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The information provided is for general guidance to facilitate the efficient and appropriate sharing of information based on relevant federal and state laws. It is not intended to answer all questions regarding information sharing and confidentiality, nor does it is replace the need for a review of the statutes or the advice of legal counsel. It is important to remember that laws frequently change and application of the law is very dependent on the facts in an individual case. Please contact your legal counsel or other knowledgeable professional if you need clarification or have questions.

The information in this guide is current as of January 1, 2013.

Professionals working with children and families must comply with a number of laws governing access and confidentiality of records and information. This guide provides an overview of these laws and how they allow for the sharing of information among certain entities under specific circumstances. It is divided into the following areas:

General Principles discusses confidentiality in the legal context, including professional ethics and the right of privacy, the assumption of openness in government, and the nature of "privileged communications."

Child Protection Records discusses the confidentiality of records held by the Department of Children and Families concerning its activities to ensure the welfare of all children in the state, including reports made by persons outside the agency alleging that a child is being abused, neglected or uncared for.

Education Records discusses the information held by educational institutions and the principal laws that govern its access.

Health Care Records discusses the laws that control the dissemination of health care information generated and maintained by health care professionals concerning a person's physical, mental and behavioral health.

Juvenile Court Records discusses the cases that come before the Juvenile Matters Division of the Superior Court, what information is generated, and how that information can be shared among those involved in the court proceeding.

Juvenile Justice Records discusses the juvenile justice system and the laws that govern access to information concerning the criminal conduct of juveniles.

Each section describes the nature of the information maintained, the laws that govern access to and disclosure of the information, and how different individuals and organizations can access the information for legitimate purposes.


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