The Department of Children and Families shall maintain a Central Registry of substantiated perpetrators of child abuse and/or neglect who are determined by the Department to pose a risk to the health, safety or welfare of children.
NOTICE: Pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec. 17a-101k(i), draft Regulations related to substantiation policy are currently under review. Since this review includes entities outside of the agency, as well as the public, the final version of the Regulations may vary from this Policy. This Policy will be updated when the Regulations are finalized.
- CONN. GEN. STAT. §17a-28 and §17a-101
- REG. CONN. STATE AGENCIES §17a-101-1 through §17a-101-10
The primary purpose of the Central Registry is child protection through prevention and identification of abuse and/or neglect of children.
The Central Registry – Perpetrators consists of the names of those persons who:
- have been substantiated as perpetrators of child abuse and/or neglect,
- are determined by the Department to pose a risk to the health, safety or welfare of children and
- are maintained in the Department’s computer system (LINK).
The following information is displayed in a perpetrator search of the LINK system:
- perpetrator’s name, gender, date of birth, race and address
- case name(s) and number(s)
- date of investigation(s)
- substantiated allegation(s), and
- whether the information is discloseable or not discloseable.
Access to the Registry
Access to the Central Registry shall be limited to duly authorized Department employees for purposes of obtaining information for the investigation of child abuse and neglect, background checks, and other uses permitted by law.
Prospective employers, licensing authorities and other public agencies permitted by law, are permitted to request background checks for any person, provided they submit the request on a form provided by the Department for that purpose, signed by the subject of the background check.
The Connecticut Departments of Public Health, Education and Social Services may request background checks under certain circumstances without signed releases pursuant to state statute.
Legal References: Conn. Gen. Stat. §17a-28(f)
and §17a101k (b).
Information That May be Disclosed
The DCF Careline shall disclose only the following information in response to a request for a background check:
- perpetrator’s name
- the substantiated allegations of abuse or neglect, and
- the date(s) of the investigation(s).
The Careline may also refer the requestor to the office that conducted the investigation for further information as authorized by law.
If the requestor is the Department of Public Health or Social Services, the Department shall provide the investigation file, if requested.
Information That May Not be Disclosed
The DCF Careline shall not disclose
- the existence of an unsubstantiated allegation of abuse or neglect
- a substantiated allegation of abuse or neglect that has been appealed pursuant to policy sections 34-15-1 or 22-12-2, if the appeal is pending, except as noted below, or
- a substantiated allegation of abuse or neglect, if the time frame for requesting an appeal has not yet expired.
If the Careline receives a request for a background check on a person before the time for requesting a substantiation appeal has expired or while an appeal is pending, the Careline shall not disclose any information concerning the pending matter, except as provided below.
Information That May be Disclosed
The Department may disclose that a person is on the Central Registry before the time for requesting an appeal has expired or while an appeal is pending if the child abuse or neglect resulted in or involves
- the death of a child
- the risk of serious physical injury or emotional harm of a child
- the serious physical harm of a child
- the arrest of the person due to abuse or neglect of a child
- a neglect or termination of parental rights petition has been filed by the Commissioner
- sexual abuse of a child.
Notification to Subject of Background Check
The Careline shall instruct persons, agencies or other public or private entities requesting a background check for licensing or employment purposes that
- they must inform the subject of the background check that he/she is listed in the Central Registry, as a perpetrator, and
- that the subject may be able to appeal the substantiation pursuant to policy sections 34-15-1 or 22-12-2.
A substantiated allegation of child abuse or neglect that has been appealed and deferred because of a pending court or administrative proceeding shall not be disclosed while the court matter is pending except as provided above.
It shall be the appellant’s responsibility to notify the Department that the court or administrative proceeding is no longer pending and that the appellant would like to proceed with the appeal.
If the appellant does not notify the Department within three years of the deferral of the case, the appellant shall appear on the Central Registry.
At Risk is a status for reporting and report acceptance purposes only. A report that is accepted as at risk must meet one of the operational definitions of child abuse or neglect in order to be substantiated. There cannot be a substantiation of at risk.
At risk substantiations that were confirmed before October, 1996 shall not be disclosed by the Department in response to a request for a background check unless a Program Supervisor or designee, after review of the case, determines that the facts of the case support a finding of neglect or abuse under current operational definitions.
An at risk substantiation confirmed after October, 1996 shall not be disclosed.
Cross References: Operational Definitions, Policy 34-2-7, Conducting the Investigation, Policy 34-3-6.
High Risk Newborns
High Risk Newborn is a descriptive category that applies to certain cases that meet the criteria set forth in High Risk Newborn policy.
Although a child may be identified as a high-risk newborn, the child’s parent shall not be substantiated as a perpetrator unless he/she has committed an act of child abuse or neglect as defined in the operational definitions.
Cross Reference: High Risk Newborns, Policy 34-12-2.
Connecticut Department of Children and Families
Effective Date: February 22, 2007 (Rev)