Ga. Code § 49-5-40

Current through 2019-2020 Chapter 609
Section 49-5-40 - Definitions; confidentiality of records; restricted access to records
(a) As used in this article, the term:
(1) "Abused" means subjected to child abuse.
(2) "Child" means an individual under 18 years of age.
(3) "Child abuse" means:
(A) Physical injury or death inflicted upon a child by a parent, guardian, legal custodian, or caretaker thereof by other than accidental means; provided, however, that physical forms of discipline may be used as long as there is no physical injury to the child;
(B) Neglect or exploitation of a child by a parent, guardian, legal custodian, or caretaker thereof;
(C) Sexual abuse of a child;
(D) Sexual exploitation of a child; or
(E) Emotional abuse of a child.

However, no child who in good faith is being treated solely by spiritual means through prayer in accordance with the tenets and practices of a recognized church or religious denomination by a duly accredited practitioner thereof shall, for that reason alone, be considered to be abused.

(4) "Child advocacy center" means an entity which is operated for the purposes of investigating known or suspected child abuse and treating a child or a family that is the subject of a report of child abuse and which:
(A) Has been created and supported through one or more intracommunity compacts between such center and:
(i) One or more law enforcement agencies within this state; any other state; the United States, including its territories, possessions, and dominions; or a foreign nation;
(ii) The office of the district attorney, Attorney General, or United States Attorney;
(iii) A legally mandated public or private child protective agency within this state; any other state; the United States, including its territories, possessions, and dominions; or a foreign nation;
(iv) A mental health board within this state; any other state; the United States, including its territories, possessions, and dominions; or a foreign nation; or
(v) A community health service board within this state; any other state; the United States, including its territories, possessions, and dominions; or a foreign nation; and
(B) Has been approved by a protocol committee established under Chapter 15 of Title 19.
(5) "Court" means a judge of any court of record or an administrative law judge of the Office of State Administrative Hearings.
(6) "Emotional abuse" shall have the same meaning as set forth in Code Section 15-11-2.
(7) "Legal custodian" shall have the same meaning as set forth in Code Section 15-11-2.
(8) "Near fatality" means an act that places a child in serious or critical condition as certified by a physician.
(9) "Record" shall include documents, books, maps, drawings, computer based or generated information, data, data fields, digital images, photographs, video images, audio recordings, and video recordings.
(10) "Sexual abuse" means an individual's employing, using, persuading, inducing, enticing, or coercing any child who is not that individual's spouse to engage in any act which involves:
(A) Sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between individuals of the same or opposite sex;
(B) Bestiality;
(C) Masturbation;
(D) Lewd exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of any individual;
(E) Flagellation or torture by or upon an individual who is nude;
(F) Condition of being fettered, bound, or otherwise physically restrained on the part of an individual who is nude;
(G) Physical contact in an act of apparent sexual stimulation or gratification with any individual's clothed or unclothed genitals, pubic area, or buttocks or with a female's clothed or unclothed breasts;
(H) Defecation or urination for the purpose of sexual stimulation; or
(I) Penetration of the vagina or rectum by any object except when done as part of a recognized medical procedure.
(11) "Sexual exploitation" means conduct by any individual who allows, permits, encourages, or requires any child to engage in:
(A) Trafficking of persons for labor or sexual servitude, in violation of Code Section 16-5-46;
(B) Prostitution, in violation of Code Section 16-6-9;
(C) Obscene depiction of a minor, in violation of Code Section 16-11-40.1;
(D) Nude or sexually explicit electronic transmission, in violation of Code Section 16-11-90; or
(E) Sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing any visual or print medium depicting such conduct, in violation of Code Section 16-12-100.
(b) Each and every record concerning reports of child abuse and child controlled substance or marijuana abuse which is in the custody of the department, other state or local agency, or child advocacy center is declared to be confidential, and access thereto is prohibited except as provided in Code Sections 49-5-41 and 49-5-41.1.
(c) Each and every record concerning child abuse or neglect which is received by the department from the child abuse and neglect registry of any other state shall not be disclosed or used outside the department for any other purpose other than conducting background checks to be used in foster care and adoptive placements.

OCGA § 49-5-40

Amended by 2017 Ga. Laws 275,§ 49, eff. 5/9/2017.
Amended by 2016 Ga. Laws 344,§ 2, eff. 7/1/2016.
Amended by 2009 Ga. Laws 151,§ 3, eff. 5/5/2009.
Amended by 2009 Ga. Laws 16,§ 1, eff. 7/1/2009.
Amended by 2007 Ga. Laws 248,§ 7, eff. 5/24/2007.