SCS/SB 715 - Under this act, records relating to foster home or kinship placements of children in foster care shall be considered closed records under state law. Such records may be disclosed as provided for in this act. A parent or legal guardian of a child in foster care may have access to investigation records kept by the Children's Division regarding the denial, suspension, or revocation of the license of a foster home in which the child was placed. The Division's response to a request for the release of such information shall not include financial, medical, or other personal information relating to the foster home provider and the foster home provider's family, unless the Division determines that the information is directly relevant to the disposition of the investigation and report.
The Division may disclose or utilize information and records relating to foster homes in its discretion and as needed for the administration of the foster care program. The Director of the Department of Social Services shall authorize the disclosure of such information in cases of child fatalities or near-fatalities to courts, juvenile officers, law enforcement agencies, and prosecuting and circuit attorneys upon written request and as related to their duties under law. Finally, the Division may disclose such information and records to specified individuals that have a need for the information to conduct their lawful duties.
This act also provides that all papers, records, and information known to or in the possession of an adoptive parent or adoptive child that pertain to an adoption may be disclosed by the adoptive parent or adoptive child. Nothing in this act shall be construed to create a right to have access to information not otherwise allowed under existing state law concerning information in adoption records.
This act is substantially similar to provisions in the truly agreed to and finally passed CCS/SB 819 (2018), HCS/SB 850 (2018), and HCB 11 (2018) and similar to HB 196 (2018).