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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 22. Social Services
Agency 40. Department of Social Services
Chapter 705. Child Protective Services
7/11/2020

22VAC40-705-160. Releasing Information.

A. In the following instances of mandatory disclosure the local department shall release child protective services information. The local department may do so without any written release.

1. Report to attorney for the Commonwealth and law enforcement pursuant to § 63.2-1503 D of the Code of Virginia.

2. Report to the regional medical examiner's office pursuant to § 63.2-1503 E of the Code of Virginia.

3. Any individual, including an individual against whom allegations of child abuse or neglect were made, may exercise his rights under the Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act (§ 2.2-3800 et seq. of the Code of Virginia) to access personal information related to himself that is contained in the case record including, with the individual's notarized consent, a search of the Central Registry.

4. When the material requested includes personal information about other individuals, the local department shall be afforded a reasonable time in which to redact those parts of the record relating to other individuals.

5. Pursuant to the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, as amended (42 USC § 5101 et seq.), and federal regulations (45 CFR Part 1340), the local department shall provide case-specific information about child abuse and neglect reports and investigations to citizen review panels when requested.

6. Pursuant to the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, as amended (42 USC § 5101 et seq.), the department shall develop guidelines to allow for public disclosure in instances of child fatality or near fatality.

7. An individual's right to access information under the Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act is stayed during criminal prosecution pursuant to § 63.2-1526 C of the Code of Virginia.

8. The local department shall disclose and release to the United States Armed Forces Family Advocacy Program child protective services information as required pursuant to 22VAC40-705-140.

9. Child protective services shall, on request by the Division of Child Support Enforcement, supply information pursuant to § 63.2-103 of the Code of Virginia.

10. The local department shall release child protective services information to a court appointed special advocate pursuant to § 9.1-156 A of the Code of Virginia.

11. The local department shall release child protective services information to a court-appointed guardian ad litem pursuant to § 16.1-266 G of the Code of Virginia.

B. The local department may use discretion in disclosing or releasing child protective services case record information, investigative and on-going services to parties having a legitimate interest when the local department deems disclosure to be in the best interest of the child. The local department may disclose such information without a court order and without a written release pursuant to § 63.2-105 of the Code of Virginia.

C. Prior to disclosing information to any individuals or organizations, and to be consistent with § 63.2-105 of the Code of Virginia, the local department must consider the factors described in subdivisions 1, 2, and 3 of this subsection as some of the factors necessary to determine whether a person has a legitimate interest and the disclosure of information is in the best interest of the child:

1. The information will be used only for the purpose for which it is made available;

2. Such purpose shall be related to the goal of child protective or rehabilitative services; and

3. The confidential character of the information will be preserved to the greatest extent possible.

D. In the following instances, the local department shall not release child protective services information:

1. The local department shall not release the identity of persons reporting incidents of child abuse or neglect, unless court ordered or as required under § 63.2-1503 D of the Code of Virginia, in accordance with § 63.2-1526 of the Code of Virginia, 42 USC § 5101 et seq., and federal regulations (45 CFR Part 1340).

2. In all complaints or reports that are being investigated jointly with law enforcement, no information shall be released by the local department prior to the conclusion of the criminal investigation unless authorized by the law-enforcement officer or his supervisor or the attorney for the Commonwealth pursuant to § 63.2-1516.1 B of the Code of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§ 63.2-217of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 13, Issue 25, eff. January 1, 1998; amended, Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 06, eff. January 1, 2003; Volume 33, Issue 19, eff. July 1, 2017.

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