Drawing of State Library BuildingConnecticut State Library Home

Connecticut Public Acts 1996

Previous Page TOC Next Page Public Acts Listings


Substitute Senate Bill No. 404

PUBLIC ACT NO. 96-246

AN ACT CONCERNING THE REPORTING, INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION OF CHILD ABUSE AND THE TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 17a-101 of the general statutes, as amended by public act 95-103 and section 7 of public act 95-289, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) The public policy of this state is: To protect children whose health and welfare may be adversely affected through injury and neglect; to strengthen the family and to make the home safe for children by enhancing the parental capacity for good child care; to provide a temporary or permanent nurturing and safe environment for children when necessary; and for these purposes to require the reporting of suspected child abuse, investigation of such reports by a social agency, and provision of services, where needed, to such child and family.

(b) THE FOLLOWING PERSONS SHALL BE MANDATED REPORTERS: Any physician or surgeon licensed under the provisions of chapter 370 or 371, any resident physician or intern in any hospital in this state, whether or not so licensed, and any registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, medical examiner, dentist, dental hygienist, psychologist, school teacher, school principal, school guidance counselor, school paraprofessional, social worker, police officer, clergyman, pharmacist, physical therapist, osteopath, optometrist, chiropractor, podiatrist, mental health professional or physician assistant, any person who is a licensed substance abuse counselor, any person who is a licensed marital and family therapist, any person who is a sexual assault counselor or a battered women's counselor as defined in section 52-146k or any person paid [for caring for children in a day care center who has reasonable cause to suspect or believe that any child under the age of eighteen has had physical injury or injuries inflicted upon him by a person responsible for such child's or youth's health, welfare or care, by a person given access to such child by such responsible person, or by a school employee other than by accidental means or has injuries which are at variance with the history given of them, or is in a condition which is the result of maltreatment such as, but not limited to, malnutrition, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, deprivation of necessities, emotional maltreatment, or cruel punishment, or has been neglected as defined by section 46b-120 shall report or cause a report to be made in accordance with the provisions of subsection (c) of this section, except that if a member of a school staff who is required to report under the provisions of this section has reasonable cause to suspect or believe that any such child has had such injuries inflicted upon him by a school employee, the member of the school staff shall report the information which is to be included in the report described in said subsection (c) to the superintendent of the school district or supervisory agent of the nonpublic school in which the school employee is employed and such superintendent or supervisory agent shall immediately notify the child's parent or other person responsible for the child's care that a member of the school staff has made such a report and shall report or cause a report to be made in accordance with the provisions of said subsection (c). When the attendance of the person who has such reasonable cause to suspect abuse with respect to such child is pursuant to the performance of services as a member of the staff of a hospital, school, social welfare agency or any other institution, such person shall notify the person in charge of such institution, or his designated agent, that such report has been made. Any person required to report under the provisions of this section who fails to make such report shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars] TO CARE FOR A CHILD IN ANY PUBLIC OR PRIVATE FACILITY, DAY CARE CENTER OR FAMILY DAY CARE HOME WHICH IS LICENSED BY THE STATE.

[(c) An oral report shall be made immediately by telephone or otherwise, to the state Commissioner of Children and Families or his representative, or the local police department or the state police to be followed within seventy-two hours by a written report to the Commissioner of Children and Families or his representative, except that if a school employee is suspected or believed to be responsible for the injuries or maltreatment, the superintendent or supervisory agent shall immediately make an oral report by telephone or otherwise to the state Commissioner of Children and Families, or his representative, and the local police department or the state police to be followed within seventy-two hours by a written report to the Commissioner of Children and Families, or his representative, the local police department or state police and, in the case of a report concerning a certified school employee, the Commissioner of Education, or his representative. The Commissioner of Children and Families or his designee shall notify the local police department or state police within twenty-four hours of receiving an oral report alleging serious physical abuse or sexual abuse of a child. A local police department or the state police shall notify the Commissioner of Children and Families or his designee within twenty-four hours of receiving an oral report alleging serious physical abuse or sexual abuse of a child. Such report shall contain the names and addresses of the child and his parents or other person responsible for his care, if known, the age of the child, the nature and extent of his injuries, together with any evidence of previous injury or maltreatment to the child or his siblings, the name of the school employee if a school employee is suspected or believed to be responsible for the injuries or maltreatment and any other information which the reporter believes might be helpful in establishing the cause of the injury or injuries and protecting the child.

(d) Any physician examining a child with respect to whom abuse is suspected shall, after reasonable attempts to advise the parents, guardian or other person having responsibility for the care of the child that he suspects the child has been abused, have the right to keep such child in the custody of a hospital for no longer than ninety-six hours, and may perform diagnostic tests and procedures necessary to the detection of child abuse with or without the consent of his parents, guardian or other person having responsibility for his care, pending the study of the family and home by the welfare agency concerned or the filing of a petition to the Superior Court. The expenses for such temporary care and such diagnostic tests and procedures shall be paid by the parents or guardian of such child or, if they are unable to pay, by the Commissioner of Children and Families.

(e) Agencies or institutions receiving reports of child abuse as provided in this section shall, within twenty-four hours, transfer such information to the Commissioner of Children and Families or his agent, who shall cause the report to be investigated immediately, except that if the report concerns a school employee who is suspected or believed to be responsible for the injuries or maltreatment, the superintendent or supervisory agent, with the assistance of the Department of Children and Families, if requested by the superintendent or supervisory agent, and the local police department or state police shall immediately investigate the report. If the investigation produces evidence that the child has been abused in the manner described in subsection (b), he shall take such measures as he deems necessary to protect the child, and any other children similarly situated, including but not limited to: (1) Immediate notification by the Commissioner of Children and Families or his designee of the appropriate law enforcement agency or agencies; (2) the removal of the child or children from his home with the consent of his or their parents or guardian or by order of the Superior Court; and (3) if an investigation by a superintendent or supervisory agent produces evidence that a child has been abused by a school employee, the superintendent or supervisory agent shall immediately notify the child's parent or other person responsible for the child's care, the local police department or state police, the Commissioner of Children and Families, or his representative, and, in the case of an investigation of a certified school employee, the Commissioner of Education, or his representative, and if an investigation by a local police department or state police produces evidence that a child has been so abused, such department or state police shall immediately notify the child's parent or other person responsible for the child's care and the superintendent of the school district or the supervisory agent of the nonpublic school in which the school employee is employed and, in the case of an investigation of a certified school employee, said superintendent shall immediately notify the Commissioner of Education, or his representative. Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes to the contrary, whenever an investigation pursuant to this subsection produces evidence that a child has been abused by a certified public school employee in a position requiring a certificate, the superintendent may suspend such school employee. Such suspension shall be with pay and shall not result in the diminution or termination of benefits to such employee. Within seventy-two hours after such suspension the superintendent shall notify the local or regional board of education and the Commissioner of Education, or his representative, of the reasons for and conditions of the suspension. Any decision by the superintendent concerning such suspension shall remain in effect until the board of education acts pursuant to the provisions of section 10-151. If the contract of employment of a certified school employee is terminated as a result of an investigation pursuant to this subsection, the superintendent shall notify the Commissioner of Education, or his representative, within seventy-two hours after such termination. Upon receipt of any report required pursuant to this section, the Commissioner of Education may commence certification revocation proceedings pursuant to the provisions of subsection (m) of section 10-145b. Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 1-19 and 1-19a, information contained in reports received by the Commissioner of Education, or his representative, pursuant to this section shall be confidential subject to regulations adopted by the State Board of Education under section 10-145g. If the Commissioner of Children and Families or his designee, after such investigation, has probable cause to believe that the child is suffering from serious physical illness or serious physical injury or is in immediate physical danger from his surroundings, and that immediate removal from such surroundings is necessary to insure the child's safety, the commissioner, or his designee, may authorize any employee of his department or any law enforcement officer to remove the child from such surroundings without the consent of the child's parent or guardian. During such period of temporary custody, the commissioner or his designee may provide the child with all necessary care, including medical care, which may include an examination by a physician with or without the consent of the child's parents, guardian or other person responsible for the child's care. During the course of such an examination, a physician may perform diagnostic tests and procedures necessary to the detection of child abuse. Such removal and temporary custody shall not exceed ninety-six hours during which time either a petition shall be filed with the Superior Court or the child shall be returned to his parent or guardian. If the commissioner determines that there are grounds to believe the child may be properly cared for in his own home, the parents or guardian, as the case may be, shall be aided to give such proper care under the supervision of the commissioner. Such supervised custody may be terminated when the commissioner finds a safe environment has been provided the child; but if the commissioner, after a reasonable time, finds this condition cannot be achieved in the child's own home under such supervision, he may petition the Superior Court for commitment of the child.

(f) In proceedings in the Superior Court under this section, (1) the court may order the child, the parents, the guardian, or other persons accused by a competent witness with abusing the child, to be examined by one or more competent physicians, psychiatrists or psychologists appointed by the court; (2) the child shall be represented by counsel appointed by the court to speak in behalf of the best interests of the child, which counsel shall be knowledgeable about the needs and protection of children and whose fee shall be paid by the parents or guardian, or the estate of the child, or, if such persons are unable to pay, by the court. Said counsel shall also be appointed guardian ad litem for said child in all cases except those in which the court deems it appropriate to appoint a separate guardian ad litem. Such separate guardian ad litem is not required to be an attorney-at-law; (3) the privilege against the disclosure of communications between husband and wife shall be inapplicable and either may testify as to any relevant matter; and (4) evidence that the child has been abused or has sustained a nonaccidental injury shall constitute prima facie evidence that shall be sufficient to support an adjudication that such child is uncared for or neglected. If a school employee or any person holding a certificate issued by the State Board of Education under the provisions of sections 10-144o to 10-149, inclusive, is convicted of a crime involving an act of child abuse as described in subsection (b) of this section or a violation of section 53a-71 or 53a-73a, the state's attorney for the judicial district in which the conviction occurred shall in writing notify the superintendent of the school district or the supervisory agent of the nonpublic school in which the person is employed and the Commissioner of Education of such conviction.

(g) The Commissioner of Children and Families shall maintain a registry of the reports received pursuant to this section and shall adopt regulations to permit the use of the registry on a twenty-four-hour daily basis to prevent or discover abuse of children. The information contained in the reports and any other information relative to child abuse, wherever located, shall be confidential subject to such regulations governing their use and access as shall conform to the requirements of federal law or regulations. The commissioner shall disclose such information to the legislative program review and investigations committee when requested in the course of such committee's official functions, in writing and upon a majority vote of said committee, provided no names or other identifying information contained in the registry shall be disclosed unless it is essential to the legislative purpose. No committee member or employee shall further disclose any information contained in the registry. Any violation of this subsection or the regulations promulgated by the commissioner hereunder shall be punishable by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or imprisonment for not more than one year.

(h) Any person, institution or agency which, in good faith, makes the report required by this section shall be immune from any liability, civil or criminal, which might otherwise be incurred or imposed and shall have the same immunity with respect to any judicial proceeding which results from such report.

(i) For the purposes of receiving and making reports, notifying and receiving notification, or investigating, pursuant to the provisions of subsections (b), (c) and (e) of this section, a superintendent of a school district or a supervisory agent of a nonpublic school may assign a designee to act in his behalf.

(j) On or before July 1, 1990, each local and regional board of education shall adopt a written policy regarding the reporting by school employees of suspected child abuse in accordance with this section.]

(c) THE COMMISSIONER OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES SHALL DEVELOP AN EDUCATIONAL TRAINING PROGRAM FOR THE ACCURATE AND PROMPT IDENTIFICATION AND REPORTING OF CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT. SUCH TRAINING PROGRAM SHALL BE MADE AVAILABLE TO ALL PERSONS MANDATED TO REPORT CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT AT VARIOUS TIMES AND LOCATIONS THROUGHOUT THE STATE AS DETERMINED BY THE COMMISSIONER OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES.

Sec. 2. (NEW) Any mandated reporter, as defined in section 17a-101 of the general statutes, as amended by section 1 of this act, who in his professional capacity has reasonable cause to suspect or believe that any child under the age of eighteen years is in danger of being abused or has had nonaccidental physical injury, or injury which is at variance with the history given of such injury, inflicted upon him by a person responsible for such child's health, welfare or care or by a person given access to such child by such responsible person, or has been neglected, as defined in section 46b-120 of the general statutes, as amended, shall report or cause a report to be made in accordance with the provisions of sections 3 to 5, inclusive, of this act. Any person required to report under the provisions of this section who fails to make such report shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars.

Sec. 3. (NEW) (a) An oral report shall be made by a mandated reporter within twenty-four hours of suspecting or believing that a child has been abused or neglected by telephone or in person, to the Commissioner of Children and Families or a law enforcement agency. If a law enforcement agency receives an oral report, it shall immediately notify the Commissioner of Children and Families. If the Commissioner of Children and Families, or his designee, receives a report alleging sexual abuse or serious physical abuse, including, but not limited to, a report that: (1) A child has died; (2) a child has been sexually assaulted; (3) a child has suffered brain damage, loss or serious impairment of a bodily function or organ; (4) a child has been sexually exploited; or (5) a child has suffered serious nonaccidental physical injury, he shall, within twenty-four hours of receipt of such report, notify the appropriate law enforcement agency.

(b) When a mandated reporter, as defined in section 17a-101 of the general statutes, as amended by section 1 of this act, has reasonable cause to suspect or believe that any child has been abused or neglected by a member of the staff of a public or private institution or facility that provides care for such child, or public or private school he shall report as required in subsection (a) of this section and shall also notify the person in charge of such institution, school or facility or the person's designee. Such person in charge, or his designee, shall then immediately notify the child's parent or other person responsible for the child's care that a report has been made.

Sec. 4. (NEW) Unless a mandated reporter has orally provided the information required by section 5 of this act to the Commissioner of Children and Families, within forty-eight hours of making an oral report, a mandated reporter shall submit a written report to the Commissioner of Children and Families, or his representative. When a mandated reporter is a member of the staff of a public or private institution or facility that provides care for such child, or public or private school he shall also submit a written report to the person in charge of such institution, school or facility or the person's designee. In the case of a report concerning a certified school employee, a written report shall also be sent by the person in charge of such institution, school or facility to the Commissioner of Education, or his representative. In the case of an employee of a facility or institution that provides care for a child which is licensed by the state, a written report shall also be sent to the executive head of the state licensing agency.

Sec. 5. (NEW) All oral and written reports required in sections 2 to 4, inclusive, of this act and section 17a-103 of the general statutes, as amended by section 7 of this act, shall contain, if known: (1) The names and addresses of the child and his parents or other person responsible for his care; (2) the age of the child; (3) the gender of the child; (4) the nature and extent of the child's injury or injuries, maltreatment or neglect; (5) the approximate date and time the injury or injuries, maltreatment or neglect occurred; (6) information concerning any previous injury or injuries to, or maltreatment or neglect of the child or his siblings; (7) the circumstances in which the injury or injuries, maltreatment or neglect came to be known to the reporter; (8) the name of the person or persons suspected to be responsible for causing such injury or injuries, maltreatment or neglect; and (9) whatever action, if any, was taken to treat, provide shelter or otherwise assist the child.

Sec. 6. (NEW) (a) No employer shall discharge, or in any manner discriminate or retaliate against, any employee who in good faith makes a report pursuant to sections 2 to 5, inclusive, of this act and section 17a-103 of the general statutes, as amended by section 7 of this act, testifies or is about to testify in any proceeding involving child abuse or neglect. The Attorney General may bring an action in Superior Court against an employer who violates this subsection. The court may assess a civil penalty of not more than two thousand five hundred dollars and may order such other equitable relief as the court deems appropriate.

(b) Any person, institution or agency which, in good faith, makes the report pursuant to sections 2 to 5, inclusive, of this act and section 17a-103 of the general statutes, as amended by section 7 of this act, shall be immune from any liability, civil or criminal, which might otherwise be incurred or imposed and shall have the same immunity with respect to any judicial proceeding which results from such report provided such person did not perpetrate or cause such abuse or neglect.

(c) Any person who knowingly makes a false report of child abuse or neglect pursuant to sections 2 to 5, inclusive, of this act and section 17a-103 of the general statutes, as amended by section 7 of this act, shall be fined not more than two thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than one year or both.

Sec. 7. Section 17a-103 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Any person other than those enumerated in subsection (b) of section 17a-101 AS AMENDED BY SECTION 1 OF THIS ACT having reasonable cause to suspect or believe that any child under the age of eighteen is in danger of being abused [or neglected, as defined in subsection (b) of section 17a-101,] or has been [so] abused or neglected, [shall immediately] AS DEFINED IN SECTION 46b-120, MAY cause a written or oral report to be made to the [state] Commissioner of Children and Families or his representative [giving the names and addresses of the child and his parents, guardian, or other person having a responsibility for his care and all evidence forming the basis for such belief. The Commissioner of Children and Families or his agent shall promptly investigate the report to determine whether or not the child's welfare requires commencement of proceedings under section 46b-129. Any such person who, in good faith, makes the report required by this section shall be immune from any liability, civil or criminal, which might otherwise be incurred or imposed and shall have the same immunity with respect to any judicial proceeding which results from such report] OR A LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY. THE COMMISSIONER OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES OR HIS REPRESENTATIVE SHALL USE HIS BEST EFFORTS TO OBTAIN THE NAME AND ADDRESS OF A PERSON WHO CAUSES A REPORT TO BE MADE PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION.

Sec. 8. (NEW) Any physician examining a child with respect to whom abuse or neglect is suspected shall have the right to keep such child in the custody of a hospital for no longer than ninety-six hours in order to perform diagnostic tests and procedures necessary to the detection of child abuse or neglect and to provide necessary medical care with or without the consent of such child's parents or guardian or other person responsible for the child's care, provided the physician has made reasonable attempts to (1) advise such child's parents or guardian or other person responsible for the child's care that he suspects the child has been abused or neglected and (2) obtain consent of such child's parents or guardian or other person responsible for the child's care. In addition, such physician may take or cause to be taken photographs of the area of trauma visible on a child who is the subject of such report without the consent of such child's parents or guardian or other person responsible for the child's care. All such photographs or copies thereof shall be sent to the local police department and the Department of Children and Families. The expenses for such care and such diagnostic tests and procedures, if not covered by insurance, shall be paid by the Commissioner of Children and Families, provided the state may recover such costs from the parent if the parent has been found by a court to have abused or neglected such child.

Sec. 9. (NEW) (a) Upon receiving a report of child abuse as provided in section 3 of this act, the Commissioner of Children and Families, or his designee, shall cause the report to be classified and evaluated immediately. If the report contains sufficient information to warrant an investigation, the commissioner shall make his best efforts to commence an investigation of a report concerning an imminent risk of physical harm to a child or other emergency within two hours of receipt of the report and commence all other reports within seventy-two hours of receipt of the report. The department shall complete any such investigation within thirty calendar days of receipt of the report.

(b) The investigation shall include a home visit at which the child and any siblings are observed, if appropriate, a determination of the nature, extent and cause or causes of the reported abuse or neglect, a determination of the person or persons suspected to be responsible for such abuse or neglect, the name, age and condition of other children residing in the same household and an evaluation of the parents and the home. The report of such investigation shall be in writing. The investigation shall also include, but not be limited to, a review of criminal conviction information concerning the person or persons alleged to be responsible for such abuse or neglect, and previous allegations of abuse or neglect relating to the child or other children residing in the household or relating to family violence.

(c) If the Commissioner of Children and Families, or his designee, has probable cause to believe that the child or any other child in the household is in imminent risk of physical harm from his surroundings, and that immediate removal from such surroundings is necessary to ensure the child's safety, the commissioner, or his designee, shall authorize any employee of the department or any law enforcement officer to remove the child and any other child similarly situated from such surroundings without the consent of the child's parent or guardian. The commissioner shall record in writing the reasons for such removal and include such record with the report of the investigation conducted under subsection (b) of this section.

(d) The removal of a child pursuant to subsection (c) of this section shall not exceed ninety-six hours. During the period of such removal, the commissioner, or his designee, shall provide the child with all necessary care, including medical care, which may include an examination by a physician or mental health professional with or without the consent of the child's parents, guardian or other person responsible for the child's care, provided reasonable attempts have been made to obtain consent of the child's parents or guardian or other person responsible for the care of such child. During the course of a medical examination, a physician may perform diagnostic tests and procedures necessary for the detection of child abuse or neglect. If the child is not returned home within such ninety-six-hour period, with or without protective services, the department shall proceed in accordance with section 46b-129 of the general statutes.

Sec. 10. (NEW) Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes to the contrary, any person authorized to conduct an investigation of abuse or neglect shall coordinate investigatory activities in order to minimize the number of interviews of any child and share information with other persons authorized to conduct an investigation of child abuse or neglect, as appropriate. The commissioner shall obtain the consent of parents or guardians or other persons responsible for the care of the child to any interview with a child, except that such consent shall not be required when the department has reason to believe such parent or guardian or other person responsible for the care of the child or member of the child's household is the perpetrator of the alleged abuse. If consent is not required to conduct the interview, such interview shall be conducted in the presence of a disinterested adult unless immediate access to the child is necessary to protect the child from imminent risk of physical harm and a disinterested adult is not available after reasonable search.

Sec. 11. (NEW) (a) Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes to the contrary, whenever an investigation pursuant to section 9 of this act produces evidence that a child has been abused by a certified public school employee in a position requiring a certificate, the superintendent shall suspend such school employee. Such suspension shall be with pay and shall not result in the diminution or termination of benefits to such employee. Within seventy-two hours after such suspension the superintendent shall notify the local or regional board of education and the Commissioner of Education, or his representative, of the reasons for and conditions of the suspension. Any decision by the superintendent concerning such suspension shall remain in effect until the board of education acts pursuant to the provisions of section 10-151 of the general statutes, as amended. If the contract of employment of a certified school employee is terminated as a result of an investigation pursuant to this section, the superintendent shall notify the Commissioner of Education, or his representative, within seventy-two hours after such termination. Upon receipt of any report required pursuant to sections 2 to 6, inclusive, of this act, the Commissioner of Education may commence certification revocation proceedings pursuant to the provisions of subsection (m) of section 10-145b of the general statutes, as amended by section 15 of this act. Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 1-19 and 1-19a of the general statutes, as amended, information contained in reports received by the Commissioner of Education, or his representative, pursuant to sections 2 to 6, inclusive, of this act, shall be confidential subject to regulations adopted by the State Board of Education under section 10-145g of the general statutes, as amended by section 16 of this act.

(b) Whenever the investigation, pursuant to section 9 of this act, produces evidence that a child has been abused by a staff member of a public or private institution or facility providing care for children or private school, such institution, school or facility may suspend such staff person. Such suspension shall be with pay and shall not result in diminution or termination of benefits to such employee. Such suspension shall remain in effect until the incident of abuse has been satisfactorily resolved by the investigative agencies involved.

(c) If a school employee or any person holding a certificate issued by the State Board of Education under the provisions of sections 10-144o to 10-149, inclusive, of the general statutes is convicted of a crime involving an act of child abuse or neglect as described in sections 2 and 10 of this act or a violation of section 53a-71 or 53a-73a of the general statutes, the state's attorney for the judicial district in which the conviction occurred shall in writing notify the superintendent of the school district or the supervisory agent of the nonpublic school in which the person is employed and the Commissioner of Education of such conviction.

(d) For the purposes of receiving and making reports, notifying and receiving notification, or investigating, pursuant to the provisions of sections 2 to 6, inclusive, and 8 to 10, inclusive, of this act, a superintendent of a school district or a supervisory agent of a nonpublic school may assign a designee to act on his behalf.

(e) On or before February 1, 1997, each local and regional board of education shall adopt a written policy regarding the reporting by school employees of suspected child abuse in accordance with sections 2 to 5, inclusive, of this act.

Sec. 12. (NEW) (a) After the investigation has been completed and the Commissioner of Children and Families has reasonable cause to believe that sexual abuse or serious physical abuse of a child has occurred, the commissioner shall notify the Chief State's Attorney or his designee or a state's attorney for the judicial district in which the child resides or in which the abuse or neglect occurred and to the appropriate local law enforcement authority of such belief and shall provide a copy of the report required in section 9 of this act.

(b) Whenever a report has been made pursuant to section 3 of this act and section 17a-103 of the general statutes, as amended by section 7 of this act, alleging that abuse or neglect has occurred at an institution or facility that provides care for children which is subject to licensure by the state and the Commissioner of Children and Families, after investigation, has reasonable cause to believe abuse or neglect has occurred, the commissioner shall forthwith notify the state agency responsible for licensure of such institution or facility of such information.

(c) If, after the investigation is completed, the commissioner determines that the person inflicting abuse or neglecting a child is in need of treatment for substance abuse, the commissioner shall refer such person to appropriate treatment services.

Sec. 13. (NEW) In proceedings in the Superior Court under section 46b-129 of the general statutes, as amended by section 21 of this act: (1) The court may order the child, the parents, the guardian, or other persons accused by a competent witness with abusing the child, to be examined by one or more competent physicians, psychiatrists or psychologists appointed by the court; (2) a child shall be represented by counsel appointed by the court to represent the child whose fee shall be paid by the parents or guardian, or the estate of the child, or, if such persons are unable to pay, by the court. In all cases in which the court deems it appropriate, the court shall also appoint a person, other than the person appointed to represent the child, as guardian ad litem for such child to speak on behalf of the best interests of the child, which guardian ad litem is not required to be an attorney-at-law but shall be knowledgeable about the needs and protection of children and whose fee, if any, shall be paid by the parents or guardian, or the estate of the child, or, if such persons are unable to pay, by the court; (3) the privilege against the disclosure of communications between husband and wife shall be inapplicable and either may testify as to any relevant matter; and (4) evidence that the child has been abused or has sustained a nonaccidental injury shall constitute prima facie evidence that shall be sufficient to support an adjudication that such child is uncared for or neglected.

Sec. 14. (NEW) The Commissioner of Children and Families shall maintain a registry of the reports received pursuant to sections 2 to 5, inclusive, of this act and shall adopt regulations to permit the use of the registry on a twenty-four-hour daily basis to prevent or discover abuse of children. The information contained in the reports and any other information relative to child abuse, wherever located, shall be confidential subject to such regulations governing their use and access as shall conform to the requirements of federal law or regulations. Any violation of this section or the regulations adopted by the commissioner under this section shall be punishable by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or imprisonment for not more than one year.

Sec. 15. Subsection (m) of section 10-145b of the general statutes, as amended by section 14 of public act 95-259, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(m) The State Board of Education may revoke any certificate issued pursuant to sections 10-144o to 10-149, inclusive, AS AMENDED for any of the following reasons: (1) The holder of the certificate obtained such certificate through fraud or misrepresentation of a material fact; (2) the holder has persistently neglected to perform the duties for which certification was granted; (3) the holder is professionally unfit to perform the duties for which certification was granted; (4) the holder is convicted in a court of law of a crime involving moral turpitude or of any other crime of such nature that in the opinion of the board continued certification would impair the standing of certificates issued by the board; or (5) other due and sufficient cause. The State Board of Education shall revoke any certificate issued pursuant to said sections if the holder is found to have intentionally disclosed specific questions or answers to students or otherwise improperly breached the security of any administration of a state-wide examination pursuant to section 10-14n. Revocation shall be in accordance with procedures established by the State Board of Education pursuant to chapter 54. When the Commissioner of Education is notified, pursuant to [subsection (f) of section 17a-101] SECTION 11 OF THIS ACT, that a person holding a certificate issued by the State Board of Education under the provisions of sections 10-144o to 10-149, inclusive, AS AMENDED has been convicted of a crime involving an act of child abuse or a violation of section 53a-71 or section 53a-73a, any certificate issued by the State Board of Education and held by such person shall be deemed revoked and the commissioner shall notify such person of such revocation, provided such person may request reconsideration pursuant to regulations adopted by the State Board of Education, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54. The State Board of Education may deny an application for certification for any of the following reasons: (A) The applicant seeks to obtain a certificate through fraud or misrepresentation of a material fact; (B) the applicant has been convicted in a court of law of a crime involving moral turpitude or of any other crime of such nature that in the opinion of the board issuance of a certificate would impair the standing of certificates issued by the board; or (C) other due and sufficient cause. Any applicant denied a certificate shall be notified in writing of the reasons for denial. Any applicant denied a certificate may request a review of such denial by the State Board of Education.

Sec. 16. Section 10-145g of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

The State Board of Education shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to govern the use and access of information concerning child abuse in reports received by the Commissioner of Education, or his representative, pursuant to [section 17a-101] SECTIONS 3 AND 4 OF THIS ACT.

Sec. 17. Section 17a-28 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) As used in this section: (1) "Person" means (A) any individual named in a record, maintained by the department, who (i) is presently or at any prior time was a ward of or committed to the commissioner for any reason; or (ii) otherwise received services, voluntarily or involuntarily, from the department; (B) the parent of a person, as defined in subparagraph (A) of this subdivision, if such person is a minor; or (C) the authorized representative of a person, as defined in subparagraph (A) of this subdivision, if such person is deceased; (2) "Attorney" means the licensed attorney authorized to assert the confidentiality of or right of access to records of a person; (3) "Authorized representative" means a parent, guardian, conservator or other individual authorized to assert the confidentiality of or right of access to records of a person; (4) "Consent" means permission given in writing by a person, his attorney or his authorized representative to disclose specified information, within a limited time period, regarding the person to specifically identified individuals; (5) "Records" means information created or obtained in connection with the department's child protection activities or activities related to a child while in the care or custody of the department, including information in the registry of reports to be maintained by the commissioner pursuant to [subsection (g) of section 17a-101] SECTION 14 OF THIS ACT, provided records which are not created by the department are not subject to disclosure, except as provided pursuant to subsection (c), (i) or (k) of this section; (6) "Disclose" means (A) to provide an oral summary of records maintained by the department to an individual, agency, corporation or organization or (B) to allow an individual, agency, corporation or organization to review or obtain copies of such records in whole, part or summary form.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 1-19, 1-19a or 1-19b, records maintained by the department shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed. [Neither the commissioner nor any of his employees shall disclose, in whole or in part, the nature or content of any records of any person to any individual, agency, corporation or organization without the consent of the person, his attorney or his authorized representative, except as provided in subsections (c) and (d) of this section.] SUCH RECORDS OF ANY PERSON MAY ONLY BE DISCLOSED, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, TO ANY INDIVIDUAL, AGENCY, CORPORATION OR ORGANIZATION WITH THE CONSENT OF THE PERSON OR AS PROVIDED IN THIS SECTION. Any unauthorized disclosure shall be punishable by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.

(c) WHEN INFORMATION CONCERNING AN INCIDENT OF ABUSE OR NEGLECT HAS BEEN MADE PUBLIC OR WHEN THE COMMISSIONER REASONABLY BELIEVES PUBLICATION OF SUCH INFORMATION IS LIKELY, THE COMMISSIONER OR HIS DESIGNEE MAY DISCLOSE, WITH RESPECT TO AN INVESTIGATION OF SUCH ABUSE OR NEGLECT: (1) WHETHER THE DEPARTMENT HAS RECEIVED A REPORT IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 3 OF THIS ACT OR SECTION 17a-103, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 7 OF THIS ACT, AND (2) IN GENERAL TERMS, ANY ACTION TAKEN BY THE DEPARTMENT, PROVIDED NAMES OR OTHER INDIVIDUALLY IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION OF THE MINOR VICTIM OR OTHER FAMILY MEMBER SHALL NOT BE DISCLOSED, NOTWITHSTANDING SUCH INDIVIDUALLY IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION IS OTHERWISE AVAILABLE.

(d) THE COMMISSIONER SHALL, UPON WRITTEN REQUEST, DISCLOSE THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION CONCERNING AGENCIES LICENSED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES, EXCEPT FOSTER CARE PARENTS, RELATIVES OF THE CHILD WHO ARE CERTIFIED TO PROVIDE FOSTER CARE OR PROSPECTIVE ADOPTIVE FAMILIES: (1) THE NAME OF THE LICENSEE; (2) THE DATE THE ORIGINAL LICENSE WAS ISSUED; (3) THE CURRENT STATUS OF THE LICENSE; (4) WHETHER AN AGENCY INVESTIGATION OR REVIEW IS PENDING OR HAS BEEN COMPLETED; AND (5) ANY LICENSING ACTION TAKEN BY THE DEPARTMENT AT ANY TIME DURING THE PERIOD SUCH LICENSE WAS ISSUED AND THE REASON FOR SUCH ACTION, PROVIDED DISCLOSURE OF SUCH INFORMATION WILL NOT JEOPARDIZE A PENDING INVESTIGATION.

[(c)] (e) The commissioner or his designee shall, upon request, promptly provide copies of records, without the consent of a person, to (1) A LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY, AND (2) the Chief State's Attorney or his designee or a state's attorney for the judicial district in which the child resides or in which the alleged abuse or neglect occurred or his designee, for purposes of investigating or prosecuting an allegation of child abuse or neglect. The commissioner shall disclose to such LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY OR attorney any part of a record, whether or not created by the department, provided no confidential record of the Superior Court shall be disclosed OTHER THAN THE PETITION AND ANY AFFIDAVITS FILED THEREWITH IN THE SUPERIOR COURT FOR JUVENILE MATTERS, except upon an order of a judge of the Superior Court for good cause shown. The commissioner shall also disclose the name of any individual who cooperates with an investigation of a report of child abuse or neglect to such LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY OR state's attorney for [such] purposes OF INVESTIGATING OR PROSECUTING AN ALLEGATION OF CHILD ABUSE OR NEGLECT.

[(d)] (f) When the commissioner OR HIS DESIGNEE determines it to be in a person's best interest, the commissioner or his designee may disclose records without the consent of a person to: (1) Multidisciplinary teams which are formed to assist the department in investigation, evaluation or treatment of child abuse and neglect cases or a multidisciplinary provider of professional treatment services under contract with the department for a child referred to the provider; (2) [An authority] ANY AGENCY in another state [who] WHICH is responsible for investigating or protecting against child abuse or neglect FOR THE PURPOSE OF INVESTIGATING A CHILD ABUSE CASE; (3) An individual, including a physician, authorized pursuant to [subsection (d) of section 17a-101] SECTION 8 OF THIS ACT to place a child in protective custody if such individual has before him a child whom he reasonably suspects may be a victim of abuse or neglect and such individual requires the information in a record in order to determine whether to place the child in protective custody; (4) An individual or public or private agency responsible for a person's care and custody and authorized by the department to diagnose, care for, treat or supervise a child who is the subject of a record of child abuse or neglect FOR A PURPOSE RELATED TO THE INDIVIDUAL'S OR AGENCY'S RESPONSIBILITIES. SUCH RECORDS MAY INCLUDE PETITIONS, AFFIDAVITS AND PSYCHOLOGICAL EVALUATIONS CONTAINED IN RECORDS OF THE SUPERIOR COURT FOR JUVENILE MATTERS AND ANY MEDICAL RECORDS IN THE CUSTODY OF THE COMMISSIONER; (5) The Attorney General or any assistant attorney general providing legal counsel for the department; (6) Individuals or public or private agencies engaged in medical, psychological or psychiatric diagnosis or treatment of a person or an individual perpetrating the abuse when the commissioner or his designee determines that the disclosure is needed to accomplish the objectives of diagnosis or treatment; (7) A person [mandated to report] WHO REPORTS child abuse pursuant to section [17a-101] 3 OF THIS ACT AND SECTION 17a-103, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 7 OF THIS ACT who made a report of abuse involving the subject child, provided the information disclosed is limited to (A) the [final] status of [the report following] the investigation and (B) [any services provided, arranged for or to be provided by the department to protect the child from further abuse] IN GENERAL TERMS, ANY ACTION TAKEN BY THE DEPARTMENT; (8) The GOVERNOR, WHEN REQUESTED IN WRITING, IN THE COURSE OF HIS OFFICIAL FUNCTIONS OR THE Legislative Program Review and Investigations Committee THE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY AND THE COMMITTEE HAVING COGNIZANCE OF MATTERS INVOLVING CHILDREN when requested in the course of [said committee's] SUCH COMMITTEES' official functions, in writing, and upon a majority vote of said committee, provided no names or other identifying information shall be disclosed unless it is essential to the legislative or gubernatorial purpose; (9) An individual conducting bona fide research, provided no information identifying the subjects of records shall be disclosed unless (A) such information is essential to the purpose of the research; (B) each person identified in a record or his authorized representative has authorized such disclosure in writing; and (C) the department has given written approval; (10) The Auditors of Public Accounts or their representative, provided no information identifying the subjects of the records shall be disclosed unless such information is essential to an audit conducted pursuant to section 2-90.

[(e)](g) The commissioner or his designee may disclose the name, address and fees for services to a person, to individuals or agencies involved in the collection of fees for such services, except as provided in section 17b-225 AS AMENDED. In cases where a dispute arises over such fees or claims or where additional information is needed to substantiate the fee or claim, such disclosure of further information shall be limited to the following: (1) That the person was in fact committed to or otherwise served by the department; (2) dates and duration of service; and (3) a general description of the service, which shall include evidence that a service or treatment plan exists and has been carried out and evidence to substantiate the necessity for admission and length of stay in any institution or facility.

[(f)] (h) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection [(d)] (f) of this section, the name of an individual reporting child abuse or neglect who is not mandated to do so pursuant to section 17a-101, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 1 OF THIS ACT shall not be disclosed without his written consent except to (1) an employee of the department responsible for child protective services or the abuse registry; (2) a law enforcement officer; (3) an appropriate state's attorney; or (4) an appropriate assistant attorney general.

[(g)] (i) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection [(d)] (f) of this section, the name of any individual who cooperates with an investigation of a report of child abuse or neglect shall be kept confidential upon request or upon determination by the department that disclosure of such information may be detrimental to the safety or interests of the individual, except the name of any such individual shall be disclosed to a LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY, ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL OR state's attorney pursuant to subsection [(c)] (e) of this section.

[(h) When the commissioner or his designee determines it to be in a person's best interest, the department may confirm that a child abuse or neglect investigation has or has not commenced, but may not disclose, except as permitted under this section, any details about the case.]

(j) NOTWITHSTANDING THE CONFIDENTIALITY PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION, THE COMMISSIONER, UPON REQUEST OF AN EMPLOYEE, SHALL DISCLOSE SUCH RECORDS TO SUCH EMPLOYEE OR HIS AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE WHICH WOULD BE APPLICABLE AND NECESSARY FOR THE PURPOSES OF AN EMPLOYEE DISCIPLINARY HEARING OR APPEAL FROM A DECISION AFTER SUCH HEARING.

[(i)] (k) Information disclosed from a person's record shall not be disclosed further without the written consent of the person, except if disclosed to a party or his counsel pursuant to an order of a court in which a criminal prosecution or an abuse, neglect, commitment or termination proceeding against the party is pending. A state's attorney shall disclose to the defendant or his counsel in a criminal prosecution, without the necessity of a court order, exculpatory information and material contained in such record and may disclose, without a court order, information and material contained in such record which could be the subject of a disclosure order. All written records disclosed to another individual or agency shall bear a stamp requiring confidentiality in accordance with the provisions of this section. Such material shall not be disclosed to anyone without written consent of the person or as provided by this section. A copy of the consent form specifying to whom and for what specific use the record is disclosed or a statement setting forth any other statutory authorization for disclosure and the limitations imposed thereon shall accompany such record. In cases where the disclosure is made orally, the individual disclosing the information shall inform the recipient that such information is governed by the provisions of this section.

[(j)] (l) In addition to the right of access provided in section 1-19, any person, regardless of age, his authorized representative or attorney shall have the right of access to any records made, maintained or kept on file by the department, whether or not such records are required by any law or by any rule or regulation, when those records pertain to or contain information or materials concerning the person seeking access thereto, including but not limited to records concerning investigations, reports, or medical, psychological or psychiatric examinations of the person seeking access thereto, provided that (1) information identifying an individual who reported abuse or neglect of a person shall not be released if the individual requested that his identity be kept confidential or if the commissioner determines that the individual would be endangered by the release of such information; and (2) if the commissioner determines that it would be contrary to the best interests of the person or his authorized representative or attorney to review the records, he may refuse access by issuing to such person or representative or attorney a written statement setting forth the reasons for such refusal, and advise the person, his authorized representative or attorney of the right to seek judicial relief. When any person, attorney or authorized representative, having obtained access to any record, believes there are factually inaccurate entries or materials contained therein, he shall have the unqualified right to add a statement to the record setting forth what he believes to be an accurate statement of those facts, and said statement shall become a permanent part of said record.

[(k)] (m) (1) Any person, attorney or authorized representative aggrieved by a violation of subsection (b), [(c), (d),] (e), (f), (g), (h) [or] (i) OR (k) of this section or of subsection [(j)] (l) of this section, except subdivision (2) of said subsection [(j)] (l), may seek judicial relief in the same manner as provided in section 52-146j; (2) any person, attorney or authorized representative denied access to records by the commissioner under SUBDIVISION (2) OF subsection [(j)(2)] (l) of this section may petition the superior court for the venue district provided in section 46b-142 in which the person resides for an order requiring the commissioner to permit access to those records, and the court after hearing, and an in camera review of the records in question, shall issue such an order unless it determines that to permit such access would be contrary to the best interests of the person or authorized representative.

[(l)] (n) The commissioner shall promulgate regulations pursuant to chapter 54, within one year of October 1, [1991] 1996, to establish procedures for access to and disclosure of records consistent with the provisions of this section.

Sec. 18. Section 17a-112 of the general statutes, as amended by section 3 of public act 95-238, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) In respect to any child [committed to] IN THE CUSTODY OF the Commissioner of Children and Families in accordance with section 46b-129, AS AMENDED either the commissioner, or the attorney who represented such child in [the] A PENDING OR prior [commitment] proceeding, or an attorney appointed by the Superior Court on its own motion, or an attorney retained by such child after attaining the age of fourteen may petition the court for the termination of parental rights with reference to such child [, including the right to petition the court for the revocation of the commitment of the child.] The petition shall be in the form and contain the information set forth in subsection (b) of section 45a-715, AS AMENDED and be subject to the provisions of subsection (c) of said section. If a petition indicates that either or both parents consent to the termination of their parental rights, or if at any time following the filing of a petition and before the entry of a decree, a parent consents to the termination of his parental rights, each consenting parent shall acknowledge such consent on a form promulgated by the Office of the Chief Court Administrator evidencing [to the satisfaction of the court] that the parent has voluntarily and knowingly consented to the termination of his parental rights. No consent to termination by a mother shall be executed within forty-eight hours immediately after the birth of her child. A parent who is a minor shall have the right to consent to termination of parental rights and such consent shall not be voidable by reason of such minority. A guardian ad litem shall be appointed by the court to assure that such minor parent is giving an informed and voluntary consent.

(b) The Superior Court upon hearing and notice, as provided in sections 45a-716 and 45a-717, AS AMENDED may grant [such petition] A PETITION FOR TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS BASED ON CONSENT FILED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION if it finds that [the Department of Children and Families has made reasonable efforts to reunify the child with the parent and,] (1) upon clear and convincing evidence, [that] the termination is in the best interest of the child and [that, with respect to any consenting parent,] (2) such parent has voluntarily and knowingly consented to termination of his parental rights with respect to such child [or that, with respect to any nonconsenting parent, over an extended period of time, which, except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, shall not be less than one year: (1)] IF THE COURT DENIES A PETITION FOR TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS BASED ON CONSENT, IT MAY REFER THE MATTER TO AN AGENCY TO ASSESS THE NEEDS OF THE CHILD, THE CARE THE CHILD IS RECEIVING AND THE PLAN OF THE PARENT FOR THE CHILD. CONSENT FOR THE TERMINATION OF THE PARENTAL RIGHTS OF ONE PARENT DOES NOT DIMINISH THE PARENTAL RIGHTS OF THE OTHER PARENT OF THE CHILD, NOR DOES IT RELIEVE THE OTHER PARENT OF THE DUTY TO SUPPORT THE CHILD.

(c) THE SUPERIOR COURT, UPON HEARING AND NOTICE AS PROVIDED IN SECTIONS 45a-716 AND 45a-717, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 19 OF THIS ACT, MAY GRANT A PETITION FILED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION IF IT FINDS BY CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE (1) THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES HAS MADE REASONABLE EFFORTS TO LOCATE THE PARENT AND TO REUNIFY THE CHILD WITH THE PARENT, UNLESS THE COURT FINDS IN THIS PROCEEDING THAT THE PARENT IS UNABLE OR UNWILLING TO BENEFIT FROM REUNIFICATION EFFORTS PROVIDED SUCH FINDING IS NOT REQUIRED IF THE COURT HAS DETERMINED AT A HEARING PURSUANT TO SUBSECTION (b) OF SECTION 17a-110 THAT SUCH EFFORTS ARE NOT APPROPRIATE, (2) THAT TERMINATION IS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD, AND (3) THAT OVER AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME, WHICH EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN SUBSECTION (d) OF THIS SECTION SHALL NOT BE LESS THAN ONE YEAR, PROVIDED SUCH TIME LIMIT SHALL NOT APPLY TO SUBPARAGRAPH (E) OF THIS SUBSECTION: (A) The child has been abandoned by the parent in the sense that the parent has failed to maintain a reasonable degree of interest, concern or responsibility as to the welfare of the child; [or (2) the] (B)m THE parent of a child who has been found by the Superior Court to have been neglected or uncared for in a prior proceeding has failed to achieve such degree of personal rehabilitation as would encourage the belief that within a reasonable time, considering the age and needs of the child, such parent could assume a responsible position in the life of the child; [or (3) the] (C) THE child has been denied, by reason of an act or acts of parental commission or omission, the care, guidance or control necessary for his physical, educational, moral or emotional well-being. Nonaccidental or inadequately explained serious physical injury to a child shall constitute prima facie evidence of acts of parental commission or omission sufficient for the termination of parental rights; [or (4) there] (D) THERE is no ongoing parent-child relationship, which means the relationship that ordinarily develops as a result of a parent having met on a day to day basis the physical, emotional, moral and educational needs of the child and to allow further time for the establishment or reestablishment of such parent-child relationship would be detrimental to the best interest of the child [. The requirement that the Department of Children and Families has made reasonable efforts to reunify the child with the parent shall not apply to terminations of parental rights based on consent or terminations of parental rights where such reasonable efforts at reunification were not possible. If the court denies a petition for consent termination of parental rights, it may refer the matter to an agency to assess the needs of the child, the care the child is receiving and the plan of the parent for the child] OR (E) THE PARENT OF A CHILD, UNDER THE AGE OF SEVEN YEARS WHO IS NEGLECTED OR UNCARED FOR, HAS FAILED, IS UNABLE OR IS UNWILLING TO ACHIEVE SUCH DEGREE OF PERSONAL REHABILITATION AS WOULD ENCOURAGE THE BELIEF THAT WITHIN A REASONABLE PERIOD OF TIME, CONSIDERING THE AGE AND NEEDS OF THE CHILD, SUCH PARENT COULD ASSUME A RESPONSIBLE POSITION IN THE LIFE OF THE CHILD AND SUCH PARENT'S PARENTAL RIGHTS OF ANOTHER CHILD WERE PREVIOUSLY TERMINATED PURSUANT TO A PETITION FILED BY THE COMMISSIONER OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES.

[(c)] (d) The court may waive the requirement that one year expire prior to the termination of parental rights if it finds: (1) From the totality of the circumstances surrounding the child that such a waiver is necessary to promote the best interest of the child. Abandonment of a child under the age of six months shall constitute prima facie evidence that a waiver is necessary to promote the best interest of the child, provided (A) the parent has neither had nor initiated contact with the child or the guardian or caretaker of the child for at least sixty consecutive days and (B) the whereabouts of the parent are unknown, despite a diligent search for the parent by the Department of Children and Families. The department shall file an affidavit indicating the efforts used to locate the parent; or (2) the child is under seven years of age and has been in the custody and care of the Department of Children and Families for at least three months pursuant to a commitment under subsection (d) of section 46b-129, and the child will be at imminent risk of abuse or neglect if returned to the parent, provided (A) the parent has had parental rights terminated with respect to a sibling of the child or (B) a sibling of the child has suffered nonaccidental or inadequately explained death as a result of parental acts of omission or commission.

[(d)] (e) Except in the case where termination is based on consent, in determining whether to terminate parental rights under this section, the court shall consider and shall make written findings regarding: (1) The timeliness, nature and extent of services offered [or] provided AND MADE AVAILABLE to the parent and the child by an agency to facilitate the reunion of the child with the parent; (2) whether the Department of Children and Families has made reasonable efforts to reunite the family pursuant to the federal Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980, as amended; (3) the terms of any applicable court order entered into and agreed upon by any individual or agency and the parent, and the extent to which all parties have fulfilled their obligations under such order; (4) the feelings and emotional ties of the child with respect to his parents, any guardian of his person and any person who has exercised physical care, custody or control of the child for at least one year and with whom the child has developed significant emotional ties; (5) the age of the child; (6) the efforts the parent has made to adjust his circumstances, conduct, or conditions to make it in the best interest of the child to return him to his home in the foreseeable future, including, but not limited to, (A) the extent to which the parent has maintained contact with the child as part of an effort to reunite the child with the parent, provided the court may give weight to incidental visitations, communications or contributions and (B) the maintenance of regular contact or communication with the guardian or other custodian of the child; and (7) the extent to which a parent has been prevented from maintaining a meaningful relationship with the child by the unreasonable act or conduct of the other parent of the child, or the unreasonable act of any other person or by the economic circumstances of the parent.

[(e)] (f) Any petition brought by the Commissioner of Children and Families to the Superior Court, pursuant to subsection (a) of section 46b-129, AS AMENDED may be accompanied by or, upon motion by the petitioner, consolidated with a petition for termination of parental rights filed in accordance with this section with respect to such child [, notwithstanding that such child has not been committed to the Commissioner of Children and Families.] Notice of the hearing on such petitions shall be given in accordance with sections 45a-716 and 45a-717 AS AMENDED BY SECTION 19 OF THIS ACT. The Superior Court, after hearing, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (b) OR (c) of this section, may, in lieu of granting the petition filed pursuant to section 46b-129, grant the petition for termination of parental rights as provided in section 45a-717 AS AMENDED BY SECTION 19 OF THIS ACT.

[(f)] (g) Nothing contained in this section and sections 17a-113, 45a-187, 45a-606, 45a-607, 45a-707 to 45a-709, inclusive, 45a-715 to 45a-718, inclusive, 45a-724, 45a-725, 45a-727, 45a-733, 45a-754 and 52-231a AS AMENDED shall negate the right of the Commissioner of Children and Families to subsequently petition the Superior Court for revocation of a commitment of a child as to whom parental rights have been terminated in accordance with the provisions of this section. The Superior Court may appoint a statutory parent at any time after it has terminated parental rights if the petitioner so requests.

[(g)] (h) If the parental rights of only one parent are [being] terminated, the remaining parent shall be the sole parent and, unless otherwise provided by law, guardian of the person.

[(h) Consent for the termination of the parental rights of one parent by that parent does not diminish the parental rights of the other parent of the child, nor does it relieve the other parent of the duty to support the child.]

(i) In the case where termination of parental rights is granted, the guardian of the person or statutory parent shall report to the court within ninety days of the date judgment is entered on a case plan, as defined by the federal Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980, AS AMENDED for the child. At least every six months thereafter, such guardian or statutory parent shall make a report to the court on the implementation of the plan. The court shall convene a hearing for the purpose of reviewing the plan for the child no more than fifteen months from the date judgment is entered and at least once a year thereafter until such time as any proposed adoption plan has become finalized.

Sec. 19. Section 45a-717 of the general statutes, as amended by section 5 of public act 95-238, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) At the hearing held on any petition for the termination of parental rights filed in the Court of Probate under section 45a-715, AS AMENDED or filed in the Superior Court under section 17a-112, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 18 OF THIS ACT or transferred to the Superior Court from the Court of Probate under section 45a-715, AS AMENDED any party to whom notice was given shall have the right to appear and be heard with respect to the petition. If the parent who is consenting to the termination of his parental rights appears at the hearing on the petition for termination of parental rights, the court shall explain to the parent the meaning and consequences of termination of parental rights. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to require the appearance of a consenting parent at the hearing regarding the termination of his parental rights except as otherwise provided by court order.

(b) If a party appears without counsel, the court shall inform him of his right thereto and upon request, if he is unable to pay for counsel, shall appoint counsel to represent him. No party may waive counsel unless the court has first explained the nature and meaning of a petition for the termination of parental rights. Unless the appointment of counsel is required under section 46b-136, the court may appoint counsel to represent or appear on behalf of any child in a hearing held under this section to speak on behalf of the best interests of the child. If the respondent parent is unable to pay for his own counsel or if the child or the parent or guardian of the child is unable to pay for the child's counsel, in the case of a Superior Court matter, the reasonable compensation of counsel appointed for the respondent parent or the child shall be established by, and paid from funds appropriated to, the Judicial Department and, in the case of a Probate Court matter, the reasonable compensation of counsel appointed for the respondent parent or the child shall be established by the Probate Court Administrator and paid from the Probate Court Administration Fund.

(c) The court shall, if a claim for paternity has been filed in accordance with section 46b-172a, continue the hearing under the provisions of this section until the claim for paternity is adjudicated, provided the court may combine the hearing on the claim for paternity with the hearing on the termination of parental rights petition.

(d) Upon finding at the hearing or at any time during the pendency of the petition that reasonable cause exists to warrant an examination, the court, on its own motion or on motion by any party, may order the child to be examined at a suitable place by a physician, psychiatrist or licensed clinical psychologist appointed by the court. The court may also order examination of a parent or custodian whose competency or ability to care for a child before the court is at issue. The expenses of any examination if ordered by the court on its own motion shall be paid for by the petitioner or, if ordered on motion by a party, shall be paid for by the party moving for such an examination unless such party or petitioner is unable to pay such expenses in which case, in a Superior Court matter, they shall be paid for by funds appropriated to the Judicial Department and in a Probate Court matter, they shall be paid from the Probate Court Administration Fund. The court may consider the results of the examinations in ruling on the merits of the petition.

(e) (1) The court may, and in any contested case shall, request the Commissioner of Children and Families or any child-placing agency licensed by the commissioner to make an investigation and written report to it, within ninety days from the receipt of such request. The report shall indicate the physical, mental and emotional status of the child and shall contain such facts as may be relevant to determine whether the proposed termination of parental rights will be for the welfare of the child, including the physical, mental, social and financial condition of the natural parents, and any other factors which the commissioner or such agency finds relevant to determine whether the proposed termination will be for the welfare of the child. (2) If such a report has been requested, upon the expiration of such ninety-day period or upon receipt of the report, whichever is earlier, the court shall set a day for a hearing not more than thirty days thereafter. The court shall give reasonable notice of such adjourned hearing to all parties to the first hearing, including the child, if over fourteen years of age, and to such other persons as the court shall deem appropriate. (3) The report shall be admissible in evidence, subject to the right of any interested party to require that the person making it appear as a witness, if available, and subject himself to examination.

(f) At the adjourned hearing or at the initial hearing where no investigation and report has been requested, the court may approve [the] A petition FOR TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS BASED ON CONSENT FILED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION terminating the parental rights and may appoint a guardian of the person of the child, or if the petitioner requests, the court may appoint a statutory parent, if it finds, upon clear and convincing evidence that (1) the termination is in the best interest of the child and [that, with respect to any consenting parent,] (2) such parent has voluntarily and knowingly consented to termination of his parental rights with respect to such child [or that, with respect to any nonconsenting parent, over an extended period of time which, except as provided in subsection (g) of this section, shall not be less than one year: (1) The] IF THE COURT DENIES A PETITION FOR TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS BASED ON CONSENT, IT MAY REFER THE MATTER TO AN AGENCY TO ASSESS THE NEEDS OF THE CHILD, THE CARE THE CHILD IS RECEIVING, AND THE PLAN OF THE PARENT FOR THE CHILD. CONSENT FOR THE TERMINATION OF THE PARENTAL RIGHT OF ONE PARENT DOES NOT DIMINISH THE PARENTAL RIGHTS OF THE OTHER PARENT OF THE CHILD NOR DOES IT RELIEVE THE OTHER PARENT OF THE DUTY TO SUPPORT THE CHILD.

(g) AT THE ADJOURNED HEARING OR AT THE INITIAL HEARING WHERE NO INVESTIGATION AND REPORT HAS BEEN REQUESTED, THE COURT MAY APPROVE A PETITION TERMINATING THE PARENTAL RIGHTS AND MAY APPOINT A GUARDIAN OF THE PERSON OF THE CHILD, OR, IF THE PETITIONER REQUESTS, THE COURT MAY APPOINT A STATUTORY PARENT, IF IT FINDS, UPON CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE, THAT (1) THE TERMINATION IS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD, AND (2) OVER AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME, EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN SUBSECTION (h) OF THIS SECTION, SHALL NOT BE LESS THAN ONE YEAR PROVIDED SUCH TIME LIMIT SHALL NOT APPLY TO SUBPARAGRAPH (E) OF THIS SUBSECTION: (A) THE child has been abandoned by the parent in the sense that the parent has failed to maintain a reasonable degree of interest, concern or responsibility as to the welfare of the child; [or (2) the] (B) THE child has been denied, by reason of an act or acts of parental commission or omission, the care, guidance or control necessary for his physical, educational, moral or emotional well-being. Nonaccidental or inadequately explained serious physical injury to a child shall constitute prima facie evidence of acts of parental commission or omission sufficient for the termination of parental rights; [or (3)](C) there is no ongoing parent-child relationship which is defined as the relationship that ordinarily develops as a result of a parent having met on a continuing, day-to-day basis the physical, emotional, moral and educational needs of the child and to allow further time for the establishment or reestablishment of the parent-child relationship would be detrimental to the best interests of the child; [or (4) the] (D) THE parent of a child who has been found by the Superior Court to have been neglected or uncared for in a prior proceeding has failed to achieve such degree of personal rehabilitation as would encourage the belief that within a reasonable time, considering the age and needs of the child, such parent could assume a responsible position in the life of the child [. If the court denies a petition for consent termination of parental rights, it may refer the matter to an agency to assess the needs of the child, the care the child is receiving and the plan of the parent for the child.] OR(E) THE PARENT OF A CHILD, UNDER THE AGE OF SEVEN YEARS WHO IS NEGLECTED OR UNCARED FOR, HAS FAILED, IS UNABLE OR IS UNWILLING TO ACHIEVE SUCH DEGREE OF PERSONAL REHABILITATION AS WOULD ENCOURAGE THE BELIEF THAT WITHIN A REASONABLE AMOUNT OF TIME, CONSIDERING THE AGE AND NEEDS OF THE CHILD, SUCH PARENT COULD ASSUME A RESPONSIBLE POSITION IN THE LIFE OF THE CHILD AND SUCH PARENT'S PARENTAL RIGHTS OF ANOTHER CHILD WERE PREVIOUSLY TERMINATED PURSUANT TO A PETITION FILED BY THE COMMISSIONER OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES.

[(g)] (h) The court may waive the TIME requirement [that one year expire prior to the termination of parental rights] IN SUBPARAGRAPH (A) OF SUBSECTION (g) OF THIS SECTION if it finds: [(1)] From the totality of the circumstances surrounding the child that such a waiver is necessary to promote the best interest of the child. Abandonment of a child under the age of six months shall constitute prima facie evidence that a waiver is necessary to promote the best interest of the child, provided (A) the parent has neither had nor initiated contact with the child or the guardian or caretaker of the child for at least sixty consecutive days and (B) the whereabouts of the parent are unknown [, despite a diligent search for the parent by the Department of Children and Families. The department shall file an affidavit indicating the efforts used to locate the parent; or (2) the child is under seven years of age and has been in the custody and care of the Department of Children and Families for at least three months pursuant to a commitment under subsection (d) of section 46b-129, and the child will be at imminent risk of abuse or neglect if returned to the parent, provided (A) the parent has had parental rights terminated with respect to a sibling of the child or (B) a sibling of the child has suffered nonaccidental or inadequately explained death as a result of parental acts of omission or commission.]

[(h)] (i) Except in the case where termination is based on consent, in determining whether to terminate parental rights under this section, the court shall consider and shall make written findings regarding: (1) The timeliness, nature and extent of services offered [or] provided AND MADE AVAILABLE to the parent and the child by an agency to facilitate the reunion of the child with the parent; (2) the terms of any applicable court order entered into and agreed upon by any individual or agency and the parent, and the extent to which all parties have fulfilled their obligations under such order; (3) the feelings and emotional ties of the child with respect to his parents, any guardian of his person and any person who has exercised physical care, custody or control of the child for at least one year and with whom the child has developed significant emotional ties; (4) the age of the child; (5) the efforts the parent has made to adjust his circumstances, conduct or conditions to make it in the best interest of the child to return him to his home in the foreseeable future, including, but not limited to, (A) the extent to which the parent has maintained contact with the child as part of an effort to reunite the child with the parent, provided the court may give weight to incidental visitations, communications or contributions and (B) the maintenance of regular contact or communication with the guardian or other custodian of the child; and (6) the extent to which a parent has been prevented from maintaining a meaningful relationship with the child by the unreasonable act or conduct of the other parent of the child, or the unreasonable act of any other person or by the economic circumstances of the parent.

[(i)] (j) If the parental rights of only one parent are [being] terminated, the remaining parent shall be sole parent and, unless otherwise provided by law, guardian of the person.

[(j) Consent for termination of the parental rights of one parent does not diminish the parental rights of the other parent of the child, nor does it relieve the other parent of the duty to support the child.]

(k) In the case where termination of parental rights is granted, the guardian of the person or statutory parent shall report to the court within ninety days of the date judgment is entered on a case plan, as defined by the federal Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980, AS AMENDED for the child. At least every six months thereafter, such guardian or statutory parent shall make a report to the court on the implementation of the plan. The court shall convene a hearing for the purpose of reviewing the plan no more than fifteen months from the date judgment is entered and at least once a year thereafter until such time as any proposed adoption plan has become finalized.

Sec. 20. Subsection (b) of section 46b-129 of the general statutes, as amended by section 4 of public act 95-238, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(b) If it appears from the allegations of the petition and other verified affirmations of fact accompanying the petition, or subsequent thereto, that there is reasonable cause to find that the child's or youth's condition or the circumstances surrounding his care require that his custody be immediately assumed to safeguard his welfare, the court shall either (1) issue an order to the parents or other person having responsibility for the care of the child or youth to show cause at such time as the court may designate why the court shall not vest in some suitable agency or person the child's or youth's temporary care and custody pending a hearing on the petition, or (2) vest in some suitable agency or person the child's or youth's temporary care and custody pending a hearing upon the petition which shall be held within ten days from the issuance of such order on the need for such temporary care and custody. The service of such orders may be made by any officer authorized by law to serve process, or by any probation officer appointed in accordance with section 46b-123, investigator from the Department of Administrative Services, state police officer or indifferent person. The expense for any temporary care and custody shall be paid by the town in which such child or youth is at the time residing, and such town shall be reimbursed therefor by the town found liable for his support, except that where a state agency has filed a petition pursuant to the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, the agency shall pay such expense. IF THE COURT, PURSUANT TO THIS SUBSECTION, VESTS IN A SUITABLE AGENCY OR PERSON THE CHILD'S OR YOUTH'S TEMPORARY CARE OR CUSTODY, THE COURT SHALL PROVIDE TO THE COMMISSIONER AND THE PARENT OF THE CHILD OR YOUTH SPECIFIC STEPS WHICH THE PARENT MAY TAKE TO FACILITATE THE RETURN OF THE CHILD OR YOUTH TO THE CUSTODY OF SUCH PARENT. IF THE COURT, AFTER A SHOW CAUSE HEARING PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION, MAINTAINS THE CUSTODY OF THE CHILD OR YOUTH IN THE PARENT, THE COURT MAY PROVIDE TO THE COMMISSIONER AND THE PARENT SPECIFIC STEPS WHICH THE PARENT MAY TAKE TO MAINTAIN CUSTODY OF THE CHILD OR YOUTH.

Sec. 21. Subsection (g) of section 46b-129 of the general statutes, as amended by section 4 of public act 95-238, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(g) Any court by which a child or youth has been committed pursuant to the provisions of this section may, upon the application of THE ATTORNEY WHO REPRESENTED SUCH CHILD IN A PRIOR OR PENDING COMMITMENT PROCEEDING, AN ATTORNEY APPOINTED BY THE SUPERIOR COURT ON ITS OWN MOTION OR AN ATTORNEY RETAINED BY SUCH CHILD AFTER ATTAINING THE AGE OF FOURTEEN a parent, including any person who acknowledges before said court paternity of a child or youth born out of wedlock, or other relative of such child or youth, the selectman or any original petitioner, or a licensed child-caring agency or institution approved by the commissioner, or said commissioner, and while such child or youth is under the guardianship of said commissioner, upon hearing, after reasonable notice to said commissioner, and, if said commissioner made the application, after reasonable notice to such parent, relative, original petitioner, selectman or child-caring agency or institution, upon finding that cause for commitment no longer exists, revoke such commitment, and thereupon such guardianship and all control of said commissioner over such child or youth shall terminate. The court may further revoke the commitment of any child or youth upon application by the commissioner or by the child or youth concerned and after reasonable notice to the parties affected upon a finding that such revocation will be for the best interest and welfare of such child or youth. No hearing shall be held for such reopening and termination of commitment or transfer of commitment more often than once in six months, except upon the application of said commissioner.

Sec. 22. (NEW) The Commissioner of Children and Families may establish multidisciplinary teams for the purpose of reviewing particular cases or particular types of cases or to coordinate the prevention, intervention and treatment of child abuse or neglect in a particular region of the state. If appropriate, the multidisciplinary team may assess individual cases and make recommendations for treatment and prevention of abuse or neglect. The commissioner shall appoint the members of the multidisciplinary team. Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes, meetings of the multidisciplinary team may be confidential when necessary to protect the identity of parents, children or mandated reporters, and members of the multidisciplinary team may disclose otherwise confidential information to other members of the team who shall hold such information confidential.

Sec. 23. Section 4-141 of the general statutes, as amended by section 8 of public act 95-79, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

As used in this chapter: "Claim" means a petition for the payment or refund of money by the state or for permission to sue the state; "just claim" means a claim which in equity and justice the state should pay, provided the state has caused damage or injury or has received a benefit; "person" means any individual, firm, partnership, corporation, limited liability company, association or other group, including political subdivisions of the state; "state agency" includes every department, division, board, office, commission, arm, agency and institution of the state government, whatever its title or function, and "state officers and employees" includes every person elected or appointed to or employed in any office, position or post in the state government, whatever his title, classification or function and whether he serves with or without remuneration or compensation, including judges of probate courts and employees of such courts. In addition to the foregoing, "state officers and employees" includes attorneys appointed as victim compensation commissioners, attorneys appointed by the Public Defenders Services Commission as public defenders, assistant public defenders or deputy assistant public defenders, and attorneys appointed by the court as special assistant public defenders, the Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney General and any associate attorney general or assistant attorney general, any other attorneys employed by any state agency, any commissioner of the Superior Court hearing small claims matters or acting as a fact-finder, arbitrator or magistrate or acting in any other quasi-judicial position, any person appointed to a committee established by law for the purpose of rendering services to the Judicial Department including, but not limited to, the Legal Specialization Screening Committee and the State Bar Examining Committee, ANY MEMBER OF A MULTIDISCIPLINARY TEAM ESTABLISHED BY THE COMMISSIONER OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES PURSUANT TO SECTION 8 OF THIS ACT and any physicians or psychologists employed by any state agency. "State officers and employees" shall not include any medical or dental intern, resident or fellow of The University of Connecticut when (1) the intern, resident or fellow is assigned to a hospital affiliated with the university through an integrated residency program, and (2) such hospital provides protection against professional liability claims in an amount and manner equivalent to that provided by the hospital to its full-time physician employees.

Sec. 24. (NEW) (a) The state of Connecticut finds that family violence can result in abuse and neglect of the children living in the household where such violence occurs and that the prevention of child abuse and neglect depends on coordination of domestic violence and child protective services.

(b) The Commissioner of Children and Families may consider the existence and the impact of family violence in any child abuse investigation and may assist family members in obtaining protection from family violence.

Sec. 25. (NEW) (a) There shall be a family violence coordinating council to increase awareness and understanding of family violence and its consequences and to reduce the incidence of family violence within the state. The council shall consist of the Attorney General, the Commissioner of Children and Families, the Chief State's Attorney, the Chief Court Administrator, the Commissioner of Public Health, the Commissioner of Public Safety, the executive director of the Connecticut Police Chief's Association, the executive director of the Connecticut Council on Domestic Violence, or their designees, the chairmen and ranking members of the committee on judiciary, or their designees, and six public members, one each of whom shall be appointed by the following: The president pro tempore of the Senate, the speaker of the House of Representatives and the majority and minority leaders of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

(b) The responsibility of the council shall include, but not be limited to: (1) Identifying and evaluating existing services available to address family violence; (2) identifying and promoting legislation, services and resources to prevent and address family violence; (3) studying court services and procedures relating to family violence; (4) studying law enforcement procedures and protocol related to family violence; (5) reviewing criminal justice data collection and analysis of family violence; (6) ensuring coordination of all agencies, organizations and the courts involved in family violence prevention and treatment; (7) developing and promoting multidisciplinary training programs; (8) promoting effective prevention, intervention and treatment techniques; (9) recommending treatment programs and standards to the relevant state agencies and other service providers; (10) promoting the organization of local councils on family violence; and (11) providing assistance and support to established local councils and increasing public awareness and support for family violence services and resources.

(c) Nothing contained in this section shall be construed as providing the council with authority or responsibility vested in another state or local agency or as a limitation upon the power or authority of the state or its agencies to seek administrative, legal or equitable relief as provided by law.

Sec. 26. (NEW) The Commissioner of Children and Families shall, within available resources, establish visitation centers for the purpose of facilitating visits between children in the custody of the commissioner and those family members who are subject to supervised visitation. Such center shall provide a secure facility for supervised visitation or the transfer of custody of such children for visitation.

Sec. 27. Section 17a-104 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

For the purposes of sections 17a-101 to 17a-103, inclusive, SECTIONS 2 TO 6, INCLUSIVE, OF THIS ACT, SECTION 17a-103, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 7 OF THIS ACT, AND SECTIONS 8 TO 14, INCLUSIVE, OF THIS ACT the treatment of any child by a Christian Science practitioner in lieu of treatment by a licensed practitioner of the healing arts shall not of itself constitute maltreatment.

Sec. 28. Section 17a-105 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Whenever any person is arrested and charged with an offense under section 53-20 or 53-21 or under part V, VI or VII of chapter 952, AS AMENDED the victim of which offense was a minor residing with the defendant, any judge of the Superior Court may, if it appears that the child's condition or circumstances surrounding his case so require, issue an order to the Commissioner of Children and Families to assume immediate custody of such child and, if the circumstances so require, any other children residing with the defendant and to proceed thereon as in cases reported under [subsection (e) of section 17a-101. Such order shall be valid for a period of seven days and if, within such seven-day period, the Commissioner of Children and Families files an application for temporary custody of such child with the Superior Court, such order shall be valid until a decision is rendered on such application] SECTION 9 OF THIS ACT.

Sec. 29. Section 19a-216 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Any municipal health department, state institution or facility, licensed physician or public or private hospital or clinic, may examine and provide treatment for venereal disease for a minor, if the physician or facility is qualified to provide such examination and treatment. The consent of the parents or guardian of the minor shall not be a prerequisite to the examination and treatment. The physician in charge or other appropriate authority of the facility or the licensed physician concerned shall prescribe an appropriate course of treatment for the minor. The fact of consultation, examination and treatment of a minor under the provisions of this section shall be confidential and shall not be divulged by the facility or physician, including the sending of a bill for the services to any person other than the minor, except for purposes of reports under section 19a-215, and except that, if the minor is not more than twelve years of age, the facility or physician shall report the name, age and address of that minor to the commissioner of children and families or his designee who shall proceed thereon as in reports under section [17a-101] 9 OF THIS ACT.

(b) A minor shall be personally liable for all costs and expenses for services afforded him at his request under this section.

Sec. 30. Subsection (c) of section 19a-585 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(c) Nothing in this chapter shall limit a person's or agency's responsibility to report, investigate or disclose child protective services information pursuant to section 17a-101 AS AMENDED BY SECTION 1 OF THIS ACT, SECTIONS 2 TO 6, INCLUSIVE, OF THIS ACT, SECTION 17a-103, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 7 OF THE ACT, AND SECTIONS 8 TO 14, INCLUSIVE, OF THIS ACT and regulations adopted pursuant to said [section] SECTIONS.

Sec. 31. Subsection (b) of section 45a-607 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(b) In the case of a child in the custody of the parent or other guardian, no application for custody of such child may be granted ex parte, except in accordance with subdivision (2) of this subsection. In the case of a child in the custody of a person other than the parent or guardian, no application for custody may be granted ex parte, except in accordance with subdivisions (1) to (3), inclusive, of this subsection. (1) An application for immediate temporary custody shall be accompanied by an affidavit made by the custodian of such child under penalty of false statement, stating the circumstances under which such custody was obtained, the length of time the affiant has had custody and specific facts which would justify the conclusion that determination cannot await the hearing required by subsection (c) of this section. Upon such application, the court may grant immediate temporary custody to the affiant or some other suitable person if the court finds that: (A) The child was not taken or kept from the parent, parents or guardian and (B) there is a substantial likelihood that the child will be removed from the jurisdiction prior to a hearing under subsection (c) of this section, or (C) to return the child to the parent, parents or guardian would place the child in circumstances which would result in serious physical illness or injury, or the threat thereof, or imminent physical danger prior to a hearing under subsection (c) of this section. (2) In the case of a child who is hospitalized as a result of serious physical illness or serious physical injury, an application for immediate temporary custody shall contain a certificate signed by two physicians licensed to practice medicine in this state stating that (A) the child is in need of immediate medical or surgical treatment, the delay of which would be life threatening, (B) the parent, parents or guardian of the child refuses or is unable to consent to such treatment and (C) determination of the need for temporary custody cannot await notice of hearing. Upon such application the court may grant immediate temporary custody to some suitable person if it finds that (i) a child has suffered from serious physical illness or serious physical injury, is in need of immediate medical or surgical treatment, (ii) the parent, parents or guardian refuses to consent to such treatment, and (iii) to delay such treatment would be life threatening. (3) If an order of temporary custody is issued ex parte, notice of the hearing required by subsection (c) of this section shall be given promptly, and the hearing shall be held within five business days of the date of such ex parte order of temporary custody, provided the respondent shall be entitled to continuance upon request. Upon issuance of an ex parte order of temporary custody, the court shall promptly notify the Commissioner of Children and Families, who shall cause an investigation to be made forthwith, in accordance with section [17a-101] 9 OF THIS ACT, and who shall present his report to the court at the hearing on the application for temporary custody. The hearing on an ex parte order of temporary custody shall not be postponed, except with the consent of the respondent, or if notice cannot be given as required by this section, a postponement may be ordered by the court for the purpose of a further order of notice.

Sec. 32. Subsection (e) of section 46b-38b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(e) On or before October 1, 1986, each law enforcement agency shall develop, in conjunction with the Division of Criminal Justice, and implement specific operational guidelines for arrest policies in family violence incidents. Such guidelines shall include but not be limited to: (1) Procedures for the conduct of a criminal investigation; (2) procedures for arrest and for victim assistance by peace officers; (3) education as to what constitutes speedy information in a family violence incident; (4) procedures with respect to the provision of services to victims; and (5) such other criteria or guidelines as may be applicable to carry out the purposes of [subsection (e) of section 17a-101 and sections 17a-107,] SECTIONS 46b-1, 46b-15, 46b-38a to 46b-38f, inclusive, and 54-1g AS AMENDED. Such procedures shall be duly promulgated by said law enforcement agency.

Sec. 33. Subsection (b) of section 46b-38c of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(b) The Family Relations Division of the Superior Court, in accordance with the agreement between the Chief State's Attorney and the Judicial Department, shall establish within each geographical area of the Superior Court a local family violence intervention unit to implement [subsection (e) of section 17a-101 and sections 17a-107,] SECTIONS 46b-1, 46b-15, 46b-38a to 46b-38f, inclusive, and 54-1g AS AMENDED. The Family Relations Division shall oversee direct operations of the local units.

Sec. 34. Subsection (i) of section 46b-38c of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(i) The Judicial Department shall establish an ongoing training program for judges, Family Division personnel, bail commissioners and clerks to inform them about the policies and procedures of [subsection (e) of section 17a-101 and sections 17a-107,] SECTIONS 46b-1, 46b-15, 46b-38a to 46b-38f, inclusive, and 54-1g, AS AMENDED including but not limited to, the function of the family violence intervention units and the use of restraining and protective orders.

Sec. 35. Subsection (a) of section 46b-124 of the general statutes, as amended by section 12 of public act 95-225, section 3 of public act 95-254 and section 1 of public act 95-261, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) All records of cases of juvenile matters, as defined in section 46b-121, except proceedings concerning delinquent children, or any part thereof, and all records of appeals from probate brought to the Superior Court for juvenile matters pursuant to subsection (b) of section 45a-186, including studies and reports by probation officers, social agencies and clinics, shall be confidential and for the use of the court in juvenile matters, and open to inspection or disclosure to any third party, including bona fide researchers commissioned by a state agency, only upon order of the Superior Court, except that (1) the records concerning any matter transferred from a court of probate pursuant to section 45a-623 or subsection (g) of section 45a-715 or any appeal from probate to the Superior Court for juvenile matters pursuant to subsection (b) of section 45a-186 shall be available to the court of probate from which such matter was transferred or from which such appeal was taken, (2) such records shall be available to the attorney representing the child or youth, his parents or guardian and to an adult adopted person in accordance with the provisions of sections 45a-736, 45a-737 and 45a-743 to 45a-757, inclusive, and to another court under the provisions of section 46b-111 AND (3) PSYCHOLOGICAL EVALUATIONS SHALL BE AVAILABLE TO THE COMMISSIONER OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES FOR PURPOSES OF DIAGNOSING, CARING FOR OR TREATING A CHILD IN THE CARE OR CUSTODY OF THE COMMISSIONER. Any record or any part thereof forwarded by said court or any of its employees to any persons, governmental and private agencies, and institutions, shall not be disclosed, directly or indirectly, to any third party not specified in subsection (c) of this section save upon order of said court or except in the report required under section 54-76d or 54-91a.

Sec. 36. The Commissioner of Children and Families shall conduct a study of child abuse and neglect cases where the person inflicting abuse or neglecting a child has been referred to services pursuant to subsection (c) of section 12 of this act and determine the availability of such services. The commissioner shall report the findings of such study to the General Assembly not later than February 1, 1997.

Sec. 37. The Commissioner of Children and Families shall review child abuse and neglect cases where the identity of the person who filed the report is unknown. Such review shall include a determination of (1) the number of such anonymous reports which are filed, (2) the percentage of such reports where abuse or neglect are substantiated, (3) the percentage of all other reports where abuse or neglect is substantiated, (4) the percentage of anonymous reports where child custody issues are involved, and (5) the percentage of all other reports where child custody issues are involved. The commissioner shall report the findings of such review to the General Assembly not later than February 1, 1997.

Sec. 38. Sections 17a-48 and 17a-102 of the general statutes are repealed.

Approved June 12, 1996. Effective October 1, 1996.

[footer.htm]