Colo. Rev. Stat. § 19-1-307

Current through Chapter 5 of the 2024 Legislative Session
Section 19-1-307 - Dependency and neglect records and information - access - fee - records and reports fund - misuse of information - penalty - adult protective services data system check - rules
(1)
(a)Identifying information - confidential. Except as otherwise provided in this section and section 19-1-303, reports of child abuse or neglect and the name and address of any child, family, or informant or any other identifying information contained in such reports shall be confidential and shall not be public information.
(b)Good cause exception. Disclosure of the name and address of the child and family and other identifying information involved in such reports shall be permitted only when authorized by a court for good cause. Such disclosure shall not be prohibited when there is a death of a suspected victim of child abuse or neglect and the death becomes a matter of public record or the alleged juvenile offender is or was a victim of abuse or neglect or the suspected or alleged perpetrator becomes the subject of an arrest by a law enforcement agency or the subject of the filing of a formal charge by a law enforcement agency.
(c) Any person who violates any provision of this subsection (1) commits a civil infraction.
(2)Records and reports - access to certain persons - agencies. Except as set forth in section 19-1-303, only the following persons or agencies have access to child abuse or neglect records and reports:
(a) The law enforcement agency, district attorney, coroner, or county or district department of human or social services investigating a report of a known or suspected incident of child abuse or neglect or treating a child or family that is the subject of the report;
(b) A physician who has before him or her a child whom the physician reasonably suspects to be abused or neglected;
(c) An agency having the legal responsibility or authorization to care for, treat, or supervise a child who is the subject of a report or record or a parent, guardian, legal custodian, or other person who is responsible for the child's health or welfare, including, in the case of an anatomical gift, a coroner and a procurement organization, as those terms are defined in section 15-19-202;
(d) Any person named in the report or record who was alleged as an abused or neglected child or, if the child named in the report or record is otherwise incompetent at the time of the request, the child's guardian ad litem or counsel for youth;
(e) A parent, guardian, legal custodian, or other person responsible for the health or welfare of a child named in a report, or the assigned designee of any such person acting by and through a validly executed power of attorney, with protection for the identity of reporters and other appropriate persons;
(e.5)
(I) A mandatory reporter specified in this subsection (2)(e.5)(I) who is and continues to be officially and professionally involved in the ongoing care of the child who was the subject of the report, but only with regard to information that the mandatory reporter has a need to know in order to fulfill the mandatory reporter's professional and official role in maintaining the child's safety. A county department shall request written affirmation from a mandatory reporter stating that the reporter continues to be officially and professionally involved in the ongoing care of the child who was the subject of the report and describing the nature of the involvement, unless the county department has actual knowledge that the mandatory reporter continues to be officially and professionally involved in the ongoing care of the child who was the subject of the report. This subsection (2)(e.5)(I) applies to:
(A) Hospital personnel engaged in the admission, care, or treatment of children;
(B) Mental health professionals;
(C) Physicians or surgeons, including physicians in training;
(D) Registered nurses or licensed practical nurses;
(E) Dentists;
(F) Psychologists;
(G) Unlicensed psychotherapists;
(H) Licensed professional counselors;
(I) Licensed marriage and family therapists;
(J) Public or private school officials or employees;
(K) Social workers or workers with any facility or agency that is licensed or certified pursuant to part 9 of article 6 of title 26 or part 3 of article 5 of title 26.5;
(L) Victim's advocates, as defined in section 13-90-107 (1)(k)(II), C.R.S.;
(M) Clergy members, as defined in section 19-3-304 (2)(aa)(III);
(N) Educators providing services through a federal special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children, as provided for in 42 U.S.C. sec. 1786;
(O) A person who is registered as a psychologist candidate pursuant to section 12-245-304 (3), marriage and family therapist candidate pursuant to section 12-245-504 (4), or licensed professional counselor candidate pursuant to section 12-245-604 (4), or who is described in section 12-245-217; and
(P) Officials or employees of county departments of health, human services, or social services.
(II) Within sixty calendar days after receipt of a report of suspected child abuse or neglect from a mandatory reporter specified in subsection (2)(e.5)(I) of this section, a county department shall provide the following information to the mandatory reporter for the purpose of assisting the mandatory reporter in his or her professional and official role in maintaining the child's safety:
(A) The name of the child and the date of the report;
(B) Whether the referral was accepted for assessment;
(C) Whether the referral was closed without services;
(D) Whether the assessment resulted in services related to the safety of the child;
(E) The name of and contact information for the county caseworker responsible for investigating the referral; and
(F) Notice that the reporting mandatory reporter may request updated information identified in sub-subparagraphs (A) to (E) of this subparagraph (II) within ninety calendar days after the county department received the report and information concerning the procedure for obtaining updated information.
(III) Information disclosed to a mandatory reporter pursuant to this paragraph (e.5) is confidential and shall not be disclosed by the mandatory reporter to any other person except as provided by law.
(IV) Unless requested by a county department, a mandatory reporter shall not have the authority to participate in any decision made by the county department concerning a report of abuse or neglect.
(V) In accordance with the "State Administrative Procedure Act", article 4 of title 24, C.R.S., the state department shall promulgate any rules necessary for the implementation of this paragraph (e.5).
(f) A court, upon its finding that access to such records may be necessary for determination of an issue before such court, but such access shall be limited to in camera inspection unless the court determines that public disclosure of the information contained therein is necessary for the resolution of an issue then pending before it;
(g) (Deleted by amendment, L. 2003, p. 1401, § 8, effective January 1, 2004.)
(h) All members of a child protection team, if one exists pursuant to section 19-3-308 (6)(a);
(i) Such other persons as a court may determine, for good cause;
(j) The state department of human services or department of early childhood or a county or district department of human or social services or a child placement agency investigating an applicant for a license to operate a child care facility or agency pursuant to section 26-6-912 or 26.5-5-316, when the applicant, as a requirement of the license application, has given written authorization to the licensing authority to obtain information contained in records or reports of child abuse or neglect. Access to the records and reports of child abuse or neglect granted to the named department or agencies must serve only as the basis for further investigation.
(j.5) The state department of human services, department of early childhood, or a county or district department of human or social services investigating an exempt family child care home provider pursuant to section 26.5-5-326, as a prerequisite to issuance or renewal of a contract or any payment agreement to receive money for the care of a child from publicly funded state child care assistance programs. Access to the records and reports of child abuse or neglect granted to the named department or agencies must serve only as the basis for further investigation.
(j.7) The department of early childhood, when requested in writing by any operator of a facility that is investigating an applicant for an employee or volunteer position with, or an employee or volunteer of, a licensed neighborhood youth organization pursuant to section 26.5-5-308, when the applicant, employee, or volunteer has given written authorization to the department of early childhood to check records or reports of child abuse or neglect. Any operator who requests information concerning an individual who is not a current employee or an applicant for employment commits a class 2 misdemeanor and shall be punished pursuant to section 18-1.3-501. Within twenty days after the operator's request, the department of early childhood shall provide the date of the report of the incident, the location of investigation, the type of abuse and neglect, and the county that investigated the incident contained in the confirmed reports of child abuse or neglect.
(j.8) The state department of human services or department of early childhood investigating any person required to submit to a background check pursuant to section 26-6-705 (2), when the person has given written authorization to the state department of human services or department of early childhood to check records or reports of child abuse or neglect;
(k) The state department of human services or department of early childhood, when requested in writing by any operator of a facility or agency that is licensed by the state department of human services pursuant to section 26-6-912 or department of early childhood pursuant to section 26.5-5-316, to check records or reports of child abuse or neglect for the purpose of screening an applicant for employment or a current employee. Any operator who requests information concerning an individual who is not a current employee or an applicant for employment commits a class 2 misdemeanor and shall be punished as provided in section 18-1.3-501. Within twenty days after the operator's request, the state department of human services or department of early childhood shall provide the date of the report of the incident, the location of investigation, the type of abuse and neglect, and the county that investigated the incident contained in the confirmed reports of child abuse and neglect. Any operator who releases any information obtained pursuant to this subsection (2)(k) to any other person commits a class 2 misdemeanor and shall be punished pursuant to section 18-1.3-501.
(k.5) The state department of human services or department of early childhood, when requested in writing by a qualified county department, individual, or child placement agency approved to conduct home study investigations and reports pursuant to section 19-5-207.5 (2)(b)(I) for purposes of screening a prospective adoptive parent or any adult residing in the home pursuant to section 19-5-207 (2.5)(c), or investigating a prospective foster care parent, kinship care parent, or an adult residing in the home pursuant to section 26-6-912 (1)(c). Within twenty days after the request, the state department of human services or department of early childhood shall provide the date of the report of the incident, the location of investigation, the type of abuse and neglect, and the county that investigated the incident contained in the confirmed reports of child abuse or neglect. The county department, individual, or child placement agency is subject to the fee assessment established in subsection (2.5) of this section. With respect to screening a prospective adoptive parent, any employee of the county department or the child placement agency or any individual who releases any information obtained pursuant to this subsection (2)(k.5) to any person other than the adoption court commits a class 2 misdemeanor and shall be punished pursuant to section 18-1.3-501.
(l) The state department of human services or department of early childhood, when requested in writing by the department of education to check records or reports of child abuse or neglect for the purpose of aiding the department of education in its investigation of an allegation of abuse by an employee of a school district in this state. Within twenty days after the department of education's request, the state department of human services or department of early childhood shall provide the date of the report of the incident, the location of investigation, the type of abuse or neglect, and the county that investigated the incident contained in the confirmed reports of child abuse or neglect. The department of education is subject to the fee assessment established in subsection (2.5) of this section. Any employee of the department of education who releases any information obtained under this subsection (2)(l) to any person not authorized to receive the information pursuant to section 22-32-109.7 or any member of the board of education of a school district who releases the information obtained pursuant to section 22-32-109.7 commits a class 2 misdemeanor and shall be punished pursuant to section 18-1.3-501.
(m) The department of early childhood, state department of human services, and county departments of human or social services, for the following purposes:
(I) Screening any person who seeks employment with, is currently employed by, or volunteers for service with the department of early childhood, state department of human services, department of health care policy and financing, or a county department of human or social services, if the person's responsibilities include direct contact with children;
(II) Conducting evaluations pursuant to section 14-10-127, C.R.S.;
(III) Screening any person who will be responsible to provide child care pursuant to a contract with a county department for placements out of the home or private child care;
(IV) Screening prospective adoptive parents;
(n) Private adoption agencies, including private adoption agencies located in other states, for the purpose of screening prospective adoptive parents;
(o) A person, agency, or organization engaged in a bona fide research or evaluation project, but without information identifying individuals named in a report, unless having said identifying information open for review is essential to the research and evaluation, in which case the executive director of the state department of human services shall give prior written approval and the child through a legal representative shall give permission to release the identifying information;
(o.5) An auditor conducting a financial or performance audit of a county department of human or social services pursuant to section 26-1-114.5, C.R.S.;
(p) A governing body as defined in section 19-1-103;
(q) (Deleted by amendment, L. 2003, p. 1401, § 8, effective January 1, 2004.)
(r) The department of early childhood, when requested in writing by any operator of a guest child care facility or public service short-term child care facility that is investigating an applicant for a supervisory employee position or an employee of a guest child care facility or a public services short-term child care facility pursuant to section 26.5-5-307, when the applicant or employee, as a requirement of application for employment, has given written authorization to the department of early childhood to check records or reports of child abuse or neglect. Any operator who requests information concerning an individual who is not a current employee or an applicant for employment commits a class 2 misdemeanor and shall be punished pursuant to section 18-1.3-501. Within twenty days after the operator's request, the department of early childhood shall provide the date of the report of the incident, the location of investigation, the type of abuse and neglect, and the county that investigated the incident contained in the confirmed reports of child abuse and neglect.
(s) The state department of human services or the department of early childhood investigating a prospective CASA volunteer for the CASA program when the prospective CASA volunteer has given written authorization to the CASA program to check any records or reports of child abuse or neglect pursuant to section 19-1-205 (3) (a.5);
(t) State, county, and local government agencies of other states and child placement agencies located in other states, for the purpose of screening prospective foster or adoptive parents or any adult residing in the home of the prospective foster or adoptive parents;
(u) The child protection ombudsman program created in section 19-3.3-102, when conducting an investigation pursuant to article 3.3 of this title;
(v) A licensed child placement agency, for the purpose of screening prospective foster parents, any adult residing in the home of the prospective foster parent, and specialized group facilities, pursuant to the following conditions:
(I) Access is limited to information concerning a current or prospective foster parent, an adult residing in the home of the current or prospective foster parent, or a specialized group facility and includes only the following information:
(A) Whether a report of child abuse or neglect has been made regarding the person;
(B) The general nature of the alleged incident of child abuse or neglect, including the category of the allegation, and the name and relationship of the perpetrator and victim;
(C) Whether the report of child abuse or neglect was screened for assessment;
(D) The outcome of the investigation including the investigator's summary of the reason or reasons for his or her finding or conclusions; and
(E) Child care and child welfare licensing history;
(II)
(A) Access is limited to one person at each child placement agency, as designated by the agency and reported to the state department of human services.
(B) The state department of human services shall monitor a child placement agency's access to the records and reports of child abuse or neglect to ensure that the child placement agency is accessing the records and reports of child abuse or neglect in accordance with this paragraph (v).
(C) An unaccepted referral or an unfounded or inconclusive assessment pursuant to subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (v) does not necessarily require that a current or prospective foster parent be denied placement pursuant to this article.
(w) The designated authorities at the military base of assignment or installation for a member of the armed forces or a spouse, or a significant other or family member residing in the home of the member of the armed forces who is the individual responsible for the abused or neglected child. The authorities may be designated in a memorandum of understanding as described and authorized in section 19-1-303 (2.6).
(x) A county department that assesses or provides protective services for at-risk adults, pursuant to article 3.1 of title 26, when the information is necessary for the county department to adequately assess for safety and risk or to provide protective services for an at-risk adult. The information disclosed pursuant to this subsection (2)(x) is limited to information regarding prior or current referrals, assessments, investigations, or case information related to a child or an alleged perpetrator. A county department that assesses or provides protective services for children is permitted to access information from a county department that assesses or provides protective services for at-risk adults pursuant to section 26-3.1-102 (7)(b)(VIII). The provisions of this subsection (2)(x) are in addition to and not in lieu of other federal and state laws concerning protected or confidential information.
(y) The state department of human services, department of early childhood, or a requesting individual, or the individual's designee, after proof of identification, when requested in writing to check records or reports of child abuse or neglect of the requesting individual for the purpose of screening the requesting individual when the requesting individual's responsibilities include care of children, treatment of children, supervision of children, or unsupervised contact with children.
(2.3) The following agencies or attorneys appointed by the court must be granted statewide read-only access to the name index and register of actions for the judiciary department:
(a) Criminal justice agencies as described in section 24-72-302 (3), C.R.S.;
(b) County departments, as defined in section 19-1-103, and attorneys who represent the county departments as county attorneys, as defined in section 19-1-103, as it relates to the attorneys' work representing the county;
(c) Guardians ad litem or counsel for youth under contract with the office of the child's representative, created in section 13-91-104, or authorized by the office of the child's representative to act as a guardian ad litem or counsel for youth, as it relates to a case in which they are appointed by the court; and
(d) A respondent parent's counsel under contract with the office of the respondent parents' counsel, created in section 13-92-103, or authorized by the office of the respondent parents' counsel to act as a respondent parent's counsel, as it relates to a case in which they are appointed by the court.
(2.5)Fee - records and reports fund - rules.
(a) Any person or agency provided information from the state department of human services or department of early childhood pursuant to subsections (2)(i), (2)(k) to (2)(o), (2)(t), and (2)(y) of this section and any child placement agency must be assessed a fee that is established and collected by the state department of human services or established and collected by the department of early childhood pursuant to parameters set forth in rule established by the state board of human services or the department of early childhood pursuant to parameters set forth in rule established by the executive director of the department of early childhood, whichever is applicable. At a minimum, the rules must include a provision requiring the state department of human services or department of early childhood, as applicable, to provide notice of the fee to interested persons and the maximum fee amount that the department shall not exceed without the express approval of the state board of human services or executive director of the department of early childhood, as applicable. The fee established must not exceed the direct and indirect costs of administering subsections (2)(i), (2)(k) to (2)(o), (2)(t), and (2)(y) of this section.
(b) All fees collected in accordance with subsection (2.5)(a) of this section must be transmitted to the state treasurer who shall credit the same to the records and reports fund, which fund is hereby created. The fund also consists of fees credited to the fund pursuant to section 26-3.1-111. The money in the records and reports fund is subject to annual appropriation by the general assembly for the direct and indirect costs of administering subsections (2)(i), (2)(k) to (2)(o), (2)(t), and (2)(y) of this section and for the direct and indirect costs described in section 26-3.1-111.
(3) After a child who is the subject of a report to the state department of human services reaches the age of eighteen years, access to that report shall be permitted only if a sibling or offspring of such child is before any person mentioned in subsection (2) of this section and is a suspected victim of child abuse or neglect.
(4) Any person who improperly releases or who willfully permits or encourages the release of data or information contained in the records and reports of child abuse or neglect to persons not permitted access to such information by this section or by section 19-1-303 commits a class 2 misdemeanor and shall be punished as provided in section 18-1.3-501.

C.R.S. § 19-1-307

Amended by 2023 Ch. 434,§ 20, eff. 6/9/2023.
Amended by 2023 Ch. 251,§ 16, eff. 5/24/2023.
Amended by 2023 Ch. 95,§ 1, eff. 4/20/2023.
Amended by 2022 Ch. 92, § 20, eff. 1/9/2023.
Amended by 2022 Ch. 123, § 35, eff. 7/1/2022.
Amended by 2021 Ch. 462, § 386, eff. 3/1/2022.
Amended by 2021 Ch. 136, § 72, eff. 10/1/2021.
Amended by 2020 Ch. 304, § 64, eff. 7/14/2020.
Amended by 2019 Ch. 136, § 111, eff. 10/1/2019.
Amended by 2019 Ch. 265, § 2, eff. 8/2/2019.
Amended by 2019 Ch. 311, § 1, eff. 8/2/2019.
Amended by 2019 Ch. 46, § 1, eff. 8/2/2019.
Amended by 2019 Ch. 14, § 1, eff. 8/2/2019.
Amended by 2018 Ch. 38, § 36, eff. 8/8/2018.
Amended by 2017 Ch. 332, § 3, eff. 8/9/2017.
Amended by 2017 Ch. 272, § 7, eff. 5/30/2017.
Amended by 2017 Ch. 194, § 1, eff. 12/31/2017.
Amended by 2017 Ch. 158, § 16, eff. 8/9/2017.
Amended by 2017 Ch. 107, § 4, eff. 8/9/2017.
Amended by 2015 Ch. 259, § 42, eff. 8/5/2015.
Amended by 2015 Ch. 306, § 1, eff. 7/1/2015.
Amended by 2015 Ch. 324, § 3, eff. 6/5/2015.
Amended by 2015 Ch. 263, § 13, eff. 6/2/2015.
Amended by 2013 Ch. 77, § 5, eff. 8/7/2013.
L. 96: Entire part added with relocations, p. 1166, § 6, effective January 1, 1997; (2)(q) added and (2.5) amended, pp. 1587, 1588, §§ 16, 17, effective January 1, 1997. L. 98: IP(2) and (2)(p) amended, p. 821, § 25, effective August 5; (2)(m)(II) amended, p. 1408, § 67, effective February 1, 1999. L. 99: (2)(k.5) added, p. 1025, § 10, effective May 29. L. 2002: (2)(e) amended, p. 1809, § 2, effective July 1; (2)(r) added, p. 411, § 3, effective July 1; (2)(k) amended, p. 1523, § 224, effective October 1. L. 2003: (2), (2.5), and (3) amended and (4) added, p. 1401, § 8, effective January 1, 2004. L. 2006: (2)(j.5) added, p. 1084, § 5, effective May 25. L. 2007: (2)(j.5) amended, p. 318, § 3, effective April 2; (2)(r) amended, p. 866, § 3, effective May 14; (2)(k.5), (2)(n), and (2.5) amended and (2)(t) added, p. 1015, § 1, effective May 22; (2)(c) amended, p. 798, § 7, effective July 1. L. 2008: (2.3) added, p. 1243, § 6, effective August 5; (2.5) amended, p. 1892, § 62, effective August 5. L. 2010: (2)(j.7) added, (HB 10 -1044), ch. 288, p. 288, § 3, effective April 14; (2)(u) added, (SB 10-171), ch. 982, p. 982, § 3, effective May 14; (2)(e.5) added, (SB 10-152), ch. 971, p. 971, § 1, effective September 1. L. 2011: IP(2)(e.5)(I) and (2)(e.5)(I)(G) amended, (SB 11-187), ch. 1327, p. 1327, § 70, effective July 1; (2)(j.7) amended, (HB 11-1145), ch. 563, p. 563, § 5, effective August 10; IP(2)(e.5)(I), (2)(e.5)(I)(L), and (2)(e.5)(I)(M) amended and (2)(e.5)(I)(N) added, (SB 11-034), ch. 390, p. 390, § 2, effective January 1, 2012. L. 2013: (2)(e.5)(I)(M) and (2)(e.5)(I)(N) amended and (2)(e.5)(I)(O) added, (HB 13 -1104), ch. 248, p. 248, § 5, effective August 7. L. 2015: (2)(k.5) amended, (SB 15-087), ch. 1019, p. 1019, § 13, effective June 2; (2)(o) amended and (2)(o.5) added, (HB 15-1370), ch. 1326, p. 1326, § 3, effective June 5; (2)(v) added, (HB 15-1248), ch. 1253, p. 1253, § 1, effective July 1; (2.5) amended, (SB 15-264), ch. 952, p. 952, § 42, effective August 5. L. 2017: (2.5) amended, (HB 17-1284), ch. 1503, p. 1503, § 7, effective May 31; IP(2) amended and (2)(w) added, (SB 17-028), ch. 1784, p. 1784, § 3, effective August 9; (2)(c) amended, (SB 17-223), ch. 563, p. 563, § 16, effective August 9; (2)(h) amended, (SB 17 -016), ch. 392, p. 392, § 4, effective August 9; IP(2)(e.5)(I), (2)(e.5)(I)(N), (2)(e.5)(I)(O), and IP(2)(e.5)(II) amended and (2)(e.5)(I)(P) added, (HB 17-1185), ch. 709, p. 709, § 1, effective December 31. L. 2018: (2)(a), (2)(j), (2)(j.5), IP(2)(m), and (2)(m)(I) amended, (SB 18 -092), ch. 411, p. 411, § 36, effective August 8. L. 2019: (2)(j.8) added, (HB 19-1142), ch. 2509, p. 2509, § 2, effective August 2; (2)(w) and (2.5) amended and (2)(y) added, (SB 19-177), ch. 2810, p. 2810, § 1, effective August 2; (2)(x) added, (HB 19 -1063), ch. 155, p. 155, § 1, effective August 2; IP(2.3) and (2.3)(d) amended, (HB 19 -1104), ch. 56, p. 56, § 1, effective August 2; (2)(e.5)(I)(O) amended, (HB 19-1172), ch. 1681, p. 1681, § 111, effective October 1. L. 2020: (2)(e.5)(I)(G) amended, (HB 20-1206), ch. 1550, p. 1550, § 64, effective July 14. L. 2021: IP(2), (2)(p), and (2.3)(b) amended, (SB 21-059), ch. 730, p. 730, § 72, effective October 1; (1)(c), (2)(k), and (4) amended, (SB 21-271), ch. 3219, p. 3219, § 386, effective March 1, 2022.

(1) This section was formerly numbered as § 19-1-120 .

(2) Amendments to the introductory portion to subsection (2)(e.5)(I) by Senate Bill 11-187 and Senate Bill 11-034 were harmonized, effective January 1, 2012.

(3) Section 803(2) of chapter 462 (SB 21-271), Session Laws of Colorado 2021, provides that the act changing this section applies to offenses committed on or after March 1, 2022.

For the legislative declaration contained in the 2002 act amending subsection (2)(k), see section 1 of chapter 318, Session Laws of Colorado 2002. For the legislative declaration contained in the 2003 act amending subsections (2), (2.5), and (3) and enacting subsection (4), see section 1 of chapter 196, Session Laws of Colorado 2003. For the legislative declaration in HB 15-1370, see section 1 of chapter 324, Session Laws of Colorado 2015. For the legislative declaration in SB 18-092, see section 1 of chapter 38, Session Laws of Colorado 2018.