|*In general, CAPTA requires that a State preserve the confidentiality of all child abuse and neglect reports and records in order to protect the rights of the child and the child''s parents or guardians (section 106(b)(2)(B)(viii) of CAPTA). However, CAPTA allows the State to release information to certain individuals and entities. |
The State may share confidential child abuse and neglect reports and records that are made and maintained in accordance with CAPTA with any of the following:
? Individuals who are the subject of a report (section 106(b)(2)(B)(viii)(I));
? A grand jury or court, when necessary to determine an issue before the court or grand jury (section 106(b)(2)(B)(viii)(V)); and
? Other entities or classes of individuals who are authorized by statute to receive information pursuant to a legitimate State purpose (section 106(b)(2)(B)(viii)(VI)).
In addition, States have the option to allow public access to court proceedings that determine child abuse and neglect cases, so long as the State, at a minimum, can ensure the safety and well-being of the child, parents and families (see the last paragraph of section 106(b)(2) of CAPTA).
The State must provide certain otherwise confidential child abuse and neglect information to the following:
? Any Federal, State, or local government entity, or any agent of such entity, that has a need for such information in order to carry out its responsibilities under law to protect children from abuse and neglect (permitted by 106(b)(2)(A)(viii)(II) but required by section 106(b)(2)(B)(ix));
? Child abuse citizen review panels, if such panels are established to comply with section 106(c) of CAPTA (permitted by 106(b)(2)(B)(viii)(III) but required by section 106(c)(5)(A));
? Public disclosure of the findings or information about the case of child abuse or neglect that results in a child fatality or near fatality (required by section 106(b)(2)(A)(x)), unless such disclosure of information would jeopardize a criminal investigation or proceeding; and
? Child fatality review panels. Although disclosure to such panels is merely permissible under the language of section 106(b)(2)(A)(viii)(IV), section 106(b)(2)(A)(x) of CAPTA requires disclosure of findings or information about the case of child abuse or neglect that results in a child fatality or near fatality. Accordingly, disclosure to a child fatality review panel is required.
Authorized recipients of confidential child abuse and neglect information are bound by the same confidentiality restrictions as the child protective services agency. Thus, recipients of such information must use the information only for activities related to the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect. Further disclosure is permitted only in accordance with the CAPTA standards.
There may be other Federal confidentiality restrictions for the State to consider when implementing the confidentiality provisions under CAPTA.