Resources and information about confidentiality and openness in court cases involving child abuse and neglect, including State and local examples.
Data Sharing: Courts and Child Welfare (PDF - 411 KB)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (2018)
Guides courts and child welfare agencies to assist and support the creation of data exchanges between the two. This document summarizes the benefits of data exchanges; identifies data categories to consider in data-sharing agreements; provides tips for overcoming common challenges, including confidentiality issues; and highlights successful examples of operating data exchanges.
Enhanced Resource Guidelines: Improving Court Practice in Child Abuse and Neglect Cases
National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (2016)
Provides updated information for use by judges and court professionals as a tool to enhance court practice in child abuse and neglect cases. The publication includes a section on confidentiality and public access to courts, which discusses Federal child abuse and neglect confidentiality requirements.
Protecting Subject Children in Family Court and Beyond: The Necessity to Utilize Identical Confidentiality Measures Between Article 6 Lincoln Hearings and Article 10 Lincoln Hearings (PDF - 374 KB)
Touro Law Review, 33(3)
Describes how child abuse and neglect proceedings are not as rigid as custody and visitation court proceedings with regards to confidentiality and the best interests of the child because removing full confidentiality in some types of hearings is used to protect the parents' rights to due process. This has allowed for softer confidentiality measures in these types of cases; however, this may have an adverse effect in protecting the best interests of the child.
Understanding Confidentiality Rules (PDF - 939 KB) [Webinar]
Alliance for Children's Rights (2017)
Provides an overview of confidentiality issues in dependency court and relating to juvenile delinquency. The webinar reviews what kinds of information can be shared with child welfare agencies and what types of information child welfare agencies can share.
State and local examples
Guide to Confidentiality: Laws Applicable to Children's Court Improvement Program Proceedings (PDF - 283 KB)
Wisconsin Director of State Courts Office, Children's Court Improvement Program, and the Wisconsin Department of Justice (2014)
Explains Federal and State laws in Wisconsin that govern medical, mental health, education, law enforcement, court, juvenile justice, social services, and other confidential information.
Rules of Procedure for Child Abuse and Neglect Proceedings
West Virginia Judiciary (2018)
Provides guidance for guardians ad litem in representing a child in child abuse and neglect proceedings in West Virginia. The guide includes a section on confidentiality, which discusses the duty of confidentiality and the duty to disclose.