Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records - Kansas

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Confidentiality of Records

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 38-2209

To protect the privacy of children who are subjects of a child in need of care record or report, the records identified in this section shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed except as provided in §§ 38-2210 through 38-2213. Confidential records that are disclosed shall not be further disclosed except to persons or entities authorized to receive them as provided in those sections or by being presented as admissible evidence.

Access to or disclosure of information is not required if the person or entity in possession of a record or report has reason to believe the person requesting such information may harm a child or other person as a result of such access or disclosure. The court may enter an order compelling or prohibiting access to or disclosure of information.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records

Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 38-2210; 38-2211; 38-2212

To facilitate investigation and ensure the provision of necessary services to children who may be in need of care, the following persons and entities shall freely exchange information:

  • The Secretary of the Department of Children and Families
  • The Secretary of the Department of Corrections
  • The law enforcement agency receiving the report
  • A multidisciplinary team
  • An entity mandated by Federal law or an agency of any State authorized to receive and investigate reports of a child known or suspected to be in need of care
  • A military enclave or Indian Tribal organization
  • A county or district attorney
  • A court services officer
  • An intake and assessment worker
  • Any community corrections program that has the child under court-ordered supervision
  • The Department of Health and Environment for the purpose of carrying out responsibilities relating to licensure or registration of child care providers

The following persons or entities shall have access to the official file of a child in need of care proceeding:

  • The court having jurisdiction
  • The parties to the proceedings and their attorneys
  • The child's guardian ad litem or court-appointed special advocate
  • Any individual or any public or private agency or institution having custody of the child or providing educational, medical, or mental health services or any placement provider or potential placement provider
  • A citizen review board
  • The secretary of corrections
  • Any other person when authorized by a court order
  • The Commission on Judicial Performance

The following persons or entities shall have access to the social file of a child in need of care proceeding:

  • The court having jurisdiction
  • The attorney for a party to the proceeding or a person designated by an Indian Tribe
  • The child's guardian ad litem or court-appointed special advocate
  • A citizen review board
  • The secretary
  • The secretary of corrections
  • Any other person when authorized by a court order

The following persons or entities shall have access to information from agency records:

  • A child named in the report or records, a guardian ad litem, and his or her attorney
  • A parent or other person responsible for the child's welfare, or such person's legal representative
  • The child's court-appointed special advocate, a citizen review board, or other advocate that reports to the court
  • A licensed health-care or mental health professional
  • A person or entity approved by the secretary to care for, treat, or supervise a child in need of care
  • A coroner or medical examiner
  • The State Child Death Review Board
  • An attorney for a private party
  • A foster parent, prospective foster parent, permanent custodian, prospective permanent custodian, adoptive parent, or prospective adoptive parent
  • 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

Information from confidential agency records of the department, law enforcement agency, or any juvenile intake and assessment worker shall be available to members of the standing House or Senate Committee on Judiciary, House Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice, House Committee on Appropriations, Senate Committee on Ways and Means, Legislative Post Audit Committee, and any joint committee with authority to consider children's and families' issues.

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 38-2212

Information from confidential reports or records of a child alleged or adjudicated to be a child in need of care may be disclosed to the public when the following apply:

  • The individuals involved or their representatives have given express written consent.
  • The investigation of the abuse or neglect of the child or the filing of a petition alleging a child to be in need of care has become public knowledge.

When child abuse or neglect results in a child fatality or near fatality, reports or records of a child alleged or adjudicated to be in need of care received by the department, a law enforcement agency, or any juvenile intake and assessment worker shall become a public record and subject to disclosure.

When child abuse or neglect results in a child fatality, the department shall release the following information in response to an open records request within 7 business days of receipt of the request:

 

  • Age and sex of the child
  • Date of the fatality
  • A summary of any previous reports of abuse or neglect received by the department involving the child, along with the findings of such reports
  • Any department-recommended services provided to the child

When a child fatality occurs while the child was in the custody of the department, the department shall release the following information in response to an open records request within 7 business days of receipt of such request:

  • Age and sex of the child
  • Date of the fatality
  • A summary of the facts surrounding the death of the child

The term 'near fatality' means an act that, as certified by a physician, places the child in serious or critical condition.

Use of Records for Employment Screening

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.