2012 Connecticut General Statutes
Title 17a - Social and Human Services and Resources
Chapter 319a - Child Welfare
Section 17a-101 - (Formerly Sec. 17-38a). Protection of children from abuse. Mandated reporters. Educational and training programs. Model mandated reporting policy.
(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 or neglect, 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, any resident physician or intern in any hospital in this state, whether or not so licensed, any registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, medical examiner, dentist, dental hygienist or psychologist, a school employee, as defined in section 53a-65, social worker, police officer, juvenile or adult probation officer, juvenile or adult parole officer, member of the clergy, pharmacist, physical therapist, optometrist, chiropractor, podiatrist, mental health professional or physician assistant, any person who is a licensed or certified emergency medical services provider, any person who is a licensed or certified alcohol and drug 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, any person who is a licensed professional counselor, any person who is a licensed foster parent, any person paid to care for a child in any public or private facility, child day care center, group day care home or family day care home licensed by the state, any employee of the Department of Children and Families, any employee of the Department of Public Health who is responsible for the licensing of child day care centers, group day care homes, family day care homes or youth camps, the Child Advocate and any employee of the Office of the Child Advocate and any family relations counselor, family relations counselor trainee or family services supervisor employed by the Judicial Department.
(c) The Commissioner of Children and Families shall develop an educational training program and refresher training program for the accurate and prompt identification and reporting of child abuse and neglect. Such training program and refresher 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. Such training program shall be provided to all new school employees, as defined in section 53a-65, within available appropriations.
(d) On or before October 1, 2011, the Department of Children and Families, in consultation with the Department of Education, shall develop a model mandated reporting policy for use by local and regional boards of education. Such policy shall state applicable state law regarding mandated reporting and any relevant information that may assist school districts in the performance of mandated reporting. Such policy shall include, but not be limited to, the following information: (1) Those persons employed by the local or regional board of education who are required pursuant to this section to be mandated reporters, (2) the type of information that is to be reported, (3) the time frame for both written and verbal mandated reports, (4) a statement that the school district may conduct its own investigation into an allegation of abuse or neglect by a school employee, provided such investigation does not impede an investigation by the Department of Children and Families, and (5) a statement that retaliation against mandated reporters is prohibited. Such policy shall be updated and revised as necessary.
(February, 1965, P.A. 580, S. 1–3; 1967, P.A. 317; 1969, P.A. 25; 1971, P.A. 216; P.A. 73-205, S. 1; P.A. 74-293, S. 1–3; P.A. 75-270; 75-384, S. 1–6, 9; 75-420, S. 4, 6; P.A. 76-27, S. 1, 2; 76-436, S. 586, 681; P.A. 77-308, S. 1, 4; 77-614, S. 486, 521, 587, 610; P.A. 78-303, S. 85, 136; P.A. 79-631, S. 60, 111; P.A. 80-190, S. 4; P.A. 81-91, S. 2; 81-472, S. 29, 159; P.A. 82-203; P.A. 86-337, S. 6; P.A. 88-218; 88-333; P.A. 89-160, S. 1, 2; 89-168, S. 1; P.A. 92-76, S. 1; P.A. 93-91, S. 1, 2; 93-340, S. 4, 19; P.A. 94-221, S. 21; P.A. 95-103; 95-289, S. 7; P.A. 96-246, S. 1; P.A. 99-102, S. 13; P.A. 00-49, S. 6, 7; P.A. 02-106, S. 3; 02-138, S. 12; P.A. 09-185, S. 8; 09-242, S. 2; P.A. 10-43, S. 12; P.A. 11-93, S. 3; P.A. 12-82, S. 8; 12-119, S. 7.)
History: 1967 act added nurses, teachers, principals and social workers; 1969 act included licensed practical nurses in Subsec. (a); 1971 act inserted new Subsec. (a) stating policy of state, relettered former Subsecs. (a) and (b) as (b) and (c), included medical examiners, police officers and clergymen in Subsec. (b), formerly (a), clarified and expanded provisions re circumstances requiring report, clarified to whom oral and written reports to be made in Subsec. (c), added Subsecs. (d) to (g) and designated former Subsec. (c) as Subsec. (h), making minor changes to reach conformity with rest of section as amended; P.A. 73-205 included dentists, psychologists and school guidance counselors in Subsec. (b) and added provision imposing fine for failure to report as required, amended Subsec. (c) to delete reports to health commissioner and impose 72-hour deadline for written report, amended Subsec. (d) to refer to examination rather than treatment of child, to require physician to advise parents, guardians etc. and to extend hospital custody period from 72 to 96 hours, amended Subsec. (f) to describe qualities appointed counsel must possess and to require court rather than welfare commissioner to pay fee and amended Subsec. (g) to make welfare commissioner rather than health commissioner responsible for registry; P.A. 74-293 included coroners, osteopaths, optometrists, chiropractors, podiatrists, day care center employees and mental health professionals in Subsec. (b), substituted “shall” for “may” in Subsec. (f)(2) thereby making representation by counsel mandatory and imposed deadline for adoption of regulations in Subsec. (g); P.A. 75-270 replaced welfare commissioner and department with commissioner and department of children and youth services and added provisions in Subsec. (e) for temporary custody of child; P.A. 75-384 returned duties to welfare department and commissioner, included emotional maltreatment in Subsec. (b), added provision re counsel as guardian ad litem in Subsec. (f), clarified confidentiality provision in Subsec. (g) and added provision re penalty for violation of section; P.A. 75-420 replaced welfare commissioner and department with commissioner and department of social services; P.A. 76-27 included action by commissioner of children and youth services in Subsec. (e); P.A. 76-436 replaced juvenile court with superior court in Subsecs. (d) to (f), effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 77-308 amended Subsec. (b) to refer to abuse of child by person responsible for his health, welfare or care or by person given access to child by responsible person and added reference to children neglected as defined in Sec. 17-53; P.A. 77-614 and P.A. 78-303 replaced social services commissioner and department with commissioner and department of human resources and made state police department a division within the department of public safety, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 79-631 replaced commissioner and department of human resources with commissioner and department of children and youth services; P.A. 80-190 deleted coroners in Subsec. (b); P.A. 81-91 substituted commissioner of children and youth services for commissioner of human resources in Subsec. (c); P.A. 81-472 made technical changes; P.A. 82-203 amended Subsec. (b) by substituting sexual abuse and sexual exploitation for sexual molestation in the list of examples of conditions that are the result of maltreatment; P.A. 86-337 added requirement that commissioner of children and youth services immediately notify appropriate law enforcement agency of reports of child abuse; P.A. 88-218 added physician assistants, Connecticut certified substance abuse counselors and Connecticut certified marital and family therapists to the list of persons required to report child abuse in Subsec. (b) and made a technical change in Subsec. (g); P.A. 88-333 in Subsec. (b) added a school employee as a person who has inflicted injuries, in Subsecs. (b) and (c) added reporting requirements when it is suspected or believed that the injuries were inflicted by a school employee, in Subsec. (e) specified who is to investigate when a report concerns suspected or believed injuries by a school employee and added Subdiv. (3) re reporting and suspension when an investigation produces evidence that a child has been abused by a school employee, in Subsec. (f) specified what happens if a school employee is convicted of a crime involving an act of child abuse and added Subsec. (i) re the assignment of designees by a school superintendent; P.A. 89-160 amended Subsec. (c) to require the commissioner of children and youth services and the local police department or state police to notify each other when either receives an oral report alleging serious physical abuse or sexual abuse of a child, amended Subsec. (d) to allow physicians examining a child with respect to whom abuse is suspected to perform diagnostic tests and procedures necessary for the detection of child abuse, the expenses for such tests and procedures paid for by the parents or if they are unable to pay, by the commissioner, amended Subsec. (d) to allow the commissioner during the period of temporary custody, to provide the child with all necessary care including medical care consisting of an examination, with or without parental consent and diagnostic tests and procedures necessary to detect child abuse and amended Subsec. (g) to require the commissioner to disclose the information in the registry of child abuse reports received to the legislative program review and investigations committee when requested and under certain conditions protecting confidentiality; P.A. 89-168 added a new Subsec. (j) which requires each local and regional board of education to adopt a written policy regarding the reporting, by school employees, of suspected child abuse; Sec. 17-38a transferred to Sec. 17a-101 in 1991; P.A. 92-76 included school paraprofessionals in Subsec. (b), amended Subsec. (c) to require report to commissioner of education in cases involving certified school employees, amended Subsec. (e) to require notification of commissioner of education in investigations involving certified school employees and to add language concerning certification revocation proceedings and made technical changes in Subsec. (f); P.A. 93-91 substituted commissioner and department of children and families for commissioner and department of children and youth services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 93-340 amended Subsec. (b) to add dental hygienists, pharmacists, physical therapists, sexual assault counselors and battered women’s counselors to list of persons required to report suspected child abuse and to make technical changes, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 94-221 amended Subsec. (f) to add notice by the state’s attorney of persons holding certificates issued by the State Board of Education, expanded the reasons for the notice to include violations of Secs. 53a-71 and 53a-73a, substituted notice to the commissioner of education for notice to the State Board of Education and deleted provision for the commencement of certification revocation proceedings; P.A. 95-103 amended Subsec. (f) by adding provision that separate guardian ad litem not required to be attorney; P.A. 95-289 changed marital and family therapists from “Connecticut certified” to “licensed”; P.A. 96-246 amended Subsec. (b) by listing mandated reporters and deleting rest of subsection and deleted former Subsecs. (c) to (j), inclusive, and added new Subsec. (c) re development of educational training program for prompt identification and reporting of child abuse and neglect; P.A. 99-102 amended Subsec. (b) by deleting obsolete references to chapter 371 and osteopaths and making a technical change; P.A. 00-49 amended Subsec. (a) by making technical changes and adding the Child Advocate and any employee of the Office of Child Advocate as mandated reporters, effective July 1, 2000; P.A. 02-106 amended Subsec. (b) to add a coach of intramural or interscholastic athletics as a mandated reporter; P.A. 02-138 amended Subsec. (b) to replace “clergyman” with “member of the clergy”, replace “licensed substance abuse counselor” with “licensed or certified alcohol and drug counselor”, replace “day care center” with “child day care center” and add as mandated reporters a school coach, juvenile or adult probation officer, juvenile or adult parole officer, any person who is a licensed or certified emergency medical services provider, any person who is a licensed professional counselor, any person paid to care for a child in any group day care home licensed by the state, any employee of the Department of Children and Families and any employee of the Department of Public Health who is responsible for the licensing of child day care centers, group day care homes, family day care homes or youth camps and added new Subsec. (d) re participation of mandated reporters who fail to report in an educational and training program established by the commissioner; P.A. 09-185 amended Subsec. (b) by expanding mandated reporters to include any person licensed as a foster parent, effective July 1, 2009; P.A. 09-242 amended Subsec. (b) to include school superintendent as a mandated reporter and make a technical change; P.A. 10-43 amended Subsec. (a) to add reference to reporting of suspected child neglect and amended Subsec. (b) to include family relations counselor, family relations counselor trainee and family services supervisor employed by Judicial Department as mandated reporters; P.A. 11-93 amended Subsec. (b) by replacing titles of school employees with “school employee, as defined in section 53a-65”, amended Subsec. (c) by adding provisions re development of refresher training program and re training to be provided to all new school employees and added Subsec. (e) re model mandated reporting policy, effective July 1, 2011; P.A. 12-82 deleted former Subsec. (d) re participation in educational and training program by mandated reporters who fail to report suspected abuse or neglect and redesignated existing Subsec. (e) as Subsec. (d); P.A. 12-119 made technical changes in Subsec. (b), effective June 15, 2012.
See Sec. 10-145b re revocation of certificates issued by the State Board of Education.
See Sec. 17a-3a re training for Connecticut Juvenile Training School staff.
See Sec. 17a-49 re grants for programs for treatment and prevention of child abuse and neglect.
Cited. 165 C. 288; 177 C. 648; 179 C. 155; 187 C. 431; 189 C. 276; 192 C. 254; 195 C. 344; 214 C. 256; 217 C. 459.
Cited. 6 CA 7; Id., 360; 8 CA 656; 12 CA 585; 23 CA 410; 25 CA 586; judgment reversed, see 223 C. 492; 30 CA 794; 31 CA 400; judgment reversed, see 230 C. 459.
Cited. 35 CS 241; 41 CS 23.
Annotations to present section:
Cited. 224 C. 29; 240 C. 549; 242 C. 1. Class of persons protected by statute is limited to those children who have been abused or neglected and are, or should have been, the subject of a mandated report; thus, trial court properly concluded that defendant did not owe a duty of care to child who sustained head injury while attending a licensed day care facility because child was not within the class of persons protected by statute. 267 C. 539.
Cited. 25 CA 586; judgment reversed, see 223 C. 492; 26 CA 58; 30 CA 794; 40 CA 233. In second proceeding re determination of abuse and neglect of a child, no collateral estoppel where issue is termination of parental rights. 50 CA 805. Arbitration award reinstating driver of children for department who was guilty of drug charges under Secs. 21a-277 and 21a-278 violates public policy of protecting children of the state. 59 CA 793. Doctrine of predictive neglect; sufficient evidence found for court to determine child was neglected by reason of being permitted to live under conditions, circumstances or associations injurious to her well-being. 105 CA 502.
Cited. 224 C. 263. Section does not expressly obligate employer to accommodate an employee’s work-at-home requests or to refrain from taking adverse action against an employee who persists in efforts to secure such arrangement. 249 C. 766.
Adjudication of neglect may be based on potential risk of harm. 58 CA 119.
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