AN ACT TO TRANSITION ABUSE AND NEGLECT INVESTIGATIONS IN CHILD CARE FACILITIES TO THE DIVISION OF CHILD DEVELOPMENT AND EARLY EDUCATION WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES.
Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.
Consistent with the deletion in the 1st edition of the requirement that the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) be notified within 24 hours of sexual abuse allegations in child care facilities in GS 7B-301(a), makes a conforming change, deleting subsection GS 7B-301(c) to remove provision that makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor for a director of social services who receives a report of the sexual abuse of a juvenile in a child care facility to knowingly fail to notify the State Bureau of Investigation of the report.
Makes organizational changes to GS 110-105.3.
Provides that regardless of the final determination of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) regarding child maltreatment, all information received by DHHS in the course of its investigation is to be held in the strictest confidence with specified exceptions (was, all information was to be held in the strictest confidence until the DHHS investigation confirmed that child maltreatment did occur in a child care facility with specified exceptions). Adds as an exception to the required confidentiality a requirement that DHHS only disclose information identifying the person who reports the maltreatment under a court order, except to a federal, state, or local government entity that demonstrates a need for the reporter's name in order to carry out the entity's mandated responsibility.
Provides that following a determination that maltreatment has occurred, the investigation's findings are to be made public, along with the dates of visits made in the investigative process and any corrective action that was taken.
Also provides that if DHHS determines that child maltreatment did not occur in a child care facility, this section does not prevent DHHS from citing a violation or issuing an administrative action based upon violations of child care licensure law or rules based on its investigation. Citations of violations or administrative actions are not to be held as confidential.
Deletes requirement that the Child Maltreatment Registry must indicate when a finding is contested and deletes requirement that the operator of a child care facility must, prior to employment, request DHHS to check the status of a potential employee in the Child Maltreatment registry. Provides that any information from the Child Maltreatment Registry may be used by any of the DHHS divisions responsible for licensing homes or facilities that care for children.
Makes this act effective January 1, 2016 (was, effective when it becomes law).