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CHANGE IN CONNECTICUT LAW EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1ST EXPANDS THE LIST OF MANDATED REPORTERS OF SUSPECTED CHILD ABUSE AND IMPACTS PAID COACHES AND DIRECTORS OF CJSA MEMBER CLUBS

Dear All CJSA Club Presidents/Coaches & Volunteers:

As you may be aware, earlier this year the Connecticut General Assembly added a very important revision to a current Connecticut law called “An Act Concerning the Department of Children and Families and the Protection of Children.”

This new revision, Public Act No. 14-186, impacts anyone employed as a coach or director of youth athletics. This includes paid coaches and directors who are working with any CJSA soccer club or team(s). The revision, which is effective October 1, 2014, specifies that any individual who is eighteen (18) years of age or older 1) “who is employed as a coach or director of youth athletics” and; 2) “any individual who is employed as a coach or director of a private youth sports organization, league or team” is mandated to report suspected child abuse to the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF).  To see the specific language for this expanded requirement, please see the highlighted portion on page 19 of the attached document.

The Connecticut Department of Children & Families is tasked with providing training programs for mandated reporters. While the training is not required, it is helpful in understanding the responsibilities of a mandated reporter and what would constitute suspected child abuse that must be reported. Some CJSA administrative staff have received the training and CJSA has been working with the Department to facilitate making this training available to CJSA member clubs and personnel.  

A certified DCF trainer attended the recent CJSA President’s & Registrars Meeting held in late August in Cromwell. The DCF trainer took the 100+ CJSA club and related district attendees thru DCF’s Mandated Reporter Training and answered questions from attendees about various aspects of the law.

To learn more about these new requirements and other information outlined at the DCF’s official website, go to this link at:http://www.ct.gov/dcf/cwp/view.asp?a=3483&Q=413540.

CJSA member clubs and club personnel can access Mandated Reporters Training provided by Connecticut’s DCF in two different ways, one for individuals and one for group sessions:

  1. The first, for individuals, is through an on-line training video produced and provided by the DCF and available via the internet. Any interested individual can gain access to the approved DCF video training (it takes about 60-90 minutes to complete) simply by completing a required DCF Inquiry Form available at this DCF link:  http://www.dir.ct.gov/dcf/TA/MRT_video_form.aspx

A link embedded in the form will take you directly to the training video after completion of required information.

  1. A second way that is open to clubs who would like to provide a group training session to its members is to invite certified DCF personnel available across the State of Connecticut who will provide Mandated Reporters Training to any size group. This service through Connecticut’s DCF is available free of charge to CJSA club and district meetings upon request. To access this type of group training use this form:  http://www.dir.ct.gov/dcf/TA/MRT_form2.aspx

CJSA strongly encourages its member clubs to have ALL of its coaches, administrators and volunteers whether they are paid employees of the club or volunteers to take the time to learn as much as possible about this important issue and to take the Mandated Reporter Training at their earliest convenience.

For more information about the work of DCF, please go to the DCF’s website home at: http://www.ct.gov/dcf/site/default.asp.

For specific CJSA related questions on this issue, please email CJSA Executive Director Thom Meredith at Thom@cjsa.org.