CTCDD: Policy Meeting 11-3-08

Policy Meeting 11-3-08

Attending:  Nancy Taylor, Larry Carlson,  John Flanders, Armand Legault, and Mary Eberle. DD Council Staff: Angela Spino


The meeting was chaired by Mr. Flanders and began with the approval of the August Minutes.  Next Ms. Carrin wanted to know who sits on the panel for DDS / DCF Voluntary Services and what the criteria is for deciding which families receive money and hours.


Mr. Flanders stated that there was a DCF hearing that was open to the public, but at the last minute they decided to close it to the public and allow only invited guest to speak.  There will be another DCF hearing at which the public will be able to testify and the DD Council will submit testimony.


Ms. Eberle stated that DCF was routinely taking kids in crisis and as soon as they were stable they were being returned to their homes, at which point the students would begin to regress.  DCF has been in reactive mode and not preventative mode, and a majority of these cases are therapeutic placements.  She also said that we need stories from families that have been in both protective and voluntary services with DCF. In addition, DCF needs a better planning process for these kids, that is long term and complies with doctor’s orders.


Mr. Flanders is going to call the FOIC to be sure that the families we solicit to testify will be protected from retribution by DCF.  The Performance Review Investigative Committee (PRICS) is going to do a whole review of DCF this year.  Ms. Eberle stated that DCF still does not have preventative measures in place; they need to create capacity for more options in residential and community based services. There also needs to be cooperation between schools, DCF, and Probate Courts.  The Committee discussed what resources we need in Connecticut for behavioral and mental health issues. 


Ms. Eberle gave the history on CVH and Riverview Hospital, specifically their procedures for restraints and seclusion with an emphasis on the mixed population.  


Ms. Carrin stated that emergency rooms and hospital in Connecticut do not have the capacity and knowledge to handle and treat kids with disabilities, and therefore we need to do more training and education.


Mr. Flanders would love to know the individual restraint and seclusion policies of each school district.  We also need to check to see if the Districts are handing out the new law on restraints and seclusion.  Ms. Eberle stated that the language of the restraint and seclusion bill needs to have a better definition of the word “emergency” coupled with mandatory training for DMHAS, CVH, and Union 1199 throughout their employment.  It should also include mandatory reporting.  “We modeled it after DSS’s reporting after Mansfield Training Center closed down.”

Ms. Eberle remarked that the Department of Education’s hands are tied in dealing with Districts not in compliance.  She will talk to Senator DeFronzo to target the regulations review by the Regulation Review Committee—Republicans and Democrats of the House and Senate. We have to have another hearing on the Restraints and Seclusion law featuring affected families to strengthen the statute.


The Committee tabled our discussion about targetting individual Boards of Education so they begin distributing a copy of the new law.


Ms. Spino brought up the Judge Rotenberg Center regarding electric shock therapy and asked how we could prevent any Connecticut residents from being placed there. Ms Spino stated that at a SAC meeting she brought it up and the new Special Education Bureau Chief, Anne Louise Thompson, said that the only way the State Department of Education could enforce such a policy is if there is legislation that denies funding for any such Connecticut placements. Mr. Flanders stated that the federal law under IDEA would supersede state law; therefore, Ms. Thompson’s suggestion is incorrect.


We also want to find out how RJC services were billed—under Treatment or some other criteria.  Mr. Flanders also requested a copy of DCF and DDS procedures for approving instate and out of state placements.  Mr. Flanders will draft a letter for Committee approval to the Attorney General’s office for advice about how to move forward.


Ms. Carrin said that we should look into Canada and a group called NEEDS to explore possible opportunities for kids in Connecticut with disabilities and challenging behaviors.  Ms. Spino stated that she has all the information that we could possible need about JRC and she will pursue getting in touch with the Mom who lives in Putnam who placed her daughter at JRC and then pulled her out a few years ago. 


Ms Carrin brought up Nature and Boot Camps because she was concerned with how they treat kids and whether they are pushing kids past their limits.  She wants to know how many deaths are occurring at each of these facilities.  In addition, how and why do state agencies in Connecticut approve these facilities. Ms. Spino will contact Beth Leslie at P&A to see if she has any information about the upcoming legislative session and the different bills for people with disabilities.


We will meet after Thanksgiving—tentatively December 2nd at P&A.  We will have to approve the minutes for our August meeting and November at this December meeting.


Adjourned at 1:40.


Respectfully submitted,


Angela Spino

DD Council




Content Last Modified on 4/15/2010 2:17:14 PM