FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

Adelaide Kagan,

 

Complainant

 

against Docket #FIC 88-9

 

State of Connecticut Department of Human Resources,

 

Respondent May 25, 1988

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on February 25, 1988, at which time the complainant and the respondent appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.

 

After consideration of the entire record, the following facts are found:

 

1. The respondent is a public agency within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.

 

2. The complainant is a family day care provider registered with the respondent.

 

3. On or about March 5, 1987 a representative of the respondent made an unannounced visit to the complainant's home to investigate an allegation of child abuse. Such allegation had been forwarded to the respondent by the State of Connecticut Department of Children and Youth Services ("DCYS").

 

4. Following an investigation, the respondent notified the complainant that it would take no "negative action" against the complainant's family day care registration. There ensued a series of requests by the complainant to the respondent for information concerning the basis of the respondent's investigation.

 

5. The request upon which this appeal is based was dated December 12, 1987 and in it the complainant made a request of the respondent for a copy of the inter-departmental communication between DCYS and the respondent, received on March 3, 1987, that led to the unannounced visit to the complainant's home on March 5, 1987.

 

Docket #FIC 88-9 Page Two

 

6. By letter dated December 15, 1987 the respondent acknowledged receipt of the request. By letter dated December 16, 1987 the respondent denied the request, citing 17-38a(g), G.S.

 

7. By letter of complaint filed with the Commission on January 6, 1988 the complainant appealed the denial of her request.

 

8. Section 17-38a(b), G.S. requires certain health care professionals and others to report suspected child abuse to DCYS.

 

9. Section 17-38a(g), G.S. provides that such reports "and any other information relative to child abuse, wherever located," shall be confidential.

 

10. It is found that the inter-departmental communication which is the subject of this complaint is "information relative to child abuse" within the meaning of 17-38a(g), G.S.

 

11. It is further found that 17-38a(g), G.S. exempts the requested record from mandatory disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.

 

12. It is concluded that the respondent did not violate 1-15 or 1-19(a), G.S. when it failed to provide the complainant with access to inspect or copy the inter-departmental communication referred to at paragraph 5, above.

 

The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint.

 

1. The complaint is hereby dismissed.

 

Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its special meeting of May 25, 1988.

 

 

Catherine H. Lynch

Acting Clerk of the Commission