OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5257

AN ACT CONCERNING REPORTS OF ABUSE OR NEGLECT OF PERSONS WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY OR AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER.

SUMMARY

This bill reduces, from 72 to 48 hours, the amount of time a mandated reporter (see BACKGROUND) has to report the suspected abuse or neglect of a person (1) with an intellectual disability or (2) served by the Department of Social Services' (DSS) Division of Autism Spectrum Disorder Services. Current law requires mandated reporters to make such reports to the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) commissioner. The bill allows them to also report to his designee.

Existing law, unchanged by the bill, imposes a fine of up to $500 on anyone who violates the reporting requirement. Under the bill, an unsuccessful attempt to make an initial report to the commissioner, or his designee, on a weekend or after normal business hours is not a violation if the mandated reporter makes reasonable attempts, including by phone, email, or in person, to reach the commissioner or his designee as soon as practicable after the initial attempt.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2018

BACKGROUND

Mandated Reporters

By law, mandated reporters of neglect and abuse of people with intellectual disabilities or served by the DSS' Division of Autism Spectrum Disorder Services include, among others:

1. health professionals (e.g., resident physicians or interns in any hospital in the state, physician assistants, licensed practical nurses, and registered nurses);

2. mental health workers (e.g., psychologists, social workers, mental health professionals, licensed marital and family therapists);

3. certain people working in schools (e.g., school teachers, principals, guidance counselors, and paraprofessionals);

4. police officers; and

5. anyone paid to care for people in a facility.

Related Bill

SB 186, favorably reported by the Education Committee, adds school counselors as mandated reporters of abuse and neglect for individuals with intellectual disabilities or served by the DSS' Division of Autism Spectrum Disorder Services.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Human Services Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

19

Nay

0

(03/22/2018)