Interim Report to the Congress on the Feasibility of a National Child Abuse Registry. Characteristics of State Central Child Abuse Registries


Characteristics of State Central Child Abuse Registries

StateCentral Registry RequiredReports IncludedLevel of EvidenceExpungement RulesDue Process and Notification[17]
AKNo only the client database which includes information about alleged perpetrator.All investigation reports but not reports of harm.Reasonable Not required to notify perpetrator of disposition decision.
ALYesAll reports excluding cases with no CAN, but case is opened.PreponderanceIn cases not indicated, after 5 years if no subsequent reports. Alleged perpetrator must request.Appeal made to Attorney Generals office. Alleged perpetrators working with children are entitled to court hearing, those not working with children entitled to administrative review (through the department). County department and perpetrator notified of expungement. Confidentiality provisions for unsubstantiated cases. State notifies alleged perpetrator of disposition decision.
ARYesAll investigated reports and any record of screened out reports.PreponderanceUnsubstantiated shall be expunged promptly. Department may keep information on unsubstantiated reports for risk assessment but may not disclose except as specified by law. True reports shall be maintained.Appeal is available, source not specified. Department must notify reporter of whether or not an investigation has been conducted and services offered within 10 days. Perpetrator notified of disposition decision.
AZYesSubstantiated reports after the appeal process.Probable CauseSubstantiated reports are maintained in registry for 25 years from date of report.Appeal made to Office of Administrative Hearings. Other provisions: internal review by Protective Services Review Team. Perpetrator notified of disposition decision and placement on central registry, but only after appeal process for substantiated cases.
CAYesAll reports except unfoundedCredibleFor inconclusive or unsubstantiated reports after 10 years with no subsequent report or victim over age 18 may request name be removed.Notify reporter of disposition. Upon request will notify an individual of their registry status.
COYesConfirmed reportsPreponderanceSealed 10 years after childs 18th birthday. Director of registry may seal or expunge for good cause and with written notification to subject of report. Minor reports must be expunged after 6 months unless there is a Dependency and Neglect or criminal filing.Subject notified of placement on registry, right to appeal, and expungement. If the subject is acquitted but not expunged, the Central Registry must notify the subject and also of right to appeal. Policy states that appeals are made to the Central Registry Director. Per statute, subject has right to a fair hearing before an administrative law judge. County may object to acquittals. Department has burden of proof.
CTYesConfirmed reportsReasonable CauseAfter childs 18th birthday records are sealed, then expunged after 7 years.Reporter notified of status of investigation. Appeals are made to Regional Administrator or the Director of the hotline. If subject desires, he or she may appeal to administrative hearing process of the State and then to courts. Perpetrator notified of disposition decision.
DCYesSubstantiated, unsubstantiated maintained separately without perpetrator identification. All reports are entered; only supported reports will remain in registry.Credible18th birthday of child if no suspicion or evidence that younger sibling being abused, or 5 years after end of services whichever is first.Appeal made to Child and Family Service Agency Office of Fair Hearings. Perpetrator notified of disposition decision.
FLNo refers to hotline which keeps reports for 7 years or youngest child is age 18.All reportsSubstantiated-preponderanceUntil 7 years after last entry to record or child turns 18. Unfounded and No Findings cases may be expunged if requested but must consider childs safety and likelihood of returning to system By request of subject of report or childs parent. No open cases can be expunged.Appeal not available for alleged perpetrator a childs due process. Perpetrator notified of disposition decision.
GANo - Ruled unconstitutional and replaced by Protective Services Data System (PSDT). PreponderancePSDT recording cancelled if review determines allegation should be unsubstantiated.May request either panel review or administrative review but not both. Neither will be scheduled if decision on allegations made or pending in juvenile or superior court court is recourse. Not required to notify perpetrator of disposition decision.
HIYesAll reportsReasonable, foreseeable riskIf petition dismissed by court or unsubstantiated shall be expunged within in 3 years. Ruled out, frivolous or bad faith allegations must be expunged within 60 days.Appeal made to Department of Human Services. Appeal must be made within 90 days from which client is notified. Perpetrator notified of disposition decision.
IAYesFounded on registry. Assessment data shall not be placed on registry. Department may develop rules for maintenance of data not placed on registry.PreponderanceFor founded cases data is sealed 10 years after last reported incident unless good cause is shown. Sealed data is expunged after 8 years unless case involves abuse, then kept for 30 years. Lack of preponderance that abuse has occurred.Appeal made to DHS Appeals Section. Other provisions: record check, evaluation and court review, and registry review (informal process). Subject may file written Statement within 6 months of notification to request correction of data or findings. Department provides evidentiary hearing. Subject may appeal finding of hearing in district court. Perpetrator notified of disposition decision.
IDYes Substantiated reportsPreponderanceReport is expunged no less than 5 years after Department has closed the case. As of 3/02, when a person has successfully appealed.Appeal made to Division administrator of Family and Community Services and regional program manager review appeals. Other provisions: Division Administrator works with Regional Program Manager for review. Perpetrator notified of disposition decision.
ILYesIndicated and unfounded under certain conditions (if requested to track false reporting, serious physical abuse, sexual abuse or child death).CredibleUnfounded expunged forthwith but information may be made available to CPS units when investigating a subsequent report or to subject of report if requested within 60 days.If subject requests removal within 60 days and department refuses or does not act within 30 days, subject has right to hearing. Hearing conducted by Director or his designee. Department has burden of proof. Appeals are made to an appeals unit. Perpetrator notified of disposition decision.
INYesSubstantiated; informal adjustment made after 180 days if family fails to comply with services.CredibleExpunged within 10 days if hearing officer finds it to be unsubstantiated, if court determines no CAN, criminal charges dismissed or result in not guilty verdict, No later than 6 months after name entered for failure to participate in a services agreement, not later than 20 years after court determines child in need of services or when victim reaches age 24. Expunged immediately for administrative or clerical error; 20 years or until victim reaches 24 years of age (if court adjudicated), or 180 days for unsubstantiated cases.Administrative hearing may be requested within 30 days after notified of substantiated. Conducted by Administrative hearing officer. Department has burden of proof. Appeal made to Judicial Court. Perpetrator notified of placement on central registry. Not required to notify perpetrator of disposition decision.
KSYesValidated reportsClear and ConvincingAfter 3 years from most recent incident or if new information found or circumstances change.Appeals made to Secretary. Perpetrator notified of disposition decision and of placement.
KYYesNot specified in process of changing criteria.Preponderance Appeals made to Office of Performance Enhancement, Quality Initiatives Branch. Other provisions: CAPTA, local resolution hearings, service complaints. Perpetrator notified of disposition decision.
LAYesValid ReportsReasonableIf unable to locate client or client is uncooperative, report is expunged after 3 years. Justified maintained until child is 18 or 5 years have passed since findings, whichever is longer. Fatality investigations with a valid finding maintained for 20 years.Appeals made to court. If report is recorded as justified and no petition is subsequently filed alleging the child is in need of care, subject may file a written motion for correction in parish court where finding was made. Perpetrator notified of disposition decision.
MAYesSupported cases. All reports unless determined allegation invalid (frivolous or absolute determination that no CA/N).ReasonableIf unsubstantiated expunged after 1 year. If substantiated when child reaches age 18 or 1 year after termination of services, whichever is last.Appeals may be made and fair hearing conducted by hearing officer. Other provisions: Superior Court, grievance procedure (e.g., against social worker, decision). Perpetrator notified of disposition decision.
MDYesIndicated reportsPreponderanceUnsubstantiated within 5 years if no further reports, if ruled out within 120 days if no further reports, after 7 years for substantiated if no further entries for individual.Appeal to office of Administrative Hearings, or to circuit court. Alleged perpetrator notified within 30 days of finding of substantiated or unsubstantiated of finding and opportunity to appeal. Perpetrator notified of disposition decision.
MEYes Substantiated reportsPreponderanceUnsubstantiated expunged after 18 months with no additional report, may be retained for 5 years for Medicaid audits but stored separately. If a finding is overturned on appeal, report is expunged immediately.Appeals go to Director, QA staff reviews, overturns are reviewed by Director or QA Supervisor. May appeal to superior court. Perpetrator notified of disposition decision.
MIYesSubstantiated before July 1, 1999. Afterward Category I or II (child not safe and in need of services) or perpetrators who cause serious harm.PreponderanceIf unsubstantiated (no timeframe given). If substantiated remains until subject is dead. Records can be expunged if child is safe and services dont need to be monitored, or if a case is downgraded to a less serious level.Perpetrator must be notified within 30 days of right to request expungement or an administrative hearing if refused. Hearing is before hearing officer appointed by the department and requires preponderance of evidence. May hold a re-hearing upon new evidence or misapplication of the law. Appeal to local office, administrative hearing by local FIA office that conducted investigation. Other provision: only alleged perpetrator or alleged perpetrators attorney can request can request expungement. Perpetrator notified of disposition decision.
MNNo PreponderanceNo determination of maltreatment or need for CPS services records must be maintained for 4 years. If determination of maltreatment or need for CPS services must be maintained for 10 years after final entry.Perpetrator notified of disposition decision.
MOYesCases that are court adjudicated, show probable cause for CAN.PreponderanceRecords are retained indefinitely. After 5 years if insufficient evidence of abuse and neglect is found, after 10 years if unable to locate subject may petition for removal after 1 year. Substantiated cases may be retained indefinitely.Perpetrator and parents notified of findings within 90 days. Have 60 days to request reversal. May seek administrative review by child abuse and neglect review board. Standard is probable cause. If unsatisfied may request judicial review in county of residence within 60 days. Appeals made to county office. Perpetrator notified of disposition decision.
MSYesAll credible evidence reportsCredibleIf subsequent information indicates credible evidence did not exist or decided as result of fair hearing process.Subject may request a fair hearing within 10 days. Hearing conducted by department. Subject may be represented by an attorney. Appeal to MS Division of Family and Childrens Services Protection Unit. Other provisions: Fair hearing, attorney representation, due process provided by CAPTA. Perpetrator notified of disposition decision when evidence is found.
MTYesAll reportsPreponderanceWithin 30 days of finding that report is unfounded.Subject may appeal to the division administrator, then may request Fair Hearing conducted by the departments hearing officer. Perpetrator notified of disposition decision.
NCYesAll reportsPreponderance Perpetrator notified of disposition decision.
NDYesServices required reportsSome credible evidence10 years from date of decisionStatute directs department to hold appeal hearings and adopt rules for doing so. Policy states that appeals made to Office of Administrative Hearings. Appeal made to DHS. Office of Administrative Hearings - conducts hearings. Perpetrator notified of disposition decision.
NEYesSubstantiated, petition to be filed. Inconclusive or unfounded.PreponderanceUnfounded expunged forthwith. Any record at any time if good cause and upon notice to subjects. Individuals may request expungement.Subject may request expungement at any time subsequent to finding. Appeal made to departments legal division and local court. Subject has right to fair hearing within department conducted by department head or designee. Department has burden of proof. These decisions may be appealed under the Administrative Procedure Act. Perpetrator notified of disposition decision.
NHYesFounded reportsPreponderanceFounded retained for 7 years. Unfounded at-risk reported maintained for 3 years. There is a proposal to expunge after 7 years this would become statute and policy.Fair hearing officer through Administrative Appeals Unit within DHHS. Other provisions: Administrative fair hearing. Perpetrators are notified and given opportunity to appeal. Not required to notify perpetrator of disposition decision.
NJYesFounded reportsPreponderanceUnfounded must be expunged (no timeframe given). Name may be removed on successful appeal through Divisions internal dispute procedures or court hearing.Initial appeal made to local division office. Internal administrative and court hearings. Subject has right to representation, to bring witnesses, review records, ask questions and submit written statements. Perpetrator notified of disposition decision.
NMYes Substantiated reportsCredibleAn individual can request a review, the results of a review are noted in the record, but persons name will not be removed.The results of any substantiated investigation which is not the subject of a court action may be reviewed through the Departments administrative review process. Not required to notify perpetrator of disposition decision.
NVYesSubstantiated Unless credible evidence of CA/N must be expunged at conclusion of investigation or no later than 60 days after report filed, whichever comes first. Substantiated reports sealed no later than 10 years after child turns 18. 
NYYesAll indicated reportsCredibleUnfounded or successfully appealed reports are sealed except for department, court or law enforcement use in subsequent investigations. All expunged 10 years after 18th birthday of youngest child named in report. Record may be expunged at any time by the Office of Children and Family Services if subject presents clear and convincing evidence that affirmatively refutes the allegation.Subject may request amendment of record up to 90 days after notified of completion of investigation. If commissioner does not amend report within 90 days subject may request fair hearing held by department or designated agency. If denied may then request a court hearing. Perpetrator notified of disposition decision.
OHYesAll reportsCredibleExpungement time frames are based on disposition or case resolution. No risk resolution is expunged after 3 months, low risk = 6 months, low, moderate risk = 1 year, moderate risk = 5 years, moderate, high risk = 10 years. Substantiated reports are expunged 10 years from date of disposition, indicated reports are expunged 5 years from date of disposition and unsubstantiated reports are expunged 3 months from the date of disposition unless subsequent reports are received. In the event that subsequent reports are received, reports are linked and maintained in accordance with longest retention timeframe.Within 3 days of completion of the assessment/investigation, the Public Children Services Agency (PCSA) shall notify the alleged perpetrator in writing of the case disposition. Administrative appeal made to, and grievance review by, the PCSA. No appeal at State level. Written copies of grievance process must be given within 3 working days of request. Perpetrator notified of disposition decision.
OKNo, but information system handles some functions.All reports except finding of reasonable parental discipline.CredibleExpunged only by order of the court unless other State or federal law specifies otherwise. Finding of reasonable parental discipline also expunged.Alleged perpetrator may appeal finding and placement of name on the information system. Administrative Review conducted at State office level. Perpetrator notified of disposition decision.
ORNone for perpetrators, but registry for victims.Founded reportsReasonable Perpetrator notified of disposition decision.
PAYesDetermined, founded, or indicated reportsSubstantial evidence or clear and convincing/beyond reasonable doubt.Unfounded are expunged 120 days after year of the report (except for cases accepted for services = 1 year plus 120 days after closure). Founded and Indicated cases are expunged when subject child reaches the age of 23. Perpetrators with date of birth or social security number information are kept indefinitely. Secretary may expunge at any time for good cause. If report is unfounded but subjects found to need services arranged by the county, the county may retain the record but identify it as unfounded.Person named as perpetrator may request amendment or expungement within 45 days of notification. Appeals made to Secretary of the department. If refused or not acted upon in 30 days, subject has right to hearing before the departments Bureau of Hearing and Appeals. Burden of proof is on the agency. Other provisions: Three levels 1: administrative review and OCYF, 2: hearing with bureau of hearings and appeals, 3: court system. Perpetrator notified of disposition decision.
RIYesAll reportsPreponderanceUnfounded destroyed 3 years. Indicated cases never expunged, except if appeal is in favor of alleged perpetrator.Appeal decided by administrative hearing officer. Can appeal to family court and as high as supreme court. Perpetrator notified of disposition decision.
SCYesOnly court ordered perpetrators.  PreponderanceInformation identifying alleged perpetrator must be removed immediately upon determination of unfounded. Category II and III unfounded record may be retained for 1 year. Other information must be destroyed 7 years from date services are terminated. Department may maintain indicated report without information identifying a perpetrator.Appeal to family court. Other provision: CPS Appeals Committee or family court. Perpetrator notified of disposition decision.
SDYesSubstantiated reportsPreponderanceUnsubstantiated must be expunged after 3 years if no subsequent reports. Substantiated may be removed after 7 years if individual requests a hearing and can prove by preponderance of the evidence that information should be removed. (Court adjudicated perpetrator may not request information removal.) Individual may request that inaccurate information be removed.Appeal to department through informal review process. Appeal process occurs before name placed on Central Registry. Perpetrator is notified 30 days before name goes into registry, during which time they can begin appeal process. Subject may request amendment or expungement in writing within 30 days of notice of substantiated. If denied or department does not act within 30 days may request an administrative hearing. Decision made by department but is subject to judicial review. Perpetrator notified of disposition decision.
TNYesAll reportsMaterial EvidenceWhen a defendant is found not guilty of severe child abuse or sexual abuse.Appeal made to Commissioners office. Other provisions: when a persons employment or volunteer status is affected. Not required to notify perpetrator of disposition decision.
TXYesDisposition of reason to believe or person designated as the perpetrator.PreponderanceRetained until 18th birthday of youngest child in the investigation or 5 years after case is closed whichever is first. If case involves removal, case is not expunged.Alleged perpetrator may request administrative review during investigation and a hearing regarding the departments decision to release information. Appeals made to TDPRS administrator not involved in the case. Other provision: Other appeals go to PRS Ombudsman and administrative law judge. Perpetrator notified of disposition decision.
UTYesConfirmed reportsReasonable Subject may challenge finding within 30 days of notification. Division may approve or deny. If Division requests it or fails to act within 30 days Office of Administrative Hearings and to district court holds adjudicative proceedings. Perpetrator notified of disposition decision.
VAYesCentral Registry for founded. Unfounded are kept in separate data system accessible only to department and local departments.PreponderanceUnfounded are maintained for 1 year in SACWIS; not kept in registry. Date of report if no subsequent reports. Department may keep them for up to 2 more years if requested by subject. Records may be purged immediately if court orders that civil action has determined bad faith. Founded level 1 expunged 18 years past date of complaint, level 2 expunged 7 years after date of complaint and level 3, 3 years after complaint.Appeal goes to local department; can be filed with State if appeal is upheld at local level. Other provisions: hearing with State hearing officer or circuit court. Perpetrator notified of disposition decision.
VTYesSubstantiatedReasonableInformation entered on individuals under age 10 expunged upon 18th birthday. Name of alleged perpetrator for unsubstantiated cases destroyed if no court proceeding brought within 1 year, kept indefinitely for substantiated cases of notification. All records destroyed when youngest child in the case reaches the age of 18.Person may apply at any time for review. Three levels: review by district director, review by commissioner and review by Human Services Board that holds a fair hearing. Perpetrator notified of disposition decision.
WANo perpetrators name recorded on CAMIS information system.All investigations, log of screened out casesPreponderanceAt the end of 6 years from receipt, an unfounded report shall be purged unless there has been a subsequent report.Person identified as the perpetrator shall be notified by certified mail with return receipt. Person named as perpetrator in founded report has the right to request review and amendment of finding within 20 days of receipt of written notification. The appeal is initially filed with the area administrator, then they can appeal to administrative law judge and then to superior court.
WINoAll reportsPreponderance Perpetrator notified of disposition decision.
WVYesOnly cases with criminal convictionsPreponderanceAll shall be destroyed six years following their preparation unless there are pending proceedings. N/A (since all are criminal convictions).No appeal process because part of criminal process. Not required to notify perpetrator of disposition decision.
WYYesFounded, under investigation, except when alleged perpetrator is a minor.CredibleData error, new evidence, change of findings due to administrative review, fair hearing, or district court appeal, rehabilitation is demonstrated as determined by panel, death of alleged perpetrator. Within 6 months, reports classified as under investigation must be classified as founded or unfounded. Unfounded must be expunged. Founded may be expunged if error shown, new evidence, successful appeal, rehabilitation is shown as determined by a panel appointed by Director, allegations substantiated at low risk or death of perpetrator.Appeal may be made initially to District Manager who attempts to resolve dispute. From there they go to an administrative hearing. Hearing Officer is provided by the department. Perpetrators may also provide a written statement for the file during investigation and up to 20 days after disposition. Perpetrator notified of disposition decision.