Review and Expunction of Central Registries and Reporting Records - Rhode Island

Date: May 2018

Right of the Reported Person to Review and Challenge Records

Citation: Code of Rules § 03 001 001, Policy 100.0055

The Department of Children, Youth and Families has a responsibility to inform any person 'indicated' as a result of a child abuse and/or neglect investigation of the right to an agency appeal to the department hearing officer. The department hearing officer provides an opportunity for any person to be heard through a formal procedure for review of any agency decision when efforts at resolution within the respective divisions have not been successful.

In the case of a complaint related to an indicated finding of child abuse or neglect, the complainant's initial statement of dissatisfaction with the decision and request for hearing shall be filed directly with the department hearing officer. The hearing officer shall send a copy of the complaint and request for hearing to the child protective services (CPS) chief executive who may at his or her discretion consider the complaint and act thereon, if he or she deems appropriate.

At a hearing on a complaint, the hearing officer must determine whether a preponderance of the evidence gathered during the investigation indicated that abuse or neglect occurred and whether or not the CPS investigator complied with all policy and procedures relating to the conduct of such investigations.

No investigative findings made by the department shall be deemed final and no final entry shall be made into the central registry with reference to any investigation when the right to appeal has been claimed, unless and until such time as the appeal hearing has been conducted and a written decision is rendered.

The results of all appeals hearings shall be promptly reflected in the central registry.

When Records Must Be Expunged

Citation: Gen. Laws §§ 40-11-3; 40-11-13.1

Any person who has been reported for child abuse and/or neglect and who has been determined not to have neglected and/or abused a child shall have his or her record expunged as to that incident 3 years after that determination.

All records concerning reports of child abuse and neglect made pursuant to this chapter, including reports made to the department, shall be destroyed 3 years after the date of a final determination by either the family court or the department that the reported child abuse or neglect did not in fact occur.