CHC 616     

NOTE: Section heading and Paragraph A eff. until promulgation and publication of rules by DCFS pursuant to Acts 2017, No. 348, §6.

Art. 616. Registry; screening of CASA volunteers, staff, and board members; confidentiality

            A. The department shall maintain a central registry of all reports of abuse and neglect. The purpose of this central registry, among other uses, is to provide information of past reports of child abuse or neglect of children to assist in the proper evaluation of current reports of abuse or neglect which may include a pattern of incidents.

NOTE: Section heading and Paragraph A shall become eff. upon promulgation and publication of rules by DCFS pursuant to Acts 2017, No. 348, §6.

Art. 616. Registry; screening of CASA volunteers, staff, and board members; confidentiality

            A. The department shall maintain a state repository of all reports of abuse and neglect. The purpose of this state repository, among other uses, is to provide information of past reports of child abuse or neglect of children to assist in the proper evaluation of current reports of abuse or neglect which may include a pattern of incidents.

NOTE: Paragraph B eff. until promulgation and publication of rules by DCFS pursuant to Acts 2017, No. 348, §6.

            B. Except as provided in this Article or R.S. 46:56, all records of reports of child abuse or neglect are confidential. The department shall promulgate rules regarding the maintenance, deletion, and release of information in the central registry, determined by the types of disposition made pursuant to Article 615.

NOTE: Paragraph B eff. upon promulgation and publication of rules by DCFS pursuant to Acts 2017, No. 348, §6.

            B. Within the state repository, the department shall maintain a state central registry of certain justified reports of abuse and neglect as set forth in rules promulgated by the department. The name of an individual who was placed on the state central registry as a perpetrator of abuse or neglect prior to the effective date of Article 616.1.1 shall not be released outside of the department until that individual's administrative appeals are exhausted. After the effective date of Article 616.1.1, the name of an individual who is determined to be a perpetrator of abuse or neglect shall not be placed on the state central registry until that individual's administrative appeals are exhausted. All decisions rendered by an administrative law judge are final, and the decisions shall exhaust the individual's administrative remedy.

NOTE: Paragraph B eff. upon promulgation and publication of rules by DCFS pursuant to Acts 2017, No. 348, §6 and Acts 2018, No. 556.

            B. Within the state repository, the department shall maintain a state central registry of certain justified reports of abuse and neglect as set forth in rules promulgated by the department. The name of an individual who was placed on the state central registry as a perpetrator of abuse or neglect prior to the effective date of Article 616.1.1 shall not be released outside of the department until that individual's administrative appeals are exhausted. After the effective date of Article 616.1.1, the name of an individual who is determined to be a perpetrator of abuse or neglect shall not be placed on the state central registry until that individual's administrative appeals are exhausted. All decisions rendered by an administrative law judge are final, and the decisions shall exhaust the individual's administrative remedy. However, notwithstanding any other provision of law, the department shall provide information involving an investigation from either the repository or the state central registry immediately to the local district attorney's office, or its designee, or to the court, when taking court action is necessary to protect the child from abuse or neglect. The department shall provide information involving an open investigation or a completed investigation determined to be justified from either the repository or the state central registry to another state's child welfare agency upon written request when the request is made pursuant to an ongoing child protective services investigation in the other state.

NOTE: Paragraph C eff. until promulgation and publication of rules by DCFS pursuant to Acts 2017, No. 348, §6.

            C. Upon the written request of the court during its evaluation of any of the following individuals who will have contact with children served by the court-appointed special advocate program, and with the consent of the individual, the department shall search the central registry and report to the court any justified report of abuse or neglect alleging that the individual is a perpetrator:

            (1) An individual applying to work as a court-appointed special advocate.

            (2) A CASA staff member.

            (3) A member of the CASA board of directors.

NOTE: Paragraph C eff. upon promulgation and publication of rules by DCFS pursuant to Acts 2017, No. 348, §6 and Acts 2018, No. 320.

            C. Except as provided in this Article or R.S. 46:56, all records of reports of child abuse or neglect are confidential. The department shall promulgate rules regarding the maintenance, deletion, and release of information in the state repository and central registry.

NOTE: Paragraph D eff. until promulgation and publication of rules by DCFS pursuant to Acts 2017, No. 348, §6.

            D. When, after an investigation, the determination is made by the department that the report does appear to be justified, any subsequent adjudication by a court exercising juvenile jurisdiction which dismisses the child in need of care petition involving this report shall be added to the central registry.

NOTE: Paragraph D eff. upon promulgation and publication of rules by DCFS pursuant to Acts 2017, No. 348, §6.

            D. Upon the written request of the court during its evaluation of an individual applying to work as a court-appointed special advocate and with the consent of the applicant, the department shall search the central registry and report to the court any justified report of abuse or neglect alleging that the applicant is a perpetrator.

NOTE: Paragraph D eff. upon promulgation and publication of rules by DCFS pursuant to Acts 2017, No. 348, §6 and Acts 2018, No. 320.

            D. Upon the written request of the court during its evaluation of any of the following individuals who will have contact with children served by the court-appointed special advocate program, and with the consent of the individual, the department shall search the central registry and report to the court any justified report of abuse or neglect alleging that the individual is a perpetrator:

            (1) An individual applying to work as a court-appointed special advocate.

            (2) A CASA staff member.

            (3) A member of the CASA board of directors.

NOTE: Paragraph E eff. until promulgation and publication of rules by DCFS pursuant to Acts 2017, No. 348, §6.

            E. Repealed by Acts 2005, No. 378, §1, eff. June 30, 2005.

NOTE: Paragraph E eff. upon promulgation and publication of rules by DCFS pursuant to Acts 2017, No. 348, §6.

            E. When, after an investigation, the determination is made by the department that the report does appear to be justified, any subsequent adjudication by a court exercising juvenile jurisdiction which dismisses the child in need of care petition involving this report shall be added to the central registry.

NOTE: Paragraph F eff. until promulgation and publication of rules by DCFS pursuant to Acts 2017, No. 348, §6.

            F. Information from investigations of reports that are inconclusive may be disclosed, with the applicant's written consent, for the limited purposes of evaluating the applicant to be a CASA volunteer, a foster parent, an adoptive parent, or caregiver pursuant to R.S. 46:56(F)(11).

NOTE: Paragraph F eff. upon promulgation and publication of rules by DCFS pursuant to Acts 2017, No. 348, §6 and Acts 2018, No. 320.

            F. Information from investigations of reports that are inconclusive may be disclosed, with the applicant's written consent, for the limited purposes of evaluating the applicant to be a foster parent, an adoptive parent, or caregiver pursuant to R.S. 46:56(F)(11).

            G. Violation of the confidentiality provisions of this Article, Article 615, or the lawful regulations of the department subjects the offender to criminal prosecution authorized by R.S. 14:403(A)(2).

NOTE: Paragraphs H and I shall become eff. upon promulgation and publication of rules by DCFS pursuant to Acts 2017, No. 348, §6.

            H. The department may charge a fee, that shall not exceed twenty-five dollars, to conduct a search of the state central registry of justified abuse or neglect reports to determine whether an individual's name is recorded therein. A search shall be allowed only when specifically authorized.

            I. The department shall promulgate, in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, all rules and regulations necessary to carry out the provisions of this Article.

            Acts 1991, No. 235, §6, eff. Jan. 1, 1992; Acts 1993, No. 505, §1; Acts 1995, No. 625, §1, eff. June 19, 1995; Acts 1997, No. 903, §2, eff. July 10, 1997; Acts 1999, No. 593, §1; Acts 2003, No. 567, §1; Acts 2005, No. 378, §1, eff. June 30, 2005; Acts 2017, No. 348, §1 Acts 1991, No. 235, §6, eff. Jan. 1, 1992; Acts 1993, No. 675, §1; Acts 2004, No. 76, §1; Acts 2006, No. 372, §1; Acts 2017, No. 348, §1, special eff. date; Acts 2018, No. 320, §2, 3; Acts 2018, No. 556, §1, 2.