Public Health Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-5456

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEPARTMENT OF DEVELOPMENTAL SERVICES ABUSE AND NEGLECT REGISTRY.

Vote Date:

3/27/2014

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:

3/5/2014

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Public Health Committee

REASONS FOR BILL:

This bill will make the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) abuse and neglect registry information available to organizations that recruit volunteers to support programs for persons with autism spectrum disorder and to make technical changes.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Dr. Terrence W. Macy, Commissioner, Department of Developmental Service (DDS): Dr. Macy submitted testimony on behalf of the Department of Developmental Service (DDS) in support of HB 5456. The bill makes more accurate references to whose name is being placed on the DDS Abuse and Neglect Registry. It specifies the persons whose names appear on the registry are “former” employees who have been terminated from their employment because of substantiated abuse or neglect of an individual receiving services or funding from the Department of Developmental Services. The bill also specifies that those employees who work with individuals with autism spectrum disorder receiving services from the department's Division of Autism Spectrum Services are also covered under the provisions of the DDS Abuse and Neglect Registry statues.

The DDS Abuse and Neglect Registry is maintained by the department for the purpose of allowing DDS and its provider agencies, the Department of Children and Families (DCF), the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS), and charitable organizations which recruit volunteers to work with persons who have intellectual disability to check to see if a potential employee or volunteer has been placed on the Registry because of a substantiation of abuse and neglect. The Registry provides a safeguard that could prevent employees terminated for abuse or neglect from getting re-employed working with persons with intellectual disability or other persons who may be at increased risk of abuse or neglect. The DDS Abuse and Neglect Registry does provide procedural rights for employees to challenge the placement of their name on the Registry.

The substantiation of abuse and neglect is done through the investigative processes of the Office of Protection and Advocacy (OPA), as well as those of DCF and the Department of Social Services (DSS) in collaboration with DDS's Division of Investigations. These investigations of abuse and neglect may lead to criminal charges against an employee but a substantiation of abuse and neglect can also lead to administrative sanctions up to and including termination of employment and placement of former employee's name on the DDS Abuse and Neglect Registry.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

None

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

None

Reported by: Francesco Sandillo

Date: 3/28/14