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2.1A.1 CAPTA, Assurances and Requirements, Access to Child Abuse and Neglect Information, Confidentiality

Items with a star (*) and gray background have been modified from previous record.

Question Number 2:
09/14/2012 - Current
QuestionWould legislation that protects the identity of the reporter, but would otherwise open child abuse and neglect reports and records to the public, meet the confidentiality provisions in section 106 (b)(2)(B)(viii) of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA)?
AnswerIn general, such broad public access to child abuse and neglect reports and records is not consistent with CAPTA. States must preserve the confidentiality of all reports and records in order to protect the rights of the child and the child's parents or guardians, except in certain specified circumstances.

There are two circumstances in which information contained in child abuse and neglect reports and records, which are typically kept confidential, may be shared with the public. First, a State must release findings or information to the public about a case of child abuse or neglect which results in a child's death or near fatality consistent with section 106(b)(2)(B)(x) of CAPTA and in accordance with section 2.1A.4, Q/A #8 of the CWPM. Additionally, a State may open court proceedings that determine child abuse and neglect to the public (see the last paragraph of section 106(b)(2) of CAPTA).

There may be other Federal confidentiality restrictions for the State to consider when implementing the confidentiality provisions under CAPTA.

Source/Date*ACYF-NCCAN-PIQ-97-01 (3/4/97); updated 9/27/11; 9/12/12
Legal and Related ReferencesChild Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - sections 106(b)(2) and 106(b)(2)(B)

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09/14/2012 - 09/14/2012
QuestionWould legislation that protects the identity of the reporter, but would otherwise open child abuse and neglect reports and records to the public, meet the confidentiality provisions in section 106 (b)(2)(B)(viii) of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA)?
Answer*In general, such broad public access to child abuse and neglect reports and records is not consistent with CAPTA. States must preserve the confidentiality of all reports and records in order to protect the rights of the child and the child''s parents or guardians, except in certain specified circumstances.

There are two circumstances in which information contained in child abuse and neglect reports and records, which are typically kept confidential, may be shared with the public. First, a State must release findings or information to the public about a case of child abuse or neglect which results in a child''s death or near fatality consistent with section 106(b)(2)(B)(x) of CAPTA and in accordance with section 2.1A.4, Q/A #8 of the CWPM. Additionally, a State may open court proceedings that determine child abuse and neglect to the public (see the last paragraph of section 106(b)(2) of CAPTA).

There may be other Federal confidentiality restrictions for the State to consider when implementing the confidentiality provisions under CAPTA.

Source/DateACYF-NCCAN-PIQ-97-01 (3/4/97); updated 9/27/11
Legal and Related ReferencesChild Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - sections 106(b)(2) and 106(b)(2)(B)

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09/27/2011 - 09/14/2012
Question*Would legislation that protects the identity of the reporter, but would otherwise open child abuse and neglect reports and records to the public, meet the confidentiality provisions in section 106 (b)(2)(B)(viii) of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA)?
Answer*In general, such broad public access to child abuse and neglect reports and records is not consistent with CAPTA. States must preserve the confidentiality of all reports and records in order to protect the rights of the child and the child''s parents or guardians, except in certain specified circumstances.

There are two circumstances in which information contained in child abuse and neglect reports and records, which are typically kept confidential, may be shared with the public. First, a State must release findings or information to the public about a case of child abuse or neglect which results in a child''s death or near fatality consistent with section 106(b)(2)(B)(x) of CAPTA. Additionally, a State may open court proceedings that determine child abuse and neglect to the public (see the last paragraph of section 106(b)(2) of CAPTA).

There may be other Federal confidentiality restrictions for the State to consider when implementing the confidentiality provisions under CAPTA.

Source/Date*ACYF-NCCAN-PIQ-97-01 (3/4/97); updated 9/27/11
Legal and Related References*Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - sections 106(b)(2) and 106(b)(2)(B)

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04/17/2006 - 09/27/2011
Question*Would legislation that protects the identity of the reporter, but would otherwise open child abuse and neglect reports and records to the public, meet the confidentiality provisions in section 106 (b)(2)(A)(viii) of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA)?
Answer*In general, such broad public access to child abuse and neglect reports and records is not consistent with CAPTA. States must preserve the confidentiality of all reports and records in order to protect the rights of the child and the child''s parents or guardians, except in certain specified circumstances.

There are two circumstances in which information contained in child abuse and neglect reports and records, which are typically kept confidential, may be shared with the public. First, a State must release findings or information to the public about a case of child abuse or neglect which results in a child''s death or near fatality consistent with section 106(b)(2)(A)(x) of CAPTA. Additionally, a State may open court proceedings that determine child abuse and neglect to the public (see the last paragraph of section 106(b)(2) of CAPTA).

There may be other Federal confidentiality restrictions for the State to consider when implementing the confidentiality provisions under CAPTA.

Source/Date*ACYF-NCCAN-PIQ-97-01 (3/4/97); updated 3/22/06
Legal and Related References*Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - sections 106(b)(2) and 106(b)(2)(A)

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08/07/2000 - 04/17/2006 (Original Record)
QuestionWould legislation which protects the identity of the reporter, but would otherwise open child abuse and neglect reports and records to the public, meet the confidentiality provisions in section 106 (b)(2)(v) of CAPTA?
AnswerNo. The CAPTA Amendments of 1996 require that States preserve the confidentiality of all records in order to protect the rights of the child and the child''s parents or guardians, except in certain circumstances. The statute specifies the persons to whom and circumstances in which disclosure of CPS records can be made. In addition, it allows States to release CPS records to entities or classes of individuals statutorily authorized by the State to receive such information pursuant to a legitimate State interest.

The CAPTA language strikes a delicate balance between protecting the privacy rights of individuals and the release of CPS records when there is a legitimate State purpose for the disclosure. In creating this balance, it is clear that the Congress did not intend that all records be made public.

Source/DateACYF-NCCAN-PIQ-97-01 (3/4/97)
Legal and Related ReferencesChild Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - section 106

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