OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 1044 (File 811, as amended by Senate "A")*

AN ACT REQUIRING THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES TO BE NOTIFIED WHEN A YOUTH IS ARRESTED FOR PROSTITUTION.

SUMMARY:

This bill requires a police officer who arrests a 16- or 17-year-old on prostitution charges to report suspected child abuse or neglect to the Department of Children and Families (DCF).

The bill also requires the court to make certain findings of compliance with the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) in connection with (1) an out-of-state adoption when terminating parental rights or (2) an out-of-state placement after committing a child to DCF in neglect and abuse cases.

*Senate Amendment “A” adds the requirement for the court's finding of compliance with the ICPC in cases of termination of parental rights or commitment to DCF for placement.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2011

ARREST ON PROSTITUTION CHARGES

When a 16- or 17-year-old is arrested on prostitution charges, the bill requires the police officer to report to DCF in accordance with the child abuse reporting law, which outlines report contents and imposes filing deadlines. By law, a police officer is a mandated reporter who must report to DCF suspected child abuse or neglect and is subject to penalties for failure to do so.

Under the bill's requirement for a report on a prostitution arrest, an officer must make an oral report as soon as practicable, but within 12 hours (presumably of the arrest), and a written report within 48 hours after making the oral report.

COURT FINDINGS REGARDING CHILD PLACEMENT

Under the bill, before a Court of Probate or Superior Court places or approves a child for adoption outside the state or Superior Court commits an abused or neglected child to DCF, the court must find that the placement complies with the ICPC (see BACKGROUND). In either case, the court's findings must include:

1. a finding that the state has received written notice from the receiving state that the proposed placement does not appear to be contrary to the child's interests,

2. the court has reviewed this notice,

3. whether the receiving state has completed the home study the compact requires or another home study, and

4. whether the receiving state's study supports the placement.

BACKGROUND

Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children

The ICPC governs placement of children into and out of Connecticut for adoption, foster care, and residence with relatives after court action. Its purpose is to facilitate home studies in the receiving state before placement and supervision after placement.

Under Article III (d) of the compact, “[t]he child shall not be sent, brought, or caused to be sent or brought into the receiving state until the appropriate public authorities in the receiving state shall notify the sending agency, in writing, to the effect that the proposed placement does not appear to be contrary to the interests of the child” (CGS 17a-175).

Legislative History

On May 5, the Senate referred the bill (File 640) to the Human Services Committee, which reported a substitute bill that adds, by reference, a process for making the report of abuse or neglect that includes specific deadlines. It also broadens the standard for reporting abuse and neglect from an allegation to the officer's suspicion in order to more closely conform to the requirements of the mandated reporter law, which already covers police officers.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Select Committee on Children

Joint Favorable Substitute Change of Reference

Yea

12

Nay

0

(03/03/2011)

Judiciary Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

44

Nay

0

(04/12/2011)

Human Services Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

17

Nay

0

(05/10/2011)