What is the DDS Abuse and Neglect Registry?
The Department of Developmental Services (DDS) is an executive agency charged with providing services and resources to qualifying individuals with intellectual disabilities. In furtherance of its mission of serving and protecting the interests of this vulnerable community, DDS is also charged with maintaining a registry or list of individuals who have been terminated or separated from employment as a result of substantiated claims of abuse or neglect of DDS clients.
The DDS registry is not a public registry. What this means practically is that information from the DDS registry is only available to certain authorized agencies (such as DCF, DMHAS, DSS), and employers and charitable organizations which serve individuals receiving services or funding from DDS. Thus, the fact that a person is on this registry is not available on internet search engines and generally does not come up on a conventional criminal history background search.
It is also important to realize that as an adverse administrative action, a person who DDS seeks to have placed on its abuse and neglect registry has the opportunity to challenge that action beforehand. This challenge process is guided by the Connecticut Administrative Procedures Act (CT APA). The CT APA describes the rules and process that DDS must follow, as well as the procedural rights that the individual has in challenging their placement on the registry. Ultimately DDS has the burden of proving certain things before the hearing officer and Commissioner of DDS in order to prevail. The challenging individual has the opportunity to rebut the Department’s evidence and present his or her own evidence, including by testifying.
The administrative process for DDS, like other agencies, can be complicated. Improving the likelihood of success in challenging placement on the registry requires a strategic evaluation of the Department’s evidence and crafting a supportable narrative about what really happened and how it was not abusive or neglectful of DDS clients.
If you or someone you know is challenging placement of their name on the DDS registry, contact Attorney Cody N. Guarnieri in our Hartford Office for a consultation today.