Florida Senate - 2018                                    SB 1650
       By Senator Montford
       3-01078A-18                                           20181650__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to child abuse, abandonment, and
    3         neglect; amending s. 39.202, F.S.; prohibiting the
    4         Department of Children and Families from releasing the
    5         names of certain persons who have provided information
    6         during a protective investigation except under certain
    7         circumstances; providing an effective date.
    9  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   11         Section 1. Subsections (2) and (5) of section 39.202,
   12  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
   13         39.202 Confidentiality of reports and records in cases of
   14  child abuse or neglect.—
   15         (2) Except as provided in subsection (4), access to such
   16  records, excluding the name of the reporter and the names of
   17  instructional personnel as defined in s. 1012.01(2), school
   18  administrators as defined in s. 1012.01(3)(c), and educational
   19  support employees as described in s. 1012.01(6)(a) who have
   20  provided information during a protective investigation which
   21  shall be released only as provided in subsection (5), shall be
   22  granted only to the following persons, officials, and agencies:
   23         (a) Employees, authorized agents, or contract providers of
   24  the department, the Department of Health, the Agency for Persons
   25  with Disabilities, the Office of Early Learning, or county
   26  agencies responsible for carrying out:
   27         1. Child or adult protective investigations;
   28         2. Ongoing child or adult protective services;
   29         3. Early intervention and prevention services;
   30         4. Healthy Start services;
   31         5. Licensure or approval of adoptive homes, foster homes,
   32  child care facilities, facilities licensed under chapter 393,
   33  family day care homes, providers who receive school readiness
   34  funding under part VI of chapter 1002, or other homes used to
   35  provide for the care and welfare of children;
   36         6. Employment screening for caregivers in residential group
   37  homes; or
   38         7. Services for victims of domestic violence when provided
   39  by certified domestic violence centers working at the
   40  department’s request as case consultants or with shared clients.
   42  Also, employees or agents of the Department of Juvenile Justice
   43  responsible for the provision of services to children, pursuant
   44  to chapters 984 and 985.
   45         (b) Criminal justice agencies of appropriate jurisdiction.
   46         (c) The state attorney of the judicial circuit in which the
   47  child resides or in which the alleged abuse or neglect occurred.
   48         (d) The parent or legal custodian of any child who is
   49  alleged to have been abused, abandoned, or neglected, and the
   50  child, and their attorneys, including any attorney representing
   51  a child in civil or criminal proceedings. This access must shall
   52  be made available no later than 60 days after the department
   53  receives the initial report of abuse, neglect, or abandonment.
   54  However, any information otherwise made confidential or exempt
   55  by law may shall not be released pursuant to this paragraph.
   56         (e) Any person alleged in the report as having caused the
   57  abuse, abandonment, or neglect of a child. This access must
   58  shall be made available no later than 60 days after the
   59  department receives the initial report of abuse, abandonment, or
   60  neglect and, when the alleged perpetrator is not a parent, must
   61  shall be limited to information involving the protective
   62  investigation only and may shall not include any information
   63  relating to subsequent dependency proceedings. However, any
   64  information otherwise made confidential or exempt by law may
   65  shall not be released pursuant to this paragraph.
   66         (f) A court upon its finding that access to such records
   67  may be necessary for the determination of an issue before the
   68  court; however, such access must shall be limited to inspection
   69  in camera, unless the court determines that public disclosure of
   70  the information contained therein is necessary for the
   71  resolution of an issue then pending before it.
   72         (g) A grand jury, by subpoena, upon its determination that
   73  access to such records is necessary in the conduct of its
   74  official business.
   75         (h) Any appropriate official of the department or the
   76  Agency for Persons with Disabilities who is responsible for:
   77         1. Administration or supervision of the department’s
   78  program for the prevention, investigation, or treatment of child
   79  abuse, abandonment, or neglect, or abuse, neglect, or
   80  exploitation of a vulnerable adult, when carrying out his or her
   81  official function;
   82         2. Taking appropriate administrative action concerning an
   83  employee of the department or the agency who is alleged to have
   84  perpetrated child abuse, abandonment, or neglect, or abuse,
   85  neglect, or exploitation of a vulnerable adult; or
   86         3. Employing and continuing employment of personnel of the
   87  department or the agency.
   88         (i) Any person authorized by the department who is engaged
   89  in the use of such records or information for bona fide
   90  research, statistical, or audit purposes. Such individual or
   91  entity shall enter into a privacy and security agreement with
   92  the department and shall comply with all laws and rules
   93  governing the use of such records and information for research
   94  and statistical purposes. Information identifying the subjects
   95  of such records or information shall be treated as confidential
   96  by the researcher and may shall not be released in any form.
   97         (j) The Division of Administrative Hearings for purposes of
   98  any administrative challenge.
   99         (k) Any appropriate official of an a Florida advocacy
  100  council in this state investigating a report of known or
  101  suspected child abuse, abandonment, or neglect; the Auditor
  102  General or the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government
  103  Accountability for the purpose of conducting audits or
  104  examinations pursuant to law; or the guardian ad litem for the
  105  child.
  106         (l) Employees or agents of an agency of another state that
  107  has comparable jurisdiction to the jurisdiction described in
  108  paragraph (a).
  109         (m) The Public Employees Relations Commission for the sole
  110  purpose of obtaining evidence for appeals filed pursuant to s.
  111  447.207. Records may be released only after deletion of all
  112  information which specifically identifies persons other than the
  113  employee.
  114         (n) Employees or agents of the Department of Revenue
  115  responsible for child support enforcement activities.
  116         (o) Any person in the event of the death of a child
  117  determined to be a result of abuse, abandonment, or neglect.
  118  Information identifying the person reporting abuse, abandonment,
  119  or neglect may shall not be released. Any information otherwise
  120  made confidential or exempt by law may shall not be released
  121  pursuant to this paragraph.
  122         (p) An employee of the local school district who is
  123  designated as a liaison between the school district and the
  124  department pursuant to an interagency agreement required under
  125  s. 39.0016 and the principal of a public school, private school,
  126  or charter school where the child is a student. Information
  127  contained in the records which the liaison or the principal
  128  determines are necessary for a school employee to effectively
  129  provide a student with educational services may be released to
  130  that employee.
  131         (q) An employee or agent of the Department of Education who
  132  is responsible for the investigation or prosecution of
  133  misconduct by a certified educator.
  134         (r) Staff of a children’s advocacy center that is
  135  established and operated under s. 39.3035.
  136         (s) A physician licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459,
  137  a psychologist licensed under chapter 490, or a mental health
  138  professional licensed under chapter 491 engaged in the care or
  139  treatment of the child.
  140         (t) Persons with whom the department is seeking to place
  141  the child or to whom placement has been granted, including
  142  foster parents for whom an approved home study has been
  143  conducted, the designee of a licensed residential group home
  144  described in s. 39.523, an approved relative or nonrelative with
  145  whom a child is placed pursuant to s. 39.402, preadoptive
  146  parents for whom a favorable preliminary adoptive home study has
  147  been conducted, adoptive parents, or an adoption entity acting
  148  on behalf of preadoptive or adoptive parents.
  149         (5)(a) The name of any person reporting child abuse,
  150  abandonment, or neglect may not be released to any person other
  151  than employees of the department responsible for child
  152  protective services, the central abuse hotline, law enforcement,
  153  the child protection team, or the appropriate state attorney,
  154  without the written consent of the person reporting. This does
  155  not prohibit the subpoenaing of a person reporting child abuse,
  156  abandonment, or neglect when deemed necessary by the court, the
  157  state attorney, or the department, provided the fact that such
  158  person made the report is not disclosed. Any person who reports
  159  a case of child abuse or neglect may, at the time he or she
  160  makes the report, request that the department notify him or her
  161  that a child protective investigation occurred as a result of
  162  the report. Any person specifically listed in s. 39.201(1) who
  163  makes a report in his or her official capacity may also request
  164  a written summary of the outcome of the investigation. The
  165  department must shall mail such a notice to the reporter within
  166  10 days after completing the child protective investigation.
  167         (b) The names of instructional personnel as defined in s.
  168  1012.01(2), school administrators as defined in s.
  169  1012.01(3)(c), and educational support employees as described in
  170  s. 1012.01(6)(a) who have provided information during a
  171  protective investigation may not be released to any person other
  172  than employees of the department responsible for child
  173  protective services, the central abuse hotline, law enforcement,
  174  the child protection team, or the appropriate state attorney
  175  without the written consent of such personnel.
  176         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2018.