State Statute Summaries

(Disclosure of Child Abuse & Neglect Records)

From: Child Welfare Information Gateway

 http://www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/laws_policies/statutes/confideall.pdf

Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records:
 Summary of State Laws
Go To>>State Statute Results

Text Box:  
 
Electronic copies of this publication
may be downloaded at:  www.childwelfare.gove/systemwide/laws_policies/statutes/confide.cfm
 
To find statute information for a
particular State, go to:  www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/laws_policies/search/index.cfm
 
To find information on all the
States and territories, order a copy
of the full-length PDF by calling
800.394.3366 or 703.385.7565, or
download it at:  www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/laws_policies/statutes/confideall.pdf
 

The records of child abuse and neglect reports are maintained by State child protection or social services agencies to aid in the investigation, treatment, and prevention of child abuse cases and to maintain statistical information for staffing and funding purposes. In many States, these records and the results of investigations are maintained in databases, often known as central registries. The type of information contained in registry and department records varies from State to State, as does access to the information maintained.

Confidentiality of Records

 Under the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA)1, in order to receive a Federal grant, States must preserve the confidentiality of all child abuse and neglect reports and records to protect the privacy rights of the child and of the child’s parents or guardians except in certain limited circumstances. Statutory provisions concerning access to central registry and department records are one answer to the question of how to protect family autonomy and privacy rights and yet ensure protection for children. All jurisdictions have confidentiality provisions to protect abuse and neglect records from public scrutiny. Confidentiality provisions mandate that such records are confidential, and many include specific mechanisms for protecting the from public view.

 Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records

Most jurisdictions permit certain persons access to registry and department records. In general, these are people with a direct interest in a case, in the child’s welfare, or in providing protective or treatment services. Many statutes specifically describe who may access the records and under what circumstances. Typically, persons entitled to access include physicians, researchers, police, judges, and other court personnel. Several States also provide confidential records to any person who is the subject of a report.

Public Disclosure of Records

Under most circumstances, information from child abuse and neglect records may not be disclosed to the public. In approximately2 233 States and the District of Columbia, however, some disclosure of information is allowed in cases in which abuse or neglect of the child has resulted in a fatality or near fatality. In five States (Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin), the alleged perpetrator of the abuse must be criminally charged with causing the fatality4 or near fatality before information may be disclosed.

 Approximately 12 States5 allow disclosure of information for the purpose of clarifying or correcting the record when information has already been made public through another source, such as disclosure by the subject of the report, a law enforcement agency, or the court. In four States (Colorado, Iowa, Montana, and Nevada), public disclosure is allowed when a suspected perpetrator of abuse or neglect has been arrested or criminally charged. In Florida, the name and physical description of a child who is under the supervision of the department must be released when that child is found to be missing from his or her placement.

Use of Records for Employment Screening

Central registry and department records are increasingly used to screen adults for various employment or volunteer positions.

Approximately 296 States and the District of Columbia allow or require a check of central registry or department records for individuals applying to be child or youth care providers.  Information is made available to employers in the childcare business,

schools, or health care industry. Information, however, is generally limited to whether there are substantiated or indicated reports of child maltreatment for potential employees or volunteers who will have significant contact with children.

142 U.S.C.A. §5106a(b)(2)(A)(v) (West Supp. 1 998).

2The word approximately is used throughout the State Statutes series to stress the fact the States frequently amend their laws, so this information is current only through April 2005.

3 Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, and South Dakota.

4 A “near fatality” is usually defined as a serious injury that places the child in critical

5Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Montana, New York, South Carolina, and Wisconsin.

6Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming.

This publication is a product of the State Statutes Series prepared by Child Welfare Information Gateway. While every attempt has been made to be complete, additional information on these topics may be in other sections of a State’s code as well as in agency regulations, case law, andinformal practices and procedures.

The  following is from: http://www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/laws_policies/state/

State Statutes Results

Alabama   ALASKA    AMERICAN SAMOA   ARIZONA   ARKANSAS  CALIFORNIA  COLORADO CONNECTICUT  DELAWARE  DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA   FLORIDA  GEORGIA  GUAM  HAWAII  IDAHO  ILLINOIS  INDIANA  IOWA  KANSAS  KENTUCKY   LOUISIANA  MAINE  MARYLAND   MASSACHUSETTS   MICHIGAN   MINNESOTA   MISSISSIPPI   MISSOURI   MONTANA   NEBRASKA   NEVADA   NEW HAMPSHIRE   NEW JERSEY  NEW MEXICO   NEW YORK   NORTH CAROLINA   NORTH DAKOTA   NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS  OHIO   OKLAHOMA   OREGON   PENNSYLVANIA   PUERTO RICO    RHODE ISLAND   SOUTH CAROLINA   SOUTH DAKOTA   TENNESSEE  TEXAS   UTAH   VERMONT   VIRGIN ISLANDS   VIRGINIA   WASHINGTON   WEST VIRGINIA  WISCONSIN   WYOMING

Alabama

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: § 26-14-8

The reports and records of child abuse and neglect and related information or testimony shall be confidential, and shall not be used or disclosed for any purposes other than specified in statute.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
§ 26-14-8

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed
Citation: § 26-14-8

Public disclosure of the findings or information about the case of child abuse or neglect [is permitted when the case] has resulted in a child fatality or near fatality.

Use of Records for Employment Screening
Citation: § 26-14-8

The names of persons or information in the investigative report placed on the State's central registry may be made available to the alleged perpetrator's employer, prospective employer, or others when the Department of Human Resources or the investigative hearing officer has determined child abuse or neglect to be indicated.

Alaska

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: § 47.17.040

Investigation reports and reports of harm filed under this chapter are considered confidential and are not subject to public inspection.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
§ 47.17.040

In accordance with department regulations, investigation reports may be used by appropriate governmental agencies with child-protection functions, inside and outside the State, in connection with investigations or judicial proceedings involving child abuse, neglect, or custody.

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

Use of Records for Employment Screening

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

American Samoa

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: § 45.2023

Reports made under this chapter, as well as any other information obtained, reports written, or photographs taken concerning those reports that are in the possession of the department and agency are confidential.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
§§ 45.2023; 45.2024; 45.2027

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

Use of Records for Employment Screening

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

Arizona

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: § 8-807

CPS information shall be maintained by the department as required by Federal law.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
§ 8-807



When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed
Citation: § 8-807

The department:

Use of Records for Employment Screening
Citation: § 8-804

Information contained in the central registry shall be used by the department only for the following purposes:

*To conduct background checks as one factor to determine qualifications for foster home licensing, adoptive parent certification, childcare home certification, registration of unregulated childcare homes, and home and community-based services certification for services to children

*To conduct background checks as one factor to determine qualifications for persons applying for employment with this State in positions that provide direct service to children or vulnerable adults and persons applying for contracts with this State, including employees of the potential contractor, for positions that provide direct service to children or vulnerable adults

Arkansas

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: § 12-12-506

*Reports made pursuant to this subchapter shall be confidential and may be used or disclosed only as provided in this section.

*Only allegations that are determined to be true may be disclosed as provided below.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
§ 12-12-506

 When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed
Citation: § 12-12-506

*The findings or information about the case of child abuse or neglect that has resulted in a child fatality or near fatality may be released to the general public.

*The central registry may redact any information concerning siblings, attorney-client communications, and other confidential communications.

Use of Records for Employment Screening
Citation: § 12-12-506

*Findings and information about the case may be released to:

*The disclosure shall be for the limited purpose of providing central registry background information and shall indicate a true finding only.

California

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: Penal Code § 11167.5

Reports shall be confidential and may be disclosed only as provided by law.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
Penal Code §§ 11167.5; 11170; 11170.5

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

Use of Records for Employment Screening
Citation: Penal Code § 11170

*The department shall make available to the State Department of Social Services or to any county licensing agency information regarding a known or suspected child abuse concerning any person who is an applicant for licensure, any adult who resides or is employed in the home of an applicant for licensure, who is an applicant for employment in a position having supervisory or disciplinary power over a child or children, or who will provide 24-hour care for a child or children in a residential home or facility.

*The department shall make available to a government agency conducting a background investigation of an applicant seeking employment as a peace officer information regarding known or suspected child abuse concerning the applicant.

Colorado

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: § 19-1-307

Except as otherwise provided by law, reports of child abuse or neglect and the name and address of any child, family, or informant, or any other identifying information contained in such reports shall be confidential and shall not be public information.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
§ 19-1-307

*Disclosure of the name and address of the child and family and other identifying information involved in such reports shall be permitted only when authorized by a court for good cause.

*Such disclosure shall not be prohibited when:

o There is a death of a suspected victim of child abuse or neglect and the death becomes a matter of public record.

o An alleged juvenile offender is or was a victim of abuse or neglect.

o The suspected or alleged perpetrator becomes the subject of an arrest or the filing of a formal charge by a law enforcement agency.



Use of Records for Employment Screening
Citation: § 19-1-307

Records or reports of child abuse or neglect may be used by:

*The State Department of Human Services, a county or district department of social services, or a child placement agency investigating an applicant for a license to operate a childcare facility or agency

*The State Department of Human Services, when requested in writing by any operator of a licensed facility or agency, for the purpose of screening an applicant for employment or a current employee

*The State Department of Human Services and the county departments of social services, for the following purposes:

o Screening any person who seeks employment with, is currently employed by, or who volunteers with the State Department of Human Services, Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, or a county department of social services, if such person's responsibilities include direct contact with children

o Screening any person who will be responsible to provide childcare pursuant to a contract with a county department for placements out of the home or private childcare

o Screening an applicant for a supervisory employee position or an employee of a guest childcare facility

Connecticut

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: §§ 17a-28; 17a-101k

*Records maintained by the department shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed.

*The information contained in the reports and any other information relative to child abuse, wherever located, shall be confidential subject to such statutes and regulations governing their use and access.



Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
§ 17a-28

*A law enforcement agency

*The Chief State's Attorney or a State's attorney for the judicial district in which the child resides or in which the alleged abuse or neglect occurred for purposes of investigating or prosecuting an allegation of child abuse or neglect

*The attorney or guardian ad litem appointed to represent a child

*The Governor in the course of the Governor's official functions

*The Legislative Program Review and Investigations Committee

*The General Assembly committee on judiciary and the committee having cognizance of matters involving children

*A local or regional board of education

*A party in a custody proceeding

*Multidisciplinary teams that assist the department in investigation, evaluation, or treatment of child abuse and neglect cases

*A multidisciplinary provider of professional treatment services

*Any agency in another State that is responsible for investigating or protecting against child abuse or neglect

*An individual, including a physician, who is authorized by law to place a child in protective custody if such individual has before him or her a child who may be a victim of abuse or neglect

*An individual or agency responsible for the care, custody, or education of a child who is the subject of a record of child abuse or neglect

*The Attorney General or any assistant attorney general providing legal counsel for the department

*Individuals or agencies engaged in medical, psychological, or psychiatric diagnosis or treatment

*The person who made a report of abuse involving the subject child

*An individual conducting bona fide research

*The Auditors of Public Accounts or their representative

*The Department of Social Services, provided the information disclosed is necessary to promote the health, safety, and welfare of the child

*A judge of the Superior Court for purposes of determining the appropriate disposition of a child convicted as delinquent or a child who is a member of a family with service needs

*The superintendents, or their designees, of State-operated facilities within the department


When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed
Citation: § 17a-28

*When information concerning an incident of abuse or neglect has been made public or when the commissioner reasonably believes publication of such information is likely, the commissioner or his designee may disclose, with respect to an investigation of such abuse or neglect:

o Whether the department has received a report

o In general terms, any action taken by the department, provided names or other individually identifiable information of the minor victim or other family member shall not be disclosed, notwithstanding such individually identifiable information is otherwise available

*The commissioner shall make available to the public, without the consent of the person, information in general terms or findings concerning an incident of abuse or neglect that resulted in a child fatality or near fatality of a child, provided disclosure of such information or findings does not jeopardize a pending investigation.


Use of Records for Employment Screening
Citation: § 17a-28

The commissioner or the commissioner's designee shall, upon request, promptly provide copies of records, without the consent of the person, to:

*The Department of Public Health for the purpose of determining the suitability of a person to care for children in a licensed facility

*The Department of Social Services for determining the suitability of a person for any payment from the department for providing childcare

Delaware

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: Tit. 16, § 906

To protect the privacy of the family and the child named in a report, the Division shall establish guidelines concerning the disclosure of information concerning the abuse and neglect involving a child.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
Tit. 16, § 906

*The Division may require persons to make written requests for access to records maintained by the Division.

*The Division shall only release information to persons who have a legitimate public safety need for such information or a need based on the health and safety of a child subject to abuse, neglect, or the risk of maltreatment, and such information shall be used only for the purpose for which the information is released.


When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

Use of Records for Employment Screening

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

District of Columbia

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: § 4-1302.03

The staff that maintains the Child Protection Register shall release only that information that is necessary for the purpose of the request and that does not violate the confidentiality of the persons identified in the report, except as is necessary.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
§§ 4-1302.03; 4-1302.04

*Police officers for the purpose of an investigation of a report

*The Attorney General or the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia for the purpose of investigating and prosecuting cases of an allegedly abused or neglected child

*The personnel of the Agency and the Social Services Agency of the Superior Court for the purpose of investigating a report or providing services to a family or child who is the subject of a report

*The guardian ad litem of a child who is the subject of a report.

*Each person identified in a report as a person responsible for the neglect of the child or that

*person's attorney

*The parent, guardian, custodian, or attorney of the child who is the subject of the report

*A licensed child-placing agency for the purpose of checking a proposed foster care or adoptive placement for a report of abuse or neglect

*The Child Fatality Review Committee

*Any member of a multidisciplinary investigation team for purposes of an investigation or review

*Another jurisdiction if:

o That jurisdiction has comparable safeguards for ensuring the confidentiality of information regarding persons identified in the report and for withholding the identity of the source of the report.

o The staff obtains permission for the release of the information from each person identified in the report and from the source of the report.

*Medical professionals for the purpose of obtaining a diagnosis of the child who is the subject of the report

*Researchers for research and evaluation

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed
Citation: § 4-1303.32

*Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a disclosing official shall upon written request by any person, and may upon his or her own initiative, disclose to the public the findings and information related to a child fatality or near fatality, except as provided below.

*This subsection shall not apply to the disclosure of any portion of the findings or information if disclosure of that portion would likely:

o Endanger the life, physical safety, or physical or emotional well-being of the child who is the subject of the report, a sibling of the child, or a child who has shared the same household as the child

o Endanger the life or physical safety of any person

o Interfere with an ongoing law enforcement investigation or proceeding pertaining to the child fatality or near fatality

o Deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication

o Disclose the identity of the reporter of the abuse or any confidential law enforcement source in a criminal proceeding pertaining to the child fatality or near fatality

o Disclose the identity of a birth parent of a child, if the child has been adopted and there has been no contact between the child and the birth parent immediately prior to the fatality or near fatality

o Disclose personal or private information

Use of Records for Employment Screening
Citation: § 4-1302.03

*The staff that maintains the Child Protection Register shall grant access to substantiated reports to the chief executive officers or directors of daycare centers, schools, or any public or private organizations working directly with children, for the purpose of making employment decisions regarding employees and volunteers or prospective employees and volunteers, if:

o The request is made in writing and clearly articulates the basis for the request

o The request is accompanied by a notarized consent for release of information from the Child Protection Register signed by the employee or volunteer or prospective employee or volunteer

o Information provided pursuant to this subsection shall be limited to information pertaining to the nature and disposition of the report of abuse or neglect and shall not include any identifying information regarding any person other than the employee or volunteer, or prospective employee or volunteer.

*The Agency shall not release any information pursuant to this subsection pertaining to a substantiated report that was received prior to October 19, 2002.

Florida

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: § 39.202

All records held by the department concerning reports of child abandonment, abuse, or neglect, including reports made to the central abuse hotline and all records generated as a result of such reports, shall be confidential and exempt from the provisions of § 119.07(1) [allowing public records to be inspected and copied], and shall not be disclosed except as specifically authorized by this chapter.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
§ 39.202

*Employees, authorized agents, or contract providers of the department, the Department of Health, or county agencies responsible for carrying out:

o Child or adult protective investigations

o Ongoing child or adult protective services

o Healthy Start services

o Services for victims of domestic violence when provided by certified domestic violence centers working at the department's request as case consultants or with shared clients

*Employees or agents of the Department of Juvenile Justice responsible for the provision of services to children

*Criminal justice agencies of appropriate jurisdiction

*The State attorney of the judicial circuit in which the child resides or in which the alleged abuse or neglect occurred

*The parent or legal custodian of any child who is alleged to have been abused, abandoned, or neglected, and the child, and their attorneys, including any attorney representing a child in civil or criminal proceedings

*Any person alleged in the report as having caused the abuse, abandonment, or neglect of a child

*A court when it is necessary for the determination of an issue before the court

*A grand jury when it is necessary in the conduct of its official business

*Any appropriate official of the department responsible for administration of the department's programs

*Any person who is engaged in bona fide research

*The Division of Administrative Hearings for purposes of any administrative challenge

*Any appropriate official of a Florida advocacy council investigating a report of known or suspected child abuse, abandonment, or neglect

*The Auditor General or the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability for the purpose of conducting audits or examinations

*The guardian ad litem for the child

*Employees or agents of an agency of another State that has comparable jurisdiction to the jurisdiction described above

*The Public Employees Relations Commission for the sole purpose of obtaining evidence for appeals filed pursuant to § 447.207

*Employees or agents of the Department of Revenue responsible for child support enforcement activities

*The principal of a school where the child is a student

*Professional persons when the information is necessary for the diagnosis and treatment of the child or the person perpetrating the abuse or neglect


When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed
Citation: § 39.202

*Access to records may be granted to any person in the event of the death of a child determined to be a result of abuse, abandonment, or neglect. Information identifying the reporter shall not be released. Any information otherwise made confidential or exempt by law shall not be released.

*When a child under the supervision of the department is determined to be missing, the department may release the following information to the public when it believes the release of the information is likely to assist efforts in locating the child or to promote the safety or well-being of the child:

o The name of the child and the child's date of birth

o A physical description of the child

o A photograph of the child

*With the concurrence of the law enforcement agency primarily responsible for investigating the incident, the department may release any additional information it believes likely to assist efforts in locating the child or to promote the safety or well-being of the child.


Use of Records for Employment Screening
Citation: § 39.202

Employees, authorized agents, or contract providers of the department, the Department of Health, or county agencies may have access for the purpose of licensure or approval of adoptive homes, foster homes, or childcare facilities.

Georgia

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: §§ 49-5-40; 49-5-186

*Each and every record concerning reports of child abuse that is in the custody of the department or other State or local agency is declared to be confidential.

*Information in the abuse registry shall be confidential and access thereto is prohibited except as provided in this article.


Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
§§ 49-5-41; 49-5-185; 49-5-186

The following persons or agencies shall have reasonable access to records concerning reports of child abuse:

*A public or private child protective agency of this State or any other State bound by similar confidentiality requirements that is investigating a report of suspected child abuse or treating a child or family that the subject of a report

*A court or grand jury when it is necessary for determination of an issue before it

*A district attorney or assistant district attorney in connection with official duty

*Any adult who makes a report of suspected child abuse

*The State Personnel Board for determination of an issue involving departmental personnel

*A child advocacy center investigating known or suspected child abuse

*Police or any other law enforcement agency of this State or any other State or any medical examiner or coroner investigating a report of abuse

*Any child abuse protocol committee

*The Governor, Attorney General, Lieutenant Governor, or Speaker of the House of Representatives in order to determine whether the laws of this State are being complied with    Individuals who are engaged in legitimate research

*A physician who reasonably suspects a child may be abused

*A licensed child-placing agency or child-caring institution that is locating or providing foster or adoptive homes for children in the custody of the department, or an investigator appointed to investigate a pending petition for adoption

*A person authorized to place a child in protective custody when such person requires the information in the record in order to determine whether to place the child in protective custody

*An agency or person that has the responsibility to care for, treat, or supervise the child who is the subject of a report

*Members of citizen review panels

*Guardians ad litem or Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers

*A public child protective agency or law enforcement agency of another State bound by similar confidentiality requirements when, during or following the department's investigation of a report of child abuse, the alleged abuser has left this State

*A child welfare agency or a school where the department has investigated allegations of child abuse made against any employee and any child remains at risk from exposure to that employee

*An employee of a school or a child welfare agency against whom allegations of child abuse have been made

*Any person who has an ongoing relationship with the child named in the record of child abuse but only if that person is required to report

*Any school principal, guidance counselor, social worker, or psychologist who is counseling a student

*The Department of Early Care and Learning

*Any childcaring agency, child-placing agency, or identified foster parent with respect to any child who has been placed in their care or custody Access to information in the abuse registry is limited to:

*An abuse investigator, medical examiner, coroner, or out-of-state abuse investigator that is investigating a case of possible child abuse

*The Governor's office, General Assembly, district attorneys, and law enforcement agencies, who shall receive a statistical analysis of reported cases from the abuse registry at the end of each calendar year

*A district attorney for use in any court proceeding if such information is otherwise admissible

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed
Citation: §§ 49-5-41; 49-5-186

*Information from child abuse records may be released regarding a deceased child, but such access shall be limited to a disclosure regarding whether there is an ongoing or completed investigation of the death and, if completed, whether child abuse was confirmed or unconfirmed.

*Information in the abuse registry applicable to a child who at the time of his or her death was in the custody of a State department or agency or foster parent shall not be confidential.


Use of Records for Employment Screening

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

Guam

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: Tit. 19, § 13210

Any information received pursuant to this Article that could identify a subject of the report or the person making the report shall be confidential.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
Tit. 19, § 13210

Information received pursuant to this Article may be released, on a need to know basis, and only as necessary to serve and protect the child, to the following:

*Multidisciplinary teams established to assist in the disposition of cases

*A court when it is necessary for determination of an issue before it

*Grand juries when connected with the prosecution of a child abuse and neglect case

*Properly constituted authorities or agencies both military and governmental, investigating a report of known or suspected child abuse or neglect, or providing services to a child or family relating to a known or suspected case of child abuse or neglect, including police departments, prosecutors, and attorneys general

*A physician who suspects that a child is being abused or neglected

*Any agency or individual authorized, contracted, or licensed to diagnose, care, or treat a child who is the subject of a report of abuse or neglect

*A person, including but not limited to, a guardian ad litem, attorney for the child, permanent foster or adoptive parent, who is responsible for the welfare of the child

*A duly authorized official of the department

*A victim or alleged victim of child abuse, the parents of a victim or alleged victim, or a perpetrator or alleged perpetrator of child abuse, after a court proceeding has been initiated regarding the abuse



When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

Use of Records for Employment Screening

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

Hawaii

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: § 350-1.4

All reports to the department concerning child abuse or neglect made pursuant to this chapter, as well as all records of such reports, are confidential.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
§ 350-1.4

The director may adopt rules to provide for the confidentiality of reports and records and for the authorized disclosure of reports and records.

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

Use of Records for Employment Screening

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

Idaho

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: § 16-1623

Department records shall be subject to disclosure according to chapter 3, title 9, Idaho Code, unless otherwise ordered by the court, the person consents to the disclosure, or disclosure is necessary for the delivery of services to the person.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
§§ 16-1621; 16-1623

*The court shall keep a record of all court proceedings under this chapter. The records shall be available only to:

o Parties to the proceeding

o Persons having full or partial custody of the subject child

o Authorized agencies providing protective supervision or having legal custody of the child

o Any other person only upon permission by the court and then only if it is shown that such access is in the best interests of the child or for the purpose of legitimate research

*All records pertaining to investigations, the rehabilitation of youth, the protection of children, evaluation, treatment and/or disposition records pertaining to the statutory responsibilities of the department shall be disclosed to any duly elected State official carrying out his official functions.


When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

Use of Records for Employment Screening

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

Illinois

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: Ch. 325, § 5/11.1

All records concerning reports of child abuse and neglect or records concerning referrals under this Act and all records generated as a result of such reports or referrals, shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed except as specifically authorized by this Act or other applicable law.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
Ch. 325, § 5/11.1

*Department staff in the furtherance of their responsibilities, or for the purpose of completing background investigations on persons or agencies licensed by the Department or with whom the Department contracts for the provision of child welfare services

*A law enforcement agency investigating known or suspected child abuse or neglect

*The Department of State Police when administering the provisions of the Intergovernmental Missing Child Recovery Act of 1984

*A physician who reasonably suspects that a child may be abused or neglected

*A person authorized to place a child in temporary protective custody when needed to determine whether to place the child in temporary protective custody

*A person who has the responsibility to care for, treat, or supervise a child

*A parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the child's welfare

*Any subject of the report, and if the subject of the report is a minor, his or her guardian or guardian ad litem

*A court when it is necessary for the determination of an issue before it

*A probation officer or other authorized representative of a probation or court services department conducting an investigation

*A grand jury when it is necessary in the conduct of its official business

*Any person authorized by the Director for audit or bona fide research purposes

*Law enforcement agencies, coroners, medical examiners, physicians, courts, school superintendents and child welfare agencies in other States who are responsible for child abuse or neglect investigations or background investigations

*The Department of Professional Regulation, the State Board of Education, and school superintendents in Illinois, who may use or disclose information from the records as they deem necessary to conduct investigations or take disciplinary action

*A coroner or medical examiner who has reason to believe that a child has died as the result of abuse or neglect

*Members of a multidisciplinary team

*The Department of Human Services

*Any other agency or investigative body, including the Department of Public Health and a local board of health, authorized by State law to conduct an investigation into the quality of care provided to children in hospitals and other State regulated care facilities

*The guardian ad litem of a minor who is the subject of a report or records

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed
Citation: Ch. 325, § 5/11.1a

The Director may disclose information regarding the abuse or neglect of a child, the investigation thereof, and any services related thereto, if he or she determines that such disclosure is not contrary to the best interests of the child, the child's siblings, or other children in the household, and one of the following factors are present:

*The subject of the report has been criminally charged with committing a crime related to the child abuse or neglect report.

*A law enforcement agency or official, a State's Attorney, or a judge has publicly disclosed in a report information regarding the investigation of a report or the provision of services by the department.

*An adult subject of the report has knowingly and voluntarily made a public disclosure concerning a Child Abuse and Neglect Tracking System report.

*The child named in the report has been critically injured or died.



Use of Records for Employment Screening
Citation: Ch. 325, § 5/11.1

Access to records may be provided for the following:

*The Director of a State-operated facility when an employee of that facility is the perpetrator in an indicated report

*The operator of a licensed childcare facility or a facility licensed by the Department of Human Services in which children reside when a current or prospective employee of that facility is the perpetrator in an indicated child abuse or neglect report

*The Department of Human Services and the operator of a facility providing early intervention services for the purpose of determining whether a current or prospective employee who provides or may provide direct services is the perpetrator in an indicated report of child abuse or neglect

 Indiana

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: § 31-33-18-1

Reports made under this article, and any other information obtained, reports written, or photographs taken concerning the reports are confidential.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
§§ 31-33-18-2; 31-33-18-3

*A public or private child protective agency investigating or treating a child or family that is the subject of a report

*A police or other law enforcement agency, prosecuting attorney, or coroner in the case of the death of a child who is investigating a report of a child who may be a victim of child abuse or neglect

*A physician who reasonably suspects that a child may be a victim of child abuse or neglect

*An individual legally authorized to place a child in protective custody to determine whether to place the child in protective custody

*An agency having the legal responsibility or authorization to care for, treat, or supervise a child who is the subject of a report

*An individual named in the report who is alleged to be abused or neglected

*The child’s guardian ad litem or court appointed special advocate, or both

*Each parent, guardian, custodian, or other person responsible for the welfare of a child named in a report and an attorney of the person

*A court, for redaction of the record in accordance with § 31-33-18-1.5, or upon the court's finding that access to the records may be necessary for determination of an issue before it

*A grand jury when it is necessary in the conduct of official business

*An appropriate State or local official responsible for the child protective service or legislation carrying out the official's official functions

*A foster care review board

*The community child protection team

*A person about whom a report has been made

*An employee of the division of family and children, a caseworker, or a juvenile probation officer conducting a criminal history check to determine the appropriateness of an out-of-home placement

*A local child fatality review team

*The statewide child fatality review committee

*Individuals engaged in research

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed
Citation: § 31-33-18-1.5

*Unless information in a record is otherwise confidential under State or Federal law, a record regarding the death of a child determined to be a result of abuse, abandonment, or neglect that has been redacted in accordance with this section is not confidential and may be disclosed to any person who requests the record.

*Prior to release, the record shall be transmitted to the court exercising juvenile jurisdiction in the county in which the death of the child occurred. The court shall, within 30 days, redact the record to exclude identifying information of a person or other information not relevant to establishing the facts and circumstances leading to the death of the child.



Use of Records for Employment Screening
Citation: § 31-33-17-6

Upon submitting written verification of an application for employment or a consent for release of information signed by a childcare provider, a person or an agency may obtain the following information contained in the child abuse registry regarding an individual who has applied for employment or volunteered for services in a capacity that would place the individual in a position of trust with children less than 18 years of age, or regarding a childcare provider who is providing or may provide childcare for the person's child:

*Whether a child was found by a court to be a child in need of services based on a report of child abuse or neglect naming the applicant, volunteer, or childcare provider as the alleged perpetrator

*Whether criminal charges were filed against the applicant, volunteer, or childcare provider based on a report of child abuse or neglect

*Whether a court has issued an arrest warrant for the applicant, volunteer, or childcare provider based on a report of child abuse or neglect

 Iowa

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: § 235A.15

The confidentiality of all child abuse information shall be maintained, except as specifically provided by this section.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
§ 235A.15

*A child named in a report as a victim of abuse or the child's attorney or guardian ad litem

*A parent or the attorney for the parent of a child named in a report

*A guardian or legal custodian, or that person's attorney, of a child named in a report

*A person or the attorney for the person named in a report as having abused a child

*A health practitioner or mental health professional who believes or has reason to believe that a child has been the victim of abuse

*An employee or agent of the Department of Human Services responsible for the assessment of a child abuse report

*A law enforcement officer responsible for assisting in an assessment of a child abuse allegation

*A multidisciplinary team as necessary to assist the department in the diagnosis, assessment, and disposition of a child abuse case

*A mandatory reporter who reported the child abuse

*The county attorney

*The juvenile court

*The licensing authority for a facility providing care to a child named in a report

*A person or agency responsible for the care or supervision of a child named in a report

*A person named in a report as having abused a child

*The child protection assistance team for the county in which the report was made

*An administrative agency hearing an appeal for correction of data

*An expert witness at any stage of an appeal necessary for correction of report data and disposition data

*A probation or parole officer, juvenile court officer, court appointed special advocate, or adult correctional officer having custody or supervision of, or conducting an investigation of a person named in a report as a victim of child abuse or as having abused a child

*The Department of Justice for purposes of review by the prosecutor's review committee or the commitment of sexually violent predators

*A board of examiners and the Iowa Department of Public Health for the purpose of licensure, certification or registration, disciplinary investigation, or the renewal of licensure, certification or registration, or disciplinary proceedings of health care professionals

*A person conducting bona fide research on child abuse

*Registry or department personnel when necessary to the performance of their official duties

*The department of justice for the sole purpose of the filing of a claim for restitution or compensation

*A child protection agency of another State

*A public or licensed child-placing agency of another State responsible for an adoptive or foster care preplacement or placement evaluation

*The attorney for the Department of Human Services

*The child advocacy and local citizen foster care review boards

*An employee or agent of the Department of Human Services regarding a person who is providing childcare if the person is not registered or licensed to operate a childcare facility

*The board of educational examiners for purposes of determining whether a practitioner's license should be denied or revoked

*An employee of the department responsible for an adoptive placement, a certified adoption investigator, or licensed child-placing agency responsible for an adoptive placement

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed
Citation: § 235A.15

*If the department receives from the public a request for information relating to a case of child abuse involving a fatality or near fatality, the director shall consult with the county attorney and shall disclose information related to the case, except for the following:

o Any mental health or psychological information that is confidential

o The privileged communication of an attorney

o The identity of any individual who provided information related to a report of child abuse

o Information that may cause mental or physical harm to a sibling or another child living in the household

o Information that may jeopardize the prosecution or the rights to a fair trial of any alleged perpetrator

o Information that may undermine an ongoing or future criminal investigation

o Any release prohibited by Federal law or regulation

*The information released shall include the following, except that listed above:

o Any relevant child abuse information about the child or the child's family and the department's response and findings

o Whether or not the child or a member of the child's family was utilizing social services at the time of the child fatality or near fatality or within the preceding 5-year period

o Any recommendations made by the department to the county attorney or the court

o If applicable, a summary of an evaluation of the department's responses in the case

*If release of social services information in addition to that above is believed to be in the public's interest and right to know, the director of human services may apply to the court requesting a review of the information proposed for release and an order authorizing release.

*If a subject of a report releases in a public forum information about a case, including information that would otherwise be confidential, the director may respond with relevant information about the case.

Use of Records for Employment Screening
Citation: § 235A.15

Disposition data and report data (if authorized in law to the extent necessary for purposes of an employment evaluation) for cases of founded child abuse placed in the central registry may be accessed by individuals and administrators of the following types of agencies or facilities that provide care to a child:

*A psychiatric medical institution for children

*A child foster care facility

*A childcare facility

*The Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School

*The school for the deaf

*A community mental health center

*A facility or program operated by the State, a city, or a county that provides services or care directly to children

*An agency certified by the Department of Human Services to provide services under a medical assistance home and community-based services waiver

*An agency providing mental health, mental retardation, or developmental disability services under a county management plan

*A childcare resource and referral agency that has entered into an agreement authorized by the department to provide childcare resource and referral services

*A licensed hospital

*A legally constituted child protection agency in another State if the agency is conducting a records check of a person who is providing care or has applied to provide care to a child in the other State

*The Department of Human Services for a record check relating to employment or residence

*The department responsible for registering or licensing or approving the registration or licensing of an agency, facility, or individual providing care to a child

*A school district or to the authorities in charge of an accredited nonpublic school for purposes of a volunteer or employment record check

*The department of inspections and appeals for purposes of record checks of applicants for employment

 Kansas

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: § 38-1520

Child in need of care information maintained in the child in need of care information system is confidential and shall not be disseminated or publicly disclosed in a manner that enables identification of any individual who is a subject of the information, except that the information shall be open to inspection by the department of social and rehabilitation services or upon order of a judge of the district court or an appellate court.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
§ 38-1507

The Secretary, agents of the Secretary, and juvenile intake and assessment agencies shall participate in a free exchange of information concerning a child in need of care.

The following persons or entities shall have access to information from agency records, with access limited to information reasonably necessary to carry out their lawful responsibilities:

*A child named in the report, a guardian ad litem, and the child’s attorney

*A parent or other person responsible for the welfare of a child, or such person's legal representative

*A court-appointed special advocate for a child, a citizen review board, or other advocate that reports to the court

*A person licensed to practice the healing arts or mental health profession

*A person or entity licensed to care for, treat, or supervise a child in need of care

*A coroner or medical examiner when such person is determining the cause of death of a child

*The State child death review board

*An attorney for a private party who files a petition pursuant to § 38-1529(b)

*A foster parent, prospective foster parent, permanent custodian, prospective permanent custodian, adoptive parent, or prospective adoptive parent, in order to assist such persons in making an informed decision regarding acceptance of a particular child

*The State protection and advocacy agency

*Any educational institution or educator to the extent necessary to enable the educational institution to provide the safest possible environment for its pupils and employees

*Any other Federal, State, or local government executive branch entity or agent having a need for such information

*Members of the standing House or Senate Committee on the Judiciary, House Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice, House Committee on Appropriations, Senate Committee on Ways and Means, Legislative Audit Committee, and any joint committee with authority to consider children’s and families’ issues



When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed
Citation: § 38-1507

*Public disclosure of information from confidential reports or records of a child alleged or adjudicated to be a child in need of care shall be limited to confirmation of factual details with respect to how the case was handled, provided that the information does not violate the privacy of the child, or the child's siblings, parents, or guardians.

*Confidential information may be released to the public only with the express written permission of the individuals involved or their representatives.

*In the event that child abuse or neglect results in a child fatality or near fatality, reports or records of a child in need of care received by the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, a law enforcement agency, or any juvenile intake and assessment worker shall become a public record and subject to disclosure pursuant to § 45-215.

Use of Records for Employment Screening

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

Kentucky

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: § 620.050

The report of suspected child abuse, neglect, or dependency and all information obtained by the cabinet or its delegated representative, as a result of an investigation or assessment made pursuant to this chapter, shall not be divulged to anyone except the persons listed below.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
§ 620.050

*Information may be accessed by:

o Persons suspected of causing dependency, neglect, or abuse

o The custodial parent or legal guardian of the child alleged to be dependent, neglected, or abused

o Persons within the cabinet with a legitimate interest or responsibility related to the case

o Other medical, psychological, educational, or social service agencies, childcare administrators, corrections personnel, or law enforcement agencies, including the county attorney's office, the coroner, and the local child fatality response team, that have a legitimate interest in the case

o A noncustodial parent when the dependency, neglect, or abuse is substantiated

o Members of multidisciplinary teams

o Employees or designated agents of a children's advocacy center

o Those persons so authorized by court order

*Files, reports, notes, photographs, records, electronic and other communications, and working papers used or developed by a children's advocacy center in providing services under this chapter are confidential and shall not be disclosed except to the following persons:

o Staff employed by the cabinet, law enforcement officers, and Commonwealth's and county attorneys who are directly involved in the investigation or prosecution of the case

o Medical and mental health professionals listed by name in a release of information signed by the guardian of the child

o The court and those persons so authorized by a court order


When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed
Citation: § 620.050

*Information may be publicly disclosed by the cabinet in a case where child abuse or neglect has resulted in a child fatality or near fatality.

*When an adult who is the subject of confidential information publicly reveals or causes to be revealed any significant part of the confidential matter or information, the confidentiality afforded by this section is presumed voluntarily waived, and confidential information and records about the person making or causing the public disclosure, not already disclosed but related to the information made public, may be disclosed if disclosure is in the best interest of the child or is necessary for the administration of the cabinet's duties.



Use of Records for Employment Screening
Not addressed in statutes reviewed

Louisiana

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: Ch. Code art. 616

Except as provided in this Article or Rev. Stat. § 46: 56, all records of reports of child abuse or neglect are confidential.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
Rev. Stat. § 46:56

*Attorneys who are appointed by a court to represent the sole interest of the children

*Court-appointed special advocates

*Foster parents where such information is necessary for the foster parents to properly care for the child

*A court when it is necessary determination of an issue before it

*Hospitals, clinics, or schools

*Counterpart agencies in other States engaged in delivering family and children's services

*Local, State, and Federal law enforcement agencies, including but not limited to military authorities, probation officers, district attorneys, and coroners

*The Louisiana State Board of Dentistry and the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners

*A child abuse citizens' review panel or a State child fatality review panel

*An agency engaged in rendering services or treatment to a recipient or former recipient of the department's services

*An agency engaged in enforcing the child abuse and neglect law or prosecuting perpetrators of acts against children in violation of the criminal statutes of this State or of another State or of Federal criminal statutes

*A person who is engaged in bona fide professional, academic, or scholarly research

*A duly authorized person conducting an audit of the department

*A former foster child or his or her legal tutor if the release of such information is in the best interest of the former foster child

*An examining physician who reasonably believes that a child has been abused or neglected

*A committee or subcommittee of the legislature that has subject matter jurisdiction over child protection legislation



When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 46:56

Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, limited public disclosure of information contained in a report of child abuse and neglect shall be made in the following circumstances:

*When information concerning an incident of abuse or neglect has been made public through media reports, the department shall disclose the following information:

o Whether or not the department has a report in its possession

o Any action taken by the department, provided that names or other information contained in a departmental report concerning any individual's identity shall not be disclosed, notwithstanding whether or not such information is otherwise available

*Information related to a child fatality or near fatality in which abuse or neglect was medically determined by an examining physician to be a contributing factor in the cause of death or near fatality shall be disclosed.

*This paragraph shall not apply when the local district attorney requests that certain information not be released due to a pending criminal investigation or prosecution. All information, including but not limited to the departmental case records, shall be available to the local district attorney for inspection.



Use of Records for Employment Screening
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 46:56

Upon written request of a caregiver, the department shall disclose limited information contained in child abuse or neglect records or reports to an employer or prospective employer of a person who will be exercising supervisory authority over that employer's minor children or other dependent person as part of that person's employment as a caregiver.

Maine

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: Tit. 22, § 4008

*All department records that contain personally identifying information and are created or obtained in connection with the department's child protective activities and activities related to a child while in the care or custody of the department are confidential and subject to release only [as permitted by statute].

*Within the department, the records shall be available only to and used by appropriate departmental personnel and legal counsel for the department in carrying out their functions.



Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
Tit. 22, § 4008

*An agency or person investigating a report of child abuse or neglect

*A physician who reasonably suspects that a child may be abused or neglected

*A child named in a report, the child's parent or custodian, or the subject of the report

*A person having the legal responsibility or authorization to educate, care for, or supervise a child

*A parent or custodian who is the subject of a record

*A member of a panel appointed to review child deaths and serious injuries

*Any person engaged in bona fide research

*Any agency or department involved in licensing or approving homes for, or the placement of, children or dependent adults

*The representative designated to provide child welfare services by the tribe of an Indian child

*A person making a report of suspected abuse or neglect

*The guardian ad litem of a child named in a report

*A court when it is necessary for the determination of any issue before it

*A grand jury when it is necessary in the conduct of its official business

*An appropriate State executive or legislative official with responsibility for child protection services

*The protection and advocacy agency for persons with disabilities, in connection with investigations conducted in accordance with law

*Prospective adoptive parents

*A person having the legal authorization to evaluate or treat a child, parent, or custodian who is the subject of a record

*Any government entity that needs such information in order to carry out its responsibilities to protect children from abuse and neglect, including a Federal entity, a State entity of any State, or a local government entity of any State or locality

*A juvenile court when the child who is the subject of the records has been brought before the court



When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed
Citation: Tit. 22, § 4008-A

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the commissioner, with the advice of the Attorney General, may disclose information regarding the abuse or neglect of a child and the investigation of and any services related to the abuse and neglect if the commissioner determines that such disclosure is not contrary to the best interests of the child, the child's siblings, or other children in the household, and any one of the following factors is present:

*The alleged perpetrator of the abuse or neglect has been charged with committing a crime related to the allegation of abuse or neglect maintained by the department.

*A judge, a law enforcement agency official, a district attorney, or another State or local investigative agency or official has publicly disclosed the provision of child welfare services or the investigation by child welfare services of the abuse or neglect of the child.

*An individual who is the parent, custodian, or guardian of the victim or a child victim over 14 years of age has made a prior knowing, voluntary, public disclosure.

*The child named in the report has died.

Use of Records for Employment Screening
Citation: Tit. 22, § 4008

The department shall disclose relevant information in the records to the Commissioner of Education when the information concerns teachers and other professional personnel, persons employed by schools, or any employees of schools operated by the Department of Education.

Maryland

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: Fam. Law § 5-707

The Administration shall provide by regulation procedures for protecting the confidentiality of reports and records made in accordance with this subtitle and conditions under which information may be released.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
Fam. Law § 5-714

*The protective services staff of the Social Services Administration

*The protective services staffs of local departments who are investigating a report of suspected abuse or neglect

*Law enforcement personnel who are investigating a report of suspected abuse or neglect

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

Use of Records for Employment Screening
Citation: Fam. Law § 5-714

Unless a person has been found guilty of any criminal charge arising out of the alleged abuse or neglect, or has been found responsible for indicated abuse or neglect, information in a central registry may not be used as a sole basis for responding to any request for background information for employment or voluntary service.

Massachusetts

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: Ch. 119, §§ 51E & 51F

*The department shall maintain a file of the written reports prepared pursuant to this section and §§ 51A to 51D, inclusive. Such written reports shall be confidential.

*The department shall maintain a central registry of information sufficient to identify children whose names are reported pursuant to §§ 51A or 51B. Data and information relating to individual cases in the central registry shall be confidential and shall be made available only with the approval of the commissioner or upon court order.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
Ch. 119, § 51E

*The child's parent, guardian, or counsel

*The reporting person or agency

*The appropriate review board

*A social worker assigned to the case

*Any other person who has the written and informed consent of the child's parent or guardian, the written approval of the commissioner, or an order of a court of competent jurisdiction

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

Use of Records for Employment Screening

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

Michigan

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: § 722.627

Unless made public as specified information released under § 722.627d, a written report, document, or photograph filed with the department is a confidential record available only to one of the entities listed below.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
§ 722.627

*A public or private child protective agency investigating a report

*A police or other law enforcement agency investigating a report

*A physician who reasonably suspects that a child may be abused or neglected

*A person legally authorized to place a child in protective custody when he or she reasonably suspects a child may be abused or neglected

*A person, agency, or organization, including a multidisciplinary case consultation team, authorized to diagnose, care for, treat, or supervise a child or family who is the subject of a report, or who is responsible for the child's health or welfare

*A person named in the report or record as a perpetrator or alleged perpetrator of the child abuse or neglect or a victim who is an adult at the time of the request

*A court when it is necessary to determine an issue before it

*A grand jury when it is necessary to conduct its official business

*A person, agency, or organization engaged in a bona fide research or evaluation project

*A lawyer-guardian ad litem or other attorney

*A licensed child-placing agency or circuit court staff for the purpose of investigating an applicant for adoption or foster care, an adult member of an applicant's household, or other persons in a foster care or adoptive home who are directly responsible for the care and welfare of children, to determine suitability of a home for adoption or foster care

*A standing or select committee or appropriations subcommittee of either house of the legislature having jurisdiction over child protective services matters

*The children's ombudsman

*A child fatality review team

*A county medical examiner or deputy county medical examiner

*A citizen review panel

*A childcare regulatory agency

*A foster care review board

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed
Citation: § 722.627d

The director may release specified information under this section if there is clear and convincing evidence that either of the following is true:

*The release of the specified information is in the best interest of the child to whom the information relates.

*The release of the specified information is not in conflict with the best interest of the child to whom the information relates, and one or more of the following are true:

o The release is in the best interest of a member of the child's family or of an individual who resides in the same home in which the child resides. The child's family includes the child's parents, legal guardians, grandparents, and siblings.

o The release clarifies actions taken by the department on a specific case.

o The report or record concerns a child who has died or concerns a member of that child's family.

o All or part of the report or record is publicly disclosed in a judicial proceeding.

o A child abuse or neglect complaint or investigation to which the report or record relates has been part of the subject matter of a published or broadcast media story.

o The report or record concerns a substantiated report of sexual abuse, serious injury, or life threatening harm involving the child or a sibling of the child identified in the request.

Use of Records for Employment Screening

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

Minnesota

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: § 626.556, Subd. 11

All records concerning individuals maintained by a local welfare agency or agency responsible for assessing or investigating the report under this section shall be private data on individuals.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
§ 626.556, Subd. 7, 10g, 10i, 10j, & 11

*Local social services agencies or agency responsible for assessing or investigating a report

*Local police department or county sheriff

*County medical examiners or county coroners

*A prosecuting authority

*Individual subject of a report

*A court services agency if the agency has an active case involving the same person or persons

*The legislator auditor

*The commissioner of education

*The Child Maltreatment Review Panel

*Social services agency or law enforcement agency of another State

*Mandated reporters who have an ongoing responsibility for the health, education, or welfare of a child affected by the data, in the best interests of the child. This may include:

o The child's teachers or other appropriate school personnel

o Foster parents

o Health care providers

o Respite care workers

o Therapists

o Social workers

o Childcare providers

o Residential care and crisis nursery staff

o Probation officers

o Court services personnel



When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed
Citation: § 626.556, Subd. 11d

A public agency shall disclose to the public, upon request, the findings and information related to a child fatality or near fatality if:

*A person is criminally charged with having caused the child fatality or near fatality

*A county attorney certifies that a person would have been charged with having caused the child fatality or near fatality but for that person's death

Use of Records for Employment Screening

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

Mississippi

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: §§ 43-21-257; 43-21-261

*Any record involving children, including valid and invalid complaints, and the contents thereof maintained by the Department of Human Services, or any other State agency, shall be kept confidential and shall not be disclosed except as provided by law.

*The central registry shall be confidential and shall not be open to public inspection.

*Records involving children shall not be disclosed, other than to necessary staff of the youth court, except pursuant to an order of the youth court specifying the person or persons to whom the records may be disclosed, the extent of the records that may be disclosed, and the purpose of the disclosure.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
§ 43-21-261

Court orders for disclosure shall be limited to those instances in which the youth court concludes, in its discretion, that disclosure is required for the best interests of the child, the public safety, or the functioning of the youth court and then only to the following persons:

*The judge of another youth court or member of another youth court staff

*The court of the parties in a child custody or adoption cause in another court

*A judge of any other court or members of another court staff

*A public or private agency providing supervision or having custody of the child

*Any person engaged in bona fide research

*The Mississippi Employment Security Commission for the purpose of a child's enrollment into the Job Corps Training Program

*Any person, pursuant to a finding by a judge of the youth court of compelling circumstances affecting the health or safety of a child and that such disclosure to this person is in the best interests of the child

*The parent, guardian, or custodian of the child who is the subject of a youth court case or any attorney for such person

*The youth court prosecutor, the county attorney, the district attorney, the youth court defender, or any attorney representing a child

*A court of competent jurisdiction

*Any attorney, physician, dentist, intern, resident, nurse, psychologist, social worker, child protection specialist, childcare giver, minister, law enforcement officer, or public or private school employee making the report if the reporter has a continuing professional relationship with the child and a need for such information in order to protect or treat the child

*Any interagency child abuse task force

*Any member of a foster care review board

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed
Citation: § 43-21-261

*In every case where there is any indication or suggestion of either abuse or neglect and a child's physical condition is medically labeled as medically 'serious' or 'critical' or a child dies, the confidentiality provisions of this section shall not apply.

*In cases of child deaths, the following information may be released by the Mississippi Department of Human Services:

o The child's name, address, or location

o Verification from the Department of Human Services of case status (no case or involvement, case exists, open or active case, case closed)

o If a case exists, the type of report or case (physical abuse, neglect, etc.), date of intake(s) and investigation(s), and case disposition (substantiated or unsubstantiated)

*Notwithstanding the above, the confidentiality provisions of this section shall continue if there is a pending or planned investigation by any local, State, or Federal governmental agency or institution.

Use of Records for Employment Screening
Citation: § 43-21-257

The Mississippi State Department of Health may release the findings of investigations into allegations of abuse within licensed daycare centers to any parent of a child who is enrolled in the daycare center at the time of the alleged abuse or at the time the request for information is made. The findings of any such investigation may also be released to parents who are considering placing children in the daycare center.

Missouri

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: § 210.150

*The children's division shall ensure the confidentiality of all reports and records maintained by the division, its local offices, the central registry, and other appropriate persons, officials, and institutions.

*To protect the rights of the family and the child named in the report as a victim, the children's division shall establish guidelines that will ensure that any disclosure of information concerning the abuse and neglect involving that child is made only to persons or agencies that have a right to such information.



Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
§ 210.150

*Appropriate Federal, State, or local criminal justice agency personnel

*A physician who reasonably believes that the child being examined may be abused or neglected

*Appropriate staff of the division and of its local offices, including interdisciplinary teams

*Any child named in the report as a victim, or a legal representative, or the parent, if not the alleged perpetrator, or guardian of such person when such person is a minor

*Any alleged perpetrator named in the report

*A grand jury, juvenile officer, prosecuting attorney, or law enforcement officer involved in the investigation of child abuse or neglect

*A juvenile court or other court

*Other Federal, State, and local government entities

*Any person engaged in bona fide research

*Any child fatality review panel

*Appropriate staff of the division

*Appropriate criminal justice agency personnel or juvenile officer

*Multidisciplinary agency

*An individual including a physician or physician's designee who is providing services to the child or family

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed
Citation: § 210.150

Nothing in this section shall preclude the release of findings or information about cases that resulted in a child fatality or near fatality. Such release is at the sole discretion of the director of the Department of Social Services, based upon a review of the potential harm to other children within the immediate family.

Use of Records for Employment Screening
Citation: § 210.150

The following may request an examination of the central registry:

*Any childcare facility, child-placing agency, residential-care facility, including group homes, juvenile courts, public or private schools, or any other public or private agency exercising temporary supervision over a child or providing or having care or custody of a child, for all employees, volunteers, or prospective employees and volunteers who do or will provide services or care to children

*Any agency or business that provides training and places or recommends people for employment or for volunteers in positions where they will provide services or care to children

*Any parent or legal guardian about a specific person or childcare facility who does or may provide services or care to his or her child

*Any person who inquires about a specific childcare facility, child-placing agency, residential-care facility, public and private schools, juvenile court or other State agency

*Any State agency regarding a license of any person, institution, or agency that provides care for or services to children

 Montana

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: § 41-3-205

The case records of the department and its local affiliate, the local office of public assistance, the county attorney, and the court concerning actions taken under this chapter and all records concerning reports of child abuse and neglect must be kept confidential except as provided by this section.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
§ 41-3-205

*A court if relevant to an issue before it

*A department, agency, or organization, including a Federal agency, military enclave, or Indian tribal organization, that is legally authorized to receive, inspect, or investigate reports of child abuse or neglect

*A licensed youth care facility or child-placing agency that is providing services to the family or child who is the subject of a report for the purpose of determining the best interests of a child with respect to an adoptive placement

*A health or mental health professional who is treating the family or child who is the subject of a report

*A parent, guardian, person designated by a parent or guardian, or other person responsible for the child's welfare

*A child named in the records or the child's legal guardian or legal representative, including the child's guardian ad litem, attorney, or special advocate

*The State protection and advocacy program

*Approved foster and adoptive parents who are or may be providing care for a child

*A person named in a report and that person's attorney

*An agency, including a probation or parole agency, that is legally responsible for the supervision of an alleged perpetrator of child abuse or neglect

*A person, agency, or organization that is engaged in a bona fide research or evaluation project

*The members of an interdisciplinary child protective team or a family group decision-making meeting for the purposes of assessing the needs of the child and family, formulating a treatment plan, and monitoring the plan

*The coroner or medical examiner when determining the cause of death of a child

*A child fatality review team

*An employee of the department or other State agency if disclosure of the records is necessary for administration of programs designed to benefit the child

*An agency of an Indian tribe or the relatives of an Indian child if disclosure of the records is necessary to meet requirements of the Federal Indian Child Welfare Act

*A youth probation officer who is working in an official capacity with the child who is the subject of a report

*A county attorney, peace officer, or attorney who is hired by or represents the department

*A foster care review committee or a citizen review board

*A school employee participating in an interview of a child by a social worker, county attorney, or peace officer

*A member of a county interdisciplinary child information team

*Members of a local interagency staffing group

*A member of a youth placement committee

*A principal of a school or other employee of the school district with respect to a student of the district who is a client of the department

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed
Citation: § 41-3-205

*The court may permit public disclosure [of records it has reviewed] if it finds disclosure to be necessary for the fair resolution of an issue before it.

*Records may be disclosed to the news media, a member of the United States Congress, or a State legislator, if disclosure is limited to confirmation of factual information regarding how the case was handled and if disclosure does not violate the privacy rights of the child or the child's parent or guardian, as determined by the department.

Use of Records for Employment Screening
Citation: § 41-3-205

Records may be disclosed to:

*A department or agency investigating an applicant for a license or registration that is required to operate a youth care facility, daycare facility, or child-placing agency

*A person or entity who is carrying out background, employment-related, or volunteer-related screening of current or prospective employees or volunteers who have or may have unsupervised contact with children through employment or volunteer activities

 Nebraska

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: § 28-725

All records of the department concerning reports of noninstitutional child abuse or neglect, including reports made to the department or central register, and all records of the department generated as a result of such reports, shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed except as specifically authorized.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
§§ 28-722; 28-726; 28-727

*A subject of a report or, if such subject is a minor or otherwise legally incompetent, the guardian or guardian ad litem of the person

*A law enforcement agency investigating a report of known or suspected abuse or neglect

*A county attorney in preparation of an abuse, neglect, or termination petition

*A physician who reasonably suspects that a child may be abused or neglected

*An agency having the legal responsibility or authorization to care for, treat, or supervise an abused or neglected child

*A parent, a guardian, or other person responsible for the abused or neglected child's welfare who is the subject of a report

*Any person engaged in bona fide research or auditing

*The State Foster Care Review Board when the records relate to a child in a foster care placement

*The designated protection and advocacy system, acting upon a complaint received from or on behalf of a person with developmental disabilities or mental illness

*The person or persons having custody of the abused or neglected child in situations of alleged out-of-home abuse or neglect

*A mandated reporter who made a report of abuse involving the subject child

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed
Citation: § 28-735

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Department of Health and Human Services shall disclose to the public, upon request, a summary of the findings and information related to a child fatality or near fatality if:

*A person is criminally charged with having caused the child fatality or near fatality and is convicted or acquitted of the charged offense or a lesser offense.

*A county attorney certifies that a person would have been charged with having caused the child fatality or near fatality but for that person's prior death.

Use of Records for Employment Screening
Citation: § 28-726

The Department of Health and Human Services Regulation and Licensure may access the records for the purpose of licensing providers of childcare programs.

Nevada

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: § 432B.280

Reports made pursuant to this chapter, as well as all records concerning these reports and investigations thereof, are confidential.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
§ 432B.290

*A physician who has reasonable cause to believe that a child has been abused or neglected

*A person authorized to place a child in protective custody who requires the information to determine whether to place the child in protective custody

*An agency, including an agency in another jurisdiction, responsible for or authorized to undertake the care, treatment, or supervision of the child or the person responsible for the welfare of the child

*A district attorney or other law enforcement officer who requires the information for an investigation or prosecution of the abuse or neglect of a child

*A court when it is necessary for the determination of an issue before it

*A person engaged in bona fide research or an audit

*The attorney and the guardian ad litem of the child

*A grand jury when it is necessary in the conduct of its official business

*A Federal, State, or local governmental entity when needed to carry out its legal responsibilities to protect children from abuse and neglect

*A person or an organization that has entered into a written agreement with an agency that provides child welfare services to provide assessments or services

*A child protection team

*A child death review team

*A parent or legal guardian of the child and an attorney of a parent or guardian of the child

*The persons who are the subject of a report

*An agency that is authorized by law to license foster homes or facilities for children or to investigate persons applying for approval to adopt a child

*Upon written consent of the parent, any officer of this State, city, or county, or legislator when needed to investigate the activities or programs of an agency that provides child welfare services

*The division of parole and probation for use in making a presentence investigation and report to the district court or in making a general investigation and report

*Any mandated reporter who made a report of abuse involving the subject child

*The rural advisory board or a local advisory board to expedite proceedings for the placement of children

*The panel established pursuant to § 432B.396 to evaluate agencies that provide child welfare services



When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed
Citation: § 432B.290

*Data or information concerning reports and investigations may be made available to any member of the general public if the child who is the subject of a report dies or is critically injured as a result of alleged abuse or neglect, except that the data or information which may be disclosed is limited to:

o The fact that a report of abuse or neglect has been made and, if appropriate, a factual description of the contents of the report

o Whether an investigation has been initiated and the result of a completed investigation

o Such other information as is authorized for disclosure by a court

*An agency that provides child welfare services shall not disclose data or information if the agency determines that the disclosure is not in the best interests of the child or if disclosure of the information would adversely affect any pending investigation concerning a report.

*Upon petition, a court of competent jurisdiction may authorize the disclosure of additional information to the public if good cause is shown by the petitioner for the disclosure of the additional information.

Use of Records for Employment Screening

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

New Hampshire

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: §§ 169-C:35; 170-G:8-a

*Records in the State registry shall be confidential and subject to rules on access established by the commissioner of the department under RSA 541-A.

*The case records of the department shall be confidential.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
§ 170-G:8-a

*The child and the parent, guardian, or custodian of the child named in the case record

*Another member of the family of the child named in the case record, if disclosure is necessary for the provision of services to the child or other family member

*Employees of the department and their legal counsel

*Persons made parties to judicial proceedings in New Hampshire relative to the child or family, whether civil or criminal, including the court with jurisdiction over the proceeding, any attorney for any party, and any guardian ad litem

*A grand jury when it is necessary in the conduct of its official business

*The relevant county

*A person or entity requested by the department or ordered by the court to perform an evaluation or assessment, to create a service plan, or to provide services for the child, the child's family, or a member of the child's family

*The superintendent of schools for the school district in which the child named in the case record is or will be attending school

*The person or entity with whom the child resides, if that person is not the child's parent, guardian, or custodian

*A physician who reasonably suspects that a child may be abused or neglected

*A law enforcement official who reasonably suspects that a child may be abused or neglected, and who is participating with the department in a joint investigation

*A State official who is responsible for the provision of services to children and families

*A legislative official who has been granted specific responsibility for oversight of legislation related to the provision of services to children and families

*A person conducting a bona fide research or evaluation project

*Any person making a report of suspected child abuse or neglect

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

Use of Records for Employment Screening
Citation: § 170-G:8-c

The department shall, prior to adding new or transferred staff members whose job descriptions would cause them to come into direct contact with children, submit the names, birth names, birth dates, and addresses of such individuals for review against the state registry of founded abuse and neglect reports.

New Jersey

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: § 9:6-8.10a

All records of child abuse reports, all information obtained by the Department of Human Services in investigating such reports, and all reports of findings forwarded to the child abuse registry shall be kept confidential.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
§ 9:6-8.10a

*A child protective agency or law enforcement agency investigating a report of child abuse or neglect

*A physician who reasonably suspects that a child may be abused or neglected

*Any person authorized to place a child in protective custody when needed to determine whether to place a child in protective custody

*An agency authorized to care for, treat, assess, evaluate, or supervise a child who is the subject of a child abuse report, or a parent, guardian, resource family parent or other person who is responsible for the child's welfare, or both, when the information is needed in connection with the provision of care, treatment, assessment, evaluation, or supervision to such child or such parent, guardian, resource family parent

*A court or the Office of Administrative Law when it is necessary for determination of an issue before it

*The law guardian, attorney, or other appropriate person when it is necessary for determination of an issue before the court or the Office of Administrative Law

*A grand jury when it is necessary in the conduct of its official business

*Any appropriate State legislative committee acting in the course of its official functions

*The Victims of Crime Compensation Board, for the purpose of providing services to a child victim who is the subject of a report

*Any person appealing a department service or status action or a substantiated finding of child abuse or neglect and his or her attorney or authorized lay representative

*The members of a county multidisciplinary team

*A person being evaluated by the department or the court as a potential caregiver to determine whether that person is willing and able to provide the care and support required by the child

*The legal counsel of a child, parent, or guardian

*A person who has reported suspected child abuse or neglect

*A parent, resource family parent, or legal guardian when the information is needed in a department matter in which that parent, resource family parent, or legal guardian is directly involved

*A Federal, State, or local government entity, to the extent necessary to carry out its responsibilities

*Citizen review panels

*The Child Fatality and Near Fatality Review Board

*Members of a family team or other case planning group for the purpose of addressing the child's safety, permanency, or well-being

*A child who is the subject of a report, as appropriate to the child's age or condition, to enable the child to understand the basis for the department's involvement

*Any person engaged in bona fide research



When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed
Citation: § 9:6-8.10a

The department may disclose to the public the findings or information about a case of child abuse or neglect that has resulted in a child fatality or near fatality. Nothing may be disclosed that would likely endanger the life, safety, or physical or emotional well-being of a child or the life or safety of any other person or that may compromise the integrity of a department investigation or a civil or criminal investigation or judicial proceeding.

Use of Records for Employment Screening
Citation: § 9:6-8.10a

*Records may be accessed by:

o A family daycare-sponsoring organization for the purpose of providing information on child abuse or neglect allegations involving prospective or current providers or household members and as necessary, for use in administrative appeals related to information obtained through a child abuse registry search

o Any person or entity mandated to consider child abuse or neglect information when conducting a background check or employment-related screening of an individual employed by or seeking employment with an agency or organization providing services to children

o Any person or entity conducting a disciplinary, administrative, or judicial proceeding to determine terms of employment or continued employment of an officer, employee, or volunteer with an agency or organization providing services for children

*The department shall release records and reports to a unified childcare agency for the purpose of providing information on child abuse or neglect allegations involving a prospective approved home provider or any adult household member to a child's parent when the information is necessary for the parent to make a decision concerning the placement of the child in an appropriate childcare arrangement.

 New Mexico

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: § 32A-4-33

All records concerning a party to a neglect or abuse proceeding, including social records, diagnostic evaluation, psychiatric or psychological reports, videotapes, transcripts and audio recordings of a child's statement of abuse, or medical reports, that are in the possession of the court or the department as the result of a neglect or abuse proceeding or that were produced or obtained during an investigation in anticipation of or incident to a neglect or abuse proceeding shall be confidential and closed to the public.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
§ 32A-4-33

*Court personnel

*Court appointed special advocates

*The child's guardian ad litem

*Department personnel

*Any local substitute care review board or any agency contracted to implement local substitute care review boards

*Law enforcement officials

*District attorneys

*Any State government social services agency in any State

*Persons or entities of an Indian tribe specifically authorized to inspect the records

*A foster parent, if the records concern the social, medical, psychological, or educational needs of a child currently placed or being considered for placement with that foster parent

*School personnel if the records concern the child's social or educational needs

*Health care or mental health professionals involved in the evaluation or treatment of the child, the child's parents, guardian, custodian, or other family members

*Protection and advocacy representatives

*Children's safehouse organizations conducting investigatory interviews of children on behalf of a law enforcement agency or the department

*Any other person or entity, by order of the court, having a legitimate interest in the case or the work of the court

*A parent, guardian, or legal custodian whose child has been the subject of an investigation of abuse or neglect



When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed
Citation: § 32A-4-33

When a child's death is allegedly caused by abuse or neglect, the department may release information about the case after consultation with and the consent of the district attorney.

Use of Records for Employment Screening

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

New York

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: Soc. Serv. Law § 422

Reports made pursuant to this title as well as any other information obtained, reports written, or photographs taken concerning such reports in the possession of the department, local departments, or the commission on quality of care for the mentally disabled, shall be confidential and shall only be made available to persons listed below.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
Soc. Serv. Law § 422

*A physician who reasonably suspects that a child may be abused or maltreated

*A person authorized to place a child in protective custody when it is needed to determine whether to place the child in protective custody

*A duly authorized agency having the responsibility for the care or supervision of a child who is reported to the central register

*Any person who is the subject of the report or other persons named in the report

*A court when it is necessary for the determination of an issue before it

*A grand jury when it is necessary for the determination of charges

*Any appropriate State legislative committee responsible for child protective legislation

*Any person engaged in bona fide research

*A provider agency or a licensing agency

*The State commission on quality of care for the mentally disabled in connection with an investigation being conducted by the commission

*A probation service conducting an investigation where there is reason to suspect the child or the child's sibling may have been maltreated and such child or sibling, parent, guardian, or other person legally responsible for the child is a person named in an indicated report

*A district attorney, an assistant district attorney, investigator, an officer of the State police, the regional State park police, a city police department, or a sheriff's office when such information is necessary to conduct a criminal investigation or prosecution of a person

*The New York city department of investigation

*A provider or coordinator of services to which a child or a child's family have been referred when it is necessary to enable the provider or coordinator to establish and implement a plan of service for the child or the child's family, to monitor the provision and coordination of services, or to directly provide services

*A disinterested person making an adoption investigation

*A criminal justice agency conducting an investigation of a missing child where there is reason to suspect such child or such child's sibling, parent, guardian, or other person legally responsible for such child is a person named in an indicated report of child maltreatment and that such information is needed to further such investigation

*The director or operator of the residential facility or program where a child may be placed

*A child protective service of another State when necessary to conduct a child abuse investigation within its jurisdiction

*A law guardian appointed to represent the child

*A childcare resource and referral program

*Officers and employees of the State comptroller, the city comptroller of the city of New York, or the county officer for purposes of a duly authorized performance audit

*Members of a local or regional fatality review team, a local or regional multidisciplinary investigative team, or a citizen review panel

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed
Citation: Soc. Serv. Law § 422-a

A commissioner may disclose information regarding the abuse or maltreatment of a child when such disclosure shall not be contrary to the best interests of the child, the child's siblings, or other children in the household, and any one of the following factors are present:

*The subject of the report has been charged with committing a crime related to a report maintained in the statewide central register.

*The investigation of the abuse or maltreatment of the child by the local child protective service or the provision of services by such service has been publicly disclosed in a report required to be disclosed in the course of their official duties, by a law enforcement agency or official, a district attorney, any other State or local investigative agency or official, or by a judge of the unified court system.

*There has been a prior knowing, voluntary, public disclosure by an individual concerning a report of child abuse or maltreatment in which such individual is named as the subject of the report.

*The child named in the report has died, or the report involves the near fatality of a child.

Use of Records for Employment Screening
Citation: Soc. Serv. Law § 422

Chief executive officers of authorized agencies, directors of daycare centers, and directors of facilities operated or supervised by the Department of Education, the Division for Youth, the Office of Mental Health, or the Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, may access the information in records and reports in connection with a disciplinary investigation, action, or administrative or judicial proceeding instituted by any of such officers or directors against an employee of any such agency, center, or facility who is the subject of an indicated report when the incident of abuse or maltreatment contained in the report occurred in the agency, center, facility, or program, and the purpose of such proceeding is to determine whether the employee should be retained or discharged.

North Carolina

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: § 7B-311

The data [in the central registry] shall be furnished by county directors of social services to the Department of Health and Human Services and shall be confidential, subject to policies adopted by the Social Services Commission providing for its use for study and research and for other appropriate disclosure.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
Not addressed in statutes reviewed.

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed
Citation: § 7B-2902

*Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a public agency shall disclose to the public, upon request, the findings and information related to a child fatality or near fatality if:

o A person is criminally charged with having caused the child fatality or near fatality.

o The district attorney has certified that a person would be charged with having caused the child fatality or near fatality but for that person's prior death.

*Nothing herein shall be deemed to authorize access to the confidential records in the custody of a public agency, or the disclosure to the public of the substance or content of any psychiatric, psychological, or therapeutic evaluations or like materials or information pertaining to the child or the child's family unless directly related to the cause of the child fatality or near fatality, or the disclosure of information that would reveal the identities of persons who provided information related to the suspected abuse, neglect, or maltreatment of the child.

*Within five working days from the receipt of a request for findings and information related to a child fatality or near fatality, a public agency shall consult with the appropriate district attorney and provide the findings and information unless the agency has a reasonable belief that release of the information:

o Is not authorized by State law

o Is likely to cause mental or physical harm or danger to a minor child residing in the deceased or injured child's household

o Is likely to jeopardize the State's ability to prosecute the defendant

o Is likely to jeopardize the defendant's right to a fair trial

o Is likely to undermine an ongoing or future criminal investigation

o Is not authorized by Federal law and regulations



Use of Records for Employment Screening

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

North Dakota

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: § 50-25.1-11

All reports made under this chapter, as well as any other information obtained, are confidential and must be made available to persons listed below.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
§ 50-25.1-11

*A physician who reasonably suspects that a child may have been abused or neglected

*A person who is authorized to place a child in protective custody when needed to determine whether to place the child in protective custody

*Authorized staff of the department, appropriate county social service boards, and appropriate State and local child protection team members

*Any person who is the subject of a report

*Public officials and their authorized agents who require the information in connection with the discharge of their official duties

*A court when it is necessary for the determination of an issue before it

*A person engaged in bona fide research

*A mandated reporter who has made a report of suspected child abuse or neglect, if the child is likely to or continues to come before the reporter in his or her official or professional capacity

*Parents or a legally appointed guardian of a child who is suspected of being, or having been, abused or neglected

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

Use of Records for Employment Screening

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

Northern Mariana Islands

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: Tit. 6, § 5325

All written reports as well as any other information obtained concerning alleged instances of child abuse or neglect shall be confidential and shall only be made available to persons listed below.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
Tit. 6, § 5325

*An official of the Division of Youth Services in the course of his or her duties

*A physician who reasonably suspects that a child may be abused or neglected

*A guardian ad litem for the child

*A court of competent jurisdiction

*The Department of Health and Human Services and the Comptroller General of the United States or any of their representatives

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed

Not addressed in the statutes reviewed

Use of Records for Employment Screening

Not addressed in the statutes reviewed

Ohio

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: § 2151.421

Except as provided below, a report made under this section is confidential. The information provided in a report made pursuant to this section and the name of the person who made the report shall not be released for use and shall not be used as evidence in any civil action or proceeding brought against the person who made the report.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
§ 2151.421

*In a criminal proceeding, the report is admissible as evidence in accordance with the Rules of Evidence and is subject to discovery in accordance with the Rules of Criminal Procedure.

*If the child who is the subject of the report dies for any reason at any time after the report is made, but before the child attains 18 years of age, the public children services agency or municipal or county peace officer to which the report was made or referred, on the request of the child fatality review board, shall submit a summary of the report to the review board of the county in which the deceased child resided at the time of death.

*On the request of the review board, the agency or peace officer may, at its discretion, make the report available to the review board.

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

Use of Records for Employment Screening

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

Oklahoma

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: Tit. 10, § 7111

Data and information maintained and related to individual cases shall be confidential and shall be made available only as authorized by State or Federal law.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
Tit. 10, § 7005-1.4

*The court having the child currently before it in any proceeding, and district court or tribal court to which such proceedings may be transferred

*The guardian ad litem

*Postadjudicatory review boards

*Court-appointed special advocates

*Members of the Child Death Review Board

*Any district court that has ordered a home study by the Department

*A district attorney, United States Attorney, or Attorney General of this or another State

*The attorney representing a child who is the subject of a proceeding

*Employees of juvenile bureaus in the course of their official duties

*A law enforcement agency of this or another State

*A child protective service agency of another State or federally recognized Indian tribe in the course of their official duties

*The Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth

*The Office of Juvenile Affairs

*Members of multidisciplinary teams

*A physician who reasonably suspects that a child may be abused or neglected

*Any health care or mental health professionals involved in the evaluation or treatment of the child

*The child's parents, legal guardian, custodian, or other family members

*Any agency or person authorized by the department to diagnose or provide care, treatment, supervision, or other services to a child who is the subject of a report

*Any federally recognized Indian tribe or State or county child protective services or child welfare agency providing for or supervising the diagnosis, care, treatment, supervision, or other services provided to the child

*Any person or agency for research purposes

*A foster parent, with regard to records concerning the social, medical, psychological, or educational needs of a child currently placed with that foster parent or of a child being considered for placement with that foster parent

*The Governor or any person the Governor designates

*Any Federal official of the United States Department of Health and Human Services

*The Oklahoma Health Care Authority

*Any member of the legislature

*Any person or agency authorized to receive information pertaining to a child who is the subject of an adoption proceeding or relatives who are related to such child

*Employees of any State or Federal corrections or law enforcement agency in the performance of their official duties concerning presentence investigations or supervision of a parent of an alleged or adjudicated deprived child or the legal guardian, custodian, or any other adult member of the child's home who is responsible for the care of the child

*An employee of a State agency of this or another State in the performance of such employee's official duties concerning the establishment of paternity, the establishment or enforcement of a child support order, or other entitlement for the benefit of a child

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed
Citation: Tit. 10, § 7005-1.4

*In cases involving the death or near death of a child when a person responsible for the child has been charged with committing a crime resulting in the child's death or near death, there shall be a presumption that the best interest of the public will be served by public disclosure of certain information concerning the circumstances of the investigation of the death or near death of the child, and any other investigations concerning that child or other children living in the same household.

*At any time subsequent to 7 days of the date the person responsible for the child has been criminally charged, the Department of Human Services, the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth, or the district attorney may release the following information to the public:

o Confirmation that a report has been made concerning the alleged victim or other children living in the same household and whether an investigation has begun

o Confirmation as to whether previous reports have been made and the dates thereof, a summary of those previous reports, the dates and outcome of any investigations or actions taken by the Department of Human Services in response to any report of child abuse or neglect, and any actions taken by the district attorney after submission of any investigative report

o The dates of any judicial proceedings prior to the child's death or near death, a summary of each participant's recommendations made at the judicial proceedings, and the rulings of the court

Use of Records for Employment Screening

Not addressed in the statutes reviewed

Oregon

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: § 419B.035

Reports and records compiled under [the reporting laws] are confidential and are not accessible for public inspection. However, the Department of Human Services shall make records available to the persons and entities listed below.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
§ 419B.035

*Any law enforcement agency or a child abuse registry in any other State for the purpose of subsequent investigation of child abuse

*Any physician regarding any child brought to the physician for examination, care, or treatment

*Attorneys of record for the child or child's parent or guardian in any juvenile court proceeding

*Citizen review boards

*A court appointed special advocate in any juvenile court proceeding in which it is alleged that a child has been subjected to child abuse or neglect

*The Office of Children's Advocate

*Any person, administrative hearings officer, court, agency, organization, or other entity when it is necessary to administer child welfare services, or to investigate, prevent, or treat child abuse and neglect, or for research

*Law enforcement agencies, district attorneys, city attorneys with criminal prosecutorial functions, and the Attorney General when disclosure is necessary for the investigation or enforcement of laws relating to child abuse and neglect

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

Use of Records for Employment Screening
Citation: § 419B.035

The Child Care Division may access records for certifying, registering, or otherwise regulating childcare facilities.

Pennsylvania

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: 23 PCSA § 6339

Except as otherwise provided by law, reports made pursuant to this chapter, including, but not limited to, report summaries of child abuse and neglect written reports, as well as any other information obtained, reports written or photographs or X-rays taken concerning alleged instances of child abuse in the possession of the department or a county agency shall be confidential.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
23 PCSA § 6340

*An authorized official of a county agency or of an agency of another State that performs protective services

*Multidisciplinary team members assigned to the case

*A physician examining or treating a child when the physician suspects the child of being an abused child

*A guardian ad litem or court designated advocate for the child

*An official or agent of the department conducting a performance audit

*A court of competent jurisdiction

*A court of common pleas in connection with any matter involving custody of a child

*A standing committee of the General Assembly charged with legislative oversight

*The Attorney General or a district attorney

*Federal auditors if required for Federal financial participation in funding of agencies

*Law enforcement officials of any jurisdiction, as long as the information is relevant to an investigation

*Designated county officials

*A mandated reporter who made a report of abuse involving the subject child

*A prospective adoptive parent when considering adopting an abused child in the custody of a county agency

*Appropriate officials of another county or State regarding an investigation related to child abuse or protective services when a family has moved to that county or State

*A subject of a report

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

Use of Records for Employment Screening
Citation: 23 PCSA § 6344

*This section applies to all prospective employees of childcare services, prospective foster parents, prospective adoptive parents, prospective self-employed family daycare providers, and other persons seeking to provide childcare services that involve direct contact with children.

*Administrators of childcare services shall require applicants to submit with their applications a certification from the department as to whether the applicant is named in the central register as the perpetrator of a founded report of child abuse, indicated report of child abuse, founded report for school employee, or indicated report for school employee.

*In the course of approving a prospective foster parent, a foster family care agency shall require prospective foster parents to submit the information set forth above.

*Self-employed family daycare providers who apply for a certificate of registration with the department shall submit with their registration application certification from the department as to whether the applicant is named in the central register as the perpetrator of a founded report of child abuse.

 Puerto Rico

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: Tit. 8, § 442o

All files related to cases of protection, including the reports of any offices or public, private, or privatized entities, that are generated in compliance with this chapter shall be confidential and shall not be revealed, except in those cases and under those circumstances specifically authorized by this chapter.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
Tit. 8, § 442q

*The unit of the department or the agency that renders direct services

*The Puerto Rico Police officer who investigates a referral where abuse or neglect is suspected

*The physician attending a minor suspected of being a victim of abuse or neglect

*A person legally authorized to undertake emergency custody of a minor when needed to determine whether or not to place a minor under custody

*The agency that is legally responsible or authorized to care for, provide treatment, or supervise the minor

*The father, mother, or other person responsible for the welfare of the minor that is the subject of the report

*The guardian or the Advocate for Minors' Affairs if the subject of the report is a minor

*The court when it is necessary to decide an issue before it

*Any official, including the prosecutor, responsible for the administration, supervision, or legislation related to the prevention or treatment of protection cases

*The Citizens Advisory Board for the Protection of Minors, the multidisciplinary professional teams, the Panel for the Review of the Deaths of Minors, and the Permanent Plans Review Board

*Any person conducting bona fide data research

*The mandated reporter who made a report of abuse involving the subject child

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed
Citation: Tit. 8, §§ 442o; 442q

*The department shall establish the procedure to report the findings of an investigation or about any situation of abuse, institutional abuse, abuse through neglect and/or abuse through institutional neglect that may have caused the death of a child, always protecting the confidential sources of information.

*No person authorized to obtain confidential information pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, with the exception of the subject of the report, may make said information public.

*This prohibition shall not include the Prosecutors, the Advocates for Minors' Affairs, the Family Advocates, the Special Family Advocates for Situations Involving Abuse, Institutional Abuse, Abuse through Neglect and/or Abuse through Institutional Neglect, or police officers, when the information obtained is used to initiate judicial or administrative proceedings.

Use of Records for Employment Screening

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

Rhode Island

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: §§ 40-11-13; 42-72-8

*All records concerning reports of child abuse and neglect, including reports made to the department, shall be confidential except as specifically provided by this chapter or § 42-72-8, or specifically authorized by the family court in furtherance of the purposes directly connected with this chapter.

*Any records of the department pertaining to children and their families in need of service pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, or for whom an application for services has been made, shall be confidential and only disclosed as provided by law.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
§ 42-72-8

*The attorney general when the office is engaged in the investigation or prosecution of criminal conduct by another relating to the child or other children within the same family unit

*Individuals or agencies engaged in medical, psychological, or psychiatric diagnosis or treatment or education of the person under the supervision of the department

*Individuals or agencies for the purposes of temporary or permanent placement of the person

*The family court

*The child’s guardian ad litem or attorney

*Any mandated reporter who made a report of child abuse involving the subject child

*A physician who believes or has reasonable cause to suspect that the child may have been abused or neglected

*The Department of Corrections in the case of an individual who has been transferred to the jurisdiction of that department

*Individuals employed by a State or county child welfare agency outside of Rhode Island when the information is needed to ensure the care, protection, and/or treatment of any child

*An administrative hearing officer for purposes of making a determination of relevancy to the merits of the administrative matter pending before the hearing

*A court of proper jurisdiction for purposes of making a determination of relevancy to the merits of the civil or criminal action pending before the court

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed
Citation: § 42-72-8

The director may disclose the findings or other information about a case as the director deems necessary in a case of child abuse or neglect that has resulted in a child fatality or near fatality.

Use of Records for Employment Screening

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

South Carolina

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: § 20-7-690

All reports made and information collected pursuant to this article maintained by the Department of Social Services and the Central Registry of Child Abuse and Neglect are confidential.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
§ 20-7-690

*The ombudsman of the office of the Governor or the Governor's designee

*The child's guardian ad litem, the attorney for the child's guardian ad litem, or the child's attorney

*Appropriate staff of the department

*A law enforcement agency investigating or prosecuting known or suspected abuse or neglect of a child or any other crime against a child, attempting to locate a missing child, investigating or prosecuting the death of a child, or investigating or prosecuting any other crime

*A person who is named in a report or investigation as having abused or neglected a child, that person's attorney, and that person's guardian ad litem

*A child 14 years of age or older who is named in a report as a victim of child abuse or neglect

*The parents or guardians of a child who is named in a report

*County medical examiners or coroners who are investigating the death of a child

*The State Child Fatality Advisory Committee and the Department of Child Fatalities

*Family courts conducting proceedings pursuant to this article

*The parties to a court proceeding when information in the records is legally relevant and necessary for the determination of an issue before the court

*A grand jury when it is necessary in the conduct of its official business

*Authorities in other States conducting child abuse and neglect investigations or providing child welfare services

*Courts in other States conducting child abuse and neglect or child custody proceedings

*The director or chief executive officer of a childcare facility, child-placing agency, or child-caring facility when the records concern the investigation of an incident of child abuse or neglect that allegedly was perpetrated by an employee or volunteer

*A person or agency with authorization to care for, diagnose, supervise, or treat the child, the child's family, or the person alleged to have abused or neglected the child

*Any person engaged in bona fide research

*Multidisciplinary teams

*Circuit solicitors and their agents investigating or prosecuting known or suspected abuse or neglect of a child or any other crime against a child, attempting to locate a missing child, investigating or prosecuting the death of a child, or investigating or prosecuting any other crime

*Prospective adoptive or foster parents before placement

*Employees of the Division for the Review of the Foster Care of Children, Office of the Governor, and members of local boards when carrying out their duties

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed
Citation: § 20-7-690

*The State director of the department may disclose to the media information contained in child protective services records if the disclosure is limited to discussion of the department's activities in handling the case including information placed in the public domain by other public officials, a criminal prosecution, the alleged perpetrator, the attorney for the alleged perpetrator, or other public judicial proceedings.

*Information is considered 'placed in the public domain' when it has been reported in the news media, is contained in public records of a criminal justice agency, is contained in public records of a court of law, or has been the subject of testimony in a public judicial proceeding.

*The State director is authorized to prepare and release reports of the results of the department's investigations into the deaths of children in its custody or receiving child welfare services at the time of death.

Use of Records for Employment Screening
Citation: § 20-7-690

*The department is authorized to grant access to the records of indicated cases to the following agencies or entities:

o The Division for the Review of the Foster Care of Children for purposes of certifying that no potential employee, nominee to, and member of the State or a local foster care review board is a subject of an indicated report or affirmative determination

o The Division of Guardian ad Litem, Office of the Governor, for purposes of certifying that no potential employee or volunteer is the subject of an indicated report or an affirmative determination

*The department is authorized to disclose information concerning an individual named in the Central Registry of Child Abuse and Neglect as a perpetrator when screening of an individual's background is required by statute or regulation for employment, licensing, or any other purposes, or a request is made in writing by the person being screened.

 South Dakota

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: § 26-8A-13

All investigative case records and files relating to reports of child abuse or neglect are confidential, and no disclosure of any such records, files, or other information may be made except as authorized in chapter 26-7A or this chapter.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
§§ 26-7A-28; 26-8A-13

*The attorney general, the State's attorneys, law enforcement agencies, protective services workers, and judges of the courts investigating reports of known or suspected child abuse or neglect

*The attorney or guardian ad litem of the child who is the subject of the information

*Public officials who require the information in connection with their official duties

*Institutions and agencies that have legal responsibility or authorization to care for, treat, or supervise a child who is the subject of the information

*An adoptive parent of the child who is the subject of the information or report

*A State, regional, or national registry of child abuse and neglect cases and courts of record of other States

*A child protection team

*A physician who is caring for a child whom the physician reasonably suspects may be abused or neglected

*State hearing examiners and any person who is the subject of the report

*Pursuant to an order of the court, persons or agencies who have a legitimate interest in the child

*The child's parents, guardian, or custodian

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed
Citation: § 26-8A-13

*The Department of Social Services may release information and findings to the media regarding the abuse or neglect of a child that resulted in a fatality or near fatality of the child if the release of the information has been approved by the prosecutor who has commenced or who has authority to commence legal action, such disclosure has been authorized by the court, and is not contrary to the best interests of the child, the child's siblings, or other children in the household.

*The information to be released shall relate to the acts of child abuse or neglect that caused the fatality or near fatality of the child.

*The identity of the child may never be released.

Use of Records for Employment Screening
Citation: § 26-8A-13

The Department of Social Services may release records to the following parties when it is necessary in the performance of official functions:

*A licensed child welfare agency, a tribal agency that the Department of Social Services has an agreement with to provide child welfare agency services that would otherwise require licensure by the department, or any private child welfare agency whose licensure has been waived, for screening of applicants

*A person eligible to submit an adoptive home study report for the purpose of screening applicants

 Tennessee

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: §§ 37-1-409; 37-1-612

*Reports of harm and the identity of the reporter are confidential except when the juvenile court in which the investigation report is filed, in its discretion, determines the testimony of the person reporting to be material to an indictment or conviction.

*All records concerning reports of child sexual abuse, including files, reports, records, communications, working papers related to investigations or providing services, videotapes, reports made to the abuse registry and to local offices of the department, and all records generated as a result of such processes and reports, shall be confidential.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
§ 37-1-612

*Department employees, medical professionals, and contract or other agency employees who provide services, including those from child advocacy centers, to children and families

*The attorney or guardian ad litem for a child who is the subject of the records

*A law enforcement agency investigating a report of known or suspected child sexual abuse

*The district attorney general of the judicial district in which the child resides or in which the alleged abuse occurred

*A grand jury when it is necessary in the conduct of its official business

*Any person engaged in bona fide research or audit purposes

*A court official, probation and parole officer, designated employee of the department of correction, board of probation and parole, or other similarly situated individual charged with the responsibility of preparing information to be presented in any administrative or judicial proceeding concerning any individual charged with or convicted of any offense involving child abuse or neglect or child sexual abuse

*An attorney or next friend who is authorized to act on behalf of the child in a civil cause of action against the perpetrator

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

Use of Records for Employment Screening

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

Texas

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: Fam. Code § 261.201

A report of alleged or suspected abuse or neglect made under this chapter, the identity of the person making the report, and the files, reports, records, communications, audiotapes, videotapes, and working papers used or developed in an investigation are confidential, and may be disclosed only for purposes consistent with this code, applicable Federal or State law, or under rules adopted by an investigating agency.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
Fam. Code § 261.201

*A court may order the disclosure of information that is confidential under this section if:

o A motion has been filed with the court requesting the release of the information.

o A notice of hearing has been served on the investigating agency and all other interested parties.

o After a hearing and an in camera review of the requested information, the court determines that the disclosure of the requested information is essential to the administration of justice and not likely to endanger the life or safety of a child who is the subject of the report, a person who made the report, or any other person who participated in an investigation.

*The adoptive parents of a child who was the subject of an investigation and an adult who was the subject of an investigation as a child are entitled to examine and make copies of any report, record, working paper, or other information in the possession, custody, or control of the State that pertains to the history of the child. The department may edit the documents to protect the identity of the biological parents and any other person whose identity is confidential, unless this information is already known to the adoptive parents or is readily available through other sources.

*The department shall provide to the parent, managing conservator, or other legal representative of a child who is the subject of a report information that would otherwise be confidential if the department has edited the information to protect the confidentiality of the identity of the person who made the report and any other person whose life or safety may be endangered by the disclosure.

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

Use of Records for Employment Screening

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

Utah

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: § 62A-4a-412

Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, reports made pursuant to this part, as well as any other information in the possession of the division obtained as the result of a report, are private, protected, or controlled records.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
§ 62A-4a-412

*A police or law enforcement agency investigating a report

*A physician who reasonably believes that a child may be abused or neglected

*An agency that has responsibility or authority to care for, treat, or supervise a child who is the subject of a report

*A provider that has a written contract with the division to render services to a child who is the subject of a report

*Any subject of the report, the natural parents of the minor, and the guardian ad litem

*A court when it is necessary for the determination of an issue before it

*An office of the public prosecutor or its deputies in performing an official duty

*A person authorized by a Children's Justice Center

*A person engaged in bona fide research

*Any person identified in the report as a perpetrator or possible perpetrator of child abuse or neglect

*A person filing a petition for a child protective order on behalf of a minor who is the subject of the report

*A licensed child-placing agency or person who is performing a preplacement adoptive evaluation

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

Use of Records for Employment Screening
Citation: § 62A-4a-412

Reports and records may be made available to the State Office of Education, acting on behalf of itself or on behalf of a school district, for the purpose of evaluating whether an individual should be permitted to obtain or retain a license as an educator or serve as an employee or volunteer in a school.

*This disclosure is limited to information with substantiated findings involving an alleged sexual offense, an alleged felony or class A misdemeanor drug offense, or any alleged offense against the person.

*The office must provide the subject of a report with an opportunity to respond to the report before making a decision concerning licensure or employment.

 Vermont

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: Tit. 33, § 4916

The commissioner shall adopt rules to permit use of the registry while preserving confidentiality of the records.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
Tit. 33, §§ 4916; 4919

*Written records [of investigations] maintained in the registry shall only be disclosed to:

o The commissioner or person designated by the commissioner to receive such records

o Persons assigned by the commissioner to investigate reports

o The person reported on

o A State's attorney

*If a report has been substantiated, the commissioner may provide the written record to:

o The child's parent or guardian

o If there is a pending juvenile proceeding or if the child is in custody of the commissioner, to the child's attorney

o The person responsible for supervising the staff in the child's residential, educational, or daycare setting

o Upon request, the person who made the report

o The State's attorney or the attorney general

o Upon request or when relevant, other States' adult protective services offices

o Upon request or when relevant, other States' child protection agencies

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

Use of Records for Employment Screening
Citation: Tit. 33, §§ 4916; 4919

*In no event shall records [of investigations] be made available for employment purposes, for credit purposes, or to a law enforcement agency other than the State's attorney.

*The commissioner may disclose information from the registry of substantiated cases only to:

o The owner or operator of a facility regulated by the department for the purpose of informing the owner or operator that employment of a specific individual may result in loss of license or registration

o An employer, if such information is used to determine whether to hire or retain a specific individual providing care, custody, treatment, or supervision of children or vulnerable adults

o The commissioner of aging and disabilities for purposes related to the licensing or registration of facilities regulated by the Department of Aging and Disabilities

o The commissioner of developmental and mental health services for purposes related to oversight and monitoring of persons who are served by or compensated with funds provided by the Department of Developmental and Mental Health Services, including persons to whom a conditional offer of employment has been made

 Virgin Islands

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: Tit. 5, § 2540

All records concerning reports of child abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect, made to the government of the Virgin Islands, and all records generated as a result of such reports, shall be confidential, except as specifically provided by this subchapter.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
Tit. 5, § 2540

*The Department of Social Welfare and its legal representative

*The U.S. Virgin Islands Police Department when investigating a report

*A physician who has before him or her a child he or she reasonably suspects may have been abused or neglected

*A person legally authorized to place a child in emergency temporary custody when he or she reasonably suspects that a child may have been abused or neglected

*Any agency with legal responsibility or authorization to care for, treat, or supervise a child who is the subject of a record, or other person responsible for the child's welfare

*Any person who is the subject of a report and his or her legal representative, or if such person is a child, the child's guardian ad litem, parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the child’s welfare

*A court when it is necessary for the determination of an issue before it

*Any person appointed to a case as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

Use of Records for Employment Screening

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

Virginia

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: § 63.2-1515

The information contained in the central registry shall not be open to inspection by the public.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
§ 63.2-1515

Appropriate disclosure may be made in accordance with Board regulations.

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

Use of Records for Employment Screening
Citation: § 63.2-1515

*The Department shall respond to requests for a search of the central registry made by local departments and local school boards regarding applicants for employment.

*A central registry check shall be conducted of a person who has applied to be a volunteer with a:

o Virginia affiliate of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America

o Virginia affiliate of Compeer

o Virginia affiliate of Childhelp USA

o Volunteer fire company or volunteer rescue squad

o Court-appointed special advocate program

 Washington

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: § 26.44.125

Reports and records are confidential.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
§ 26.44.125

Information about reports, reviews, and hearings may be disclosed only in accordance with Federal and State laws pertaining to child welfare records and child protective services reports.

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

Use of Records for Employment Screening
Citation: § 26.44.100

Founded reports of child abuse and neglect may be considered in determining whether the person is disqualified from being licensed to provide childcare, employed by a licensed childcare agency, or authorized by the department to care for children.

West Virginia

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: § 49-6A-5

All reports under this article shall be confidential.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
Not addressed in statutes reviewed.

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

Use of Records for Employment Screening

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

Wisconsin

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: § 48.981

All reports made under this section and records maintained by an agency and other persons, officials, and institutions shall be confidential.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
§ 48.981

*The subject of a report

*The mandated reporter who made a report of abuse involving the subject child

*Appropriate staff of an agency or a tribal social services department

*A person authorized to provide or providing intake or dispositional services for the court

*An attending physician for purposes of diagnosis and treatment

*A child’s parent, guardian, or legal custodian

*A child’s foster parent, treatment foster parent, or other person having physical custody of the child or a person having physical custody of the expectant mother of an unborn child

*A professional employee of a county department who is working with the child or the expectant mother of the unborn child

*A multidisciplinary child abuse and neglect or unborn child abuse team

*A person employed by a child advocacy center

*A law enforcement officer, law enforcement agency, or a district attorney for purposes of investigation or prosecution

*The Department of Corrections, the Department of Health and Family Services, a county department, or any other person under contract with those departments to exercise custody or supervision over a person who is subject to community placement for purposes of investigating or providing services

*A court or administrative agency for use in a proceeding relating to the licensing or regulation of a facility regulated under this chapter

*A court conducting proceedings in which abuse or neglect of the child or the unborn child who is the subject of the report or record is an issue

*A tribal court, or other adjudicative body authorized by a tribe or band to perform child welfare functions

*The county corporation counsel or district attorney

*The agency legal counsel

*The counsel or guardian ad litem representing the interests of a child or unborn child

*An attorney representing the interests of an Indian tribe or band, an Indian child, or of an Indian unborn child

*A volunteer court-appointed special advocate or person employed by a court-appointed special advocate program

*A person engaged in bona fide research

*The department, a county department, or a licensed child welfare agency ordered to conduct a screening or an investigation of a stepparent

*A grand jury when it is necessary for the conduct of its official business

*A judge conducting proceedings under § 968.26

*A child fatality review team

*A citizen review panel

*A coroner, medical examiner, pathologist, or other physician investigating the cause of death of a child

*A Federal agency, State agency of this State or any other State, or local governmental unit located in this State or any other State that has a need for a report or record in order to carry out its responsibility to protect children

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed
Citation: § 48.981

An agency may disclose to the general public a written summary of information relating to any child who has died or been placed in serious or critical condition, as determined by a physician, as a result of any suspected abuse or neglect that has been reported if any of the following circumstances apply:

*A person has been charged with a crime for causing the death or serious or critical condition of the child as a result of the suspected abuse or neglect, or the district attorney indicates that a person who is deceased would have been charged with a crime but for the fact that the person is deceased.

*A judge, district attorney, law enforcement officer, law enforcement agency, or any other officer or agency has previously disclosed to the public that the suspected abuse or neglect of the child has been investigated or that child welfare services have been provided to the child or the child’s family.

*A parent, guardian, or legal custodian of the child or the child, if 14 years of age or over, has previously disclosed or authorized the disclosure of the information.

Use of Records for Employment Screening

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

Wyoming

Child Abuse and Neglect

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Summary of State Laws (PDF - 474 KB) publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: § 14-3-214

All records concerning reports and investigations of child abuse or neglect are confidential.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
§ 14-3-214

*A local child protective agency

*A law enforcement agency, guardian ad litem, child protection team, or the attorney representing the subject of the report

*A physician or surgeon who reasonably suspects that a child may have been abused or neglected

*A person legally authorized to place a child in protective temporary custody when needed to determine whether to place the child in temporary protective custody

*A person responsible for the welfare of the child

*A court or grand jury when it is necessary for the determination of an issue

*Court personnel who are investigating reported incidents of child abuse or neglect

*An education or mental health professional serving the child when it is necessary to provide appropriate educational or therapeutic interventions

*A physician or person in charge of an institution, school, facility, or agency making the report

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed

Not addressed in statutes reviewed

Use of Records for Employment Screening
Citation: § 14-3-214

*Upon appropriate application, the State agency shall provide to any chapter of a nationally recognized youth organization, childcaring facility, public or private school, or State institution a summary of central registry records maintained under State agency rules since December 31, 1986, for purposes of screening employees or volunteers.

*The written results shall confirm that there is a report ‘under investigation,’ a ‘substantiated’ finding of abuse or neglect on the central registry naming the individual, or confirm that no record exists. When the individual is identified on the registry as a ‘substantiated’ perpetrator of abuse or neglect, the report to the applicant shall contain information about the date of the finding, specific type of abuse or neglect, a copy of the perpetrator’s voluntary statement, and whether an appeal is pending.

*The applicant shall use the information received only for purposes of screening prospective employees and volunteers who may, through their employment or volunteer services, have unsupervised access to minors.

Electronic copies of this publication

may be downloaded at:  www.childwelfare.gove/systemwide/laws_policies/statutes/confide.cfm

To find statute information for a

particular State, go to:  www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/laws_policies/search/index.cfm

To find information on all the

States and territories, order a copy

of the full-length PDF by calling

800.394.3366 or 703.385.7565, or

download it at:  www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/laws_policies/statutes/confideall.pdf

 

Presenedt by:

Copyright © 2002

Return to eBook Index