Wednesday, January 9, 2013

SB1430 - 431R - I Ver Reference Title: child protective services

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AN ACT
AMENDING SECTION 8-546.07, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES; REPEALING SECTION 8-546.11, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES; AMENDING LAWS 1992, CHAPTER 70, SECTION 2, AS AMENDED BY LAWS 1993, CHAPTER 174, SECTION 4; RELATING TO CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona:

Section 1. Section 8-546.07, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

8-546.07 . Right of privacy; records and reports; confidentiality; exceptions; access; violation; classification; definition

A. A person who is the subject of an investigation under this article, the alleged victim and the alleged victim's siblings have a right of privacy that may not be directly or indirectly waived by another person who is a subject of the investigation. A person who is the subject of an investigation under this article may request that a hearing or trial relating to the dependency proceeding be open to the public. The court shall order the hearing to be open to the public unless the court determines for good cause that all or part of the hearing shall be closed.

B. Through September 30, 1997, Department records and files on specific cases of child abuse and neglect are confidential. Except as prescribed by this section, all files, records, reports, and other papers compiled in accordance with this article, whether filed in or in possession of the court, the division, or child placement agency or any other agency or association, are confidential and are not available for public inspection.

C. Through September 30, 1997, Pursuant to the requirements of this section regarding the release of information, the following persons and entities may obtain confidential records and files:

1. Department employees who require this information to perform their official duties.

2. Employees of the department of law, a court or a law enforcement agency of this state and the foster care review board if this information is necessary to perform official duties.

3. A multidisciplinary case consultation team that the department of economic security uses to review or examine a case of suspected child abuse or neglect or to provide services to a child or the child's family.

4. A physician or person designated by the physician who:

(a) Reviews or examines a suspected case of child abuse or neglect or provides services to a child.

(b) Has as a patient a child who the physician reasonably suspects is the victim of child abuse or neglect and the physician requires this information to provide a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment for the child.

5. A foster parent under contract with this state to permit the foster parent to care for a particular child.

6. A grand jury.

7. The department of education or a particular school district to allow the department of education or a school district to provide services to a particular child.

8. Subject to any additional limitations imposed under chapter 1, article 1 of this title, adoptive parents.

9. A child who is named in department of economic security records as the victim of child abuse or neglect or that child's guardian ad litem, court appointed special advocate or court appointed counsel.

10. A person, agency or organization engaged in a bona fide research or evaluation project, but without information identifying individuals named in a record or file, unless all of the following apply:

(a) Having that information open for review is essential to the research or evaluation.

(b) The director of the department of economic security gives prior written approval.

(c) The child named in the file or record, through the child's representative, gives permission to release the information.

11. Agencies of the federal government, this state or a political subdivision of this state for official purposes. All information received by a government agency pursuant to this paragraph shall be maintained as confidential, except where pertinent to a criminal prosecution.

12. A standing committee of the legislature or a committee appointed by the president of the senate or the speaker of the house of representatives for purposes of conducting investigations related to the legislative oversight of the department of economic security and this information shall not be further disclosed.

13. A person who seeks confidential information concerning an alleged victim of abuse, neglect or abandonment who has died.

14. A person or agency required to perform a preadoption certification investigation pursuant to section 8-105 if the information is needed for such an investigation.

15. An appropriate state official responsible for administration of child protective services or for oversight of the enabling or appropriating legislation, in carrying out that official's functions. In order to request a file pursuant to this section:

(a) The legislator shall submit a written request for child protective service SERVICES records to the presiding officer of the body of which that person is a member. The request shall state the name of the person whose case file is to be reviewed and any other information that will assist the department in locating the file. The request shall also include the department's office at which the state legislator wants to review the file.

(b) The presiding officer shall forward the request to the department within five working days of the receipt of the request.

(c) The department shall make the necessary arrangements for the state legislator to review the file at an office of the department of economic security, chosen by the state legislator, within ten working days.

(d) The state legislator shall sign a form, prior to reviewing the file, which outlines the confidentiality laws governing child protective service SERVICES files and penalties for further release of the information.

D. A person who is a party in a dependency or termination of parental rights proceeding and about whom a report has been made may obtain a copy of the child protective services case file. The department shall not disclose the location of the subject's spouse and children, the identity of the reporting person, the identity of any person providing information and any other person if the department believes that disclosure of the information would be likely to endanger the life or safety of the person. The department shall prepare a copy of the case file within a time that allows the person who requests the file time to review it before a court proceeding.

E. A person who is not a party in a dependency or termination of parental rights proceeding and about whom a report has been made may obtain a copy of the child protective services report. The department shall not disclose the identity of the reporting person and the identity of any person providing information.

F. Through September 30, 1997, A person or entity that is not specifically authorized in subsection C or D of this section to obtain information from records and files may petition a judge of the superior court to order the department to release that information. The court shall balance the rights of the parties entitled to confidentiality pursuant to this section against the rights of the parties seeking release of the information. The potential benefit or harm from releasing the information sought shall be considered. The court may release otherwise confidential information only where the rights of the parties seeking the information and any benefits from releasing the information sought outweigh the rights of the parties entitled to confidentiality and any harm that may result from releasing the information sought. The court may require the department to submit the requested information to the court for an in camera inspection. Where an order for release is deemed proper, the court may restrict the use, disclosure or dissemination of the information sought in order to protect or minimize harm to any person involved. If the court orders the release of information pursuant to this subsection, it may order the department to release the requested information after the department takes any precautionary measures required under this section. The court shall not authorize the release of initial reports of abuse or neglect.

G. Through September 30, 1997, pursuant to rules adopted by the department, a person who is not listed in subsection C or D of this section may request generically identified records and files on cases of child abuse or neglect. The department shall edit these records and files to protect the identity of the person who made the report of abuse or neglect as well as the victim and the victim's parents or foster parents and any other person the department believes would be endangered by the disclosure.

H. G. Through September 30, 1997, A person who requests information pursuant to subsection G of this section shall make a request in writing to the department. The department may charge a fee to cover the cost to search for and prepare the case file, including editing, copying and labor charges. Within three days after receiving the request the department shall forward an estimate of this fee to the person who made the request. The department shall not charge a fee if the request is made for judicial or legislative oversight purposes. The person requesting the file shall submit cash, a credit card or a money order to cover the estimated fee before the department may prepare the file for release. The department may contract with vendors for case file preparation services. The department shall prepare a file within ten working days after the department receives the payment unless the requesting party authorizes a longer time period. The department shall not release a file until all fees are paid in full.

I. H. Before it releases records and files under this section, the department shall take whatever precautions it determines are reasonably necessary to protect the identity or safety of a person who reports child abuse or neglect and any other person if the department believes that disclosure of the information would be likely to endanger the life or safety of the person. These measures may include withholding or editing portions of the information contained in the records and files. The department may charge the recipient of records and files a reasonable fee that covers the department's costs to process and edit that information if the request is not made for legislative oversight or judicial purposes.

J. I. This section does not prevent the department from summarizing the outcome of a child protective services investigation to the person who reported the suspected child abuse or neglect.

K. J. Through September 30, 1997, The department shall transmit monies collected under this section to the state treasurer for deposit in the children and family services training program fund established by section 8-503.01.

L. K. Through September 30, 1997, A person who is entitled to receive records and files under this section shall request this information in a manner prescribed by the department by rule. The rules shall not hinder or delay disclosure and shall be consistent with the requirements of this section.

M. L. Through September 30, 1997, If the department receives a request that complies with this section and department rules, it shall provide the requested information after it takes the precautionary measures and collects all fees as prescribed in this section.

N. M. Through September 30, 1997, Identifying information released pursuant to subsection B of this section is confidential and shall not be further released or disclosed to persons or entities that are not entitled to this information under this section and rules adopted under this section.

O. N. Through September 30, 1997, Before it adopts a rule under this section the department shall forward a copy of a proposed rule to the appropriate senate and house committees at least thirty days before the department is scheduled to adopt the rule. Each committee shall forward the committee's suggested changes to the director who shall adopt the rule after considering these comments.

P. O. A person shall not disclose, receive, make use of, authorize the use of, knowingly permit the use of or participate or acquiesce in the use of any identifying information that relates to a proceeding brought under this article if that information is taken directly or indirectly from records and files that are compiled under this article unless these items have been released under this section and are used only for those purposes permitted by court order or this section.

Q. P. This section does not prohibit persons employed by the court, the division or any agency from conducting the investigation or performing other duties pursuant to this article done within the normal course of their employment.

R. Q. Before it releases information contained in a child welfare agency licensing record, the department shall edit any reports of abuse and neglect within these records THE RECORD by removing personally identifying information relating to the identity of the person who made the child protective services report of abuse or neglect, the victim, the victim's parents, the person who is the subject of an investigation and a person whose life is endangered by the disclosure.

S. R. A person who violates this section is guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor.

T. S. For the purposes of this section, "records and files" includes all information the department gathers during the course of a child protective services investigation conducted under this article from the time a file is opened and until it is closed. Records and files do not include information that is contained in child welfare agency licensing records.

Sec. 2. Repeal

Section 8-546.11 , Arizona Revised Statutes, is repealed.

Sec. 3. Laws 1992, chapter 70, section 2, as amended by Laws 1993, chapter 174, section 4, is amended to read:

Sec. 2. Repeal

A. Laws 1988, chapter 271, section 41 is repealed.

B. Laws 1988, chapter 299, section 3 is repealed.

C. Laws 1991, chapter 262, section 13 is repealed.

D. Laws 1991, chapter 218, section 14 is repealed on October 10, 1992.

E. Laws 1991, chapter 235 is repealed on October 1, 1992.

F. Laws 1991, chapter 315, section 34 is repealed on October 1, 1992.

G. Laws 1991, chapter 251, section 2 is repealed on February 1, 1993.

H. Laws 1991, chapter 213, section 20 is repealed on October 1, 1993.

I. Laws 1987, chapter 363, section 24, as amended by Laws 1988, chapter 237, section 13 and Laws 1991, chapter 292, section 26, is repealed on October 10, 1993.

J. Laws 1986, chapter 398, section 60, as amended by Laws 1991, chapter 125, section 1, is repealed on January 1, 1996.

K. Title 48, chapter 9, Arizona Revised Statutes, is repealed.

L. Title 48, chapter 23, Arizona Revised Statutes, is repealed.

M. Title 20, chapter 7, article 1, Arizona Revised Statutes, is repealed on October 1, 1993.

N. Section 36-573, Arizona Revised Statutes, is repealed on October 1, 1993.

O. Section 41-1291, Arizona Revised Statutes, is repealed on October 1, 1998 2000 .

P. Section 41-1510, Arizona Revised Statutes, is repealed on October 1, 1994.

Sec. 4. Child protective services; records and hearings; public access; reports

A. The joint legislative committee on children and family services shall review the extent to which division of child protective services records and hearings may be open to the public in order to promote greater public scrutiny of division actions and to increase due process. The committee shall submit a report of its findings and recommendations to the governor, the speaker of the house of representatives, the president of the senate, the secretary of state and the director of the department of library, archives and public records on or before December 1, 1997.

B. Beginning on October 1, 1997, the division of child protective services in the department of economic security and the superior court shall open to the public all proceedings held in Maricopa county relating to child abuse and neglect for two years.

C. The joint legislative committee on children and family services shall review this pilot program and submit a report of its findings and recommendations to the governor, the speaker of the house of representatives, the president of the senate, the secretary of state and the director of the department of library, archives and public records on or before January 1, 1999. Before the committee submits its report the committee shall conduct a public hearing.