Under the direction of its Equal Employment Opportunity Director, the Department of Children and Families’ Office of Diversity and Equity (DCF ODE) is comprised of Equal Employment Opportunity Professionals who are mandated by Connecticut State Statute (Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec. 46a-68) to ensure the DCF complies with Federal and State Civil Rights Laws in its day-to-day business operations.  This statutory mandate also requires every Connecticut state agency to employ EEO Professionals to ensure the same throughout the State’s business operations.  The DCF ODE’s statutory responsibilities are to monitor and ensure the proper implementation of policies and procedures related to nondiscrimination, equal employment opportunity, affirmative action, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.  The DCF ODE is also statutorily mandated to ensure the DCF takes affirmative action, with good faith and conviction to overcome the present effects of discrimination due to past practices, policies, or any barriers to any individual or entity doing business with the DCF.  This includes the goal of full and fair participation of any groups that have been found historically to be under-utilized in the workforce or otherwise adversely affected.  The DCF’s progress and efforts in eliminating discrimination are recorded by the ODE and reported in its Affirmation Action Plan (AAP) which is summited, on an annual basis, to the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) for further civil rights compliance oversight and approval.

The DCF ODE is also responsible for mitigating any discriminatory conduct within the agency, department, board or commission; investigating all complaints of discrimination made against the state agency, department, board or commission; and reporting all findings and recommendations upon the conclusion of an investigation to the commissioner or director of the state agency, department, board or commission for proper action.  The DCF ODE develops, implements and monitors hiring, promotional, educational, contractual and other agency goals and objectives.  The DCF ODE provides training and consults with administrators and managers on matters regarding compliance with Federal and State Civil Rights Laws, as well as with the American with Disabilities Act.

The DCF ODE directly reports to, and is under the authority of, the DCF Commissioner.  Such a reporting system is in adherence with the Connecticut Legislature’s statutory intent of ensuring EEO Professionals employed within each state agency are not halted or retaliated against while performing their duty of ensuring the day-to-day business practices of Connecticut State agencies are non-discriminatory.