A Brief Guide to the State Law on Outpatient Mental Health Treatment for Minors

The original law took effect on October 1, 1992 and allows certain licensed mental health professionals to provide counseling to minors (someone under the age of 18) without parental consent or notification. The law was proposed by the Child Guidance Clinics in Connecticut and supported by NASW/CT. The law was revised effective July 1, 2021 allowing for unlimited sessions and specifying when the clinician may share information without client consent.

THE LICENSED PROFESSIONALS WHO MAY PRACTICE UNDER THIS LAW: The statute permits licensed clinical social workers (LCSW), licensed psychologists, licensed marital and family therapists, and licensed psychiatrists to treat minors without parental consent. Only licensed professionals as noted above are eligible. Licensed master social workers are not covered by this law.

REQUIRED ASSESSMENT PRIOR TO INITIATING TREATMENT. The following assessment must be made prior to treatment. There are five criteria that must all be met in the affirmative in order to proceed with treatment without parental/guardian consent or notification. The provider must document that the criteria has been met prior to initiating treatment.

  1. Requiring parental/guardian consent or notification would cause the minor to reject the treatment.
  2. Providing the treatment is clinically indicated.
  3. Failure to provide treatment would be seriously detrimental to the minor’s well being.
  4. The minor has knowingly and voluntarily sought treatment.
  5. In the provider’s opinion the minor is mature enough to productively participate in treatment.


  • If a provider is treating a minor under this statute the provider is prohibited from notifying the parent(s)/guardian of the treatment or from disclosing information about the treatment without the minor’s consent. It is advised that such consent be in writing. See exceptions below to non-notification.
  • Any parent/guardian who is not informed of treatment provided under the conditions of this statute will not be liable for the costs of the treatment.


  • A provider may notify a parent or guardian of treatment or disclose certain information concerning such treatment without the consent of the minor who receives such treatment provided (A) such provider determines such notification or disclosure is necessary for the minor’s well-being, (B) the treatment provided to the minor is solely for mental health and not for a substance use disorder, and (C) the minor is provided an opportunity to express any objection to such notification or disclosure. The provider shall document his or her determination concerning such notification or disclosure and any objections expressed by the minor in the minor’s clinical record. A provider may disclose to a minor’s parent or guardian the following information concerning such minor’s outpatient mental health treatment: (i) Diagnosis; (ii) treatment plan and progress in treatment; (iii) recommended medications, including risks, benefits, side effects, typical efficacy, dose and schedule; (iv) psychoeducation about the minor’s mental health; (v) referrals to community resources; (vi) coaching on parenting or behavioral management strategies; and (vii) crisis prevention planning and safety planning. A provider shall release a minor’s entire clinical record to another provider upon the request of the minor or such minor’s parent or guardian.

The intent of the statute is to assure that minor’s who are in need of mental health treatment have access to that treatment. Providers of such treatment should encourage open communication between the minor and their parent(s)/guardian but in recognition that such communication may not always be in the best interest of the minor allows treatment to take place without parental/guardian consent or notification in specific circumstances as outlined in the law.

This brief is for professional guidance and should not be construed as legal advice.