for information-sharing between states. 194 In 2012, HHS conducted a study on the feasibility of a
national registry.195 HHS reported that twenty-eight percent of the states reported a willingness to
change state laws to participate in a national registry. 196 A majority of the states reported that a
national registry would save time and improve child safety. 197 Despite these studies and some
limited interstate agreements, 198 however, the goal of a national registry that would promote
interstate information sharing has yet to be realized.
9. Persons Reporting Potential Abuse or Dangerous Situations
Every state requires certain persons in their official capacities to report suspected cases of
child abuse and neglect, and all citizens are permitted to report any suspicions or knowledge of
mistreatment. 199 Twenty-one states also allow reporters of abuse to have limited access to child
abuse records. 200 For example, Georgia allows any adult who has made a report to request
notification of the status and outcome of the investigation by the department. 201 In general, no
personally identifying information or other sensitive data contained in the record is released. 202
As the information is limited to confirmation and disposition of an investigation, this type of
disclosure presents little risk to the child. Allowing the reporter to follow up on whether any
action was taken, however, does provide limited accountability.
Four states provide access to additional parties that do not share a common theme with
the federal regulation or a majority of other states. 203 Most of these additions are to individuals or
agencies with corrolary duties to those categories listed above, such as additional agencies tasked
with the responsibility to conduct employment background checks. 204 The most removed group
194 42 U.S.C.A. § 16990(a) (West 2014).
195 See generally Laura Radel, U.S. Dep’t of Health & Hum. Servs., Presentation for the State Liasion Officers: Study of the
Feasibility of a National Child Abuse Registry (Apr. 16, 2012), http://nrccps.org/wp-content/uploads/Study-of-the-Feasibility-of-
National-Child-Abuse-Registry-CJA-SLO-Annual-Meeting-April-2012.pptx (outlining the findings of a feasibility study on a national
child abuse registry, focusing on the costs and benefits, current and future data collection standards, and due process proceudres for a
196 Id. at 18.
197 Id. at 22 (seventy-four percent of states indicated the registry would save time and sixty percent felt it would improve child safety).
198 See, e.g., Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children, CAL. DEP’T SOC. SERVICES,
http://www.childsworld.ca.gov/pg1316.htm (last visited Jan. 30, 2014).
199 CHILD WELFARE INFO. GATEWAY, U.S. DEP’T HEALTH & HUMAN SERVS., MANDATORY REPORTERS OF CHILD ABUSE AND
NEGLECT 2-3 (2012), available at https://www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/laws_policies/statutes/manda.pdf.
200 The states that grant access to persons making a report are Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa,
Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio,
Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Wyoming.
201 GA. CODE ANN. § 49-5-41(a)(5) (West 2013).
202 CHILD WELFARE INFO. GATEWAY, U.S. DEP’T HEALTH & HUMAN SERVS., DISCLOSURE OF CONFIDENTIAL CHILD ABUSE AND
NEGLECT RECORDS 2 (2013), available at https://www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/laws_policies/statutes/confide.pdf.
203 The states providing access to additional parties are Florida, Maine, New Jersey, and Tennessee. See REV. STAT. ANN. tit. 22, §
4008(2)(k) (2013) (granting access to animal control); N.J. STAT. ANN. § 9:6-8.10a(b)(11) (West 2013) (granting access to the Victims
of Crime Compensation Board); TENN. CODE ANN. § 37-1-612(c)(8) (West 2013) (granting access to the Tennessee Claims
Commission, which adjudicates tax claims). Florida stands out as the state with the most miscellaneous additions, allowing for
disclosure to five parties not recognized by other states or federal law. FLA. STAT. ANN. § 39.202(2) (West 2013). The first is "any
appropriate official" of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities responsible for "taking appropriate administrative action concerning
an employee … who is alleged to have perpetrated child abuse," or who is responsible for the employment of personnel. Id. §
39.202(2)(h). The second party is the state “Division of Administrative Hearings for the purposes of any administrative challenge.” Id.
§ 39.202(2)(j). The third party is the Public Employees Relations Commission when the records are needed as evidence during
disputes between public employees and their employers. Id. § 39.202(2)(m). This provision limits release of the records only after
redaction of information identifying any person other than the employee. Id. The fourth party is the employees or agents of the Florida
Department of Revenue in order to assist in child-support enforcement. Id. § 39.202(2)(n). Finally, Florida grants access to health-plan payors as long as the information is used only for “insurance reimbursement purposes.” Id. § 39.202(6).
204 See FLA. STAT. ANN. § 39.202(2)(a), (h) (granting access to the Agency for Persons with Disabilities); N.J. STAT. ANN. § 9:6-
8.10a(b)(11) (granting access to the Victims of Crime Compensation Board).