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RULE §707.765Who may obtain confidential abuse, neglect, and exploitation investigation information from the Child Care Investigation’s file made confidential under the federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act and Texas Human Resources Code (HRC) §§40.005and 42.004?

(a) The following may obtain confidential abuse, neglect, and exploitation information from us subject to the limitations described in §707.767 (relating to Are there any portions of the abuse, neglect, or exploitation investigation records that may not be released to anyone?) and §707.769 (relating to Who can review or have a copy of a photograph or an audio or visual recording, depiction, or documentation of a child that is in the abuse, neglect or exploitation investigation records maintained by us?) in this division:

  (1) Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) staff, including volunteers, as necessary to perform their assigned duties;

  (2) Child Care Licensing (CCL) pursuant to HRC §40.042(f), in order to carry out its regulatory functions under HRC Chapter 42;

  (3) The parent of the child who is the subject of the investigation;

  (4) An attorney ad litem, guardian ad litem, or court appointed special advocate of an alleged victim of child abuse, neglect, or exploitation;

  (5) The alleged perpetrator, or the parent of an alleged perpetrator that is a minor;

  (6) Law enforcement;

  (7) A member of the state legislature when necessary to carry out that member's official duties;

  (8) A residential child care operation;

  (9) A child day care operation cited for a deficiency by CCL as a result of the investigation;

  (10) A single-source continuum contractor (SSCC) for community-based care that subcontracts with the child care operation where the investigation occurred;

  (11) An administrative law judge who conducts a due process hearing related to a finding of abuse, neglect, or exploitation or related to an enforcement action taken by CCL or another state agency as a result of the finding. See Division 7 of this subchapter (relating to Due Process Hearings);

  (12) A judge of a court of competent jurisdiction in a criminal or civil case arising out of an investigation of child abuse, neglect, or exploitation, if the judge:

    (A) provides notice to DFPS and any other interested parties;

    (B) after reviewing the information, including audio and/or videotapes, determines that the disclosure is essential to the administration of justice and will not endanger the life or safety of any individual; and

    (C) includes in the disclosure order any safeguards that the court finds appropriate to protect the interest of the child involved in the investigation;

  (13) According to Texas Family Code (TFC) §162.0062, a prospective adoptive parent of a child who is the subject of the investigation or who is the alleged or designated perpetrator in the investigation;

  (14) A child care licensing agency or child welfare agency from another state that requests information on the alleged perpetrator as part of a background check or to assist in its own child abuse, neglect, or exploitation investigation;

  (15) A state protection and advocacy system, such as Disability Rights Texas, that is representing or is authorized by state or federal law to represent a child that is the subject of the investigation; and

  (16) Any other person authorized by state or federal law to have a copy.

(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the parent of a child who is not the subject of the investigation or the alleged or designated perpetrator in the investigation but was a collateral witness during the investigation is entitled to the portion of the investigation record related to their child.

(c) A social study evaluator may obtain a complete, non-redacted copy of any investigative report regarding abuse, neglect, or exploitation that relates to any person residing in the residence subject to the child custody evaluation, as provided by TFC §107.111.

Source Note: The provisions of this §707.765 adopted to be effective July 15, 2020, 45 TexReg 4780; amended to be effective January 3, 2022, 46 TexReg 9417; amended to be effective September 22, 2022, 47 TexReg 6250

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