P.A. 22-42 AAC the Department of Children and Families' Recommendations for Revisions to the Statutes Concerning Children. (S.B. 206)

Home P.A. 22-42 AAC the Department of Children and Families’ Recommendations for Revisions to the Statutes Concerning Children. (S.B. 206)

This bill expands the entities to whom the Department of Children and Families (DCF) must disclose certain records without the subject’s consent. With certain exceptions, existing law generally requires the department to obtain consent from the subject of a record before disclosing information created or obtained in connection with its child protection activities, activities of a child while in DCF care or custody, or the department’s abuse and neglect registry. The bill creates additional exceptions for disclosures to the following entities:

  1. the Office of Early Childhood (OEC) to determine a person’s suitability to (a) care for children in an OEC-licensed youth camp or (b) provide childcare services to a child and to receive a childcare subsidy (i.e., Care 4 Kids);
  2. any DCF-licensed child placing agency to determine a person’s suitability (a) for employment or (b) to adopt and provide foster care; and
  3. the Department of Administrative Services to determine whether an applicant for state employment, who would have contact with children in the course of his or her employment, is on the child abuse or neglect registry.

The bill also limits the powers and duties of the education unit DCF was required to establish by PA 21-174. The act required DCF to create and implement a plan for an educational unit within the department to educate children who are incarcerated or in a juvenile justice facility. The bill instead requires DCF to establish an administrative unit to oversee these children’s education, rather than directly provide it. It makes conforming changes by, among other things, eliminating the commissioner’s power to employ and dismiss teachers or contract with local or regional boards of education or educational service providers to provide educational services to these children. As under existing law, the DCF commissioner must administer, coordinate, and control the unit’s operations and may employ and dismiss staff as needed.

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