Written findings; copies to the department of child services; certain records held by governmental entities not confidential if redacted; procedure for redacting records
Sec. 1.5. (a) This section applies to records held by:
(1) a local office;
(2) the department; or
(3) the department of child services ombudsman established by IC 4-13-19-3;
regarding a child whose death or near fatality may have been the result of abuse, abandonment, or neglect.
(b) For purposes of subsection (a), a child's death or near fatality may have been the result of abuse, abandonment, or neglect if:
(1) an entity described in subsection (a) determines that the child's death or near fatality is the result of abuse, abandonment, or neglect; or
number, an electronic serial number, a mobile identification
number, or another telecommunications service or device or
means of account access; and
(4) "near fatality" has the meaning set forth in 42 U.S.C. 5106a.
(e) Unless information in a record is otherwise confidential under state or federal law, a record described in subsection (a) that has been redacted in accordance with this section is not confidential and may be disclosed to any person who requests the record. The person requesting the record may be required to pay the reasonable expenses of copying the record.
(f) When a person requests a record described in subsection (a), the entity having control of the record shall immediately transmit a copy of the record to the court exercising juvenile jurisdiction in the county in which the death or near fatality of the child occurred. However, if the court requests that the entity having control of a record transmit the original record, the entity shall transmit the original record.
(g) Upon receipt of the record described in subsection (a), the court shall, within thirty (30) days, redact the record to exclude:
(1) identifying information described in subsection (d)(3)(B) through (d)(3)(F) of a person; and
(2) all identifying information of a child less than eighteen (18) years of age.
(h) The court shall disclose the record redacted in accordance with subsection (g) to any person who requests the record, if the person has paid:
(1) to the entity having control of the record, the reasonable expenses of copying under IC 5-14-3-8; and
(2) to the court, the reasonable expenses of copying the record.
(i) The data and information in a record disclosed under this section must include the following:
(1) A summary of the report of abuse or neglect and a factual description of the contents of the report.
(2) The date of birth and gender of the child.
(3) The cause of the fatality or near fatality, if the cause has been determined.
(4) Whether the department had any contact with the child or the perpetrator before the fatality or near fatality, and, if the department had contact, the following:
(A) The frequency of the contact with the child or the perpetrator before the fatality or near fatality and the date on which the last contact occurred before the fatality or near fatality.
(B) A summary of the status of the child's case at the time of the fatality or near fatality, including:
(i) whether the child's case was closed by the department before the fatality or near fatality; and
(ii) if the child's case was closed as described under item (i), the date of closure and the reasons that the case was closed.
Disclosure of unredacted material to certain persons
Sec. 2. The reports and other material described in section 1(a) of this chapter and the unredacted reports and other material described in section 1(b) of this chapter shall be made available only to the following:
(1) Persons authorized by this article.
(2) A legally mandated public or private child protective agency investigating a report of child abuse or neglect or treating a child or family that is the subject of a report or record.
(3) A police or other law enforcement agency, prosecuting attorney, or coroner in the case of the death of a child who is investigating a report of a child who may be a victim of child abuse or neglect.
(4) A physician who has before the physician a child whom the physician reasonably suspects may be a victim of child abuse or neglect.
(5) An individual legally authorized to place a child in protective custody if:
(A) the individual has before the individual a child whom the individual reasonably suspects may be a victim of abuse or neglect; and
(B) the individual requires the information in the report or record to determine whether to place the child in protective custody.
(6) 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, custodian, or other person who is responsible for the child's welfare.
(7) An individual named in the report or record who is alleged to be abused or neglected or, if the individual named in the report is a child or is otherwise incompetent, the individual's guardian ad litem or the individual's court appointed special advocate, or both.
(8) Each parent, guardian, custodian, or other person responsible for the welfare of a child named in a report or record and an attorney of the person described under this subdivision, with protection for the identity of reporters and other appropriate individuals.
(9) A court, for redaction of the record in accordance with
section 1.5 of this chapter, or upon the court's finding that
access to the records may be necessary for determination of an
issue before the court. However, except for disclosure of a
redacted record in accordance with section 1.5 of this chapter,
access is limited to in camera inspection unless the court
determines that public disclosure of the information contained
in the records is necessary for the resolution of an issue then
pending before the court.
(10) A grand jury upon the grand jury's determination that access to the records is necessary in the conduct of the grand jury's official business.
(11) An appropriate state or local official responsible for child protection services or legislation carrying out the official's official functions.
(12) A foster care review board established by a juvenile court under IC 31-34-21-9 (or IC 31-6-4-19 before its repeal) upon the court's determination that access to the records is necessary to enable the foster care review board to carry out the board's purpose under IC 31-34-21.
(13) The community child protection team appointed under IC 31-33-3 (or IC 31-6-11-14 before its repeal), upon request, to enable the team to carry out the team's purpose under IC 31-33-3.
(14) A person about whom a report has been made, with protection for the identity of:
(A) any person reporting known or suspected child abuse or neglect; and
(B) any other person if the person or agency making the information available finds that disclosure of the information would be likely to endanger the life or safety of the person.
(15) An employee of the department, a caseworker, or a juvenile probation officer conducting a criminal history check under IC 31-26-5, IC 31-34, or IC 31-37 to determine the appropriateness of an out-of-home placement for a:
(A) child at imminent risk of placement;
(B) child in need of services; or
(C) delinquent child.
The results of a criminal history check conducted under this subdivision must be disclosed to a court determining the placement of a child described in clauses (A) through (C).
(16) A local child fatality review team established under IC 16-49-2.
(17) The statewide child fatality review committee established by IC 16-49-4.
(18) The department.
(19) The division of family resources, if the investigation report:
(A) is classified as substantiated; and
(i) an applicant for a license to operate;
Disclosure to qualified researchers
Sec. 3. (a) Section 2 of this chapter does not prevent the local office or the department from disclosing to a qualified individual engaged in a good faith research project either:
(1) information of a general nature, including the incidents of reported child abuse or neglect or other statistical or social data used in connection with studies, reports, or surveys, and information related to their function and activities; or
(2) information relating to case histories of child abuse or neglect if:
(A) the information disclosed does not identify or reasonably tend to identify the persons involved; and
(B) the information is not a subject of pending litigation.
(b) To implement this section, the department shall adopt under IC 4-22-2 rules to govern the dissemination of information to qualifying researchers.
As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.16. Amended by P.L.234-2005, SEC.156; P.L.128-2012, SEC.155.
Notice to parent, guardian, or custodian of availability of reports, information, and juvenile court records; release form; copying costs
Sec. 4. (a) Whenever a child abuse or neglect assessment is conducted under this article, the department shall give verbal and written notice to each parent, guardian, or custodian of the child that:
(1) the reports and information described under section 1 of this
chapter relating to the child abuse or neglect assessment; and
(2) if the child abuse or neglect allegations are pursued in juvenile court, the juvenile court's records described under IC 31-39;
are available upon the request of the parent, guardian, or custodian except as prohibited by federal law.
(b) A parent, guardian, or custodian requesting information under this section may be required to sign a written release form that delineates the information that is requested before the information is made available. However, no other prerequisites for obtaining the information may be placed on the parent, guardian, or custodian except for reasonable copying costs.
As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.16. Amended by P.L.234-2005, SEC.157; P.L.131-2009, SEC.53.
Confidentiality of recordings of calls to child abuse hotline
Sec. 5. (a) An audio recording of a telephone call to the child abuse hotline is confidential and may be released only upon court order.
(b) An audio recording of a report of child abuse or neglect that is the subject of a complaint made to a prosecuting attorney under IC 31-33-22-3 shall be released without a court order to the prosecuting attorney upon written request of the prosecuting attorney.
As added by P.L.48-2012, SEC.40.