OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 396

AN ACT CONCERNING THE CHILD FATALITY REVIEW PANEL.

SUMMARY

This bill requires the child advocate to chair the Child Fatality Review Panel (CFRP), rather than the panel to elect a chairperson. (In practice, the child advocate has co-chaired the panel since March 2012.) It eliminates the option for a designee to serve on the panel in her place.

By law, the panel must review the circumstances of the death of any child under age 18 (1) from unexpected or unexplained causes or (2) placed in out-of-home care.

Current law requires the panel to annually report to the governor and General Assembly on findings and recommendations from its review of child fatalities for the preceding year. The bill instead requires the panel, starting by June 30, 2018, to annually issue to the governor and Children's Committee a report that includes (1) a review of child fatalities for the preceding year and (2) an assessment of the adequacy of (a) state agencies' policies and practices to prevent child fatalities and (b) compliance by the agencies' personnel with those policies and practices. Within four weeks of issuing the report, the bill requires the panel, in coordination with each agency identified in the report and the Children's Committee, to present the report at an informational forum.

The bill specifies that the child advocate must conduct an in-depth investigation and review of a child's death or critical incident at the request of the Children's Committee, instead of at the request of the General Assembly. By law, the child advocate must also conduct such investigations and reviews at the request of the governor or two-thirds of the CFRP panel members. She may also do so at her discretion.

Under current law, agencies identified in a report issued by the child advocate related to a child's death or critical incident must submit a written response to the General Assembly within 90 days of receiving the report. The bill (1) instead requires the agencies to submit the response to the Children's Committee and (2) makes a conforming change.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2017

COMMITTEE ACTION

Committee on Children

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

13

Nay

0

(03/02/2017)