CAPTA Fatality Disclosure Policy - National Resource Center for

Report
Children’s Bureau
Policy Division Update
Presented By:
Jennifer Grayson
Children’s Bureau
Policy Division
April 23, 2013
1
NEW FEDERAL LAWS
2
The Protect Our Kids Act of 2012
The Protect Our Kids Act was signed by the President on January 14, 2013
• Established the Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities.
• Members are to study data on fatalities, prevention methods, and the
adequacy of current programs.
• Will develop recommendations for a national strategy to reduce fatalities
resulting from child abuse and neglect.
• 12 members appointed by the President and congressional leaders.
• Members are required to have relevant experience.
• A report to the President and Congress with findings and recommendations is
due within 2 years of the appointment of a majority of members.
• Federal agencies must develop a plan to address the Commission’s
recommendations within six months after the report is submitted to the President
and Congress.
3
The Uninterrupted Scholars Act
The Uninterrupted Scholars Act was signed by the
President on January 14, 2013
• Amended the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA ) which
protects the privacy of student educational records.
• Allows educational agencies or institutions to disclose educational records to a
child welfare agency without parental consent.
• The educational agency or institution is no longer required to provide a parent
and student notice that educational records were disclosed pursuant to a court
order or subpoena when it is issued in the context of a child welfare proceeding
and the parent is a party to the proceeding.
4
New Children’s Bureau
Policy
5
CAPTA Fatality Disclosure Policy
What change was made?

The Children’s Bureau revised our policy regarding State
requirements for public disclosure of information about child
fatalities and near fatalities that are a result of child abuse or
neglect.

Now when releasing information, States must disclose
specific minimum information to the public including prior
case history related to the fatality or near fatality.

Exceptions, such as protecting the well-being and safety of
children and families, are allowed.
6
CAPTA Fatality Disclosure Policy
New Q/A in the CWPM
2.1A.4 8. Question:
Section 106(b)(2)(B)(x) of CAPTA requires States
to provide for the public disclosure of findings or
information about a case of child abuse or neglect
which results in a child fatality or near fatality.
Under this provision, is there information that a
State must disclose to the public?
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CAPTA Fatality Disclosure Policy:
New Q/A, con’t
2.1A.4 8. Answer:
Yes. States must develop procedures for the release of information including,
but not limited to: the cause of and circumstances regarding the fatality or near
fatality; the age and gender of the child; information describing any previous
reports or child abuse or neglect investigations that are pertinent to the child
abuse or neglect that led to the fatality or near fatality; the result of any such
investigations; and the services provided by and actions of the State on behalf
of the child that are pertinent to the child abuse or neglect that led to the fatality
or near fatality.
State policies must ensure compliance with any other relevant federal
confidentiality laws, including the confidentiality requirements applicable to titles
IV-B and IV-E of the Social Security Act. States may allow exceptions to the
release of information in order to ensure the safety and well-being of the child,
parents and family or when releasing the information would jeopardize a
criminal investigation, interfere with the protection of those who report child
abuse or neglect or harm the child or the child’s family.
8
CAPTA Fatality Disclosure Policy:
What section of the law does this change address?

This is a CAPTA State plan assurance.

The statutory mandate for States to have a procedure to provide this
information is in section 106(b)(2)(B)(x) of CAPTA.

The State must assure that it has provisions in place which allow for
public disclosure of the findings or information about the case of
child abuse or neglect which has resulted in a child fatality or near
fatality.
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CAPTA Fatality Disclosure Policy
Why was the policy change made?

The Administration recognized that some States want to provide
the public with a full picture of the agency’s involvement when child
abuse or neglect is the cause of a child fatality or near fatality.

Prior Federal policy did not precisely describe what information
may be disclosed and allowed for State discretion in releasing the
facts, findings, and information.

Now, unless there is an exception, States must provide a specific
set of minimum information as outlined in the new policy.
10
CAPTA Fatality Disclosure Policy:
Which Manual questions were revised?
From section 2.1A.1, CAPTA,
Assurances and Requirements, Access
to Child Abuse and Neglect Information,
Confidentiality, the following Q/A’s were
modified:
• Questions, 1, 2, 6, and 8
11
CAPTA Fatality Disclosure Policy:
Which Manual questions were revised?,
con’t
From section 2.1A.4, CAPTA, Assurances
and Requirements, Access to Child Abuse
and Neglect Information, Public disclosure,
the following Q/A’s were modified:
• Questions 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7
• 2.1A.4 Question 2 was deleted
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CAPTA Fatality Disclosure
Policy
How is the new policy
different from the previous
policy?
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CAPTA Fatality Disclosure Policy:
How is the new policy different?

Previously, States were required to have procedures
to release available facts about a case of child abuse
or neglect that resulted in a fatality/near fatality, but
there was not a requirement about specific minimum
information required to be released.
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CAPTA Fatality Disclosure Policy:
How is the new policy different?, con’t

Now, when States disclose information, they will now be required to
include the following minimum information:

The cause and circumstances regarding the fatality or near
fatality.

The age and gender of the child.

Information describing any previous reports of child abuse or
neglect that are pertinent to the abuse or neglect that led to the
fatality/near fatality.

Information describing any previous investigations pertinent to the
abuse or neglect that led to the fatality/near fatality.

The result of any such investigations.

The services provided by the State and actions of the State on
behalf of the child that are pertinent to the child abuse or neglect
that led to the fatality or near fatality.
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CAPTA Fatality Disclosure Policy:
How is the new policy different?, con’t

States are now mandated to disclose information on
previous reports, investigations and any other agency
involvement as long as it is pertains to the child abuse or
neglect that resulted in a child fatality or near fatality.

Previously, the Child Welfare Manual had addressed only
the exception to releasing the information to avoid
jeopardizing criminal investigations or proceedings.

The new policy explicitly permits States to have other
exceptions that include ensuring the safety and well-being
of the child/family.
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CAPTA Fatality Disclosure
Policy
What has Not Changed as a
Result of the New Policy?
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CAPTA Fatality Disclosure Policy:
What has not changed?

States still have flexibility around how to release information about child
fatalities and near fatalities resulting from child abuse and neglect.

States may have a procedure that requires the State to release the
mandated information upon request only.

States may still choose to release the information through an annual
report rather than in response to individual requests, as long as the
minimum information is contained in the report.

States are still not required to release information when it would
jeopardize a criminal investigation or proceeding.

State policies still must comply with the confidentiality requirements
applicable to titles IV-B and IV-E of the Social Security Act, except for
what must be released in accordance with the new policy.
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CAPTA Fatality Disclosure Policy:
What has not changed?, con’t

States are not required to release the child’s name.

States are not required to release the full case record.

States are not required to release sibling or family
information unless it is pertinent to the child abuse or
neglect that led to the fatality or near fatality (per the new
Q/A).
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CAPTA Fatality Disclosure
Policy
Next Steps/What does this
mean for States?
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CAPTA Fatality Disclosure Policy:
Next Steps

The Children’s Bureau issued ACYF-CB-PI-13-04 on April 10th.

It instructs States on what to do in regard to the State plan
assurance related to the public disclosure requirement.

States must assure that their public disclosure procedures adhere
to the updated guidance in section 2.1A.4 of the Child Welfare
Policy Manual regarding section 106(b)(2)(B)(x) of CAPTA.

If the State’s procedures do not, the State must describe in the
CAPTA section of the APSR the actions the State will take to meet
the assurance, such as necessary changes to law or policies and
the timeframe required, and resubmit the assurance when the
actions are completed.
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RESOURCES

CB Website
http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/laws-policies

Child Welfare Policy Manual
http://www.acf.hhs.gov/cwpm/programs/cb/laws_policies/
laws/cwpm/index.jsp

Contact Info
o
[email protected]
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Time for Questions!
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