Child Abuse and Neglect

Administrative Decisions
Consent Decrees
Current Issues in Child Welfare Law
DCF Information
Interagency Agreements
Legal Rights of Youth In DCF Care
Other Resources
Print Resources
Sample Letters
Standards of Practice
Standing Orders
TIPS for Lawyers (arranged by topic below)

Conn. Gen. Stat. sec. 4-180a requires that, if any agency wishes to rely on final administrative decisions as precedent, the decisions must be indexed and available for public inspection and copying to the extent required by FOIA. The following is a link to indexed and summarized substantiation decisions. If you wish to obtain a full copy of these decisions please make that request in writing to the Administrative Hearings Unit. Thanks

DCF Policy Manual Overview/Table of Contents

DCF Policy Bulletins and Updates

Index of DCF Regulations

DCF-DMHAS Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

DCF-DMR Interagency Agreement

DCF-SDE Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

Legal Rights Question & Answer Book for Children in Foster Care

Legal Rights Question & Answer Book for Youth in Shelters, Group Homes, STAR Homes, or Residential Treatment Facilities

Advocating for Services

Appellate Advocacy

Child Development

Educational Advocacy

Evidentiary Issues

Fostering Connections: New Federal Law Signed October 2008

GAL Issues

Kids in Court

Kinship Care



Representing Incarcerated Parents

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status

Subsidized Guardianship

Termination of Parental Rights

Unaccompanied Youth


Voluntary Services

Connecticut Commission on Child Protection

GOA Report

  • The General Accounting Office recently published a report regarding deaths and abuses at residential programs for troubled teens. The report indicates that vulnerable children with disabilities have been subject to unnecessary restraints which resulted in several deaths over the past two decades. Examples of these cases include a 7 year old purportedly dying after being held face down for hours by school staff, 5 year olds allegedly being tied to chairs with bungee cords and duct tape by their teacher and suffering broken arms and bloody noses, and a 13 year old reportedly hanging himself in a seclusion room after prolonged confinement.

    The report may be accessed at

Impact of Foster-Care Placement on Child Development

An important recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Minnesota, and published in the journal Development and Psychopathology, demonstrates the harmful impact of foster-care placement on child development. The researchers compared three groups of children: maltreated children placed in foster care; children apparently suffering similar maltreatment who were left at home with little or no help; and a control group of "at risk" children who had not been maltreated. The study found that:

    The maltreated children left at home fared better than those placed in foster care.

    Of the maltreated children placed in foster care, those placed with relatives fared better than those placed with strangers, although not as well as those left at home.

    Not surprisingly, the control group -- "at risk" children who had not been maltreated -- fared the best.

    The study provides useful ammunition for advocates seeking to contest temporary custody or a commitment to DCF, or to press for a relative placement. Click here to download study in PDF format.

U.S. Children's Bureau Website

The Children's Bureau has launched a website with new features, including a Child and Family Services Reviews page with key findings, state assessments and Program Improvement Plans.

Under "Child Welfare Monitoring/Reports and Results" is a Promising Approaches page which offers brief descriptive information on 40 projects in 23 states. The website has been revamped with new sections (Training and Technical Assistance, Statistics and Research, Frequently Requested Information, and Federal and State Reporting Systems) as well as improved ability to search by topic.

Youth Who "Age Out"


Child Witness : Fragile voices in the American Legal System,
McGough, Lucy S, Yale University Press (KF 9672 .M37 1994)

The Child Witness,
Perry, Nancy W., Sage Publications (KF 9672 .P465 1991)

Children, Social Science and the Law,
Bottoms, B.; Kotera, M. and McAuliff B., eds, 2002 (KF 3735.C48)

Expert Witnesses in Child Abuse Cases,
Ceci, S. and Hembrooke, H, editors, 1998 (KF 9323.E 96 )

If DCF is Your Legal Guardian -
Topics: Rights of children involved with DCF - Pages: 6 - Source: Legal Assistance Resource Center of Connecticut (12/93); Free - phone (english) 800-453-3320 or (spanish) 800-453-3374

Improving Outcomes Together: Court and Child Welfare Collaboration -
Author: Cecilia Fiermonte, J.D. and the Honorable Nancy Sidote Salyers - Topics: family and juvenile court, child- Source: National Child Welfare Resource Center on Legal and Judicial Issues, June 2005, available at:

* Juvenile Law: Child Protection in Connecticut Courts -
Author: Assistant Attorney General Arthur Webster - Topics: Abuse, Neglect and Uncared For Proceedings; Extensions & Revocations of Commitment; Termination of Parental Rights - Pages: 225 (1998)

The Law of Child Abuse and Neglect in Connecticut -
Author: Paul Chill, Topics: Abuse and Neglect, Termination of Parental Rights (2d ed. 1999-DRAFT) *KFC 3694.5 C53 1997

Legal Issues in Child Abuse and Neglect Practice -
Author: John E. B. Myers, Topics: Prevalence and effects of child maltreatment -- The child protection system -- Child abuse reporting laws -- Investigative interviewing regarding child maltreatment -- Investigating suspected child abuse -- Balancing the need for confidentiality and the requirements of disclosure -- Expert testimony -- Cross-examination and impeachment : special accommdations when children testify --Liability of professionals, Pages: 411 (1998)

* Making Sense of ASFA Regulations: A Roadmap for Effective Implementation,
Debra Ratterman Baker et al., American Bar Association, 2001.

Memory and Testimony in the Child Witness,
Sage Publications, (K 2271.5 .Z9 M46 1995)

* Navigating the Pathways: lessons and Promising Practices in Linking Alcohol and Drug Services with Child Welfare, Young NK, Gardner, SL, SAMHSA Publication No. SMA-02-36639. Rockville MD: Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, April 2002.

Psychological Evaluations for the Courts -
Author: Gary B. Melton, John Petrila, Noman G. Poythress, Christopher Slobogin. Topics: The Techniques of Abuse/Neglect Evaluations. Pages: 794 (1997) Call # KF8922 .P77 1997

Representing Parties in Child Abuse Proceedings;
self study package includes materials plus audio tapes - Connecticut Bar Association Publications. (KFC4167.C5 R47)

New: Representing Parents in Child Welfare Cases: A Basic Introduction for Attorneys,
National Child Welfare Resource Center on Legal and Judicial Issues 2005

Sharing Information: A Study Guide to Federal Laws on Confidentiality and Disclosure of Information for Child Welfare Agencies - Authors: Alice Bussiere, Abigail English, Catherine Teare, National Center for Youth Law, San Francisco, CA, with the ABA Center on Children and the Law, Washington, D.C.

* - Refer to either Call Numbers at the University of Connecticut School of Law Library or available at the Center for Children's Advocacy Legal Resource Center. For more information, contact the Center for Children's Advocacy.






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