provide  for
short-term  emergency  residential  placement  for
children with multiple referrals to  the  juvenile
court  for  truancy,  being beyond control and for
being runaways.
    Sec.    3.   (NEW)   (a)   The   Chief   Court
Administrator and the Secretary of the  Office  of
Policy  and  Management,  in consultation with the
Commissioner  of  Education   and   Children   and
Families, the cochairmen of and ranking members of
the  committees  on  judiciary  and  education,  a
representative   from   the  Select  Committee  on
Children, a representative from the youth services
bureaus  and  a  representative  from  the truancy
subcommittee of the Sale Schools  and  Communities
Coalition shall develop and submit, not later than
January 1, 1999, to the Governor and  the  General
Assembly,  a family with service needs plan, which
shall include a recommendation for  the  1999-2001
biennial budget to implement such a plan.
    (b)  The  family  with  service needs resource
plan shall include:
    (1)    Recommendations    to    address    the
multifaceted problems confronting  children  in  a
family with service needs.
    (2)   Recommendations   from   youth   service
bureaus, juvenile  review  boards,  other  similar
community-based  service  networks  and  the  Safe
Schools  and  Communities   Coalition   concerning
structured prevention programs, including programs
that target families with  truants  in  elementary
schools.
    (3)  Recommendations  from the judicial branch
regarding: (A) Expansion of the number of  truancy
or   family   with   service  needs  dockets;  (B)
development  of   community-based   programs   for
chronic   truants;   (C)   intensive  intervention
programs for children  referred  to  the  juvenile
court  for  being  beyond  control  or  for  being
runaways, who also have a history of truancy;  (D)
emergency   shelters  and  short-term  residential
programs  for  family  with  service  needs  cases
involving  children  beyond  control and runaways;
(E) how the jurisdiction  of  the  juvenile  court
should be expanded to extend the status offense of
running away or being  beyond  the  control  of  a
parent  to  youths and what services, programs and
resources would be required by juvenile  court  to
effectively    extend   such   jurisdiction;   (F)
utilizing  magistrates  for  truancy  cases;   (G)
tracking  family with service needs cases into the
adult criminal court system; and (H) research  and
program evaluation.
    (4)  Recommendations  from  the  Department of
Children and Families  regarding  instituting  the
protocol  developed  by the family division of the
judicial branch and the Department of Children and
Families.
    Sec.  4.  Section   46b-148   of  the  general
statutes  is  repealed   and   the   following  is
substituted in lieu thereof:
    When a child whose family has been adjudicated
as a family  with service needs in accordance with
section 46b-149, AS  AMENDED BY THIS ACT, violates
any valid order  which regulates future conduct of
the child made  by  the  court  following  such an
adjudication, a probation officer, on receipt of a
complaint  setting forth  facts  alleging  such  a
violation, or on  his  own  motion on the basis of
his knowledge of  such  a  violation,  may  file a
petition with the  court  alleging  that the child
has committed a delinquent act by reason of having
violated a valid court order and setting forth the
facts claimed to constitute such a violation. Such
child may be  processed  as  any  other delinquent
child under this  chapter,  except  that  (1) such
child shall not  be  held  in detention prior to a
hearing on such petition for more than seventy-two
hours excluding Saturdays,  Sundays  and holidays;
and (2) in  entering  any  order  that  directs or
authorizes   [disposition  of   placement   in   a
state-operated  detention  facility,   Long   Lane
School or any  other secure facility] PLACEMENT IN
A FACILITY UNDER  THE  AUSPICES  OF  THE OFFICE OF
ALTERNATIVE  SANCTIONS  OR   COMMITMENT   TO   THE
DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN  AND  FAMILIES,  the  judge
shall make a  determination  that there is no less
restrictive alternative appropriate  to  the needs
of the child and the community.
    Sec.  5.  Section   46b-149   of  the  general
statutes  is  repealed   and   the   following  is
substituted in lieu thereof:
    (a)   Any   selectman,  town  manager,  police
officer or welfare department of any town, city or
borough,   probation  officer,  superintendent  of
schools,  the   Commissioner   of   Children   and
Families,  any  child-caring institution or agency
approved  or  licensed  by  the  Commissioner   of
Children and Families, any youth service bureau, a
parent or foster parent of a child, or a child  or
his  representative or attorney, who believes that
the acts or omissions of a child are such that his
family  is a family with service needs, may file a
written complaint setting forth those  facts  with
the  superior  court  which  has  venue  over that
matter.
    (b)  The  court  shall refer a complaint filed
under  subsection  (a)  of  this  section   to   a
probation  officer,  who  shall promptly determine
whether it appears  that  the  alleged  facts,  if
true,  would  be sufficient to meet the definition
of  a  family  with  service  needs,  provided   a
complaint  alleging  that  a  child is a truant or
habitual truant shall  not  be  determined  to  be
insufficient  to  meet  the definition of a family
with service needs solely  because  it  was  filed
during  the  months of April, May or June. If such
probation officer so determines, he shall promptly
either  (1)  refer the matter, with the consent of
the child  and  his  parents  or  guardian,  to  a
suitable    community-based   or   other   service
provider, or (2) file a petition with the court in
the  manner  prescribed  in subsection (c) of this
section. In either  case,  the  probation  officer
shall  inform  the  complainant  in writing of his
action. If it appears that the allegations are not
true, or that the child's family does not meet the
definition of a family  with  service  needs,  the
probation  officer shall inform the complainant in
writing of such finding. In any case in which  the
probation  officer  does  not  file a petition, he
shall also inform the complainant of the right  of
such   person  to  file  a  petition  pursuant  to
subsection (c) of this section. Any person who has
filed  a  complaint  pursuant to subsection (a) of
this section, and  who  has  been  notified  by  a
probation  officer  that  such  officer  does  not
intend to  file  a  petition  for  a  family  with
service   needs  may,  within  thirty  days  after
mailing of such  notice,  file  a  petition  under
subsection (c) of this section.
    (c)   A   petition   alleging  that  a  family
constitutes a family with service needs  shall  be
verified  and  filed with the Superior Court which
has venue over the matter. The petition shall  set
forth plainly: (1) The facts which bring the child
within the jurisdiction  of  the  court,  (2)  the
name,  date  of  birth,  sex  and residence of the
child, (3) the name and residence of his parent or
parents,  guardian  or other person having control
of him, and (4) a prayer for appropriate action by
the  court  in  conformity  with the provisions of
this section.
    (d)  When a petition is filed under subsection
(c) of this section, the court may issue a summons
to  the  child  and his parents, guardian or other
person having control of him to appear in court at
a  specified  time and place. The summons shall be
signed by a judge or by  the  clerk  or  assistant
clerk  of  the  court,  and a copy of the petition
shall be attached to it. Whenever  it  appears  to
the  judge  that  orders addressed to an adult, as
set forth in section 46b-121,  are  necessary  for
the welfare of such child, a similar summons shall
be issued and served upon such adult if he is  not
already in court. Service of summons shall be made
in accordance with section 46b-128. THE COURT  MAY
PUNISH   FOR  CONTEMPT,  AS  PROVIDED  IN  SECTION
46b-121, ANY PARENT, GUARDIAN OR OTHER  PERSON  SO
SUMMONED  WHO FAILS TO APPEAR IN COURT AT THE TIME
AND PLACE SO SPECIFIED. If  a  petition  is  filed
under subsection (c) of this section alleging that
a family is a family with service needs because  a
child  is  a  truant or habitual truant, the court
may not dismiss such petition  solely  because  it
was filed during the months of April, May or June.
    (e)  When a petition is filed under subsection
(c)  of  this  section  alleging  that  a   family
constitutes a family with service needs because it
includes a child who has been  habitually  truant,
the  court  shall order that the local or regional
board of education for the town in which the child
resides,  or  the  private school in the case of a
child enrolled in a private school, shall cause an
educational   evaluation   of  such  child  to  be
performed if no such evaluation has been performed
within  the preceding year. Any costs incurred for
the performance of such evaluation shall be  borne
by  such  local  or regional board of education or
such private school.
    (f)  If  it  appears from the allegations of a
petition or other sworn  affirmations  that  there
is: (1) A strong probability that the child may do
something that is injurious to  himself  prior  to
court  disposition;  (2) a strong probability that
the child will run away prior to the  hearing;  or
(3)   a   need  to  hold  the  child  for  another
jurisdiction, a judge may vest  temporary  custody
of  such  child in some suitable person or agency.
[or may, on or before  July  1,  1981,  order  the
child  held  in  a  state-operated detention home,
pending a hearing  to  determine  whether  or  not
temporary custody should be continued until a full
hearing  on  the   merits   may   be   held.]   No
nondelinquent  juvenile runaway from another state
may be held in a state-operated detention home  in
accordance with the provisions of sections 46b-151
to  46b-151g,  inclusive,  Interstate  Compact  on
Juveniles. A hearing on temporary custody shall be
held not later than ten days  after  the  date  on
which a judge signs an order of temporary custody.
[, provided on or before July 1,  1981,  no  child
may be held in a state-operated detention home for
more than twenty-four hours, excluding  Saturdays,
Sundays  and  holidays,  unless  an order has been
issued by a judge after a hearing and a finding by
the  court  that  the  circumstances  described in
subdivision (1), (2) or  (3)  of  this  subsection
exist.]  Following  such  hearing,  the  judge may
order that the child's temporary custody  continue
to  be  vested  in some suitable person or agency.
[or, on or before July 1, 1981, that the child  be
held  in  a  state-operated  detention  home.] Any
expenses of temporary custody shall be paid in the
same  manner  as  provided  in  subsection  (b) of
section 46b-129.
    (g)  If  it  appears that the interests of the
child or the family may be best served,  prior  to
adjudication,  by a referral to community-based or
other services, the judge may permit the matter to
be  continued  for  a  period  not to exceed three
months. If it appears at  the  conclusion  of  the
continuance    that    the    matter    has   been
satisfactorily resolved, the judge may dismiss the
petition.
    (h)  If  the  court  finds, based on clear and
convincing evidence, that the family of a child is
a  family  with  service  needs, the court may, in
addition  to  issuing  any  orders  under  section
46b-121,  (1) refer the child to the Department of
Children and Families for any  voluntary  services
provided by said department or, if the family is a
family with service needs solely as a result of  a
finding  that  a  child  is  a  truant or habitual
truant,  to  the  authorities  of  the  local   or
regional  school  district  or  private school for
services provided by such school district or  such
school,  which services may include summer school,
or  to  community  agencies  providing  child  and
family services; (2) commit that child to the care
and custody of the Commissioner  of  Children  and
Families  for  an  indefinite period not to exceed
eighteen months; (3) order the child to remain  in
his  own  home  or in the custody of a relative or
any other  suitable  person  (A)  subject  to  the
supervision  of  a probation officer or (B) in the
case of a family which is a  family  with  service
needs solely as a result of a finding that a child
is a truant or habitual  truant,  subject  to  the
supervision   of   a  probation  officer  and  the
authorities  of  the  local  or  regional   school
district  or  private school; or (4) if the family
is a family with service needs as a result of  the
child  engaging in sexual intercourse with another
person and such other person is thirteen years  of
age  or older and not more than two years older or
younger than such child, (A) refer the child to  a
youth  service bureau or other appropriate service
agency for participation in a program  such  as  a
teen  pregnancy  program or a sexually transmitted
disease program and  (B)  require  such  child  to
perform  community  service  such  as service in a
hospital,  an  AIDS  prevention  program   or   an
obstetrical  and  gynecological  program.  If  the
court issues  any  order  which  regulates  future
conduct  of  the  child,  PARENT  OR GUARDIAN, the
child, PARENT OR GUARDIAN, shall receive  adequate
and  fair warning of the consequences of violation
of the order at the time it is  issued,  and  such
warning  shall be provided to the child, PARENT OR
GUARDIAN,  to  his  attorney  and  to  his   legal
guardian  in writing and shall be reflected in the
court record and proceedings.
    (i)  (1)  The  Commissioner  of  Children  and
Families may petition the court for  an  extension
of  a commitment under this section on the grounds
that an extension would be in the best interest of
the  child.  The  court  shall  give notice to the
child and his parent or guardian at least fourteen
days  prior to the hearing upon that petition. The
court may, after hearing  and  upon  finding  that
such  extension  is  in  the  best interest of the
child, continue the commitment for  an  additional
indefinite   period  of  not  more  than  eighteen
months.  (2)  The  Commissioner  of  Children  and
Families  may  at  any  time PETITION THE COURT TO
discharge a child, committed under  this  section,
and  any child committed to the commissioner under
this section, or the parent or  guardian  of  such
child,  may  at  any  time but not more often than
once every six months  petition  the  court  which
committed the child to revoke such commitment. The
court  shall  notify  the  child,  his  parent  or
guardian  and  the  commissioner  of  any petition
filed under this subsection, and of the time  when
a hearing on such petition will be held. Any order
of the court made under this subsection  shall  be
deemed  a  final  order  for  purposes  of appeal,
except that no bond shall be  required  nor  costs
taxed on such appeal.
    Sec.  6.  Section   46b-149a  of  the  general
statutes  is  repealed   and   the   following  is
substituted in lieu thereof:
    (a)  Any  police officer who receives a report
from the parent or guardian of a child  that  such
child  is a member of a family with service needs,
as defined  in  section  46b-120,  shall  promptly
attempt  to  locate  the  child.  If  the  officer
locates such child, or any child he  believes  has
run  away  from  his  parent  or  guardian's  home
without permission, or any nondelinquent  juvenile
runaway  from  another  state, he shall report the
location of the child to the parent  or  guardian,
and  may respond in one of the following ways: (1)
He may transport the child  to  the  home  of  the
child's  parent  or  guardian or any other person;
(2) he may refer the child to the  superior  court
for  juvenile  matters  in  the district where the
child is located; [or, on or before July 1,  1981,
he  may  transport the child to any state-operated
detention home;] (3) he  may  hold  the  child  in
protective  custody for a maximum period of twelve
hours until  the  officer  can  determine  a  more
suitable  disposition  of the matter, provided (A)
the child is not held in any locked room  or  cell
and  (B)  the officer may release the child at any
time without taking further action; or (4) he  may
transport  or  refer  a  child  to  any  public or
private agency serving children, with  or  without
the   agreement  of  the  child.  If  a  child  is
transported or referred to an agency  pursuant  to
this  section, such agency may provide services to
the child unless  or  until  the  [child  or  his]
CHILD'S  parent or guardian at any time refuses to
agree to those  services.  Such  agency  shall  be
immune  from  any  liability,  civil  or criminal,
which might  otherwise  be  incurred  or  imposed;
provided  such services are provided in good faith
and in a nonnegligent manner.
    (b)  Any  police  officer acting in accordance
with the  provisions  of  this  section  shall  be
deemed  to be acting in the course of his official
duties.

Approved June 4, 1998