Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records - Colorado

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Confidentiality of Records

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 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.

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.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 19-1-307

Except as otherwise provided in § 19-1-303, only the following entities have access to records:

  • A law enforcement agency, district attorney, coroner, or county or district department of social services
  • A physician who suspects that a child is abused or neglected
  • An agency that is caring for, treating, or supervising a child who is the subject of a report
  • The child's parent, guardian, or legal custodian
  • A person named as the victim in a report or, if the subject child is a minor, their guardian ad litem
  • A court when access to such records is necessary for determination of an issue before it
  • Members of a child protection team if one exists
  • Other persons as a court may determine, for good cause
  • The Department of Human or Social Services when requested by a county department, individual, or child-placing agency, for screening a prospective adoptive parent, family foster care parent, kinship care parent, or an adult residing in the home
  • The department when requested by the Department of Education, to aid an investigation of an allegation of abuse by a school district employee
  • The department and the county departments for conducting evaluations or screening prospective adoptive parents
  • Private adoption agencies, including agencies located in other States, for screening prospective adoptive parents
  • A person or organization engaged in a bona fide research or evaluation project
  • An auditor conducting a financial or performance audit of a county department
  • County commissions, city councils, and citizen review panels
  • State, county, or local government agencies and child-placing agencies located in other States, for screening prospective foster or adoptive parents
  • The child protection ombudsman program when conducting an investigation
  • A licensed child-placing agency, for the purpose of screening prospective foster parents, any adult residing in the home of the prospective foster parent, and specialized group facilities
  • The designated authorities at the military base of assignment for a member of the armed forces or a spouse, a significant other, or family member residing in the home of the member of the armed forces who is the individual responsible for the abused or neglected child

Information may be released to a mandatory reporter who is officially and professionally involved in the ongoing care of the child who was the subject of the report, but only with regard to information that they have a need to know in order to fulfill their role in maintaining the child's safety. The provision shall apply to the following:

  • Hospital personnel engaged in the admission, care, or treatment of children
  • Mental health professionals
  • Physicians, surgeons, nurses, or dentists
  • Psychologists, psychotherapists, counselors, or marriage and family therapists
  • School officials or employees
  • Social workers or victims' advocates
  • Clergy members
  • Officials or employees of county departments of health, human services, or social services

The following agencies or attorneys appointed by the court shall be granted statewide read-only access to the name index and register of actions for the Judiciary Department:

  • Criminal justice agencies
  • County departments and attorneys who represent the county departments as county attorneys
  • Guardians ad litem under contract with the Office of the Child's Representative or authorized by the office to act as a guardian ad litem, as it relates to a case in which they are appointed by the court
  • Respondent parent counsel appointed by the court and paid by the Judiciary Department, as it relates to a case in which they are appointed by the court

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 19-1-307

Disclosure of the name and address of the child and family and other identifying information involved in a report shall not be prohibited when any of the following apply:

  • There is a death of a suspected victim of child abuse or neglect, and the death becomes a matter of public record.
  • An alleged juvenile offender is or was a victim of abuse or neglect.
  • 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: Rev. Stat. § 19-1-307

The State Department of Human Services and county departments of social services may access records for the following purposes:

  • Investigating an exempt family child care home provider as a prerequisite to issuance or renewal of a contract or any payment agreement for the care of a child from publicly funded State child care assistance programs
  • Screening any person who seeks employment with, is currently employed by, or who volunteers for service with the 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
  • Screening any person who will be responsible to provide child care pursuant to a contract with a county department for placements out of the home or private child care

The State Department of Human Services may access records for the following purposes:

  • To check records or reports of child abuse or neglect for the purpose of screening an applicant for employment or a current employee
  • To conduct home study investigations and reports for purposes of screening a prospective adoptive parent or any adult residing in the home or investigating a prospective foster care parent, kinship care parent, or an adult residing in the home, when requested in writing by a qualified county department, individual, or child-placing agency
  • To investigate an applicant for a supervisory employee position or an employee of a guest child care facility or a public services short-term child care facility
  • To investigate a prospective court-appointed special advocate volunteer
  • To investigate an applicant for an employee or volunteer position with a licensed neighborhood youth organization