Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect - Connecticut

Date: May 2023

Professionals Required to Report
Citation: Gen. Stat. §§ 17a-101; 53a-65

The following persons are required to report: 

  • Physicians, surgeons, residents, interns, nurses, medical examiners, dentists, dental hygienists, optometrists, chiropractors, podiatrists, physician assistants, pharmacists, or physical therapists
  • Psychologists or other mental health professionals 
  • School employees, as defined by § 53a-65
  • Social workers 
  • Police officers, juvenile or adult probation officers, or parole officers
  • Members of the clergy
  • Alcohol and drug counselors, marital and family therapists, professional counselors, sexual assault counselors, or domestic violence counselors
  • Licensed foster parents
  • Licensed behavior analysts 
  • Emergency medical services providers
  • Any person paid to care for a child in any public or private facility, child daycare center, group daycare home, or family daycare home that is licensed by the State 
  • Employees of the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and the Office of Early Childhood who are responsible for the licensing of child daycare centers, group daycare homes, family daycare homes
  •  Any paid youth camp director or assistant director and staff member who is aged 21 or older
  • The Child Advocate and any employee of the Office of Child Advocate
  • Family relations counselor trainees, family services supervisors, or victim services advocates employed by the Judicial Department
  • Any person employed to work at a juvenile detention facility or any other facility where children under age 18 are detained and who has direct contact with children as part of their employment

The term 'school employee' includes teachers, substitute teachers, school administrators, school superintendents, guidance counselors, psychologists, social workers, nurses, physicians, school paraprofessionals, or coaches employed by a local or regional board of education or a private elementary, middle, or high school or any other person who, in the performance of their duties, has regular contact with students. 

Training Requirements for Mandatory Reporters

Citation: Gen. Stat. §§ 17a-101; 17a-101i

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. The 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. 

The Department of Children and Families (DCF), 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: 

  • Those persons employed by the local or regional board of education who are required pursuant to this section to be mandated reporters
  • The type of information that is to be reported
  • The time frame for both written and verbal mandated reports
  • 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 DCF 
  • A statement that retaliation against mandated reporters is prohibited

The policy shall be updated and revised as necessary.

Each school employee shall be required to complete the training program developed pursuant to § 17a-101(c). Each such school employee shall complete the refresher training program no later than 3 years after completion of the initial training program and shall thereafter retake the refresher training course at least once every 3 years.

On and after July 1, 2023, each school employee shall complete the program developed in accordance with of § 17a-101q. The training includes the following elements:

  • The prevention and identification of and response to child sexual abuse and assault
  • Bystander training 
  • Appropriate interaction with children 

Each such employee shall repeat such training at least once every 3 years.

See Mandated Reporter Training, available from DCF.

Reporting by Other Persons
Citation: Gen. Stat. § 17a-103

Any mandated reporter acting outside their professional capacity, or any other person having reasonable cause to suspect that a child is being abused or neglected, may report. 

Institutional Responsibility to Report
Citation: Gen. Stat. §§ 17a-101b(d); 17a-101e(a)

Whenever a mandated reporter has reasonable cause to suspect or believe that any child has been abused or neglected by a member of the staff of a public or private institution or facility that provides care for such child or a public or private school, the mandated reporter shall report as required by law. The DCF commissioner or the commissioner's designee shall notify the principal, headmaster, executive director, or other person in charge of the institution, facility, or school, or that person's designee, unless that person is the alleged perpetrator of the abuse or neglect of the child. In the case of a public school, the commissioner also shall notify the person's employing superintendent. The person in charge or the person's designee then shall immediately notify the child's parent or other person responsible for the child's care that a report has been made.

No employer shall do any of the following:

  • Discharge or in any manner discriminate or retaliate against any employee who in good faith makes a report of child abuse or neglect, testifies, or is about to testify in any proceeding involving child abuse or neglect 
  • Hinder, prevent, or attempt to hinder or prevent any employee from making a report as required or testifying in any proceeding involving child abuse or neglect

Standards for Making a Report
Citation: Gen. Stat. § 17a-101a

A report is required when, in the ordinary course of their employment or profession, a reporter has reasonable cause to suspect or believe the following of any child under age 18:

  • The child has been abused or neglected.
  • The child has sustained a nonaccidental physical injury or an injury that is at variance with the history given of the injury.
  • The child is placed at imminent risk of serious harm.

Any school employee shall report when, in the ordinary course of their employment or profession, they have reasonable cause to suspect or believe that any person who is being educated by the technical high school system or a local or regional board of education, other than as part of an adult education program, is a victim of abuse and the perpetrator is a school employee. 

A mandated reporter's suspicion or belief may be based on factors, including, but not limited to, observations, allegations, facts, or statements by a child, victim, or a third party. Such suspicion or belief does not require certainty or probable cause. 

Privileged Communications

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed. 

Inclusion of the Reporter's Name in the Report
Citation: Gen. Stat. §§ 17a-101d; 17a-103

The reporter is not specifically required by statute to include their name in the report. The DCF commissioner shall use their best efforts to obtain the name and address of the reporter. 

Disclosure of the Reporter's Identity
Citation: Gen. Stat. § 17a-28(f)

The name of an individual reporting suspected child abuse or neglect or cooperating with an investigation of child abuse or neglect shall be kept confidential upon request or upon determination by DCF that disclosure of such information may be detrimental to the safety or interests of the individual. The following are exceptions for which the name of the reporter may be disclosed:

  • A DCF employee for reasons reasonably related to the business of DCF
  • A law enforcement officer for purposes of investigating the following:
    • Abuse or neglect of a child or youth
    • An allegation that the individual falsely reported the suspected abuse or neglect of a child or youth
  • A State's attorney for purposes of investigating or prosecuting the following:
    • Abuse or neglect of a child or youth
    • An allegation that the individual falsely reported the suspected abuse or neglect of a child or youth
  • An assistant attorney general or other legal counsel representing DCF
  • A judge of the Superior Court and all necessary parties in a court proceeding pursuant to § 17a-112 or 46b-129, or a criminal prosecution involving child abuse or neglect
  • A State child care licensing agency
  • The executive director of any institution, school, or facility or superintendent of schools pursuant to § 17a-101i