2016 Colorado Revised Statutes
Title 19 - Children's Code
Article 1 - General Provisions
Part 3 - Records and Information
§ 19-1-307. Dependency and neglect records and information - access - fee - rules - records and reports fund - misuse of information - penalty

CO Rev Stat § 19-1-307 (2016) What's This?

(1) (a) Identifying information - confidential. Except as otherwise provided in this section and section 19-1-303, reports of child abuse or neglect and the name and address of any child, family, or informant or any other identifying information contained in such reports shall be confidential and shall not be public information.

(b) Good cause exception. Disclosure of the name and address of the child and family and other identifying information involved in such reports shall be permitted only when authorized by a court for good cause. Such disclosure shall not be prohibited when there is a death of a suspected victim of child abuse or neglect and the death becomes a matter of public record or the alleged juvenile offender is or was a victim of abuse or neglect or the suspected or alleged perpetrator becomes the subject of an arrest by a law enforcement agency or the subject of the filing of a formal charge by a law enforcement agency.

(c) Any person who violates any provision of this subsection (1) is guilty of a class 2 petty offense and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than three hundred dollars.

(2) Records and reports - access to certain persons - agencies. Except as otherwise provided in section 19-1-303, only the following persons or agencies shall be given access to child abuse or neglect records and reports:

(a) The law enforcement agency, district attorney, coroner, or county or district department of social services investigating a report of a known or suspected incident of child abuse or neglect or treating a child or family which is the subject of the report;

(b) A physician who has before him or her a child whom the physician reasonably suspects to be abused or neglected;

(c) An agency having the legal responsibility or authorization to care for, treat, or supervise a child who is the subject of a report or record or a parent, guardian, legal custodian, or other person who is responsible for the child's health or welfare, including, in the case of an anatomical gift, a coroner and a procurement organization, as those terms are defined in section 12-34-102, C.R.S.;

(d) Any person named in the report or record who was alleged as a child to be abused or neglected or, if the child named in the report or record is a minor or is otherwise incompetent at the time of the request, his or her guardian ad litem;

(e) A parent, guardian, legal custodian, or other person responsible for the health or welfare of a child named in a report, or the assigned designee of any such person acting by and through a validly executed power of attorney, with protection for the identity of reporters and other appropriate persons;

(e.5) (I) A mandatory reporter specified in this subparagraph (I) who is and continues to be officially and professionally involved in the ongoing care of the child who was the subject of the report, but only with regard to information that the mandatory reporter has a need to know in order to fulfill his or her professional and official role in maintaining the child's safety. A county department shall request written affirmation from a mandatory reporter stating that the reporter continues to be officially and professionally involved in the ongoing care of the child who was the subject of the report and describing the nature of the involvement, unless the county department has actual knowledge that the mandatory reporter continues to be officially and professionally involved in the ongoing care of the child who was the subject of the report. This subparagraph (I) applies to:

(A) Hospital personnel engaged in the admission, care, or treatment of children;

(B) Mental health professionals;

(C) Physicians or surgeons, including physicians in training;

(D) Registered nurses or licensed practical nurses;

(E) Dentists;

(F) Psychologists;

(G) Registered psychotherapists;

(H) Licensed professional counselors;

(I) Licensed marriage and family therapists;

(J) Public or private school officials or employees;

(K) Social workers or workers with any facility or agency that is licensed or certified pursuant to part 1 of article 6 of title 26, C.R.S.;

(L) Victim's advocates, as defined in section 13-90-107 (1) (k) (II), C.R.S.;

(M) Clergy members, as defined in section 19-3-304 (2) (aa) (III);

(N) Educators providing services through a federal special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children, as provided for in 42 U.S.C. sec. 1786; and

(O) A person who is registered as a psychologist candidate pursuant to section 12-43-304 (7), C.R.S., marriage and family therapist candidate pursuant to section 12-43-504 (5), C.R.S., or licensed professional counselor candidate pursuant to section 12-43-603 (5), C.R.S., or who is described in section 12-43-215, C.R.S.

(II) Within thirty calendar days after receipt of a report of suspected child abuse or neglect from a mandatory reporter specified in subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (e.5), a county department shall provide the following information to the mandatory reporter for the purpose of assisting the mandatory reporter in his or her professional and official role in maintaining the child's safety:

(A) The name of the child and the date of the report;

(B) Whether the referral was accepted for assessment;

(C) Whether the referral was closed without services;

(D) Whether the assessment resulted in services related to the safety of the child;

(E) The name of and contact information for the county caseworker responsible for investigating the referral; and

(F) Notice that the reporting mandatory reporter may request updated information identified in sub-subparagraphs (A) to (E) of this subparagraph (II) within ninety calendar days after the county department received the report and information concerning the procedure for obtaining updated information.

(III) Information disclosed to a mandatory reporter pursuant to this paragraph (e.5) is confidential and shall not be disclosed by the mandatory reporter to any other person except as provided by law.

(IV) Unless requested by a county department, a mandatory reporter shall not have the authority to participate in any decision made by the county department concerning a report of abuse or neglect.

(V) In accordance with the "State Administrative Procedure Act", article 4 of title 24, C.R.S., the state department shall promulgate any rules necessary for the implementation of this paragraph (e.5).

(f) A court, upon its finding that access to such records may be necessary for determination of an issue before such court, but such access shall be limited to in camera inspection unless the court determines that public disclosure of the information contained therein is necessary for the resolution of an issue then pending before it;

(g) (Deleted by amendment, L. 2003, p. 1401, § 8, effective January 1, 2004.)

(h) All members of a child protection team;

(i) Such other persons as a court may determine, for good cause;

(j) The state department of human services or a county or district department of social services or a child placement agency investigating an applicant for a license to operate a child care facility or agency pursuant to section 26-6-107, C.R.S., when the applicant, as a requirement of the license application, has given written authorization to the licensing authority to obtain information contained in records or reports of child abuse or neglect. Access to the records and reports of child abuse or neglect granted to the named department or agencies shall serve only as the basis for further investigation.

(j.5) The state department of human services or a county or district department of social services investigating an exempt family child care home provider pursuant to section 26-6-120, C.R.S., as a prerequisite to issuance or renewal of a contract or any payment agreement to receive moneys for the care of a child from publicly funded state child care assistance programs. Access to the records and reports of child abuse or neglect granted to the named department or agencies shall serve only as the basis for further investigation.

(j.7) The state department of human services investigating an applicant for an employee or volunteer position with, or an employee or volunteer of, a licensed neighborhood youth organization pursuant to section 26-6-103.7 (4), C.R.S., when the applicant, employee, or volunteer has given written authorization to the state department of human services to check records or reports of child abuse or neglect;

(k) The state department of human services, when requested in writing by any operator of a facility or agency that is licensed by the state department of human services pursuant to section 26-6-107, C.R.S., to check records or reports of child abuse or neglect for the purpose of screening an applicant for employment or a current employee. Any such operator who requests such information concerning an individual who is neither a current employee nor an applicant for employment commits a class 1 misdemeanor and shall be punished as provided in section 18-1.3-501, C.R.S. Within ten days of the operator's request, the state department of human services shall provide the date of the report of the incident, the location of investigation, the type of abuse and neglect, and the county which investigated the incident contained in the confirmed reports of child abuse and neglect. Any such operator who releases any information obtained under this paragraph (k) to any other person shall be deemed to have violated the provisions of subsection (4) of this section and shall be subject to the penalty therefor.

(k.5) The state department of human services, when requested in writing by a qualified county department, individual, or child placement agency approved to conduct home study investigations and reports pursuant to section 19-5-207.5 (2) (b) (I) for purposes of screening a prospective adoptive parent or any adult residing in the home under section 19-5-207 (2.5) (c), or investigating a prospective foster care parent, kinship care parent, or an adult residing in the home under section 26-6-107 (1) (a.7), C.R.S. Within ten days after the request, the state department of human services shall provide the date of the report of the incident, the location of investigation, the type of abuse and neglect, and the county that investigated the incident contained in the confirmed reports of child abuse or neglect. The county department, individual, or child placement agency shall be subject to the fee assessment established in subsection (2.5) of this section. With respect to screening a prospective adoptive parent, any employee of the county department or the child placement agency or any individual who releases any information obtained under this paragraph (k.5) to any person other than the adoption court shall be deemed to have violated the provisions of subsection (4) of this section and shall be subject to penalty therefor.

(l) The state department of human services, when requested in writing by the department of education to check records or reports of child abuse or neglect for the purpose of aiding the department of education in its investigation of an allegation of abuse by an employee of a school district in this state. Within ten days of the department of education's request, the state department of human services shall provide the date of the report of the incident, the location of investigation, the type of abuse or neglect, and the county which investigated the incident contained in the confirmed reports of child abuse or neglect. The department of education shall be subject to the fee assessment established in subsection (2.5) of this section. Any employee of the department of education who releases any information obtained under this paragraph (l) to any person not authorized to receive such information pursuant to the provisions of section 22-32-109.7, C.R.S., or any member of the board of education of a school district who releases such information obtained pursuant to said section shall be deemed to have violated the provisions of subsection (4) of this section and shall be subject to the penalty therefor.

(m) The state department of human services and the county departments of social services, for the following purposes:

(I) Screening any person who seeks employment with, is currently employed by, or who volunteers for service with the state department of human services, department of health care policy and financing, or a county department of social services, if such person's responsibilities include direct contact with children;

(II) Conducting evaluations pursuant to section 14-10-127, C.R.S.;

(III) Screening any person who will be responsible to provide child care pursuant to a contract with a county department for placements out of the home or private child care;

(IV) Screening prospective adoptive parents;

(n) Private adoption agencies, including private adoption agencies located in other states, for the purpose of screening prospective adoptive parents;

(o) A person, agency, or organization engaged in a bona fide research or evaluation project, but without information identifying individuals named in a report, unless having said identifying information open for review is essential to the research and evaluation, in which case the executive director of the state department of human services shall give prior written approval and the child through a legal representative shall give permission to release the identifying information;

(o.5) An auditor conducting a financial or performance audit of a county department of human or social services pursuant to section 26-1-114.5, C.R.S.;

(p) The governing body as defined in section 19-1-103 (54) and the citizen review panels created pursuant to section 19-3-211, for the purposes of carrying out their conflict resolution duties as set forth in section 19-3-211 and rules promulgated by the state department of human services;

(q) (Deleted by amendment, L. 2003, p. 1401, § 8, effective January 1, 2004.)

(r) The state department of human services investigating an applicant for a supervisory employee position or an employee of a guest child care facility or a public services short-term child care facility pursuant to section 26-6-103.5, C.R.S., when the applicant or employee, as a requirement of application for employment, has given written authorization to the state department of human services to check records or reports of child abuse or neglect;

(s) The state department of human services investigating a prospective CASA volunteer for the CASA program when the prospective CASA volunteer has given written authorization to the CASA program to check any records or reports of child abuse or neglect pursuant to section 19-1-205 (3) (a.5);

(t) State, county, and local government agencies of other states and child placement agencies located in other states, for the purpose of screening prospective foster or adoptive parents or any adult residing in the home of the prospective foster or adoptive parents;

(u) The child protection ombudsman program created in section 19-3.3-102, when conducting an investigation pursuant to article 3.3 of this title;

(v) A licensed child placement agency, for the purpose of screening prospective foster parents, any adult residing in the home of the prospective foster parent, and specialized group facilities, pursuant to the following conditions:

(I) Access is limited to information concerning a current or prospective foster parent, an adult residing in the home of the current or prospective foster parent, or a specialized group facility and includes only the following information:

(A) Whether a report of child abuse or neglect has been made regarding the person;

(B) The general nature of the alleged incident of child abuse or neglect, including the category of the allegation, and the name and relationship of the perpetrator and victim;

(C) Whether the report of child abuse or neglect was screened for assessment;

(D) The outcome of the investigation including the investigator's summary of the reason or reasons for his or her finding or conclusions; and

(E) Child care and child welfare licensing history;

(II) (A) Access is limited to one person at each child placement agency, as designated by the agency and reported to the state department of human services.

(B) The state department of human services shall monitor a child placement agency's access to the records and reports of child abuse or neglect to ensure that the child placement agency is accessing the records and reports of child abuse or neglect in accordance with this paragraph (v).

(C) An unaccepted referral or an unfounded or inconclusive assessment pursuant to subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (v) does not necessarily require that a current or prospective foster parent be denied placement pursuant to this article.

(2.3) The following agencies or attorneys appointed by the court shall be granted statewide read-only access to the name index and register of actions for the judiciary department:

(a) Criminal justice agencies as described in section 24-72-302 (3), C.R.S.;

(b) County departments as defined in section 19-1-103 (32) and attorneys who represent the county departments as county attorneys, as defined in section 19-1-103 (31.5), as it relates to the attorneys' work representing the county;

(c) Guardians ad litem under contract with the office of the child's representative, created in section 13-91-104, C.R.S., or authorized by the office of the child's representative to act as a guardian ad litem, as it relates to a case in which they are appointed by the court; and

(d) Respondent parent counsel appointed by the court and paid by the judicial department as it relates to a case in which they are appointed by the court.

(2.5) Fee - rules - records and reports fund. Any person or agency provided information from the state department of human services pursuant to paragraph (i), paragraphs (k) to (o), and paragraph (t) of subsection (2) of this section and any child placement agency shall be assessed a fee that shall be established and collected by the state department of human services pursuant to parameters set forth in rule established by the state board of human services. At a minimum, the rules shall include a provision requiring the state department of human services to provide notice of the fee to interested persons and the maximum fee amount that the department shall not exceed without the express approval of the state board of human services. The fee established shall not exceed the direct and indirect costs of administering paragraph (i), paragraphs (k) to (o), and paragraph (t) of subsection (2) of this section and the direct and indirect costs of administering section 19-3-313.5 (3) and (4). All fees collected in accordance with this subsection (2.5) shall be transmitted to the state treasurer who shall credit the same to the records and reports fund, which fund is hereby created. The moneys in the records and reports fund shall be subject to annual appropriation by the general assembly for the direct and indirect costs of administering paragraph (i), paragraphs (k) to (o), and paragraph (t) of subsection (2) of this section and for the direct and indirect costs of administering section 19-3-313.5 (3) and (4).

(3) After a child who is the subject of a report to the state department of human services reaches the age of eighteen years, access to that report shall be permitted only if a sibling or offspring of such child is before any person mentioned in subsection (2) of this section and is a suspected victim of child abuse or neglect.

(4) Any person who improperly releases or who willfully permits or encourages the release of data or information contained in the records and reports of child abuse or neglect to persons not permitted access to such information by this section or by section 19-1-303 commits a class 1 misdemeanor and shall be punished as provided in section 18-1.3-501, C.R.S.

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