November 14, 2008
OUT-OF-STATE CHILDREN IN DCF'S CARE
By: Ryan F. O'Neil, Research Assistant
You asked (1) how many children in Department of Children and Families (DCF) care have been placed in out-of-state facilities, (2) why they are out of state, and (3) if the facilities they are in are licensed to care for the specific needs of those children.
A total of 331 children were placed out-of-state as of September 1, 2008, according to DCF. Of those, 268 are child protective services (CPS) cases, 52 are juvenile justice (JJ) cases and 11 are dually committed (CPS and JJ). Two hundred forty-five (245) of the 331 children (74%) have been placed in another New England state — 78% of the CPS cases and 67% of the JJ cases.
DCF states the predominant reasons for sending youth out of state are:
1. mental retardation and/or autistic spectrum disorders,
2. problem sexual behavior,
3. fire-setting, and
4. aggressive behavior that requires treatment Connecticut providers cannot provide due to its severity.
DCF does not license out-of-state facilities. However, it requires the facilities be licensed by the appropriate agency in that state. DCF staff reviews out-of-state facilities before placing children and again during the placement.