CHILD WELFARE MANUAL

Section 5, Chapter 5 (Record Retention and Expungement), Subsection 2 – Other Records

Effective Date:  5-1-19

 

Policies regarding the retention and destruction of other records are as follows.

5.2.1 Removing Extraneous Material from the Record at Closure

Workers shall remove and expunge extraneous material from case records prior to or at the time of case closing. Supervisors shall screen case records at the time of closing to assure extraneous material has been removed by the worker. Extraneous materials are notes, observations, or impressions that have not been summarized; phone messages; E-mails; or material not pertinent to the case or that has been formally documented elsewhere in the case record. Workers should assure that un-summarized material pertinent to the case record that is not documented elsewhere should be documented in the case narrative prior to expunging extraneous material.

5.2.2 Removing Criminal History from Records

The FBI has specific regulations in regard to destruction and archiving of criminal records. State archiving does not meet FBI regulations and no records should be sent to state archives that contain criminal history records.  This includes foster, relative and kinship licensing records, adoption records, ICPC and family-centered-out-of-home records. This information must be removed from the record prior to being sent to state archives. Fingerprints are to be removed from any case file and destroyed when a case file is closed.

The FBI requires that criminal history records be destroyed so they are not viewable. Records must be shredded or incinerated in order to meet this requirement. However, records must be destroyed either by a Children’s Division employee or in the presence of a Children’s Division employee. FBI regulations allow for contractors to destroy records as long as a CD staff person is present (i.e. done on-site). However, if the contractor picks documents to be destroyed and takes them to another location, this is considered outsourcing and does not meet FBI regulations and should not be used for the destruction of records containing criminal history records.

This pertains to specific criminal history such as fingerprints, RAP (Record of Arrests and Prosecutions) sheets, and documentation of specific criminal history. Staff may remove all references to specific criminal history from the record prior to archiving or shredding by a contractor. Criminal history records should be shredded by Children’s Division staff only.

5.2.3 Family-Centered Services (FCS) Case Records

Closed FCS case records will be retained indefinitely.

5.2.4 Family-Centered Out-of-Home Care Case (FCOOHC) Records

Closed Family-Center Out-of Home Care case records are retained indefinitely.

5.2.5 Foster/Relative Resources

Foster/relative/kinship parent records shall be permanently retained. Any application submitted and withdrawn by a foster/relative/kinship parent shall also be permanently retained, as shall any rejected foster/relative parent assessment.

Any foster/relative/kinship home license that has been denied, involuntarily suspended or revoked shall be permanently retained. The Division shall retain the Resource Home Adverse Action Report, CS-20, the Notification of Resource Home Adverse Action, CS-20a, supporting documentation for the adverse action, and any appeal information.

Foster/relative/kinship parent records that completed a guardianship on a child they had in their home and received a Legal Guardianship Subsidy shall be permanently retained after the last date of closing of the Legal Guardianship Subsidy.

Retain forever any foster/relative parent record in which the foster/relative parent has adopted a child in his/her care, who was previously in the custody of the Division.

5.2.6 Potential Adoptive Resource Records

Destroy an adoptive family record five years after closing, if no placement has occurred.

Destroy in five years those adoptive applications that have been withdrawn, and those family assessments that have been rejected.

Never destroy an adoptive family record for a family who adopted a child previously in the custody of the Division, or any other public or private agency.

5.2.7 Adoption and Legal Guardianship Resource Records

Adoption and legal guardianship resource records, the birth parent record of a child relinquished for adoption, family-centered services cases and the family-centered out-of-home care record for a child removed from his/her birth family and not returned, are all retained indefinitely.

5.2.8 Residential Child Care and Child Placing Agency Licensing Records

Open and/or active residential child care and child placing agency licensing records shall be retained indefinitely.

Closed and/or inactive residential child care and child placing agency licensing records shall be retained ten (10) years from the date of closing, after which it shall be destroyed.

Voluntarily withdrawn residential child care and/or child placing initial applications shall be retained for ten (10) years following the applicant’s voluntary withdrawal, after which it shall be destroyed.

Any residential child care agency and/or child placing agency license that has been denied, involuntarily suspended or revoked shall be retained forever. The Division shall retain the Resource Home Adverse Action Report, CS-20, the due process letter(s), supporting documentation for the adverse action, and any appeal information.