Substitute House Bill No. 5745
          Substitute House Bill No. 5745

              PUBLIC ACT NO. 98-241


AN   ACT   CONCERNING    CHILD    PROTECTION   AND
ESTABLISHING MULTIDISCIPLINARY TEAMS TO RESPOND TO
REPORTS OF CHILD ABUSE.


    Be it enacted  by  the  Senate  and  House  of
Representatives in General Assembly convened:
    Section  1.  Section   17a-1  of  the  general
statutes, as amended  by  section  1 of public act
97-272,  is  repealed   and   the   following   is
substituted in lieu thereof:
    As  used  in   sections   17a-1   to   17a-26,
inclusive,   AS   AMENDED,   17a-28   to   17a-49,
inclusive, AS AMENDED,  46b-120,  and section 2 of
[this act] PUBLIC ACT 97-272:
    (1) "Commissioner" means  the  Commissioner of
Children and Families;
    (2) "Council" means the State Advisory Council
on Children and Families;
    (3)  "Department"  means   the  Department  of
Children and Families;
    (4) "Child" means  any  person  under  sixteen
years of age;
    (5)  "Youth"  means   any  person  sixteen  to
eighteen years of age;
    (6) "Delinquent child"  shall have the meaning
ascribed thereto in section 46b-120, AS AMENDED;
    (7) "Child or youth with mental illness" means
a child or youth who is suffering from one or more
mental disorders as  defined  in  the  most recent
edition of the  American Psychiatric Association's
"Diagnostic  and  Statistical   Manual  of  Mental
Disorders";
    (8)   "Child   or    youth    with   emotional
disturbance" means a  child  or  youth  who  has a
clinically  significant  emotional  or  behavioral
disorder, as determined by a trained mental health
professional,  that  disrupts   the   academic  or
developmental  progress, family  or  interpersonal
relationships  of  such   child  or  youth  or  is
associated with present  distress or disability or
a risk of suffering death, pain or disability;
    (9) "Individual system  of  care plan" means a
written  plan developed  by  the  Commissioner  of
Children and Families  for a child or youth who is
mentally  ill  or   emotionally  disturbed  or  at
placement risk which  shall be developed when such
child or youth  needs  services  from at least two
public agencies and  which  shall  be  designed to
meet the needs  of  the  child  or  youth  and his
family;
    (10) "Family" means  a  child  or youth who is
mentally  ill  or   emotionally  disturbed  or  at
placement  risk together  with  (A)  one  or  more
biological  or  adoptive  parents,  except  for  a
biological parent whose  parental rights have been
terminated, (B) one  or more persons to whom legal
custody or guardianship has been given, or (C) one
or more adult  family  members  who have a primary
responsibility for providing  continuous  care  to
such child or youth;
    (11) "Child or  youth at placement risk" means
a mentally ill  or  emotionally disturbed child or
youth who is  at risk of placement out of his home
or is in placement out of his home for the primary
purpose  of  receiving  mental  health  treatment;
[and]
    (12) "Parent" means  a  biological or adoptive
parent, except a  biological parent whose parental
rights have been terminated; AND
    (13)  "GUARDIAN" MEANS  A  PERSON  WHO  HAS  A
JUDICIALLY CREATED RELATIONSHIP  BETWEEN  A  CHILD
AND SUCH PERSON  WHICH IS INTENDED TO BE PERMANENT
AND SELF-SUSTAINING AS  EVIDENCED  BY THE TRANSFER
TO SUCH PERSON  OF  THE  FOLLOWING PARENTAL RIGHTS
WITH RESPECT TO  THE  CHILD: (A) THE OBLIGATION OF
CARE AND CONTROL;  (B) THE AUTHORITY TO MAKE MAJOR
DECISIONS   AFFECTING   THE    CHILD'S    WELFARE,
INCLUDING,   BUT   NOT    LIMITED    TO,   CONSENT
DETERMINATIONS REGARDING MARRIAGE,  ENLISTMENT  IN
THE ARMED FORCES AND MAJOR MEDICAL, PSYCHIATRIC OR
SURGICAL   TREATMENT;  (C)   THE   OBLIGATION   OF
PROTECTION OF THE  CHILD;  (D)  THE  OBLIGATION TO
PROVIDE ACCESS TO  EDUCATION;  AND  (E) CUSTODY OF
THE CHILD.
    Sec. 2. Section 17a-15 of the general statutes
is repealed and  the  following  is substituted in
lieu thereof:
    (a)  The commissioner  [,  or  his  designee,]
shall prepare and  maintain  a  written  plan  for
care, [and] treatment  AND  PERMANENT PLACEMENT of
every child and youth under his supervision, which
shall include but not be limited to a diagnosis of
the problems of  each  child  or  youth, [together
with] the proposed  plan of treatment SERVICES and
TEMPORARY  placement  AND  A  GOAL  FOR  PERMANENT
PLACEMENT OF THE CHILD OR YOUTH, WHICH MAY INCLUDE
REUNIFICATION WITH THE  PARENT,  LONG-TERM  FOSTER
CARE, INDEPENDENT LIVING, TRANSFER OF GUARDIANSHIP
OR ADOPTION. THE  CHILD'S  OR  YOUTH'S  HEALTH AND
SAFETY  SHALL  BE   THE   PARAMOUNT   CONCERN   IN
FORMULATING THE PLAN.
    (b) The commissioner  [or  his designee] shall
at least every  six  months, review the [treatment
plan and placement]  PLAN  of each child and youth
under  his  supervision   for   the   purpose   of
determining whether [the treatment] SUCH plan [and
placement] is appropriate AND MAKE ANY APPROPRIATE
MODIFICATIONS TO SUCH PLAN.
    (c)  Any child  or  youth  or  his  parent  or
guardian  aggrieved  by   any   provision   of   a
[treatment] plan prepared  under subsection (a) of
this section, or  by  the  commissioner's decision
upon review under  subsection (b) of this section,
or any child  or  youth  or his parent or guardian
aggrieved by a  refusal  of any other service from
the commissioner to which he is entitled, shall be
provided a hearing  within thirty days following a
written  request for  the  same  directed  to  the
commissioner.
    (d) Any hearing  held  pursuant  to  a request
made under subsection (c) of this section shall be
conducted as a  contested  case in accordance with
chapter 54 provided: (1) A final decision shall be
rendered within fifteen  days  following the close
of evidence and  filing  of  briefs;  and  (2) any
appeal of a  decision  pursuant  to  section 4-183
shall be to the district of the superior court for
juvenile matters, where  the  child is located, as
established in section 46b-142.
    Sec.  3.  Section   17a-101a  of  the  general
statutes, as amended  by  section  9 of public act
97-319,  is  repealed   and   the   following   is
substituted in lieu thereof:
    Any mandated reporter,  as  defined in section
17a-101,  who in  his  professional  capacity  has
reasonable cause to  suspect  or  believe that any
child under the  age  of  eighteen  years has been
abused, as defined  in section 46b-120, as amended
by section 18  of [this act] PUBLIC ACT 97-319, or
has had nonaccidental  physical  injury, or injury
which is at  variance  with  the  history given of
such  injury,  inflicted  upon  him  by  a  person
responsible for such  child's  health,  welfare or
care or by  a person given access to such child by
such responsible person,  OR IS PLACED AT IMMINENT
RISK OF SERIOUS  HARM  BY AN ACT OR FAILURE TO ACT
ON THE PART  OF  SUCH  RESPONSIBLE  PERSON, or has
been neglected, as  defined  in  section  46b-120,
shall report or  cause  a  report  to  be  made in
accordance  with  the   provisions   of   sections
17a-101b  to  17a-101d,   inclusive.   Any  person
required to report  under  the  provisions of this
section who fails  to  make  such  report shall be
fined not more than five hundred dollars.
    Sec.  4.  Section   17a-151   of  the  general
statutes  is  repealed   and   the   following  is
substituted in lieu thereof:
    (a) The Commissioner  of Children and Families
shall investigate the  conditions  stated  in each
application made to  him  under  the provisions of
section 17a-145 [and  the]  AND REQUEST A CRIMINAL
RECORDS CHECK FOR  ANY  PERSON APPLYING UNDER SAID
SECTION. THE commissioner  shall  investigate  the
conditions   in   each   application   under   the
provisions  of  section   17a-149   and,   if  the
commissioner finds such  conditions  suitable  for
the proper care  of  children,  or for the placing
out of children,  under  such  standards  for  the
promotion  of the  health,  safety,  morality  and
well-being  of such  children  as  he  prescribes,
shall  issue  such   license  as  is  required  as
promptly  as  possible,  without  expense  to  the
licensee.   If   after   his   investigation   the
commissioner    finds    that    the    applicant,
notwithstanding good faith efforts, is not able to
fully  comply  with   all   the   requirements  he
prescribes, but compliance  can  be  achieved with
minimal  efforts, the  commissioner  may  issue  a
provisional license for  a  period  not  to exceed
sixty days. The provisional license may be renewed
for additional sixty-day  periods, but in no event
shall the total of such periods be for longer than
one  year.  Before   issuing   any   license,  the
commissioner shall give  to  the  selectmen of the
town wherein such  licensee  proposes  to carry on
the licensed activity  ten days' notice in writing
that the issuance of such license is proposed, but
such notice shall  not  be  required  in  case  of
intention to issue such license to any corporation
incorporated for the  purpose  of  caring  for  or
placing  such children.  Each  license  so  issued
shall   specify  whether   it   is   granted   for
child-caring  or  child-placing   purposes,  shall
state the number of children who may be cared for,
shall be in  force twenty-four months from date of
issue,  and  shall  be  renewed  for  the  ensuing
twenty-four months, if  conditions  continue to be
satisfactory to the commissioner. The commissioner
shall also provide such periodical inspections and
review as shall  safeguard  the well-being, health
and morality of  all  children cared for or placed
under a license  issued by him hereunder and shall
visit and consult  with  each  such child and with
the licensee as often as he deems necessary but at
intervals  of not  more  than  ninety  days.  Each
licensee  under the  provisions  of  this  section
shall file annually with the commissioner a report
containing   such   information   concerning   its
functions,  services  and   operation,   including
financial data, as  the commissioner requires. Any
license issued under  this section may be revoked,
suspended  or  limited  by  the  commissioner  for
cause, after notice  given to the person or entity
concerned  and after  opportunity  for  a  hearing
thereon. Any party  whose application is denied or
whose license is  revoked, suspended or limited by
the  commissioner may  appeal  from  such  adverse
decision  in accordance  with  the  provisions  of
section 4-183. Appeals under this section shall be
privileged  in  respect  to  the  order  of  trial
assignment.
    (b)  THE  CRIMINAL   RECORDS   CHECK  REQUIRED
PURSUANT TO SUBSECTION  (a)  OF THIS SECTION SHALL
BE  REQUESTED FROM  THE  STATE  POLICE  BUREAU  OF
IDENTIFICATION  AND SHALL  BE  APPLICABLE  TO  THE
PERSONS  IDENTIFIED  ON   THE   APPLICATION   MADE
PURSUANT TO SECTION  17a-145.  THE COMMISSIONER OF
CHILDREN   AND   FAMILIES    SHALL   ARRANGE   FOR
FINGERPRINTING OF SUCH  PERSONS.  THE FINGERPRINTS
OF SUCH PERSONS  SHALL  BE  FORWARDED TO THE STATE
POLICE  BUREAU  OF   IDENTIFICATION   WHICH  SHALL
CONDUCT A STATE CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORDS CHECK AND
SUBMIT THE FINGERPRINTS  TO  THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF
INVESTIGATION  FOR  A  NATIONAL  CRIMINAL  HISTORY
RECORDS CHECK.
    [(b)]  (c)  The   commissioner   shall   adopt
regulations, in accordance  with  chapter  54,  to
establish a staggered  schedule for the renewal of
licenses issued pursuant  to  sections 17a-145 and
17a-149.
    Sec.  5.  Section   46b-129   of  the  general
statutes, as amended  by  section 19 of public act
97-319,  is  repealed   and   the   following   is
substituted in lieu thereof:
    (a)  Any selectman,  town  manager,  or  town,
city, or borough welfare department, any probation
officer, [the Connecticut  Humane Society,] or the
Commissioner of Social  Services, the Commissioner
of  Children  and  Families  or  any  child-caring
institution or agency approved by the Commissioner
of  Children  and   Families,   a   child  or  his
representative or attorney or a foster parent of a
child, having information that a child or youth is
neglected, uncared-for or dependent, may file with
the  Superior Court  which  has  venue  over  such
matter a verified  petition  plainly  stating such
facts as bring  the  child  or  youth  within  the
jurisdiction   of   the    court   as   neglected,
uncared-for, or dependent,  within  the meaning of
section 46b-120, the name, date of birth, sex, and
residence of the  child  or  youth,  the  name and
residence of his  parents or guardian, and praying
for appropriate action  by the court in conformity
with the provisions  of  this  chapter.  Upon  the
filing of such  a  petition,  except  as otherwise
provided  in  subsection   [(e)]  (d)  of  section
17a-112, AS AMENDED  BY  THIS ACT, the court shall
cause a summons  to be issued requiring the parent
or parents or  the  guardian of the child or youth
to appear in  court  at  the time and place named,
which  summons  shall  be  served  not  less  than
fourteen days before  the  date  of the hearing in
the manner prescribed by section 46b-128, and said
court shall further  give notice to the petitioner
and to the  Commissioner  of Children and Families
of the time  and  place when the petition is to be
heard not less than fourteen days [next preceding]
PRIOR TO the hearing in question.
     (b)   If   it   appears   from  the  SPECIFIC
allegations of the  petition  and  other  verified
affirmations of fact accompanying the petition AND
APPLICATION, or subsequent thereto, that there  is
reasonable  cause  to  [find  that  the child's or
youth's condition or the circumstances surrounding
his  care  require that his custody be immediately
assumed to safeguard his welfare] BELIEVE THAT (1)
THE  CHILD  IS  SUFFERING  FROM  SERIOUS  PHYSICAL
ILLNESS  OR  SERIOUS  PHYSICAL  INJURY  OR  IS  IN
IMMEDIATE  PHYSICAL  DANGER  FROM HIS SURROUNDINGS
AND (2) THAT AS A RESULT OF SAID  CONDITIONS,  THE
CHILD'S SAFETY IS ENDANGERED AND IMMEDIATE REMOVAL
FROM SUCH SURROUNDINGS IS NECESSARY TO ENSURE  THE
CHILD'S  SAFETY,  the court shall either (1) issue
an order to the parents  or  other  person  having
responsibility  for the care of the child or youth
to [show cause] APPEAR at such time as  the  court
may designate [why] TO DETERMINE WHETHER the court
[shall not] SHOULD vest in some suitable agency or
person  the  child's or youth's temporary care and
custody pending [a hearing on] DISPOSITION OF  the
petition,  or  (2)  [vest] ISSUE AN ORDER EX PARTE
VESTING in some  suitable  agency  or  person  the
child's  or  youth's  temporary  care and custody.
[pending a hearing  upon  the  petition  which]  A
PRELIMINARY  HEARING ON ANY EX PARTE CUSTODY ORDER
OR ORDER TO APPEAR ISSUED BY THE  COURT  shall  be
held  within  ten  days  from the issuance of such
order. [on the need for such  temporary  care  and
custody.]  The  service of such orders may be made
by any officer authorized by law to serve process,
or   by   any   probation   officer  appointed  in
accordance with section 46b-123, investigator from
the  Department  of Administrative Services, state
OR LOCAL police  officer  or  indifferent  person.
SUCH  ORDERS SHALL INCLUDE A CONSPICUOUS NOTICE TO
THE  RESPONDENT  WRITTEN  IN  CLEAR   AND   SIMPLE
LANGUAGE   CONTAINING   AT   LEAST  THE  FOLLOWING
INFORMATION:   (1)   THAT   THE   ORDER   CONTAINS
ALLEGATIONS  THAT  CONDITIONS  IN  THE  HOME  HAVE
ENDANGERED THE SAFETY AND WELFARE  OF  THE  CHILD;
(2) THAT A HEARING WILL BE HELD ON THE DATE ON THE
FORM; (3) THAT THE HEARING IS THE  OPPORTUNITY  TO
PRESENT   THE  PARENTS'  POSITION  CONCERNING  THE
ALLEGED  FACTS;  (4)  THAT  AN  ATTORNEY  WILL  BE
APPOINTED   FOR   PARENTS  WHO  CANNOT  AFFORD  AN
ATTORNEY; (5) THAT SUCH PARENTS MAY  APPLY  FOR  A
COURT-APPOINTED ATTORNEY BY GOING IN PERSON TO THE
COURT ADDRESS ON THE FORM AND ARE ADVISED TO GO AS
SOON  AS  POSSIBLE  IN  ORDER  FOR THE ATTORNEY TO
PREPARE FOR THE HEARING; AND (6) IF  SUCH  PARENTS
HAVE   ANY   QUESTIONS   CONCERNING  THE  CASE  OR
APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL, ANY SUCH PARENT IS ADVISED
TO  GO  TO THE COURT OR CALL THE CLERK'S OFFICE AT
THE COURT AS SOON AS  POSSIBLE.  UPON  APPLICATION
FOR  APPOINTED  COUNSEL,  THE COURT SHALL PROMPTLY
DETERMINE ELIGIBILITY AND, IF  THE  RESPONDENT  IS
ELIGIBLE,  PROMPTLY  APPOINT  COUNSEL. The expense
for any temporary care and custody shall  be  paid
by the town in which such child or youth is at the
time residing, and such town shall  be  reimbursed
therefor by the town found liable for his support,
except that where  a  state  agency  has  filed  a
petition  pursuant to the provisions of subsection
(a) of this section, the  agency  shall  pay  such
expense.   [If   the   court,   pursuant  to  this
subsection, vests in a suitable agency  or  person
the  child's or youth's temporary care or custody,
the court shall provide to  the  commissioner  and
the  parent  of  the child or youth specific steps
which the parent may take to facilitate the return
of  the  child  or  youth  to  the custody of such
parent. If the court, after a show  cause  hearing
pursuant to this section, maintains the custody of
the child or youth in the parent,  the  court  may
provide   to   the  commissioner  and  the  parent
specific  steps  which  the  parent  may  take  to
maintain  custody  of  the  child  or  youth.] THE
AGENCY SHALL GIVE PRIMARY CONSIDERATION TO PLACING
THE  CHILD  IN  THE TOWN WHERE SUCH CHILD RESIDES.
THE AGENCY SHALL FILE IN WRITING WITH THE CLERK OF
THE  COURT  THE REASONS FOR PLACING THE CHILD IN A
PARTICULAR PLACEMENT OUTSIDE THE  TOWN  WHERE  THE
CHILD RESIDES. UPON ISSUANCE OF AN EX PARTE ORDER,
THE COURT SHALL PROVIDE TO  THE  COMMISSIONER  AND
THE  PARENT  OR  GUARDIAN SPECIFIC STEPS NECESSARY
FOR EACH TO TAKE TO ADDRESS THE EX PARTE ORDER FOR
THE PARENT OR GUARDIAN TO RETAIN OR REGAIN CUSTODY
OF THE CHILD OR YOUTH.
    (c)  IN ANY PROCEEDING UNDER THIS SECTION, ANY
GRANDPARENT OF THE CHILD  MAY  MAKE  A  MOTION  TO
INTERVENE  AND  THE  COURT SHALL GRANT SUCH MOTION
EXCEPT FOR GOOD CAUSE SHOWN. UPON THE GRANTING  OF
SUCH   MOTION,  SUCH  GRANDPARENT  MAY  APPEAR  BY
COUNSEL OR IN PERSON.
    (d)  THE  PRELIMINARY  HEARING ON THE ORDER OF
TEMPORARY CUSTODY OR ORDER TO APPEAR OR THE  FIRST
HEARING ON A PETITION FILED PURSUANT TO SUBSECTION
(a) OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE HELD IN ORDER FOR THE
COURT TO: (1) ADVISE THE PARENT OR GUARDIAN OF THE
ALLEGATIONS  CONTAINED  IN   ALL   PETITIONS   AND
APPLICATIONS  THAT ARE THE SUBJECT OF THE HEARING;
(2)   ASSURE   THAT   AN   ATTORNEY,   AND   WHERE
APPROPRIATE, A SEPARATE GUARDIAN AD LITEM HAS BEEN
APPOINTED TO  REPRESENT  THE  CHILD  OR  YOUTH  IN
ACCORDANCE   WITH  SECTION  46b-129a  AND  SECTION
46b-136; (3) UPON REQUEST, APPOINT AN ATTORNEY  TO
REPRESENT  THE  RESPONDENT  WHEN  HE  IS UNABLE TO
AFFORD REPRESENTATION, AS DETERMINED BY THE COURT;
(4)  ADVISE THE PARENT OR GUARDIAN OF THE RIGHT TO
A HEARING ON THE PETITIONS AND APPLICATIONS, TO BE
HELD   WITHIN  TEN  DAYS  FROM  THE  DATE  OF  THE
PRELIMINARY HEARING IF THE HEARING IS PURSUANT  TO
AN  ORDER OF TEMPORARY CUSTODY OR AN ORDER TO SHOW
CAUSE; (5) ACCEPT A PLEA REGARDING  THE  TRUTH  OF
SUCH  ALLEGATIONS;  (6)  MAKE  ANY INTERIM ORDERS,
INCLUDING VISITATION, THAT  THE  COURT  DETERMINES
ARE  IN  THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD OR YOUTH.
THE  COURT,  AFTER  A  HEARING  PURSUANT  TO  THIS
SUBSECTION,  SHALL PROVIDE TO THE COMMISSIONER AND
THE PARENT OR GUARDIAN  SPECIFIC  STEPS  NECESSARY
FOR  EACH  TO  TAKE  FOR THE PARENT OR GUARDIAN TO
REGAIN OR TO RETAIN CUSTODY OF THE CHILD OR YOUTH;
(7)  TAKE  STEPS  TO DETERMINE THE IDENTITY OF THE
FATHER OF THE CHILD OR YOUTH,  INCLUDING  ORDERING
GENETIC  TESTING,  IF NECESSARY, AND ORDER SERVICE
OF THE PETITION AND NOTICE OF THE HEARING DATE, IF
ANY,  TO BE MADE UPON HIM; (8) IF THE PERSON NAMED
AS THE FATHER APPEARS, AND ADMITS THAT HE  IS  THE
FATHER,  PROVIDE  HIM  AND  THE  MOTHER  WITH  THE
NOTICES  WHICH  COMPLY  WITH  SECTION  17b-27  AND
PROVIDE  THEM  WITH  THE  OPPORTUNITY  TO  SIGN  A
PATERNITY ACKNOWLEDGMENT AND AFFIRMATION ON  FORMS
WHICH  COMPLY WITH SECTION 17b-27. THESE DOCUMENTS
SHALL BE EXECUTED AND  FILED  IN  ACCORDANCE  WITH
CHAPTER  815y AND A COPY DELIVERED TO THE CLERK OF
THE SUPERIOR COURT FOR JUVENILE MATTERS;  AND  (9)
IN  THE  EVENT  THAT  THE PERSON NAMED AS A FATHER
APPEARS AND DENIES THAT HE IS THE  FATHER  OF  THE
CHILD  OR  YOUTH,  ADVISE  HIM THAT HE MAY HAVE NO
FURTHER STANDING IN ANY PROCEEDING CONCERNING  THE
CHILD,   AND   EITHER  ORDER  GENETIC  TESTING  TO
DETERMINE PATERNITY OR DIRECT  HIM  TO  EXECUTE  A
WRITTEN  DENIAL OF PATERNITY ON A FORM PROMULGATED
BY THE OFFICE OF THE  CHIEF  COURT  ADMINISTRATOR.
UPON  EXECUTION  OF  SUCH  A  FORM BY THE PUTATIVE
FATHER, THE COURT MAY REMOVE HIM FROM THE CASE AND
AFFORD  HIM  NO FURTHER STANDING IN THE CASE OR IN
ANY SUBSEQUENT PROCEEDING REGARDING THE  CHILD  OR
YOUTH  UNTIL SUCH TIME AS PATERNITY IS ESTABLISHED
BY FORMAL  ACKNOWLEDGMENT  OR  ADJUDICATION  IN  A
COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION.
    (e)  IF  ANY  PARENT  OR GUARDIAN FAILS, AFTER
SERVICE  OF  SUCH  ORDER,   TO   APPEAR   AT   THE
PRELIMINARY HEARING THE COURT MAY ENTER OR SUSTAIN
AN ORDER OF TEMPORARY CUSTODY AND ENTER A DEFAULT.
    (f)  UPON REQUEST, OR UPON ITS OWN MOTION, THE
COURT SHALL SCHEDULE A HEARING ON  THE  ORDER  FOR
TEMPORARY CUSTODY OR THE ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE TO BE
HELD  WITHIN  TEN  DAYS  FROM  THE  DATE  OF   THE
PRELIMINARY HEARING. SUCH HEARING SHALL BE HELD ON
CONSECUTIVE    DAYS    EXCEPT    FOR    COMPELLING
CIRCUMSTANCES  OR  AT THE REQUEST OF THE PARENT OR
GUARDIAN.
    (g)  AT  A  CONTESTED HEARING ON THE ORDER FOR
TEMPORARY CUSTODY OR  ORDER  TO  APPEAR,  CREDIBLE
HEARSAY EVIDENCE REGARDING STATEMENTS OF THE CHILD
OR YOUTH MADE TO  A  MANDATED  REPORTER  OR  TO  A
PARENT  MAY BE OFFERED BY THE PARTIES AND ADMITTED
BY THE COURT UPON A FINDING THAT THE STATEMENT  IS
RELIABLE  AND  TRUSTWORTHY  AND  THAT ADMISSION OF
SUCH STATEMENT IS REASONABLY NECESSARY.  A  SIGNED
STATEMENT  EXECUTED  BY  A MANDATED REPORTER UNDER
OATH MAY BE ADMITTED BY THE COURT WITHOUT THE NEED
FOR  THE  MANDATED  REPORTER TO APPEAR AND TESTIFY
UNLESS  CALLED  BY  A  RESPONDENT  OR  THE  CHILD,
PROVIDED  THE  STATEMENT;  (1) WAS PROVIDED AT THE
PRELIMINARY HEARING AND PROMPTLY UPON  REQUEST  TO
ANY   COUNSEL   APPEARING  AFTER  THE  PRELIMINARY
HEARING;    (2)    REASONABLY    DESCRIBES     THE
QUALIFICATIONS  OF  THE REPORTER AND THE NATURE OF
HIS CONTACT WITH THE CHILD; AND (3) CONTAINS  ONLY
THE  DIRECT  OBSERVATIONS  OF  THE  REPORTER,  AND
STATEMENTS MADE TO  THE  REPORTER  THAT  WOULD  BE
ADMISSIBLE IF THE REPORTER WERE TO TESTIFY TO THEM
IN  COURT  AND  ANY  OPINIONS   REASONABLY   BASED
THEREUPON.  IF  A  RESPONDENT  OR  THE CHILD GIVES
NOTICE AT THE PRELIMINARY HEARING THAT HE  INTENDS
TO  CROSS-EXAMINE  THE REPORTER, THE PERSON FILING
THE PETITION SHALL MAKE THE REPORTER AVAILABLE FOR
SUCH EXAMINATION AT THE CONTESTED HEARING.
    (h)  IF  ANY  PARENT  OR GUARDIAN FAILS, AFTER
DUE NOTICE OF THE HEARING  SCHEDULED  PURSUANT  TO
SUBSECTION  (g)  OF  THIS SECTION AND WITHOUT GOOD
CAUSE, TO APPEAR  AT  THE  SCHEDULED  DATE  FOR  A
CONTESTED   HEARING  ON  THE  ORDER  OF  TEMPORARY
CUSTODY OR ORDER TO APPEAR, THE COURT MAY ENTER OR
SUSTAIN AN ORDER OF TEMPORARY CUSTODY.
    [(c)] (i) When  a  petition  is  filed in said
court for the  commitment of a child or youth, the
Commissioner of Children and Families shall make a
thorough investigation of the case and shall cause
to  be  made   a   thorough  physical  and  mental
examination of the  child or youth if requested by
the  court.  The   court  after  hearing  [on  the
petition and upon  a  finding that the physical or
mental ability of a parent or guardian to care for
the child or  youth  before the court is at issue]
may  ALSO order  a  thorough  physical  or  mental
examination,  or  both,   of  [the]  A  parent  or
guardian  whose competency  [is  in  question]  OR
ABILITY TO CARE  FOR  A  CHILD OR YOUTH BEFORE THE
COURT IS AT ISSUE. The expenses incurred in making
such physical and  mental  examinations  shall  be
paid as costs of commitment are paid.
    [(d)] (j) Upon  finding and adjudging that any
child  or  youth   is  uncared-for,  neglected  or
dependent,  the  court   may  commit  him  to  the
Commissioner  of  Children   and  Families  for  a
maximum  period  of  twelve  months,  unless  such
period  is  extended   in   accordance   with  the
provisions  of  subsection   [(e)]   (k)  of  this
section, provided such commitment or any extension
thereof  may  be   revoked   or   parental  rights
terminated at any  time by the court, or the court
may vest such child's or youth's care and personal
custody in any  private  or public agency which is
permitted   by  law   to   care   for   neglected,
uncared-for or dependent children or youth or with
any person OR  PERSONS  found  to  be suitable and
worthy of such  responsibility  by  the court. The
court shall order  specific steps which the parent
must take to facilitate the return of the child or
youth  to  the   custody   of   such  parent.  The
commissioner shall be  the  guardian of such child
or  youth for  the  duration  of  the  commitment,
provided the child  or  youth  has not reached the
age of eighteen  years  or, in the case of a child
or youth in  full-time  attendance  in a secondary
school,  a  technical   school,  a  college  or  a
state-accredited  job training  program,  provided
such child or  youth  has  not  reached the age of
twenty-one, by consent  of  such  youth,  or until
another guardian has  been  legally appointed, and
in like manner,  upon  such  vesting  of his care,
such other public  or private agency or individual
shall be the guardian of such child or youth until
he has reached  the  age  of eighteen years or, in
the  case  of   a  child  or  youth  in  full-time
attendance  in a  secondary  school,  a  technical
school,  a  college   or  a  state-accredited  job
training program, until  such  child  or youth has
reached  the age  of  twenty-one  years  or  until
another guardian has  been legally appointed. Said
commissioner  may place  any  child  or  youth  so
committed to him  in  a suitable foster home or in
the home of  a  person  related  by  blood to such
child  or youth  or  in  a  licensed  child-caring
institution or in  the  care  and  custody  of any
accredited,  licensed  or   approved  child-caring
agency, within or  without  the  state, provided a
child shall not be placed outside the state except
for good cause  and  unless  the  parents  of such
child are notified  in  advance  of such placement
and given an  opportunity  to  be  heard,  or in a
receiving  home maintained  and  operated  by  the
Commissioner of Children  and Families. In placing
such child or  youth,  said commissioner shall, if
possible, select a  home,  agency,  institution or
person of like religious faith to that of a parent
of such child  or youth, if such faith is known or
may be ascertained by reasonable inquiry, provided
such  home  conforms  to  the  standards  of  said
commissioner  and  the  commissioner  shall,  when
placing siblings, if possible, place such children
together. As an  alternative  to  commitment,  the
court may place  the  child  in the custody of the
parent or guardian  with protective supervision by
the Commissioner of  Children and Families subject
to conditions established by the court.
    [(e) Ninety days before the expiration of each
twelve-month commitment made  in  accordance  with
the provisions of  subsection  (d) of this section
and each extension made pursuant to the provisions
of this subsection,  the  Commissioner of Children
and Families shall  petition  the  court either to
(1) revoke such commitment, in accordance with the
provisions of subsection  (g)  of this section, or
(2) terminate parental  rights  in accordance with
the provisions of  section  17a-112, or (3) extend
the commitment beyond  such twelve-month period on
the  ground that  an  extension  is  in  the  best
interest of the child. The court shall give notice
to the parent,  parents  or  guardian  and  to the
child or youth at least fourteen days prior to the
hearing on such  petition.  Upon  finding  that an
extension is in  the  best  interest of the child,
the court may  extend  the commitment for a period
of twelve months.  At such hearing the court shall
determine the appropriateness of continued efforts
to reunify the  child or youth with his family. If
the  court  finds   that   such  efforts  are  not
appropriate,  the  Department   of   Children  and
Families shall within  sixty  days of such finding
either (A) file  a petition for the termination of
parental rights, (B)  file  a motion to revoke the
commitment and vest  the  custody and guardianship
of the child  on a permanent or long-term basis in
an appropriate individual  or couple or (C) file a
written  permanency  plan   with   the  court  for
permanent or long-term  foster  care,  which  plan
shall include an  explanation  of  the reason that
neither termination of parental rights nor custody
and guardianship is appropriate for the child. The
court shall promptly  convene  a  hearing  for the
purpose of reviewing such written plan.]
    (k) (1) TEN  MONTHS  AFTER THE ADJUDICATION OF
NEGLECT OF THE  CHILD  OR  YOUTH  OR TWELVE MONTHS
AFTER THE VESTING  OF  TEMPORARY  CARE AND CUSTODY
PURSUANT  TO  SUBSECTION   (b)  OF  THIS  SECTION,
WHICHEVER IS EARLIER,  THE COMMISSIONER SHALL FILE
A MOTION FOR  REVIEW  OF  A PERMANENCY PLAN AND TO
EXTEND OR REVOKE  THE COMMITMENT. TEN MONTHS AFTER
A PERMANENCY PLAN  HAS  BEEN APPROVED BY THE COURT
PURSUANT TO THIS  SUBSECTION, UNLESS THE COURT HAS
APPROVED PLACEMENT IN  LONG-TERM  FOSTER CARE WITH
AN  IDENTIFIED PERSON  OR  AN  INDEPENDENT  LIVING
PROGRAM, OR THE  COMMISSIONER HAS FILED A PETITION
FOR TERMINATION OF  PARENTAL  RIGHTS  OR MOTION TO
TRANSFER GUARDIANSHIP, THE COMMISSIONER SHALL FILE
A MOTION FOR  REVIEW  OF  THE  PERMANENCY  PLAN TO
EXTEND OR REVOKE  THE COMMITMENT. A HEARING ON ANY
SUCH MOTION SHALL BE HELD WITHIN SIXTY DAYS OF THE
FILING. THE COURT  SHALL  PROVIDE  NOTICE  TO  THE
CHILD OR YOUTH,  AND HIS PARENT OR GUARDIAN OF THE
TIME AND PLACE  OF  THE  COURT HEARING ON ANY SUCH
MOTION NOT LESS  THAN  FOURTEEN DAYS PRIOR TO SUCH
HEARING.
    (2) AT SUCH HEARING, THE COURT SHALL DETERMINE
WHETHER IT IS  APPROPRIATE  TO  CONTINUE  TO  MAKE
REASONABLE EFFORTS TO  REUNIFY  THE CHILD OR YOUTH
WITH THE PARENT. IN MAKING THIS DETERMINATION, THE
COURT SHALL CONSIDER  THE  BEST  INTERESTS  OF THE
CHILD, INCLUDING THE  CHILD'S NEED FOR PERMANENCY.
IF THE COURT  FINDS  THAT  FURTHER EFFORTS ARE NOT
APPROPRIATE, THE COMMISSIONER  HAS NO DUTY TO MAKE
FURTHER EFFORTS TO REUNIFY THE CHILD OR YOUTH WITH
THE  PARENT.  IF  THE  COURT  FINDS  THAT  FURTHER
EFFORTS ARE APPROPRIATE, SUCH EFFORTS SHALL ENSURE
THAT THE CHILD  OR  YOUTH'S  HEALTH AND SAFETY ARE
PROTECTED AND SUCH  EFFORTS  SHALL BE SPECIFIED BY
THE COURT, INCLUDING  THE  SERVICES TO BE PROVIDED
TO THE PARENT,  WHAT  STEPS THE PARENT MAY TAKE TO
ADDRESS THE PROBLEM  THAT  PREVENTS  THE  CHILD OR
YOUTH FROM SAFELY  REUNITING WITH THE PARENT AND A
TIME PERIOD, NOT  LONGER THAN SIX MONTHS, FOR SUCH
STEPS TO BE ACCOMPLISHED.
    (3) AT SUCH HEARING, THE COURT SHALL APPROVE A
PERMANENCY PLAN THAT  IS  IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF
THE CHILD OR  YOUTH  AND  TAKES INTO CONSIDERATION
THE CHILD OR  YOUTH'S  NEED  FOR  PERMANENCY. SUCH
PERMANENCY  PLAN MAY  INCLUDE  (A)  REVOCATION  OF
COMMITMENT AND PLACEMENT  OF  THE  CHILD  OR YOUTH
WITH  THE PARENT  OR  GUARDIAN,  WITH  OR  WITHOUT
PROTECTIVE SUPERVISION; (B)  PLACING  THE CHILD OR
YOUTH  IN  AN   INDEPENDENT  LIVING  PROGRAM;  (C)
TRANSFER   OF  GUARDIANSHIP;   (D)   APPROVAL   OF
LONG-TERM FOSTER CARE  WITH  AN  IDENTIFIED FOSTER
PARENT;  (E) FILING  OF  TERMINATION  OF  PARENTAL
RIGHTS;  OR  (F)  SUCH  OTHER  APPROPRIATE  ACTION
ORDERED  BY THE  COURT.  THE  COURT  SHALL  EXTEND
COMMITMENT IF EXTENSION  IS  IN THE BEST INTERESTS
OF THE CHILD  OR  YOUTH  FOR  A  PERIOD  OF TWELVE
MONTHS. THE COURT  SHALL  REVOKE  COMMITMENT  IF A
CAUSE FOR COMMITMENT NO LONGER EXISTS AND IT IS IN
THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD OR YOUTH.
    (4) COMMITMENT SHALL  BE  REVOKED BY OPERATION
OF LAW SIXTY  DAYS  AFTER  A  CHILD  OR  YOUTH  IS
REMOVED  FROM  LONG-TERM   FOSTER   CARE   OR   AN
INDEPENDENT LIVING PROGRAM  OR  SIXTY DAYS AFTER A
TERMINATION PETITION IS  DISMISSED  OR A MOTION TO
TRANSFER GUARDIANSHIP IS  DENIED, UNLESS OTHERWISE
ORDERED BY THE COURT.
    [(f)] (l) The  Commissioner  of  Children  and
Families  shall pay  directly  to  the  person  or
persons furnishing goods or services determined by
said commissioner to be necessary for the care and
maintenance of such  child or youth the reasonable
expense thereof, payment  to  be made at intervals
determined   by   said   commissioner;   and   the
Comptroller shall draw his order on the Treasurer,
from  time  to   time,   for   such  part  of  the
appropriation for care  of  committed  children or
youth as may  be  needed  in  order  to enable the
commissioner   to   make   such   payments.   Said
commissioner shall include  in his annual budget a
sum estimated to  be  sufficient  to carry out the
provisions of this  section.  Notwithstanding that
any such child  or youth has income or estate, the
commissioner  may  pay   the   cost  of  care  and
maintenance   of  such   child   or   youth.   The
commissioner may bill  to  and  collect  from  the
person in charge  of  the  estate  of any child or
youth  aided under  this  chapter,  including  his
decedent estate, or  the  payee of such child's or
youth's income, the total amount expended for care
of such child  or youth or such portion thereof as
any such estate or payee is able to reimburse.
    [(g) Any court  by  which a child or youth has
been committed pursuant  to the provisions of this
section may, upon  the application of the attorney
who represented such  child  in a prior or pending
commitment proceeding, an  attorney  appointed  by
the  Superior  Court  on  its  own  motion  or  an
attorney retained by  such  child  after attaining
the  age of  fourteen,  a  parent,  including  any
person   who  acknowledges   before   said   court
paternity of a child or youth born out of wedlock,
or other relative  of  such  child  or  youth, the
selectman  or  any   original   petitioner,  or  a
licensed   child-caring  agency   or   institution
approved   by   the    commissioner,    or    said
commissioner, and while  such  child  or  youth is
under the guardianship  of said commissioner, upon
hearing,   after   reasonable   notice   to   said
commissioner, and, if  said  commissioner made the
application,  after  reasonable   notice  to  such
parent, relative, original  petitioner,  selectman
or  child-caring  agency   or   institution,  upon
finding  that  cause   for  commitment  no  longer
exists, revoke such commitment, and thereupon such
guardianship and all  control of said commissioner
over such child  or  youth  shall  terminate.  The
court may further  revoke  the  commitment  of any
child   or   youth   upon   application   by   the
commissioner or by  the  child  or youth concerned
and  after  reasonable   notice   to  the  parties
affected upon a  finding that such revocation will
be for the best interest and welfare of such child
or  youth. No  hearing  shall  be  held  for  such
reopening  and  termination   of   commitment   or
transfer of commitment more often than once in six
months,  except  upon   the  application  of  said
commissioner.]
    (m) THE COMMISSIONER,  A PARENT OR THE CHILD'S
ATTORNEY MAY FILE A MOTION TO REVOKE A COMMITMENT,
AND, UPON FINDING  THAT  CAUSE  FOR  COMMITMENT NO
LONGER EXISTS, AND  THAT SUCH REVOCATION IS IN THE
BEST INTEREST AND  WELFARE OF SUCH CHILD OR YOUTH,
THE COURT MAY  REVOKE  THE COMMITMENT OF ANY CHILD
OR YOUTH. NO SUCH MOTION SHALL BE FILED MORE OFTEN
THAN ONCE EVERY SIX MONTHS.
    [(h)] (n) Upon service on the parent, guardian
or other person  having  control  of  the child or
youth of any order issued by the court pursuant to
the provisions of subsections (b) and [(d)] (j) of
this section, the  child  or youth concerned shall
be surrendered to the person serving the order who
shall forthwith deliver  the child or youth to the
person, agency, department  or institution awarded
custody in such order. Upon refusal of the parent,
guardian or other  person  having  control  of the
child or youth  to surrender the child or youth as
provided in the  order,  the  court  may  cause  a
warrant to be issued charging the parent, guardian
or other person  having  control  of  the child or
youth  with  contempt  of  court.  If  the  person
arrested is found  in contempt of court, the court
may order such  person  confined  until  he purges
himself of contempt,  but  for  not  more than six
months, or may fine such person not more than five
hundred dollars, or both.
    [(i)] (o) A  foster parent shall have standing
for the purposes of this section in Superior Court
in matters concerning  the placement or revocation
of commitment of  a  foster child living with such
parent. A foster  parent  shall  receive notice of
any [application] MOTION  to  revoke commitment or
any hearing on such [application] MOTION.
    Sec. 6. (NEW) (a) The Commissioner of Children
and Families shall  file  a  petition to terminate
parental rights pursuant to section 17a-112 of the
general statutes, as  amended  by this act, if (1)
the  child  has   been   in  the  custody  of  the
commissioner  for  at  least  fifteen  consecutive
months, or at  least  fifteen  months  during  the
twenty-two  months,  immediately   preceding   the
filing of such  petition;  (2)  the child has been
abandoned as defined  in subsection (c) of section
17a-112 of the  general  statutes,  as  amended by
this act; or (3) a court of competent jurisdiction
has found that  (A) the parent has killed, through
deliberate, nonaccidental act,  a  sibling  of the
child  or has  requested,  commanded,  importuned,
attempted, conspired or  solicited  to  commit the
killing of the child or a sibling of the child; or
(B)  the parent  has  assaulted  the  child  or  a
sibling   of   a    child,   through   deliberate,
nonaccidental act, and  such  assault  resulted in
serious bodily injury to such child.
    (b)   Notwithstanding   the    provisions   of
subsection (a) of  this  section, the commissioner
is not required  to  file  a petition to terminate
parental rights in  such cases if the commissioner
determines that: (1)  The  child  has  been placed
under the care  of  a  relative of such child; (2)
there  is a  compelling  reason  to  believe  that
filing such petition  is not in the best interests
of the child;  or  (3)  the  parent  has  not been
offered the services  contained  in the permanency
plan to reunify  the parent with the child or such
services were not  available,  unless  a court has
determined that efforts to reunify the parent with
the child are not required.
    Sec. 7. (NEW) (a) The Commissioner of Children
and Families may,  at any time, petition the court
for a determination  on whether reasonable efforts
to  reunify  the   parent   with   the  child  are
appropriate. The court  may  determine  that  such
efforts are not appropriate if: (1) The parent has
subjected the child  to  the  following aggravated
circumstances: (A) The child has been abandoned as
defined in subsection  (c)  of  section 17a-112 of
the general statutes,  as  amended by this act; or
(B) the parent has inflicted sexual molestation or
exploitation or severe physical abuse on the child
or engaged in a pattern of abuse of the child; (2)
the  parent  has   killed,   through   deliberate,
nonaccidental act, a  sibling of the child, or has
required,   commanded,   importuned,    attempted,
conspired or solicited  to  commit  the killing of
the  child  or   sibling  of  the  child,  or  has
committed   an   assault,    through   deliberate,
nonaccidental act, that resulted in serious bodily
injury of the child or a sibling of the child; (3)
the parental rights  of  the  parent  to a sibling
have been involuntarily  terminated  within  three
years of the filing of a petition pursuant to this
section,  provided  the   commissioner   has  made
reasonable efforts to  reunify the parent with the
child during a  period of at least ninety days; or
(4)  the  parent  was  convicted  by  a  court  of
competent jurisdiction of sexual assault, except a
conviction of a  violation  of  section  53a-71 or
53a-73a of the  general  statutes resulting in the
conception of the child.
    (b) If the  court determined that such efforts
are not appropriate,  the  court  shall,  at  such
hearing or at a hearing held not later than thirty
days from such determination, approve a permanency
plan  for  such   child   which   may   include  a
requirement that the  commissioner file a petition
to  terminate parental  rights,  long-term  foster
care,    independent    living,     transfer    of
guardianship, or adoption.  The child's health and
safety   shall  be   of   paramount   concern   in
formulating such plan.
    Sec.  8.  Section   17a-112   of  the  general
statutes  is  repealed   and   the   following  is
substituted in lieu thereof:
    (a) In respect  to any child in the custody of
the  Commissioner  of  Children  and  Families  in
accordance with section  46b-129,  AS  AMENDED  BY
THIS ACT, either the commissioner, or the attorney
who represented such  child  in a pending or prior
proceeding,  or  an   attorney  appointed  by  the
Superior Court on  its  own motion, or an attorney
retained by such  child after attaining the age of
fourteen,  may  petition   the   court   for   the
termination of parental  rights  with reference to
such child. The  petition shall be in the form and
contain the information  set  forth  in subsection
(b) of section  45a-715,  and  be  subject  to the
provisions of subsection (c) of said section. If a
petition indicates that  either  or  both  parents
consent  to  the  termination  of  their  parental
rights, or if  at any time following the filing of
a petition and  before  the  entry  of a decree, a
parent consents to the termination of his parental
rights, each consenting  parent  shall acknowledge
such consent on  a  form promulgated by the Office
of the Chief  Court  Administrator evidencing that
the parent has voluntarily and knowingly consented
to the termination  of  his  parental  rights.  No
consent  to  termination  by  a  mother  shall  be
executed  within  forty-eight   hours  immediately
after the birth  of  her  child. A parent who is a
minor  shall  have   the   right   to  consent  to
termination of parental  rights  and  such consent
shall not be  voidable by reason of such minority.
A guardian ad  litem  shall  be  appointed  by the
court to assure  that  such minor parent is giving
an informed and voluntary consent.
    (b)  The  Superior   Court  upon  hearing  and
notice,  as  provided   in  sections  45a-716  and
45a-717, AS AMENDED  BY  THIS  ACT,  may  grant  a
petition for termination  of parental rights based
on consent filed  pursuant  to  this section if it
finds that (1) upon clear and convincing evidence,
the termination is  in  the  best  interest of the
child and (2)  such  parent  has  voluntarily  and
knowingly consented to termination of his parental
rights with respect  to  such  child. If the court
denies  a petition  for  termination  of  parental
rights based on  consent,  it may refer the matter
to an agency to assess the needs of the child, the
care the child  is  receiving  and the plan of the
parent for the  child. Consent for the termination
of the parental  rights  of  one  parent  does not
diminish the parental  rights  of the other parent
of the child, nor does it relieve the other parent
of the duty to support the child.
    (c)  The  Superior  Court,  upon  hearing  and
notice  as  provided   in   sections  45a-716  and
45a-717, AS AMENDED  BY  THIS  ACT,  may  grant  a
petition filed pursuant  to  this  section  if  it
finds by clear  and  convincing  evidence (1) that
the Department of  Children  and Families has made
reasonable efforts to  locate  the  parent  and to
reunify the child  with  the  parent,  unless  the
court finds in  this proceeding that the parent is
unable or unwilling  to benefit from reunification
efforts provided such  finding  is not required if
the court has  determined at a hearing pursuant to
subsection (b) of  section 17a-110 OR SECTION 7 OF
THIS ACT that  such  efforts  are not appropriate,
(2) that termination  is  in  the best interest of
the child, and  (3) that: [over an extended period
of time, which  except  as  provided in subsection
(d) of this  section  shall  not  be less than one
year, provided such  time limit shall not apply to
subparagraph  (e) of  this  subsection:]  (A)  The
child has been  abandoned  by  the  parent  in the
sense that the  parent  has  failed  to maintain a
reasonable   degree  of   interest,   concern   or
responsibility as to the welfare of the child; (B)
the parent of  a  child  who (1) has been found by
the  Superior Court  to  have  been  neglected  or
uncared for in a prior proceeding, OR (2) IS FOUND
TO BE NEGLECTED OR UNCARED FOR AND HAS BEEN IN THE
CUSTODY OF THE  COMMISSIONER  FOR AT LEAST FIFTEEN
MONTHS AND SUCH  PARENT HAS BEEN PROVIDED SPECIFIC
STEPS TO TAKE  TO  FACILITATE  THE  RETURN  OF THE
CHILD TO THE  PARENT  PURSUANT TO SECTION 46b-129,
AS AMENDED BY  THIS ACT, AND has failed to achieve
such degree of  personal  rehabilitation  as would
encourage  the belief  that  within  a  reasonable
time, considering the  age and needs of the child,
such parent could assume a responsible position in
the life of  the  child;  (C)  the  child has been
denied, by reason  of  an  act or acts of parental
commission or omission  INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED
TO,  SEXUAL MOLESTATION  OR  EXPLOITATION,  SEVERE
PHYSICAL ABUSE OR  A  PATTERN  OF ABUSE, the care,
guidance or control  necessary  for  his physical,
educational,   moral  or   emotional   well-being.
Nonaccidental  or inadequately  explained  serious
physical injury to  a child shall constitute prima
facie evidence of  acts  of parental commission or
omission  sufficient  for   the   termination   of
parental rights; (D)  [There]  THERE is no ongoing
parent-child   relationship,   which   means   the
relationship that ordinarily  develops as a result
of a parent  having  met on a day to day basis the
physical, emotional, moral  and  educational needs
of the child  and  to  allow  further time for the
establishment   or   reestablishment    of    such
parent-child relationship would  be detrimental to
the best interest  of  the  child;  [or]  (E)  the
parent of a child under the age of seven years who
is neglected or uncared for, has failed, is unable
or is unwilling to achieve such degree of personal
rehabilitation as would  encourage the belief that
within a reasonable  period  of  time, considering
the age and  needs of the child, such parent could
assume a responsible  position  in the life of the
child and such parent's parental rights of another
child were previously  terminated  pursuant  to  a
petition filed by the Commissioner of Children and
Families;  (F)  THE   PARENT  HAS  KILLED  THROUGH
DELIBERATE, NONACCIDENTAL ACT ANOTHER CHILD OF THE
PARENT OR HAS  REQUESTED,  COMMANDED,  IMPORTUNED,
ATTEMPTED, CONSPIRED OR  SOLICITED SUCH KILLING OR
HAS  COMMITTED  AN  ASSAULT,  THROUGH  DELIBERATE,
NONACCIDENTAL ACT THAT  RESULTED IN SERIOUS BODILY
INJURY OF ANOTHER  CHILD OF THE PARENT; OR (G) THE
PARENT  WAS CONVICTED  BY  A  COURT  OF  COMPETENT
JURISDICTION OF A  SEXUAL ASSAULT RESULTING IN THE
CONCEPTION OF THE CHILD, EXCEPT A CONVICTION FOR A
VIOLATION OF SECTION 53a-71 OR 53a-73a.
    [(d) The court  may waive the requirement that
one  year  expire  prior  to  the  termination  of
parental rights if it finds: (1) From the totality
of the circumstances  surrounding  the  child that
such a waiver  is  necessary  to  promote the best
interest of the  child.  Abandonment  of  a  child
under the age of six months shall constitute prima
facie  evidence that  a  waiver  is  necessary  to
promote the best  interest  of the child, provided
(A)  the parent  has  neither  had  nor  initiated
contact  with  the   child   or  the  guardian  or
caretaker  of  the   child   for  at  least  sixty
consecutive days and  (B)  the  whereabouts of the
parent are unknown,  despite a diligent search for
the  parent by  the  Department  of  Children  and
Families. The department  shall  file an affidavit
indicating the efforts  used to locate the parent;
or (2) the  child  is under seven years of age and
has been in the custody and care of the Department
of Children and Families for at least three months
pursuant to a  commitment  under subsection (d) of
section 46b-129, and the child will be at imminent
risk  of abuse  or  neglect  if  returned  to  the
parent, provided (A)  the  parent has had parental
rights terminated with respect to a sibling of the
child or (B)  a  sibling of the child has suffered
nonaccidental or inadequately explained death as a
result   of   parental   acts   of   omission   or
commission.]
    [(e)] (d) Except in the case where termination
is based on  consent,  in  determining  whether to
terminate parental rights  under this section, the
court  shall  consider   and  shall  make  written
findings regarding: (1) The timeliness, nature and
extent  of services  offered,  provided  and  made
available to the parent and the child by an agency
to facilitate the  reunion  of  the child with the
parent; (2) whether the Department of Children and
Families has made  reasonable  efforts  to reunite
the  family  pursuant   to  the  federal  Adoption
Assistance  and Child  Welfare  Act  of  1980,  as
amended; (3) the  terms  of  any  applicable court
order  entered  into   and   agreed  upon  by  any
individual  or agency  and  the  parent,  and  the
extent to which  all  parties have fulfilled their
obligations under such order; (4) the feelings and
emotional ties of  the  child  with respect to his
parents, any guardian of his person and any person
who  has  exercised   physical  care,  custody  or
control of the  child  for  at  least one year and
with  whom the  child  has  developed  significant
emotional ties; (5)  the age of the child; (6) the
efforts  the  parent   has   made  to  adjust  his
circumstances, conduct, or  conditions  to make it
in the best interest of the child to return him to
his home in the foreseeable future, including, but
not limited to, (A) the extent to which the parent
has maintained contact  with  the child as part of
an effort to  reunite  the  child with the parent,
provided the court  may  give weight to incidental
visitations, communications or  contributions  and
(B)  the  maintenance   of   regular   contact  or
communication with the guardian or other custodian
of the child; and (7) the extent to which a parent
has been prevented  from  maintaining a meaningful
relationship with the  child  by  the unreasonable
act or conduct  of  the other parent of the child,
or the unreasonable  act of any other person or by
the economic circumstances of the parent.
    [(f)]  (e)  Any   petition   brought   by  the
Commissioner  of  Children  and  Families  to  the
Superior  Court, pursuant  to  subsection  (a)  of
section 46b-129, AS  AMENDED  BY  THIS ACT, may be
accompanied by or,  upon motion by the petitioner,
consolidated with a  petition  for  termination of
parental  rights filed  in  accordance  with  this
section with respect  to such child. Notice of the
hearing  on  such  petitions  shall  be  given  in
accordance with sections  45a-716  and 45a-717, AS
AMENDED BY THIS  ACT.  The  Superior  Court, after
hearing,  in accordance  with  the  provisions  of
subsection (b) or  (c)  of  this  section, may, in
lieu of granting  the  petition  filed pursuant to
section 46b-129, AS AMENDED BY THIS ACT, grant the
petition for termination  of  parental  rights  as
provided in section  45a-717,  AS  AMENDED BY THIS
ACT.
    [(g)] (f) Nothing  contained  in  this section
and sections 17a-113,  45a-187,  45a-606, 45a-607,
45a-707 to 45a-709, inclusive, 45a-715 to 45a-718,
inclusive,  45a-724,  45a-725,  45a-727,  45a-733,
45a-754 and 52-231a  shall negate the right of the
Commissioner   of   Children   and   Families   to
subsequently  petition  the   Superior  Court  for
revocation of a  commitment  of a child as to whom
parental rights have been terminated in accordance
with the provisions  of this section. The Superior
Court may appoint  a  statutory parent at any time
after it has  terminated  parental  rights  if the
petitioner so requests.
    [(h)] (g) If  the  parental rights of only one
parent are terminated,  the remaining parent shall
be the sole  parent and, unless otherwise provided
by law, guardian of the person.
    [(i)] (h) In  the  case  where  termination of
parental rights is  granted,  the  guardian of the
person or statutory  parent  shall  report  to the
court within ninety  days  of the date judgment is
entered on a  case plan, as defined by the federal
Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980,
for  the  child.   At   least   every  six  months
thereafter,  such  guardian  or  statutory  parent
shall  make  a   report   to   the  court  on  the
implementation  of  the   plan.  The  court  shall
convene a hearing for the purpose of reviewing the
plan for the  child  no  more  than fifteen months
from the date  judgment  is  entered  and at least
once a year  thereafter  until  such  time  as any
proposed adoption plan has become finalized.
    [(j)] (i) The provisions of this section shall
be liberally construed  in  the  best interests of
any child for  whom  a petition under this section
has been filed.
    Sec.  9.  Section   45a-717   of  the  general
statutes  is  repealed   and   the   following  is
substituted in lieu thereof:
    (a) At the  hearing  held  on any petition for
the termination of  parental  rights  filed in the
Court of Probate  under  section 45a-715, or filed
in the Superior  Court  under  section 17a-112, AS
AMENDED  BY  THIS   ACT,  or  transferred  to  the
Superior Court from  the  Court  of  Probate under
section 45a-715, any  party  to  whom  notice  was
given shall have  the right to appear and be heard
with respect to  the  petition. If a parent who is
consenting to the  termination  of  such  parent's
parental rights appears  at  the  hearing  on  the
petition for termination  of  parental rights, the
court shall explain  to the parent the meaning and
consequences of termination  of  parental  rights.
Nothing in this  subsection  shall be construed to
require the appearance  of  a consenting parent at
the  hearing regarding  the  termination  of  such
parent's  parental  rights   except  as  otherwise
provided by court order.
    (b) If a  party  appears  without counsel, the
court shall inform such party of the party's right
to counsel and  upon  request,  if  he  or  she is
unable to pay  for  counsel, shall appoint counsel
to  represent  such  party.  No  party  may  waive
counsel unless the  court  has first explained the
nature  and  meaning   of   a   petition  for  the
termination  of  parental   rights.   Unless   the
appointment of counsel  is  required under section
46b-136,  the  court   may   appoint   counsel  to
represent or appear  on  behalf  of any child in a
hearing held under this section to speak on behalf
of  the  best  interests  of  the  child.  If  the
respondent  parent  is  unable  to  pay  for  such
respondent's own counsel  or  if  the child or the
parent or guardian  of  the child is unable to pay
for the child's counsel, in the case of a Superior
Court  matter,  the   reasonable  compensation  of
counsel appointed for the respondent parent or the
child shall be established by, and paid from funds
appropriated to, the  Judicial  Department and, in
the case of a Probate Court matter, the reasonable
compensation   of  counsel   appointed   for   the
respondent   parent  or   the   child   shall   be
established by, and  paid  from funds appropriated
to, the Judicial  Department, however, in the case
of a Probate  Court matter, if funds have not been
included in the  budget of the Judicial Department
for  such purposes,  such  compensation  shall  be
established by the Probate Court Administrator and
paid from the Probate Court Administration Fund.
    (c) The court  shall, if a claim for paternity
has  been  filed   in   accordance   with  section
46b-172a,   continue   the   hearing   under   the
provisions of this  section  until  the  claim for
paternity is adjudicated,  provided  the court may
combine the hearing  on  the  claim  for paternity
with the hearing  on  the  termination of parental
rights petition.
    (d) Upon finding at the hearing or at any time
during  the  pendency   of   the   petition   that
reasonable cause exists to warrant an examination,
the court, on  its  own motion or on motion by any
party, may order  the  child  to  be examined at a
suitable place by  a  physician,  psychiatrist  or
licensed clinical psychologist  appointed  by  the
court. The court  may  also order examination of a
parent or custodian whose competency or ability to
care for a child before the court is at issue. The
expenses of any  examination  if  ordered  by  the
court on its  own  motion shall be paid for by the
petitioner or, if  ordered  on  motion by a party,
shall be paid  for by the party moving for such an
examination unless such  party  or  petitioner  is
unable to pay  such  expenses  in which case, they
shall be paid  for  by  funds  appropriated to the
Judicial Department, however,  in  the  case  of a
Probate  Court matter,  if  funds  have  not  been
included in the  budget of the Judicial Department
for  such  purposes,   such   expenses   shall  be
established by the Probate Court Administrator and
paid from the  Probate  Court Administration Fund.
The  court  may   consider   the  results  of  the
examinations  in  ruling  on  the  merits  of  the
petition.
    (e) (1) The  court  may,  and in any contested
case shall, request  the  Commissioner of Children
and Families or  any child-placing agency licensed
by the commissioner  to  make an investigation and
written report to  it, within ninety days from the
receipt of such request. The report shall indicate
the physical, mental  and  emotional status of the
child and shall  contain  such  facts  as  may  be
relevant to the  court's  determination of whether
the proposed termination  of  parental rights will
be in the  best  interests of the child, including
the  physical,  mental,   social   and   financial
condition of the biological parents, and any other
factors   which   the    commissioner    or   such
child-placing agency finds relevant to the court's
determination of whether  the proposed termination
will be in the best interests of the child. (2) If
such  a  report   has  been  requested,  upon  the
expiration  of  such  ninety-day  period  or  upon
receipt of the  report,  whichever is earlier, the
court shall set  a day for a hearing not more than
thirty  days  thereafter.  The  court  shall  give
reasonable notice of such adjourned hearing to all
parties to the first hearing, including the child,
if over fourteen  years  of age, and to such other
persons as the  court  shall deem appropriate. (3)
The  report  shall   be  admissible  in  evidence,
subject to the  right  of  any interested party to
require that the  person  making  it  appear  as a
witness,  if available,  and  subject  himself  to
examination.
    (f) At the adjourned hearing or at the initial
hearing where no investigation and report has been
requested, the court  may  approve  a petition for
termination of parental  rights  based  on consent
filed pursuant to  this  section  terminating  the
parental rights and  may appoint a guardian of the
person  of  the   child,   or  if  the  petitioner
requests,  the  court   may  appoint  a  statutory
parent, if it  finds,  upon  clear  and convincing
evidence that (1)  the  termination is in the best
interest of the  child  and  (2)  such  parent has
voluntarily and knowingly consented to termination
of the parent's  parental  rights  with respect to
such child. If  the  court  denies  a petition for
termination of parental  rights  based on consent,
it may refer the matter to an agency to assess the
needs  of  the   child,  the  care  the  child  is
receiving and the  plan  of  the  parent  for  the
child. Consent for the termination of the parental
right of one parent does not diminish the parental
rights of the  other  parent of the child nor does
it relieve the other parent of the duty to support
the child.
    (g) At the adjourned hearing or at the initial
hearing where no investigation and report has been
requested,  the  court   may  approve  a  petition
terminating the parental  rights and may appoint a
guardian of the  person  of  the child, or, if the
petitioner  requests,  the  court  may  appoint  a
statutory parent, if  it  finds,  upon  clear  and
convincing evidence, that  (1)  the termination is
in the best  interest  of the child, and (2) [over
an extended period  of time, except as provided in
subsection (h) of this section, which shall not be
less than one  year provided such time limit shall
not apply to  subparagraph (E) of this subsection:
(A) The] (A)  THE  child has been abandoned by the
parent in the  sense that the parent has failed to
maintain a reasonable  degree of interest, concern
or responsibility as  to the welfare of the child;
(B) the child has been denied, by reason of an act
or  acts  of   parental  commission  or  omission,
INCLUDING, BUT NOT  LIMITED  TO SEXUAL MOLESTATION
AND  EXPLOITATION,  SEVERE  PHYSICAL  ABUSE  OR  A
PATTERN OF ABUSE,  the  care,  guidance or control
necessary for the  child's  physical, educational,
moral or emotional  well-being.  Nonaccidental  or
inadequately explained serious  physical injury to
a child shall  constitute  prima facie evidence of
acts of parental commission or omission sufficient
for the termination  of parental rights; (C) there
is no ongoing  parent-child  relationship which is
defined  as  the   relationship   that  ordinarily
develops as a  result  of a parent having met on a
continuing,   day-to-day   basis   the   physical,
emotional,  moral and  educational  needs  of  the
child  and  to   allow   further   time   for  the
establishment    or   reestablishment    of    the
parent-child relationship would  be detrimental to
the best interests of the child; (D) the parent of
a child who  (1)  has  been  found by the Superior
Court to have  been  neglected or uncared for in a
prior proceeding, OR  (2) IS FOUND TO BE NEGLECTED
OR UNCARED FOR  AND HAS BEEN IN THE CUSTODY OF THE
COMMISSIONER FOR AT  LEAST FIFTEEN MONTHS AND SUCH
PARENT HAS BEEN PROVIDED SPECIFIC STEPS TO TAKE TO
FACILITATE THE RETURN  OF  THE CHILD TO THE PARENT
PURSUANT TO SECTION  46b-129,  AS  AMENDED BY THIS
ACT, AND has  failed  to  achieve  such  degree of
personal  rehabilitation as  would  encourage  the
belief that within  a reasonable time, considering
the age and  needs of the child, such parent could
assume a responsible  position  in the life of the
child; [or] (E)  the  parent of a child, under the
age of seven  years  who  is  neglected or uncared
for, has failed,  is  unable  or  is  unwilling to
achieve such degree  of personal rehabilitation as
would  encourage  the   belief   that   within   a
reasonable amount of time, considering the age and
needs of the  child,  such  parent  could assume a
responsible position in  the life of the child and
such parent's parental  rights  of  another  child
were previously terminated  pursuant to a petition
filed  by  the   Commissioner   of   Children  and
Families;  (F)  THE   PARENT  HAS  KILLED  THROUGH
DELIBERATE, NONACCIDENTAL ACT ANOTHER CHILD OF THE
PARENT OR HAS  REQUESTED,  COMMANDED,  IMPORTUNED,
ATTEMPTED, CONSPIRED OR  SOLICITED SUCH KILLING OR
HAS  COMMITTED  AN  ASSAULT,  THROUGH  DELIBERATE,
NONACCIDENTAL ACT THAT  RESULTED IN SERIOUS BODILY
INJURY OF ANOTHER  CHILD OF THE PARENT; OR (G) THE
PARENT  WAS CONVICTED  BY  A  COURT  OF  COMPETENT
JURISDICTION  OF  SEXUAL   ASSAULT  EXCEPT  FOR  A
VIOLATION OF SECTION  53a-71  OR 53a-73a RESULTING
IN THE CONCEPTION OF THE CHILD.
    [(h) The court  may waive the time requirement
in subparagraph (A)  of  subsection  (g)  of  this
section if it  finds  from  the  totality  of  the
circumstances surrounding the  child  that  such a
waiver is necessary  to  promote the best interest
of the child. Abandonment of a child under the age
of  six  months   shall   constitute  prima  facie
evidence that a waiver is necessary to promote the
best  interest of  the  child,  provided  (A)  the
parent has neither  had nor initiated contact with
the child or  the  guardian  or  caretaker  of the
child for at  least sixty consecutive days and (B)
the whereabouts of the parent are unknown.]
    [(i)] (h) Except in the case where termination
is based on  consent,  in  determining  whether to
terminate parental rights  under this section, the
court  shall  consider   and  shall  make  written
findings regarding: (1) The timeliness, nature and
extent  of services  offered,  provided  and  made
available  to  the  parent  and  the  child  by  a
child-placing agency to  facilitate the reunion of
the child with  the  parent;  (2) the terms of any
applicable court order  entered  into  and  agreed
upon by any individual or child-placing agency and
the parent, and  the  extent  to which all parties
have fulfilled their obligations under such order;
(3) the feelings  and  emotional ties of the child
with respect to  the child's parents, any guardian
of the child's  person  and  any  person  who  has
exercised physical care, custody or control of the
child for at  least  one  year  and  with whom the
child has developed  significant  emotional  ties;
(4) the age  of  the  child;  (5)  the efforts the
parent   has  made   to   adjust   such   parent's
circumstances, conduct or conditions to make it in
the best interest of the child to return the child
to the parent's  home  in  the foreseeable future,
including, but not  limited  to, (A) the extent to
which the parent  has  maintained contact with the
child as part  of  an  effort to reunite the child
with  the parent,  provided  the  court  may  give
weight to incidental  visitations,  communications
or  contributions  and   (B)  the  maintenance  of
regular contact or communication with the guardian
or other custodian  of  the  child;  and  (6)  the
extent to which  a  parent has been prevented from
maintaining  a meaningful  relationship  with  the
child by the  unreasonable  act  or conduct of the
other parent of the child, or the unreasonable act
of  any  other   person   or   by   the   economic
circumstances of the parent.
    [(j)] (i) If  the  parental rights of only one
parent are terminated,  the remaining parent shall
be sole parent  and,  unless otherwise provided by
law, guardian of the person.
    [(k)] (j) In  the  case  where  termination of
parental rights is  granted,  the  guardian of the
person or statutory  parent  shall  report  to the
court within ninety  days  of the date judgment is
entered on a  case plan, as defined by the federal
Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980,
as amended from  time  to  time, for the child. At
least every six  months  thereafter, such guardian
or statutory parent  shall  make  a  report to the
court on the implementation of the plan. The court
shall  convene  a   hearing  for  the  purpose  of
reviewing the plan  no  more  than  fifteen months
from the date  judgment  is  entered  and at least
once a year  thereafter  until  such  time  as any
proposed adoption plan has become finalized.
    Sec.  10.  Section   17a-75   of  the  general
statutes  is  repealed   and   the   following  is
substituted in lieu thereof:
    For the purposes of sections 17a-75 to 17a-83,
inclusive,  the following  terms  shall  have  the
following meanings: "Business  day"  means  Monday
through Friday except  when  a legal holiday falls
thereon;  "child"  means   any  person  less  than
sixteen years of  age;  "court" means the Superior
Court-Juvenile Matters or  the  Court  of Probate,
unless  either  court   is   specifically  stated;
"hospital for mental  illness  of  children" means
any hospital, which provides, in whole or in part,
diagnostic  or  treatment   services   for  mental
disorders of children,  but  shall not include any
correctional institution of  this  state;  "mental
disorder" means a  mental  or  emotional condition
which has substantial adverse effects on a child's
ability to function so as to jeopardize his or her
health, safety or  welfare  or that of others, and
specifically excludes mental retardation; "parent"
means  parent or  legal  guardian,  including  any
guardian  appointed  under   the   provisions   of
subsection  [(d)]  (i)   of   section  46b-129  or
sections 45a-132, 45a-593  to  45a-597, inclusive,
45a-603 to 45a-622, inclusive, 45a-629 to 45a-638,
inclusive, 45a-707 to  45a-709, inclusive, 45a-715
to  45a-718,  inclusive,   45a-724   to   45a-737,
inclusive, or 45a-743 to 45a-756, inclusive.
    Sec.  11.  Section   17a-90   of  the  general
statutes  is  repealed   and   the   following  is
substituted in lieu thereof:
    (a) The Commissioner  of Children and Families
shall have general supervision over the welfare of
children who require  the  care  and protection of
the state.
    (b) He shall  furnish  protective  services or
provide and pay,  wholly  or in part, for the care
and  protection  of   children  other  than  those
committed by the  Superior  Court whom he finds in
need of such  care  and protection from the state,
and such payments shall be made in accordance with
the provisions of  subsection [(f)] (k) of section
46b-129    provided    the     Commissioner     of
Administrative Services shall  be  responsible for
billing and collecting such sums as are determined
to  be owing  and  due  from  the  parent  of  the
noncommitted  child  in  accordance  with  section
4a-12 and subsection (b) of section 17b-223.
    (c) He shall  issue such regulations as he may
find necessary and  proper  to assure the adequate
care, health and safety of children under his care
and general supervision.
    (d) He may  provide  temporary  emergency care
for any child whom he deems to be in need thereof.
    (e) He may  provide  care  for children in his
guardianship through the  resources of appropriate
voluntary agencies.
    (f)  Whenever  requested   to  do  so  by  the
Superior  Court,  he   shall   provide  protective
supervision to children.
    (g) He may  make  reciprocal  agreements  with
other states and  with  agencies outside the state
in matters relating  to  the  supervision  of  the
welfare of children.
    Sec. 12. Subsection  (b) of section 17a-110 of
the general statutes is repealed and the following
is substituted in lieu thereof:
    (b)  At a  hearing  held  in  accordance  with
[subsection (e) of]  section  46b-129,  the  court
shall determine the  appropriateness of continuing
efforts to reunify a child with his family. If the
court finds that such efforts are not appropriate,
the  Department of  Children  and  Families  shall
within sixty days  of such finding either (1) file
a petition for the termination of parental rights,
(2) file a  motion  to  revoke  the commitment and
vest the custody  and guardianship of the child on
a permanent or  long-term  basis in an appropriate
individual  or  couple,  or  (3)  file  a  written
permanency plan with  the  court  for permanent or
long-term foster care, which plan shall include an
explanation of the reason that neither termination
of parental rights nor custody and guardianship is
appropriate  for  the   child.   The  court  shall
promptly convene a  hearing  for  the  purpose  of
reviewing such written plan.
    Sec.  13.  Section   46b-130  of  the  general
statutes, as amended  by section 106 of public act
97-2 of the  June  18 special session, is repealed
and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:
    The parents of  a minor child for whom care or
support of any  kind  has  been provided under the
provisions of this  chapter,  shall  be  liable to
reimburse the state  for  such  care or support to
the same extent,  and  under  the  same  terms and
conditions as are  the  parents  of  recipients of
public assistance. Upon  receipt  of  foster  care
maintenance  payments  under  Title  IV-E  of  the
Social Security Act by a minor child, the right of
support, present, past,  and  future from a parent
of such child  shall, by this section, be assigned
to  the Commissioner  of  Children  and  Families.
Referral by the  commissioner  shall  promptly  be
made to the  Child Support Enforcement Unit of the
Department  of  Social  Services  for  pursuit  of
support for said  minor  child  in accordance with
the provisions of section 17b-179, AS AMENDED. Any
child  who  reimburses   the   state   under   the
provisions  of subsection  [(f)]  (k)  of  section
46b-129 for any  care or support he received shall
have a right  of  action  to recover such payments
from his parents.
    Sec.  14.  Section   52-212a  of  the  general
statutes  is  repealed   and   the   following  is
substituted in lieu thereof:
    Unless otherwise provided by law and except in
such  cases in  which  the  court  has  continuing
jurisdiction, a civil  judgment or decree rendered
in the Superior  Court  may  not  be opened or set
aside unless a  motion  to  open  or  set aside is
filed within four  months  following  the  date on
which it was  rendered  or  passed. The continuing
jurisdiction conferred on the court in preadoptive
proceedings pursuant to  subsection  [(i)]  (h) of
section  17a-112  does   not   confer   continuing
jurisdiction  on  the   court   for   purposes  of
reopening a judgment  terminating parental rights.
The  parties may  waive  the  provisions  of  this
section or otherwise submit to the jurisdiction of
the  court, provided  the  filing  of  an  amended
petition for termination  of  parental rights does
not constitute a  waiver of the provisions of this
section or a submission to the jurisdiction of the
court to reopen  a  judgment  terminating parental
rights.
    Sec.  15. The  Commissioner  of  Children  and
Families shall study the availability of permanent
placement  of  every  child  or  youth  under  the
supervision of the  department, including, but not
limited to, long-term  foster  care,  transfer  of
guardianship and adoption.  The commissioner shall
report her findings  to the judiciary committee of
the General Assembly  not  later than September 1,
1998.
    Sec.  16.  Section  17a-106a  of  the  general
statutes  is  repealed   and   the   following  is
substituted in lieu thereof:
    (a) The Commissioner of Children and Families,
may AS DEPARTMENT HEAD OF THE LEAD AGENCY, AND THE
APPROPRIATE     STATE'S     ATTORNEY     establish
multidisciplinary  teams  for   the   purpose   of
reviewing particular cases  or particular types of
cases   or   to    coordinate    the   prevention,
intervention  and  treatment   IN   EACH  JUDICIAL
DISTRICT TO REVIEW  SELECTED  CASES of child abuse
or neglect. [in  a particular region of the state.
If  appropriate, the  multidisciplinary  team  may
assess individual cases  and  make recommendations
for treatment and  prevention of abuse or neglect.
The commissioner shall  appoint the members of the
multidisciplinary   team.   Notwithstanding    any
provision of the general statutes, meetings of the
multidisciplinary team may  be  confidential  when
necessary  to protect  the  identity  of  parents,
children or mandated reporters, and members of the
multidisciplinary  team  may   disclose  otherwise
confidential information to  other  members of the
team    who   shall    hold    such    information
confidential.]     THE     PURPOSE     OF     SUCH
MULTIDISCIPLINARY   TEAMS  IS   TO   ADVANCE   AND
COORDINATE THE PROMPT  INVESTIGATION  OF SUSPECTED
CASES OF CHILD  ABUSE  OR  NEGLECT,  TO REDUCE THE
TRAUMA OF ANY  CHILD  VICTIM  AND  TO  ENSURE  THE
PROTECTION AND TREATMENT OF THE CHILD. THE HEAD OF
THE LOCAL LAW  ENFORCEMENT  AGENCY OR HIS DESIGNEE
MAY REQUEST THE  ASSISTANCE  OF  THE  DIVISION  OF
STATE  POLICE  WITHIN  THE  DEPARTMENT  OF  PUBLIC
SAFETY FOR SUCH PURPOSES.
    (b) EACH MULTIDISCIPLINARY  TEAM SHALL CONSIST
OF AT LEAST  ONE  REPRESENTATIVE  OF  EACH  OF THE
FOLLOWING:  (1)  THE   STATE'S   ATTORNEY  OF  THE
JUDICIAL DISTRICT OF  THE  TEAM,  OR HIS DESIGNEE;
(2) THE COMMISSIONER  OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES, OR
HIS DESIGNEE; (3)  THE  HEAD OF THE LOCAL OR STATE
LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES,  OR  HIS DESIGNEE; (4) A
HEALTH   CARE   PROFESSIONAL    WITH   SUBSTANTIAL
EXPERIENCE  IN  THE  DIAGNOSIS  AND  TREATMENT  OF
ABUSED  OR  NEGLECTED   CHILDREN,   WHO  SHALL  BE
DESIGNATED BY THE  TEAM  MEMBERS;  (5)  A  MEMBER,
WHERE APPROPRIATE, OF  A YOUTH SERVICE BUREAU; (6)
A  MENTAL  HEALTH  PROFESSIONAL  WITH  SUBSTANTIAL
EXPERIENCE IN THE TREATMENT OF ABUSED OR NEGLECTED
CHILDREN, WHO SHALL  BE  DESIGNATED  BY  THE  TEAM
MEMBERS; AND (7)  ANY OTHER APPROPRIATE INDIVIDUAL
WITH EXPERTISE IN THE WELFARE OF CHILDREN THAT THE
MEMBERS OF THE  TEAM  DEEM  NECESSARY.  EACH  TEAM
SHALL SELECT A  CHAIRPERSON.  A  TEAM  MAY  INVITE
EXPERTS TO PARTICIPATE  IN  THE REVIEW OF ANY CASE
AND  MAY  INVITE   ANY   OTHER   INDIVIDUAL   WITH
PARTICULAR  INFORMATION GERMANE  TO  THE  CASE  TO
PARTICIPATE IN SUCH REVIEW, PROVIDED THE EXPERT OR
INDIVIDUAL  SHALL HAVE  THE  SAME  PROTECTION  AND
OBLIGATIONS UNDER SUBSECTIONS  (f) AND (g) OF THIS
SECTION AS MEMBERS OF THE TEAM.
    (c) THE GOVERNOR'S  TASK FORCE FOR JUSTICE FOR
ABUSED   CHILDREN,   THROUGH    THE   SUBCOMMITTEE
COMPRISED OF INDIVIDUALS  WITH  EXPERTISE  IN  THE
INVESTIGATION OF CHILD  ABUSE  AND NEGLECT, SHALL:
(1) ESTABLISH AND  MODIFY STANDARDS TO BE OBSERVED
BY MULTIDISCIPLINARY TEAMS;  (2)  REVIEW PROTOCOLS
OF THE MULTIDISCIPLINARY  TEAMS;  AND  (3) MONITOR
AND  EVALUATE  MULTIDISCIPLINARY  TEAMS  AND  MAKE
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR MODIFICATIONS TO THE SYSTEM OF
MULTIDISCIPLINARY TEAMS.
    (d) ALL CRIMINAL  INVESTIGATIVE  WORK  OF  THE
MULTIDISCIPLINARY  TEAMS SHALL  BE  UNDERTAKEN  BY
MEMBERS  OF  THE  TEAM  WHO  ARE  LAW  ENFORCEMENT
OFFICERS AND ALL  CHILD  PROTECTION  INVESTIGATIVE
WORK OF THE  TEAMS  SHALL BE UNDERTAKEN BY MEMBERS
OF  THE  TEAM  WHO  REPRESENT  THE  DEPARTMENT  OF
CHILDREN AND FAMILIES, PROVIDED REPRESENTATIVES OF
THE DEPARTMENT MAY  COORDINATE  ALL  INVESTIGATIVE
WORK AND RELY  UPON  INFORMATION  GENERATED BY THE
TEAM. THE PROTOCOLS,  PROCEDURES  AND STANDARDS OF
THE MULTIDISCIPLINARY TEAMS  SHALL  NOT  SUPERSEDE
THE PROTOCOLS, PROCEDURES  AND  STANDARDS  OF  THE
AGENCIES WHO ARE ON THE MULTIDISCIPLINARY TEAM.
    (e)  EACH MULTIDISCIPLINARY  TEAM  SHALL  HAVE
ACCESS TO AND  MAY  COPY  ANY  RECORD, TRANSCRIPT,
DOCUMENT, PHOTOGRAPH OR  OTHER  DATA PERTAINING TO
AN ALLEGED CHILD  VICTIM  WITHIN THE POSSESSION OF
THE  DEPARTMENT  OF  CHILDREN  AND  FAMILIES,  ANY
PUBLIC OR PRIVATE  MEDICAL  FACILITY OR ANY PUBLIC
OR PRIVATE HEALTH  PROFESSIONAL  PROVIDED,  IN THE
CASE OF CONFIDENTIAL  INFORMATION, THE COORDINATOR
OF  THE TEAM,  OR  HIS  DESIGNEE,  IDENTIFIES  THE
RECORD IN WRITING  AND CERTIFIES, UNDER OATH, THAT
THE  RECORD SOUGHT  IS  NECESSARY  TO  INVESTIGATE
CHILD ABUSE OR  NEGLECT  AND  THAT  THE  TEAM WILL
MAINTAIN THE RECORD AS CONFIDENTIAL. NO PERSON WHO
PROVIDES ACCESS TO  OR  COPIES OF SUCH RECORD UPON
DELIVERY OF CERTIFICATION UNDER THIS SECTION SHALL
BE LIABLE TO  ANY THIRD PARTY FOR SUCH ACTION. THE
MULTIDISCIPLINARY TEAM SHALL NOT BE DEEMED TO BE A
PUBLIC AGENCY UNDER  THE  FREEDOM  OF  INFORMATION
ACT.
    (f)  NO  PERSON   SHALL  DISCLOSE  INFORMATION
OBTAINED FROM A  MEETING  OF THE MULTIDISCIPLINARY
TEAM WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF THE PARTICIPANT OF THE
MEETING  WHO  PROVIDED   SUCH  INFORMATION  UNLESS
DISCLOSURE IS ORDERED  BY  A  COURT  OF  COMPETENT
JURISDICTION OR IS  NECESSARY  TO  COMPLY WITH THE
PROVISIONS OF THE  CONSTITUTION  OF  THE  STATE OF
CONNECTICUT.
    (g) EACH MULTIDISCIPLINARY TEAM SHALL MAINTAIN
RECORDS  OF MEETINGS  THAT  INCLUDE  BUT  ARE  NOT
LIMITED TO THE  NAME  OF  THE  ALLEGED  VICTIM AND
PERPETRATOR,  THE NAMES  OF  THE  MEMBERS  OF  THE
MULTIDISCIPLINARY TEAM AND  THEIR  POSITIONS,  THE
DECISION  OR  RECOMMENDATION   OF  THE  TEAM,  ALL
INFORMATION  REQUIRED TO  RENDER  A  DECISION  AND
SUPPORT SERVICES PROVIDED.  SUCH INFORMATION SHALL
BE  PROVIDED TO  ALL  COUNSEL  OF  RECORD  IN  ANY
PROCEEDING  TO GAIN  ACCESS  TO  SUCH  RECORDS  OR
TESTIMONY  CONCERNING  MATTERS   DISCUSSED   AT  A
MEETING, THE PRIVILEGES FROM DISCLOSURE APPLICABLE
TO  THE  INFORMATION   PROVIDED  BY  EACH  OF  THE
PARTICIPANTS AT THE  MEETING  SHALL  APPLY  TO ALL
PARTICIPANTS.
    Sec.  17. (NEW)  There  shall  be  within  the
Division of State  Police within the Department of
Public  Safety a  child  abuse  and  neglect  unit
which, within available  resources,  shall  (1) at
the  request  of   the   head  of  the  local  law
enforcement agency, or  his  designee, assist such
team in the  investigation  of  a  report of child
abuse or neglect, (2) investigate reports of crime
involving child abuse or neglect in municipalities
in which there  is  no organized police force, and
(3) participate in  a  mutual support network that
shares information and collaborates with local law
enforcement agencies.
    Sec. 18. This  act  shall  take effect July 1,
1998, except that sections 5, 10 to 13, inclusive,
16 and 17 shall take effect October 1, 1998.

Approved June 8, 1998