OLR Bill Analysis
AN ACT CONCERNING MEDICAL CARE FOR CHILDREN IN THE CUSTODY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES.
By law, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) commissioner and any agent she appoints must exercise careful supervision of each child under her guardianship or care. This bill permits the DCF commissioner, on the advice of a physician, to authorize non-emergency medical, psychological, psychiatric, or surgical treatment, or a medical multidisciplinary evaluation, to ensure the health of a child in the department's guardianship or care. But if the child's permanency plan involves reunification with the child's parent or parents, the commissioner must provide written notice to the parent or parents at least five days before the treatment or evaluation.
If the child or the parent or parents object, they may file a motion for emergency relief within five days after the notice is given. (It is unclear if this means within five days after the commissioner sends the notice or five days after the parents receive it.) The child generally may not have the treatment or evaluation within that five day period or while the motion is pending, unless there is an emergency necessitating it.
Additionally, the bill permits individuals and agencies to whom DCF has granted care and custody of a child under a temporary custody order to authorize medical multidisciplinary evaluations for children in their care. The law already permits DCF and these individuals and agencies in such circumstances to make decisions regarding emergency medical, psychological, psychiatric, or surgical treatment.
EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2018
Committee on Children
Joint Favorable Substitute
*THIS BILL HAS NOT YET BEEN PASSED BY THE STATE LEGISLATURE, BUT IS WELL ON ITS WAY IN THAT DIRECTION.