Review and Expunction of Central Registries and Reporting Records - Massachusetts

Date:

Right of the Reported Person to Review and Challenge Records

Citation: DCF Policy #94-001

Alleged perpetrators may request a fair hearing if the Department of Children and Families identifies the individual on the department's registry of alleged perpetrators.

To reverse a support decision or to remove an individual's name from the department's registry of alleged perpetrators, the aggrieved party must demonstrate by evidence presented at the fair hearing at least one of the following:

  • That, based on the information available during the investigation and/or new information not available during the investigation, the department's or provider's decision was not in conformity with the department regulations:
    • With regard to the request to remove an individual's name from the registry of alleged perpetrators, the aggrieved party must demonstrate that the department's action was not in accordance with Regulation 110 CMR 4.33
    • With regard to a support decision, the aggrieved party must demonstrate that the decision was not in conformity with department policies and/or regulations and that the decision resulted in substantial harm to the aggrieved party
  • That the department's or provider's procedural actions were not in conformity with the department's policies and/or regulations and resulted in substantial harm to the aggrieved party

Whenever a decision to list an individual on the department's registry of alleged perpetrators is reviewed, the related support decision is also considered as part of the review. If a support decision is reversed by the director of the area office or provider that made the decision under appeal or by a fair hearing, the name of any individual(s) that was listed on the department's registry of alleged perpetrators is removed.

The fair-hearing officer will not recommend reversal of the clinical decision made by a trained social worker if there is a reasonable basis for the questioned decision.

When Records Must Be Expunged

Citation: Ann. Laws Ch. 119, § 51E

The name and all other identifying information relating to any child, or to his or her parents or guardian, shall be removed from the reports 1 year after the Department of Children and Families determines that the allegation of serious physical or emotional injury resulting from abuse or neglect cannot be substantiated, or, if the allegations are substantiated, when the child reaches age 18 or 1 year after the date of termination of services to the child or his or her family, whichever date occurs last.