2022 Wyoming Statutes
Title 14 - Children
Chapter 3 - Protection
Article 2 - Child Protective Services
Section 14-3-214 - Confidentiality of Records; Penalties; Access to Information; Attendance of School Officials at Interviews; Access to Central Registry Records Pertaining to Child Protection Cases.

Universal Citation: WY Stat § 14-3-214 (2022)

14-3-214. Confidentiality of records; penalties; access to information; attendance of school officials at interviews; access to central registry records pertaining to child protection cases.

(a) All records concerning reports and investigations of child abuse or neglect are confidential except as provided by W.S. 14-3-201 through 14-3-215. Any person who willfully violates this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars ($500.00) or imprisoned in the county jail not more than six (6) months, or both.

(b) Except as provided in subsection (h) of this section, applications for access to records concerning child abuse or neglect contained in the state agency or local child protective agency shall be made in the manner and form prescribed by the state agency. Upon appropriate application, the state agency shall give access to any of the following persons or agencies for purposes directly related with the administration of W.S. 14-3-201 through 14-3-216:

(i) A local child protective agency;

(ii) A law enforcement agency, guardian ad litem, child protection team or the attorney representing the subject of the report;

(iii) A physician or surgeon who is treating an abused or neglected child, the child's family or a child he reasonably suspects may have been abused or neglected;

(iv) A person legally authorized to place a child in protective temporary custody when information in the report or record is required to determine whether to place the child in temporary protective custody;

(v) A person responsible for the welfare of the child;

(vi) A court or grand jury upon a showing that access to the records is necessary for the determination of an issue, in which case access shall be limited to in camera inspection unless the court finds public disclosure is necessary;

(vii) Court personnel who are investigating reported incidents of child abuse or neglect;

(viii) An education or mental health professional serving the child, if the state agency determines the information is necessary to provide appropriate educational or therapeutic interventions.

(c) A physician or person in charge of an institution, school, facility or agency making the report shall receive, upon written application to the state agency, a summary of the records concerning the subject of the report.

(d) Any person, agency or institution given access to information concerning the subject of the report shall not divulge or make public any information except as required for court proceedings.

(e) Nothing in W.S. 14-3-201 through 14-3-215 prohibits the attendance of any one (1) of the following at an interview conducted on school property by law enforcement or child protective agency personnel of a child suspected to be abused or neglected provided the person is not a subject of the allegation:

(i) The principal of the child's school or his designee; or

(ii) A child's teacher or, counselor, or specialist employed by the school or school district and assigned the duties of monitoring, reviewing or assisting in the child's welfare in cases of suspected child abuse or neglect.

(f) Upon appropriate application, the state agency shall provide to any employer or entity whose employees or volunteers may have unsupervised access to children in the course of their employment or volunteer service, for employee or volunteer screening purposes, a summary of central registry records maintained under state agency rules since December 31, 1986, for purposes of screening employees or volunteers. The state agency shall provide the results of the records check to the applicant by certified mail if the records check confirms the existence of a report "under investigation" or a "substantiated" finding of abuse or neglect. Otherwise, the state agency shall provide the results of the records check to the applicant in accordance with agency rules and by United States mail. The written results shall confirm that there is a report "under investigation", a "substantiated" finding of abuse or neglect on the central registry naming the individual or confirm that no record exists. When the individual is identified on the registry as a "substantiated" perpetrator of abuse or neglect, the report to the applicant shall contain information with respect to the date of the finding, specific type of abuse or neglect, a copy of the perpetrator's voluntary statement and whether an appeal is pending. The applicant, or an agent on behalf of the applicant, shall submit a fee in an amount determined by rule of the state agency and proof satisfactory to the state agency that the prospective or current employee or volunteer whose records are being checked consents to the release of the information to the applicant. The applicant shall use the information received only for purposes of screening prospective or current employees and volunteers who may, through their employment or volunteer services, have unsupervised access to minors. Applicants, their employees or other agents shall not otherwise divulge or make public any information received under this section. The state agency shall notify any applicant receiving information under this subsection of any subsequent reclassification of the information pursuant to W.S. 14-3-213(e). The state agency shall screen all prospective agency employees in conformity with the procedure provided under this subsection.

(g) There is created a program administration account to be known as the "child and vulnerable adult abuse registry account". All fees collected under subsection (f) of this section shall be credited to this account.

(h) No information, including recorded interviews of the child, shall be disclosed to any person in any civil proceeding not related to an abuse or neglect case brought under this article except upon order of the court which shall determine if good cause exists to disclose the information. Any protective order granting disclosure shall include appropriate protections against further dissemination in any form. The court may conduct an in camera review of a recorded interview prior to issuing a protective order and may impose such conditions as may be appropriate under the circumstances of the proceeding to prevent further dissemination of the recorded interview.

(j) Any person may request a central registry screen and summary report on themselves as provided by subsection (f) of this section upon payment of the fee required by subsection (f) of this section.

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