Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records - Connecticut

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Confidentiality of Records

Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 17a-28; 17a-101k

Records maintained by the Department of Children and Families shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed unless the department receives written consent from the person or as provided in this section. Records that contain privileged communications or are confidential pursuant to any Federal law or regulation shall not be disclosed except as authorized by law. 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.

The information contained in the child abuse registry and any other information relative to child abuse, wherever located, shall be confidential, subject to such statutes and regulations governing their use and access to the information shall conform to the requirements of Federal law and regulation.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 17a-28

The department shall disclose records without the consent of the person who is the subject of the record to the following:

  • The person named in the record
  • A guardian ad litem or attorney appointed to represent a child
  • A guardian ad litem or attorney appointed to represent a child or parent
  • The attorney general, child advocate, chief public defender, or chief State's attorney
  • A State or Federal law enforcement officer, including a military law enforcement authority
  • The Governor or any legislative committee that deals with matters relating to children
  • The Department of Developmental Services to determine eligibility, facilitate enrollment, and plan for the provision of services to a child who is a client
  • A judge as needed to conduct his or her official duties
  • The auditors of public accounts as needed to conduct audits
  • A local or regional board of education, provided the records are limited to educational records
  • The Department of Motor Vehicles for the purpose of criminal history records checks
  • The Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services for the purpose of treatment planning for young adults who have transitioned from the care of the department
  • The superintendent of a public school district, the director of a public or private institution for children providing care for children, or a private school
  • Any individual or entity for the purposes of identifying resources that will promote the court-approved permanency plan of a child or youth
  • The birth-to-three program's referral intake office to determine eligibility, facilitate enrollment, and provide services to substantiated victims of child abuse and neglect with suspected developmental delays and newborns impacted by withdrawal symptoms resulting from prenatal drug exposure

The department may disclose records without the consent of the person who is the subject of the record to the following:

  • An employee or former employee of the department for purposes of participating in any court, administrative, or disciplinary proceeding
  • Multidisciplinary teams
  • A provider of professional services for a child, youth, or parent
  • An individual or agency under contract with the department for the purposes of identifying and assessing a potential foster or adoptive home for a child or youth
  • A physician examining a child with respect to whom abuse or neglect is suspected
  • An individual who made a report of abuse or neglect, provided the information disclosed is limited to the status of the investigation and the action taken by the department
  • An entity engaged in medical, psychological, or psychiatric diagnosis and treatment of a perpetrator of abuse or neglect
  • A court or public agency in another State or a federally recognized Indian Tribe that is responsible for investigating child abuse or neglect
  • An individual conducting bona fide research
  • An entity involved in the collection of fees for services
  • A law enforcement officer or State's attorney, if there is reasonable cause to believe that a child or youth is being or at risk of being abused or neglected as a result of any suspected criminal activity by any individual
  • Any individual interviewed as part of an investigation
  • Any individual for the purpose of locating such individual's missing parent, child, or other family member
  • A judge of a court of competent jurisdiction whenever an employee of the department is subpoenaed and ordered to testify about such records for purposes of in camera inspection to determine if such records may be disclosed
  • An individual who is not employed by the department who performs activities on behalf of the department, including, but not limited to, data analysis, administration, utilization reviews, quality assurance, practice management, consultation, or accreditation services

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 17a-28

The department shall disclose records without the consent of the person who is the subject of the record to the following:

  • Any individual when information concerning an incident of child abuse or neglect has been made public or the commissioner reasonably believes publication of such information is likely, provided such disclosure is limited to the following:
    • Whether the department has received a report
    • In general terms, any action taken by the department, provided that:
      • Names or other individually identifiable information of the child or other family members is not disclosed, regardless of whether such individually identifiable information is otherwise available.
      • The name or other individually identifiable information of the person suspected to be responsible for the abuse or neglect is not disclosed unless such person has been arrested for a crime due to such abuse or neglect.
    • Confirmation or denial of the accuracy of information that has been made public
    • In general terms, the legal status of the case
  • Any individual when the information concerns an incident of abuse or neglect that resulted in a child or youth fatality or near fatality, provided disclosure of such information is in general terms and does not jeopardize a pending investigation

Use of Records for Employment Screening

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 17a-28

The department shall disclose records without the consent of the person who is the subject of the record to the following:

  • The Office of Early Childhood for the following purposes:
    • Determining the suitability of a person to care for children in a licensed facility
    • Determining the suitability of such person for licensure
    • Conducting an investigation pursuant to § 19a-80f
    • Notifying the office when the department places an individual licensed or certified by the office on the child abuse and neglect registry
    • Notifying the office when the department possesses information regarding regulatory violation committed by an individual licensed or certified by the office
  • A State agency that licenses or certifies an individual to educate or care for children or youth
  • The superintendent of schools for any school district for the purpose of determining the suitability of a person to be employed by the local or regional board of education
  • The Department of Social Services for the purpose of determining the suitability of a person for payment from the department for providing child care