2012 Connecticut General Statutes
Title 52 - Civil Actions
Chapter 899 - Evidence
Section 52-146q - Disclosure of confidential communications between social worker and person consulting such social worker prohibited. Exceptions.
(a) As used in this section:
(1) “Person” means an individual who consults a social worker for purposes of evaluation or treatment;
(2) “Social worker” means an individual licensed as a clinical social worker pursuant to chapter 383b or an individual reasonably believed by the person to be so licensed;
(3) “Communications and records” means all oral and written communications and records thereof relating to the evaluation or treatment of a person between such person and a social worker, or between a member of such person’s family and a social worker, or between such person or a member of such person’s family and an individual participating under the supervision of a social worker in the accomplishment of the objectives of evaluation or treatment, wherever made;
(4) “Consent” means consent given in writing by the person or his authorized representative;
(5) “Authorized representative” means (A) an individual empowered by a person to assert the confidentiality of communications and records under this section, or (B) if a person is deceased, his administrator or executor or, in the absence of such fiduciary, his next of kin, or (C) if a person has been declared incompetent to assert or waive his privileges under this section, a guardian or conservator who is duly appointed to act for the person;
(6) “Mental health facility” includes any hospital, clinic, ward, social worker’s office or other facility, public or private, which provides inpatient or outpatient service, in whole or in part, relating to the diagnosis or treatment of a person’s mental condition.
(b) All communications and records shall be confidential and, except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, a social worker shall not disclose any such communications and records unless the person or his authorized representative consents to such disclosure. Any consent given shall specify the individual or agency to which the communications and records are to be disclosed, the scope of the communications and records to be disclosed, the purpose of the disclosure and the expiration date of the consent. A copy of the consent form shall accompany any communications and records disclosed. The person or his authorized representative may withdraw any consent given under the provisions of this section at any time by written notice to the individual with whom or the office in which the original consent was filed. The withdrawal of consent shall not affect communications and records disclosed prior to notice of the withdrawal, except that such communications and records may not be redisclosed after the date of the notice of withdrawal.
(c) Consent of the person shall not be required for the disclosure or transmission of such person’s communications and records in the following situations as specifically limited:
(1) Communications and records may be disclosed to other individuals engaged in the diagnosis or treatment of the person or may be transmitted to a mental health facility to which the person is admitted for diagnosis or treatment if the social worker in possession of the communications and records determines that the disclosure or transmission is needed to accomplish the objectives of diagnosis or treatment, or when a social worker, in the course of evaluation or treatment of the person, finds it necessary to disclose the communications and records for the purpose of referring the person to a mental health facility. The person shall be informed that the communications and records have been so disclosed or transmitted. For purposes of this subdivision, individuals in professional training are to be considered as engaged in the diagnosis or treatment of the person.
(2) Communications and records may be disclosed when a social worker determines that there is a substantial risk of imminent physical injury by the person to himself or others, or when disclosure is otherwise mandated by any provision of the general statutes.
(3) Communications and records made in the course of an evaluation ordered by a court may be disclosed at judicial proceedings in which the person is a party provided the court finds that the person has been informed before making the communications that any communications and records may be so disclosed and provided further that communications and records shall be admissible only on issues involving the person’s mental condition.
(4) Communications and records may be disclosed in a civil proceeding in which the person introduces his mental condition as an element of his claim or defense or, after the person’s death, when his condition is introduced by a party claiming or defending through or as a beneficiary of the person. For any disclosure under this subdivision, the court shall find that it is more important to the interests of justice that the communications and records be disclosed than that the relationship between the person and the social worker be protected.
(5) If a social worker makes a claim for collection of fees for services rendered, the name and address of the person and the amount of the fees may be disclosed to individuals or agencies involved in such collection, provided written notification that such disclosure will be made is sent to the person not less than thirty days prior to such disclosure. In cases where a dispute arises over the fees or claims or where additional information is needed to substantiate the fees or claims, the disclosure of further information shall be limited to the following: (A) That the person did in fact receive the services of the social worker, (B) the dates and duration of such services, and (C) a general description of the types of services.
(P.A. 92-225, S. 2, 5; P.A. 95-116, S. 9.)
History: P.A. 95-116 redefined “social worker”, changing reference to “certified independent” social workers to “licensed clinical” social workers.
Subdiv. (2) is unambiguous and does not permit in-court testimony by a social worker; communications and records are both confidential and not subject to disclosure, except as “specifically limited” by Subsec. 291 C. 642.
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