What does Child Protective Services do with their data?
May 6, 2013 12:49 PM Subscribe
Wife and I are now in the Child Protective Services database in Colorado after someone observed bruises and blisters on our three year old and spoke to a 'mandatory reporter' about it. I want to know what is retained in the record/database, how long is it retained, and who can access it. My own attorney was not helpful in answering these questions.
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My wife and I were recently present as a (formerly) trusted leader of our community explained that as a mandatory reporter she had to report hearsay from someone else in the community about bruises and blisters on our 3-year-old. We never noticed anything noteworthy on our active (regularly skiing, sledding, trampolining generally rambunctious) dry-skinned (eczema diagnosed) daughter, nor did any of her regular full-time professional daycare center care providers. Please assume that this was a reckless report, perhaps intended to make us feel unwelcome in the community. In the ~2 weeks since the report we have not been contacted by CPS.
Our bigger concern is the generation of a CPS record, and potential personal and professional repercussions of the presence of this data in a world where information moves in an increasingly frictionless manner. Who can access this data, and for what reason? Can the FBI, in conducting a federal security clearance background check? Are these databases rigorously secure against hackers? How long is the data retained? How can I find an attorney to assist with these questions? For instance, is there some pro-active measure that can result in sealing or deleting the data (similar to the legal rights one has with a credit report?)
My own attorney was not helpful in answering these questions. She did make a referral to another attorney, but explained that the referral was to an attorney who works with CPS as a child advocate. How can I be confident that I'm paying attorney fees to someone who understands the data-side issues of CPS? (Or alternatively, is this information easily accessible, and I just haven't found it yet.?)