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8-502 Foster parent and child welfare agency information; confidentiality

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The state bar of arizona
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A. Unless otherwise provided by law and except as provided in subsection E, F or G of this section, all personal information concerning a foster parent applicant or licensee or an individual who applies for or receives a child welfare agency license is confidential and may not be released, unless the release is ordered by the superior court or provided for by court rule. DCS information is confidential and may be released only as prescribed in section 8-807.

B. Foster parent information is confidential, except the department may release the information prescribed in subsection C of this section if the foster parent’s license has been revoked or all of the following apply:

1. No foster children are residing in the home.

2. The department has begun a licensing denial, suspension or revocation action.

3. The foster parent’s identity has been made public by sources outside the department.

C. If requested, the department may release the following foster care parent information if permissible under subsection B of this section:

1. The name of the licensee.

2. The dates of current and past licensure.

3. Any training in which the licensee participated.

4. The number, ages and gender of children for which the foster care provider is licensed.

5. Any complaints that do not involve a child safety or an office of child welfare investigations investigation.

6. Any restrictions on the license of the licensee.

D. Child welfare agency information is not confidential, except for both of the following:

1. Any DCS information in the licensing files of the department.

2. The address of any facility where a foster child is placed, even if the address is also the corporate address of the child welfare agency.

E. An employee of the department of child safety, the department of law or a court may obtain the information described in subsection A, B, C or D of this section in the performance of the employee’s duties.

F. An employee of the department of child safety, the department of law or a court may release information that is otherwise confidential under this section under any of the following circumstances:

1. To an applicant or licensee if a request is made in writing specifically requesting information that directly relates to the person who requests the information.

2. In oral or written communications involving the provision of services or the referral to services between employees of, persons under contract with or persons holding a general employment relationship with the department of child safety, the department of law or the juvenile court.

3. If the disclosure is necessary to protect against a clear and substantial risk of imminent serious injury to a client of the department of child safety.

4. To an agency of the federal government, this state or another state or any political subdivision of this state for official purposes. Information received by a governmental agency pursuant to this paragraph shall be maintained as confidential unless the information is pertinent to a criminal prosecution.

5. To a foster parent or a parent certified to adopt if the information is necessary to assist in the placement with or care of a child by the foster parent or person certified to adopt.

6. To an officer of the superior court, the department or an agency that is required to perform an investigation pursuant to section 8-105, if the information is pertinent to the investigation. Information received pursuant to this paragraph may be disclosed to the court, but shall otherwise be maintained as confidential.

G. Notwithstanding sections 8-519, 8-541 and 8-542, a standing committee of the legislature or a committee appointed by the president of the senate or the speaker of the house of representatives may obtain information described in subsection A, B, C or D of this section on written request to the director. Information obtained pursuant to this subsection may be used only to conduct investigations related to legislative oversight of the department. Personally identifiable information may not be further disclosed.

H. A person who violates this section is guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor.

I. For the purposes of this section:

1. “Child welfare agency information” means all information in the licensing file of the department, including all information on corporate or other entity applicants or licensees and any licensing investigations. Child welfare agency information does not include personal information about individuals who apply for licensure to or are licensed by the department as a child welfare agency.

2. “DCS information” has the same meaning prescribed in section 8-807.

3. “Foster parent information” means all information in the licensing file of the department that is not confidential under any other law. Foster parent information does not include personal information, information that is confidential under another statute or information of a similar nature.

4. “Personal information” means information about an individual that is disclosed by the individual or by a third party on behalf of the individual to obtain or maintain a license. Personal information includes all of the following:

(a) The individual’s identity, social security number, address and personal history.

(b) Financial, health or medical information about the individual.

(c) References for the individual.

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