2019 Arkansas Code
Title 12 - Law Enforcement, Emergency Management, and Military Affairs
Subtitle 2 - Law Enforcement Agencies and Programs
Chapter 18 - Child Maltreatment Act
Subchapter 9 - Child Maltreatment Central Registry
§ 12-18-910. Availability of Screened-Out and Unsubstantiated Reports
(a) Screened-out, administratively closed, and unsubstantiated reports of child maltreatment are confidential and may be disclosed only as provided in this chapter.
(1) The Department of Human Services and the Division of Arkansas State Police may charge:
(A) A reasonable fee not to exceed ten dollars ($10.00) for researching, copying, or mailing records from a child maltreatment investigative file; and
(B) A reasonable fee for reproducing copies of electronic media, such as audio tapes, video tapes, compact discs, DVDs, and photographs.
(2) A fee shall not be charged to:
(A) A nonprofit or volunteer agency that requests searches of the investigative files; or
(B) A person who is indigent.
(1) The Department of Human Services and the Division of Arkansas State Police shall not release data that would identify the person who made the report unless a court of competent jurisdiction orders release of the information after the court has reviewed in camera the record related to the report and has found it has reason to believe that the reporter knowingly made a false report.
(2) However, upon request, the information shall be disclosed to the prosecuting attorney or law enforcement.
(1) Any person or agency to whom disclosure is made shall not disclose to any other person a report or other information obtained pursuant to this section.
(2) However, the person or agency is permitted to consult his or her or its own attorney regarding information provided by the Department of Human Services and the Division of Arkansas State Police.
(3) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent subsequent disclosure by the subject of the report.
(4) Confidential data, records, reports, or documents created, collected, or compiled by or on behalf of the Department of Human Services, the Division of Arkansas State Police, or other entity authorized under this chapter to perform investigations or provide services to children, individuals, or families may be:
(A) Disclosed to and discussed with a member of the Child Maltreatment Investigations Oversight Committee; and
(B) Disclosed and discussed in closed meetings conducted by the Child Maltreatment Investigations Oversight Committee under § 10-3-3201 et seq.
(e) Any record of a screened-out or administratively closed report of child maltreatment shall not be disclosed except to the prosecuting attorney and law enforcement and may be used only within the Department of Human Services and the Division of Arkansas State Police for purposes of administration of the program.
(f) An unsubstantiated report, including protected health information and the administrative hearing decision, shall be confidential and shall be disclosed only to:
(1) The prosecuting attorney;
(2) A subject of the report;
(3) A grand jury upon a finding that information in the record is necessary for the determination of an issue before a grand jury;
(A) A court in a criminal case upon finding that the information in the record is necessary for the determination of an issue before the court.
(B) The court may disclose the report to parties under the terms of a protective order issued by the court;
(A) A court in a child custody or similar civil case upon finding that the information in the record is necessary for the determination of a health or safety issue concerning a child before the court.
(B) The court may disclose the report to the parties under the terms or a protective order issued by the court;
(A) Federal, state, and local government entities, or any agent of such entities, that have a need for such information to carry out their responsibilities under law to protect children from child maltreatment.
(B) Acting in their official capacities under law to protect children, disclosure may be made to individual United States and Arkansas senators and representatives and their authorized staff members, but only if they agree not to permit any redisclosure of the information except for a legitimate state purpose to protect children from child maltreatment.
(C) However, disclosure shall not be made to any committee or legislative body of any information that identifies any recipient of services by name or address;
(7) Law enforcement;
(8) Any licensing or registering authority to the extent necessary to carry out its official responsibilities;
(9) Adult protective services;
(10) The Division of Developmental Disabilities Services and the Division of Aging, Adult, and Behavioral Health Services of the Department of Human Services as to participants of the waiver program;
(11) A Court Appointed Special Advocates volunteer upon presentation of an order of appointment for a child who is a subject of a report;
(12) The attorney ad litem of a child who is the subject of a report;
(13) Any person or entity to whom notification was provided under this chapter;
(14) The custodial and noncustodial parents, guardians, and legal custodians of the child who is identified as the offender;
(15) Any family advocacy program or other person designated by the military authority for the military installation receiving notice of a Child Abuse Hotline report under § 12-18-508; and
(16) A Child Welfare Ombudsman.
(g) Hard copy records of unsubstantiated reports shall be retained no longer than eighteen (18) months for purposes of audit.
(h) Information on unsubstantiated reports included in the automated data system shall be retained indefinitely to assist the Department of Human Services and the Division of Arkansas State Police in assessing future risk and safety.