Committee on Children

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

SB-396

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING THE CHILD FATALITY REVIEW PANEL.

Vote Date:

3/2/2017

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:

2/7/2017

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Introduced by Committee on Children

Sen. Leonard A. Fasano, 34th Dist.

REASONS FOR BILL:

To increase the independence and transparency of the child fatality review process.

***Substitute language as contained in LCO # 4810, expands Section 1(d)(2) to include all state agencies and in Section 1(f) directs the response of said agencies to be submitted to the Committee on Children.***

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Sarah Eagan, Child Advocate, State of Connecticut Office of the Child Advocate:

Testified in support of this bill. Supports proposed legislation that will enhance the state's/OCA's capacity to produce publicly-available information regarding the efficacy of taxpayer-funded systems that prevent and respond to child abuse/neglect, critical injuries and deaths of children.

Joette Katz, Commissioner, Department of Children and Families:

DCF questions the need for this legislation, given the existing Child Fatality Review Panel, the multidisciplinary perspective of which would be lost if OCA had sole responsibility. Why single out DCF children and ignore the death of a child receiving state services under the Judicial Branch, DOC, OEC, or any other agency.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Sen. Len Fasano, Rep. Robyn Porter, Rep. Toni Walker:

There is no obligation of state government more critical than protecting its most vulnerable children. The bill would begin to address the areas of concern and are intended to help DCF build upon the progress it has made.

Kevin Hall, Citizens Commission on Human Rights:

With 18% of DCF children on antipsychotics, 13.5% on antidepressants, and about 22% on ADHD drugs, we need to see and evaluate the harm and death to children being needlessly caused.

Christopher M. Seery:

I strongly encourage the Committee on Children to support this piece of legislation. As stated earlier, this bill is a first step in reforming a troubled agency.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

Sheila Matthews, Ablechild:

Suggest reviewing this bill and funding the Program Review Committee that was defunded within the legislative branch. Wants an audit from the General Accounting agency of Connecticut conducted on DCF before any restructure occurs.

Patricia Sabato:

Believes this bill already exists and is not working. Has first hand documented experience with the DCF system and strongly believes there is a lack of rights regarding mental health treatment.

Reported by: Joyce Turner, Assistant Clerk

Alessandra Burgett, Clerk

Date: 03/03/17