OLR Bill Analysis

SB 72

AN ACT CONCERNING A NOTIFICATION OF SUPPORT FOR FOSTER PARENTS AND RELATIVE CAREGIVERS.

SUMMARY:

This bill requires the Department of Children and Families (DCF), by January 1, 2017, to develop a form informing foster parents and relative caregivers of the support they may receive from the department. Starting January 1, 2017, the department must provide the form to foster parents and relative caregivers when it places a child with them and on request. The bill does not create or permit a cause of action for a violation of any of its provisions.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2016

NOTIFICATION OF SUPPORT

The DCF form (“notification of support”) must inform foster parents and relative caregivers of the following support and services they may receive from DCF, as well as actions they may take as parents and relative caregivers, with regard to children in their care. These include, to:

1. be a member of the child's placement and treatment teams and be notified of, and included in, DCF meetings concerning the child;

2. communicate with the child's social worker regarding the child's domestic, social, educational, medical, and mental health needs;

3. be timely notified of all court hearings and administrative case review meetings, including permanency hearings and hearings on motions to revoke commitment of a child in the care of the foster parent or relative caregiver;

4. receive information, support, and guidance from professional service providers, including referrals to other professionals regarding the child and assistance in identifying and obtaining services;

5. receive open and timely responses to requests for information or services related to the care of the child, including access to a regional office on-call system and careline numbers to enable the foster parent or relative caregiver to contact professional staff after normal business hours;

6. have access to records of the domestic, social, educational, medical, and mental health needs of a child placed or considered for placement with the foster parent or relative caregiver, provided information identifying the child's birth parents is not disclosed without such parent's permission;

7. receive information on DCF policies on the roles and responsibilities of a foster parent or relative caregiver;

8. receive appropriate training and support to enhance the relevant skills of the foster parent or relative caregiver to meet any post-licensing training requirements;

9. express concerns about a child's treatment plan, advocate for services on the child's behalf, refuse to accept a child for placement, or request a child's removal for good cause;

10. communicate with a child's former foster parent, prospective adoptive parent, relative caregiver, or birth parent without risk of DCF retaliation;

11. seek help in navigating DCF's problem resolution process described in its Foster Parent and Adoptive Parent Handbook (the Foster Care Manual on the DCF website);

12. receive a copy of the notification of support when a child is placed and subsequently on request; and

13. expect to receive information to meet the child's immediate needs no later than 24 hours after a foster parent or relative caregiver accepts an emergency placement, or if such information is not immediately available, no later than 30 days after placement.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Committee on Children

Joint Favorable

Yea

11

Nay

0

(02/25/2016)