OLR Bill Analysis
AN ACT CONCERNING NOTICE OF INVESTIGATIONS BY THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES.
This bill requires the Department of Children and Families (DCF), when (1) opening a child abuse or neglect investigation and (2) it is in the child's best interests, to notify both the child's guardian and parents (including the noncustodial parent if they are living apart or DCF has taken custody of the child). DCF may not provide this notice if it has reasonable grounds to believe that doing so would interfere with a criminal investigation or endanger someone.
The notice must:
1. state the abuse or neglect allegation;
2. inform the recipient that DCF, if the law allows, may remove the child from the custodial parent's care;
3. be provided verbally within two business days, and in writing within five business days, after DCF opens the investigation;
4. within all reasonably employed DCF efforts, be in English or the recipient's principal language, if known;
5. indicate the availability of DCF services, such as child care subsidies and emergency shelter; and
6. include Office of Victim Services programs and information on obtaining a restraining order.
If mailed, the notice must be delivered by certified mail, with return receipt requested. If DCF delivers the notice in person, it must obtain the recipient's written acknowledgment.
By law, DCF must provide a similar notice to these adults within 10 days of substantiating child abuse or neglect if it is in the child's best interest to do so.
The bill also makes technical changes.
EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2013
Human Services Committee
Joint Favorable Substitute