ACCESS TO INFORMATION IN JUVENILE COURT PROCEEDINGS
THE AUTHORITY OF PARENTS AND GUARDIANS TO AUTHORIZE TREATMENT
Parents and guardians are responsible for providing all necessary goods and services for their children, including health care.37 With a few exceptions, minors may not authorize medical treatment for themselves without the permission of a parent or guardian.38
WHEN A PARENT OR GUARDIAN DOES NOT WANT A CHILD TO RECEIVE CERTAIN TREATMENT
If a parent or guardian is refusing to provide specific recommended medical treatment, a third party may petition the probate court to order the treatment against the parent's or guardian's wishes.39
WHEN A MINOR CAN RECEIVE TREATMENT WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION OF PARENT OR GUARDIAN
Outpatient mental health treatment:
A psychiatrist, a psychologist, an independent social worker, or a marital and family therapist may provide outpatient mental health treatment for a minor without the consent or notification of a parent or guardian under the following conditions:
After the sixth treatment, the provider must require notification to the parent or guardian unless it would be seriously detrimental to the minor's well-being. This determination must be reviewed and documented after every sixth treatment.
The provider may not disclose any information about the treatment to a parent or guardian without the minor's consent.
Substance abuse treatment:
A minor may obtain substance abuse treatment without the permission of a parent or guardian.41 The minor is financially responsible for the treatment, and payment may not be sought from the parent or guardian. The fact that the minor has sought treatment or is in treatment may be disclosed to parents only with the minor's consent.
A doctor may examine and treat a minor for venereal disease.42 Records of the treatment are confidential and may not be disclosed to the parent or guardian. The minor is financially responsible for the treatment, and payment may not be sought from the parent or guardian. If the minor is under 12 years of age, however, the treating physician must report it to DCF.
WHEN A CHILD IS PLACED OUTSIDE OF THE HOME
If a court grants temporary custody to a relative or other third party while a child protection proceeding is pending, the custodian is subject to the orders of the court, which includes, at a minimum, that the custodian provide for the care and supervision of the child and cooperate with DCF in providing appropriate services.43
Committed to DCF
When a child is committed to DCF by the Superior Court, DCF may authorize medical and dental treatment to "insure the continued good health or life of the child."44 The commissioner must make diligent efforts to inform the parents or guardians prior to the treatment, and must also notify the parent or guardian by letter of the treatment.
The administrator of a detention center run by the Judicial Branch is authorized to order medical care for any child being held in the detention center "as is necessary to ensure the continued good health or life of the child."45 The administrator must make reasonable efforts to inform the child's parent or guardian prior to taking the action, and may notify parent/guardian of the action.
Committed to DOC
The Commissioner of Correction is authorized to order medical care to any inmate under 18.46 Reasonable efforts must be made to inform parent or guardian prior to the treatment.
A minor who is at least 16 years of age may petition the court for emancipation. The effect of emancipation is to release the parent or guardian from all obligations of guardianship and allows the emancipated minor to assume the responsibilities of an adult, including consenting to medical, dental or psychiatric care.47
MEDICAL RECORDS OF MINORS
Consent of a minor’s parent or guardian is generally required prior to the disclosure of health care information about the minor.
In those circumstances when a minor may legally authorize the treatment without parental consent (outpatient mental health treatment, substance abuse treatment, or venereal disease treatment), then only the minor can consent to the release of the information.