Return to CT.Gov Home
Department of Children and Families
DCF Logo

Policy Manual

CHILD PROTECTIVE INVESTIGATIONS
Conducting the Investigation

34-3-5.1
Substance Abuse Testing and Evaluation

Policy During an investigation, if there are indications of drug/alcohol abuse or dependency by household members, or by another person with caretaking responsibilities or who has access to the children in the home, the investigator shall request that such person(s) undergo voluntary drug/alcohol testing and evaluation.

All drug/alcohol testing, evaluation and treatment information is protected under the federal regulations governing Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse patient records, 42CFR Part 2, and cannot be disclosed without the patient's written consent.

Definition Substance Abuse refers to patterns of use of alcohol and/or drugs (street, over the counter or prescribed drugs) which interfere with an individual’s social, occupational, legal, financial, emotional and physical functioning.
Release Form The persons, including children and youth, who volunteer to participate in the substance abuse testing and evaluation must sign a "Substance Abuse -Authorization for Release of Information," DCF-2133.

For obtaining information concerning other areas (education, mental health, etc.) use "Authorization for Release of Information Form", DCF-2130.

Cross-ReferencePolicy 31-8-5, "Confidentiality"

Completing the Release Form The investigator shall ensure all of the check-off boxes are marked either "yes" or "no" as appropriate.   No boxes should be left blank.  This will help ensure that the client understands exactly what information will be released.  The investigator must also clearly write in the purpose of disclosure so the client understands the reasons the information is being disclosed.
On-going Communication The investigator shall ensure release of information forms are kept current and express the intended purpose of providing on-going information to the department regarding the client's progress and treatment data.

NoteInformation obtained through this release of information form shall not be disclosed further without the client's written consent.  The use of information obtained is limited to the specific purpose listed on the form.

Determination of Need To determine if a client needs to participate in substance abuse testing and evaluation, the investigator shall
  • evaluate the following indicators and information:
    • an Investigation Protocol, DCF-2074, which specifies substance abuse
    • documented reports of prior substance abuse
    • sufficient information from direct observation of the client’s behavior and/or physical condition
    • the presence of drug paraphernalia
    • evidence of alcohol abuse
    • a child’s report of substance abuse in the home
    • self-report by a client
    • documented information from collateral contacts
    • a report of a child having prenatal exposure to drugs; i.e., positive drug toxicology or a parent’s report of using alcohol or drugs during pregnancy
  • utilize DCF-2110, "Substance Abuse Screening/Information Form" when interviewing family members.

In making this determination, the investigator shall discuss any concerns or questions with his/her supervisor and the Regional Resource Group (RRG) substance abuse specialist.

Community Providers The investigator shall access those community agencies which provide outpatient, substance abuse testing and evaluation services, as contracted for by the Department.

For substance abuse services which are not included in the contract, the worker shall coordinate with local community providers.

Arrangement for Services The investigator shall take the following steps to arrange for the outpatient substance abuse testing and evaluation services with the Department’s contracted provider:
  • determine if the testing and evaluation is to be provided immediately, or by scheduling an appointment
  • identify any potential barriers (e.g., transportation, child care), and coordinate solutions with the provider
  • submit DCF-2133, "Substance Abuse - Authorization for Release of Information," to the provider
  • submit completed DCF-2110, "Substance Abuse Screening/Information Form" to the provider.

Note: To authorize ongoing substance abuse outpatient treatment, the investigator shall consult with his/her supervisor and the RRG substance abuse specialist.

Refusal to Participate and Court Intervention If the client refuses to participate in voluntary substance abuse testing and evaluation or does not keep appointments, the investigator shall consult with his/her supervisor, the Assistant Attorney General, and the RRG substance abuse specialist to determine further actions.

The client’s decision must be factored into the determination of risk to the child(ren).

If there is sufficient basis to file a petition, then a petition shall be sought and court orders pursued to require testing, evaluation and treatment.

Documentation The investigator shall
  • file the following information in the confidential section of the uniform case record:

- the DCF-2110, "Substance Abuse Screening/Information Form"

- a copy of DCF-2133, "Substance Abuse -Authorization for Release of Information"

- the private provider’s report

  • document activities, observations, and the results of the provider’s report in the LINK case activity notes.

Connecticut Department of Children and Families                               Effective Date: July 15, 1999  (Revised)