History of the Connecticut Judicial Seal Home Home BannerBanner
Case Look-up Courts Directories Educational Resources E-Services Juror Information Online Media Resource Center Opinions Opportunities Self-Help Frequently Asked Questions Home Attorneys menu


Print this page Print

A guide for professionals working with children and families involved in the juvenile court

This web guide provides a general overview of the laws governing the confidentiality of records pertaining to children and families involved with the juvenile courts. Written for Connecticut agencies and professional staff who work with these children and families, it is intended to promote information sharing by clarifying when the law allows access to records so that individuals who work with children and their families may make informed decisions about sharing records.

When a child is involved with the juvenile court, three principal governmental entities are usually involved: the Department of Children and Families (DCF), law enforcement agencies, and the courts. Schools and health care providers, while not directly involved in a child’s court case, hold information about the child that may be instrumental in the work of the other government agencies. Court-involved children often experience disruptions in home life and schooling, which can contribute to the difficulties of resolving the issues that brought them to court. Maintaining continuity in their health care and education requires close collaboration among all of those providing services to these children.

These five entities – schools, health care providers, DCF, law enforcement, and courts -- may hold significant amounts of information concerning a child and his or her family. The many laws, agency policies, rules and regulations that govern the sharing of personal information in juvenile court cases are intended to balance a family’s right to privacy with the need for sharing information among agencies, system professionals, and interested parties with a legitimate need to access the information. The sharing of information between these entities is essential to serve the child's best interest. Increased collaboration to share information across agencies can result in better outcomes for these children by streamlining services, coordinating case planning and reducing frustration for the child and family.

This guide is divided into 4 areas:
  • Sharing Information describes the principles of sharing information, provides checklists for determining if sharing is appropriate.
  • Consent/Releases defines informed consent, describes common release documents, and explains how to interpret a release so as to comply with the limits of the informed consent.
  • Legal Guide provides an overview of the state and federal laws that protect information from inappropriate disclosure.
  • Glossary/Index includes a list of key terms and acronyms used throughout this guide. It also provides contact information about agencies that are involved in the care of children who may be involved in a juvenile court case.
If you are unfamiliar with what happens in a juvenile court proceeding, read the following summaries:


The Connecticut Judicial Branch would like to acknowledge all of the agencies and individuals who contributed to the Joint Juvenile Justice Strategic Plan between the Department of Children and Families and the Court Support Services Division. We would also like to thank the Child Welfare League of America who facilitated the strategic planning process in collaboration with many public and private partners. The work of this initiative has been directly supported by the Joint Juvenile Justice Strategic Plan Confidentiality Subcommittee, led by the Honorable Christine E. Keller, Chief Administrative Judge for Juvenile Matters, who provided the vision for this resource guide. Amy D’Amaddio, Attorney Rebecca Morton and Attorney Elizabeth Duryea of the Connecticut Judicial Branch researched and wrote this guide.
More information on the Joint Juvenile Justice Strategic Plan and its subcommittees, including membership. External Link

Assistance and advice was also provided by the Models for Change initiative administered by the Juvenile Law Center with funding from the John T. and Catherine T. Mac Arthur Foundation.


Attorneys | Case Look-up | Courts | Directories | Educational Resources | E-Services | Español | FAQ's | Juror Information | Media | Opinions | Opportunities | Self-Help | Home

Common Legal Words | Contact Us | Website Policies

Copyright © 2013, State of Connecticut Judicial Branch