Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records - Illinois

Date: February 2022

Confidentiality of Records

Citation: Comp. Stat. 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

Citation: Comp. Stat. Ch. 325, § 5/11.1

A person shall have access to records only in furtherance of purposes directly connected with the administration of this act or the Intergovernmental Missing Child Recovery Act of 1984. Those persons and purposes for access include the following:

  • Department staff in the furtherance of their responsibilities or for 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 child abuse or neglect
  • The Department of State Police when administering the Intergovernmental Missing Child Recovery Act of 1984
  • A physician who reasonably suspects that a child may be abused or neglected
  • An authorized person 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, prospective adoptive parent, foster parent, or other person responsible for the child's welfare
  • Any subject of the report, and if the subject is a minor, his or her guardian or guardian ad litem
  • A court or grand jury 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
  • 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, as provided in § 17 of the Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities Act
  • 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 the child

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed

Citation: Comp. Stat. 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 they determine 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 is 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 or fatally injured.

Use of Records for Employment Screening

Citation: Comp. Stat. 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 child care 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