Superintendents’ Forum with Department of Children and Families
DCF Checklist and Protocol
We continue to work on DCF issues. Many members asked for a DCF checklist and protocol to ensure that all district obligations are met. Please see Attorney Tom Mooney’s e-mail below as well as the attached DCF checklist and model protocol. We join Tom and Natalia in thanking Leslie Torres- Rodriquez and the Hartford Schools for their work on the protocol. Please contact me with any further recommendations or questions.
Many thanks to Tom and Natalia for their excellent work and to Board members for their suggestions in developing the checklist and protocol.
My colleague Natalia Sieira Millan has prepared the two attached documents, a Checklist of Statutory Obligations Relative to Child Abuse/Neglect and a Child Abuse/Neglect Model Protocol.
As to the Checklist, we note that the statutes setting forth school district obligations are linked, and those interested can thus easily read the statutory language when viewing this document electronically. The purpose of the Checklist is to provide an easy reference so that superintendents can assure that their districts are in compliance with these various statutory requirements before any potential problem arises.
As to the Protocol, we start by expressing gratitude for the good work of the Hartford Public Schools. In preparing this suggested Protocol, we relied heavily on the protocol in use in Hartford. Please also see the Note at the top of the Protocol, i.e., that it should serve as a guide to spur superintendents to deliberate on the procedures that will work best for their school district. Superintendents should feel free to revise this protocol to best serve the needs of their district. Similarly, at the end of the Protocol, there are a number of questions to remind administrators that DCF reports often raise other questions unrelated to DCF processes, such as whether an employee’s conduct is unacceptable irrespective of whether DCF accepts the report, and whether the circumstances that led to the report raise other concerns, such as harassment, bullying, restraint and/or seclusion or criminal activity.
We understand that school superintendents continue to have questions about DCF procedures, and we will be pleased to assist you and CAPSS in answering those questions. We do hope that these two documents will serve to be helpful tools for school districts in dealing with DCF reports.
Thomas B. Mooney
Shipman & Goodwin