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Title IV EXECUTIVE BRANCH

Chapter 37

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  37.710.  Access to information — authority of office — confidentiality of information. — 1.  The office shall have access to the following information:

  (1)  The names and physical location of all children in protective services, treatment, or other programs under the jurisdiction of the children's division, the department of mental health, and the juvenile court;

  (2)  All written reports of child abuse and neglect; and

  (3)  All current records required to be maintained pursuant to chapters 210 and 211.

  2.  The office shall have the authority:

  (1)  To communicate privately by any means possible with any child under protective services and anyone working with the child, including the family, relatives, courts, employees of the department of social services and the department of mental health, and other persons or entities providing treatment and services;

  (2)  To have access, including the right to inspect, copy and subpoena records held by the clerk of the juvenile or family court, juvenile officers, law enforcement agencies, institutions, public or private, and other agencies, or persons with whom a particular child has been either voluntarily or otherwise placed for care, or has received treatment within this state or in another state;

  (3)  To work in conjunction with juvenile officers and guardians ad litem;

  (4)  To file any findings or reports of the child advocate regarding the parent or child with the court, and issue recommendations regarding the disposition of an investigation, which may be provided to the court and to the investigating agency;

  (5)  To file amicus curiae briefs on behalf of the interests of the parent or child, or to file such pleadings necessary to intervene on behalf of the child at the appropriate judicial level using the resources of the office of the attorney general;

  (6)  To initiate meetings with the department of social services, the department of mental health, the juvenile court, and juvenile officers;

  (7)  To take whatever steps are appropriate to see that persons are made aware of the services of the child advocate's office, its purpose, and how it can be contacted;

  (8)  To apply for and accept grants, gifts, and bequests of funds from other states, federal, and interstate agencies, and independent authorities, private firms, individuals, and foundations to carry out his or her duties and responsibilities.  The funds shall be deposited in a dedicated account established within the office to permit moneys to be expended in accordance with the provisions of the grant or bequest;

  (9)  Subject to appropriation, to establish as needed local panels on a regional or county basis to adequately and efficiently carry out the functions and duties of the office, and address complaints in a timely manner; and

  (10)  To mediate between alleged victims of sexual misconduct and school districts or charter schools as provided in subsection 1 of section 160.262.

  3.  For any information obtained from a state agency or entity under sections 37.700 to 37.730, the office of child advocate shall be subject to the same disclosure restrictions and confidentiality requirements that apply to the state agency or entity providing such information to the office of child advocate.  For information obtained directly by the office of child advocate under sections 37.700 to 37.730, the office of child advocate shall be subject to the same disclosure restrictions and confidentiality requirements that apply to the children's division regarding information obtained during a child abuse and neglect investigation resulting in an unsubstantiated report.

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(L. 2004 H.B. 1453, A.L. 2011 S.B. 54, A.L. 2013 H.B. 505, A.L. 2014 H.B. 1092 merged with S.B. 869)


---- end of effective   28 Aug 2014 ----

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37.710 8/28/2014
37.710 8/28/2013 8/28/2014

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