KANSAS OFFICE of
  REVISOR of STATUTES

  

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38-2212. Appropriate and necessary access; exchange of information; court ordered disclosure; limited public information. (a) Principle of appropriate access. Information contained in confidential agency records concerning a child alleged or adjudicated to be in need of care may be disclosed as provided in this section. Disclosure shall in all cases be guided by the principle of providing access only to persons or entities with a need for information that is directly related to achieving the purposes of this code.

(b) Free exchange of information. Pursuant to K.S.A. 2017 Supp. 38-2210, and amendments thereto, the secretary and juvenile intake and assessment agencies shall participate in the free exchange of information concerning a child who is alleged or adjudicated to be in need of care.

(c) Necessary access. The following persons or entities shall have access to information from agency records. Access shall be limited to information reasonably necessary to carry out their lawful responsibilities, to maintain their personal safety and the personal safety of individuals in their care, or to educate, diagnose, treat, care for or protect a child alleged to be in need of care. Information authorized to be disclosed pursuant to this subsection shall not contain information which identifies a reporter of a child who is alleged or adjudicated to be a child in need of care.

(1) A child named in the report or records, a guardian ad litem appointed for the child and the child's attorney.

(2) A parent or other person responsible for the welfare of a child, or such person's legal representative.

(3) A court-appointed special advocate for a child, a citizen review board or other advocate which reports to the court.

(4) A person licensed to practice the healing arts or mental health profession in order to diagnose, care for, treat or supervise: (A) A child whom such service provider reasonably suspects may be in need of care; (B) a member of the child's family; or (C) a person who allegedly abused or neglected the child.

(5) A person or entity licensed or registered by the secretary of health and environment or approved by the secretary of social and rehabilitation services to care for, treat or supervise a child in need of care.

(6) A coroner or medical examiner when such person is determining the cause of death of a child.

(7) The state child death review board established under K.S.A. 22a-243, and amendments thereto.

(8) An attorney for a private party who files a petition pursuant to subsection (b) of K.S.A. 2017 Supp. 38-2233, and amendments thereto.

(9) A foster parent, prospective foster parent, permanent custodian, prospective permanent custodian, adoptive parent or prospective adoptive parent. In order to assist such persons in making an informed decision regarding acceptance of a particular child, to help the family anticipate problems which may occur during the child's placement, and to help the family meet the needs of the child in a constructive manner, the secretary shall seek and shall provide the following information to such person's as the information becomes available to the secretary:

(A) Strengths, needs and general behavior of the child;

(B) circumstances which necessitated placement;

(C) information about the child's family and the child's relationship to the family which may affect the placement;

(D) important life experiences and relationships which may affect the child's feelings, behavior, attitudes or adjustment;

(E) medical history of the child, including third-party coverage which may be available to the child; and

(F) education history, to include present grade placement, special strengths and weaknesses.

(10) The state protection and advocacy agency as provided by subsection (a)(10) of K.S.A. 65-5603 or subsection (a)(2)(A) and (B) of K.S.A. 74-5515, and amendments thereto.

(11) Any educational institution to the extent necessary to enable the educational institution to provide the safest possible environment for its pupils and employees.

(12) Any educator to the extent necessary to enable the educator to protect the personal safety of the educator and the educator's pupils.

(13) Any other federal, state or local government executive branch entity or any agent of such entity, having a need for such information in order to carry out such entity's responsibilities under the law to protect children from abuse and neglect.

(d) Specified access. The following persons or entities shall have access to information contained in agency records as specified. Information authorized to be disclosed pursuant to this subsection shall not contain information which identifies a reporter of a child who is alleged or adjudicated to be a child in need of care.

(1) Information from confidential agency records of the department of social and rehabilitation services, a law enforcement agency or any juvenile intake and assessment worker of a child alleged or adjudicated to be in need of care shall be available to members of the standing house or senate committee on judiciary, house committee on corrections and juvenile justice, house committee on appropriations, senate committee on ways and means, legislative post audit committee and any joint committee with authority to consider children's and families' issues, when carrying out such member's or committee's official functions in accordance with K.S.A. 75-4319, and amendments thereto, in a closed or executive meeting. Except in limited conditions established by ⅔ of the members of such committee, records and reports received by the committee shall not be further disclosed. Unauthorized disclosure may subject such member to discipline or censure from the house of representatives or senate. The secretary of social and rehabilitation services shall not summarize the outcome of department actions regarding a child alleged to be a child in need of care in information available to members of such committees.

(2) The secretary of social and rehabilitation services may summarize the outcome of department actions regarding a child alleged to be a child in need of care to a person having made such report.

(3) Information from confidential reports or records of a child alleged or adjudicated to be a child in need of care may be disclosed to the public when:

(A) The individuals involved or their representatives have given express written consent; or

(B) the investigation of the abuse or neglect of the child or the filing of a petition alleging a child to be in need of care has become public knowledge, provided, however, that the agency shall limit disclosure to confirmation of procedural details relating to the handling of the case by professionals.

(e) Court order. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, a court of competent jurisdiction, after in camera inspection, may order disclosure of confidential agency records pursuant to a determination that the disclosure is in the best interests of the child who is the subject of the reports or that the records are necessary for the proceedings of the court and otherwise admissible as evidence. The court shall specify the terms of disclosure and impose appropriate limitations.

(f) (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, except as provided in paragraph (4), in the event that child abuse or neglect results in a child fatality or near fatality, reports or records of a child alleged or adjudicated to be in need of care received by the secretary, a law enforcement agency or any juvenile intake and assessment worker shall become a public record and subject to disclosure pursuant to K.S.A. 45-215, and amendments thereto.

(2) Within seven days of receipt of a request in accordance with the procedures adopted under K.S.A. 45-220, and amendments thereto, the secretary shall notify any affected individual that an open records request has been made concerning such records. The secretary or any affected individual may file a motion requesting the court to prevent disclosure of such record or report, or any select portion thereof. If the affected individual does not file such motion within seven days of notification, and the secretary has not filed a motion, the secretary shall release the reports or records. If such motion is filed, the court shall consider the effect such disclosure may have upon an ongoing criminal investigation, a pending prosecution, or the privacy of the child, if living, or the child's siblings, parents or guardians. The court shall make written findings on the record justifying the closing of the records and shall provide a copy of the journal entry to the affected parties and the individual requesting disclosure pursuant to the Kansas open records act, K.S.A. 45-215 et seq., and amendments thereto.

(3) For reports or records requested pursuant to this subsection, the time limitations specified in this subsection shall control to the extent of any inconsistency between this subsection and K.S.A. 45-218, and amendments thereto. As used in this section, "near fatality" means an act that, as certified by a person licensed to practice medicine and surgery, places the child in serious or critical condition.

(4) Nothing in this subsection shall allow the disclosure of reports, records or documents concerning the child and such child's biological parents which were created prior to such child's adoption. Nothing herein is intended to require that an otherwise privileged communication lose its privileged character.

History: L. 1982, ch. 182, § 7; L. 1983, ch. 140, § 14; L. 1985, ch. 145, § 1; L. 1988, ch. 138, § 2; L. 1990, ch. 147, § 1; L. 1992, ch. 318, § 2; L. 1996, ch. 229, § 33; L. 1997, ch. 156, § 41; L. 1998, ch. 171, § 7; L. 1999, ch. 116, § 43; L. 2000, ch. 150, § 5; L. 2002, ch. 135, § 1; L. 2004, ch. 178, § 4; L. 2010, ch. 75, § 8; July 1.

Revisor's Note:

Section was also amended by L. 2004, ch. 144, § 1, but that version was repealed by L. 2004, ch. 178, § 7.

Section was neither amended nor repealed in the 2014 session by L. 2014, ch. 115.


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