Title 33: Human Services
Chapter 49: CHILD WELFARE SERVICES
33 V.S.A. § 4916. Child protection registry
§ 4916. Child protection registry
(a)(1) The commissioner shall maintain a child protection registry which shall contain a record of all investigations that have resulted in a substantiated report on or after January 1, 1992. Except as provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection, prior to placement of a substantiated report on the registry, the commissioner shall comply with the procedures set forth in section 4916a of this title.
(2) In cases involving sexual abuse or serious physical abuse of a child, the commissioner in his or her sole judgment may list a substantiated report on the registry pending any administrative review after:
(A) Reviewing the investigation file.
(B) Making written findings in consideration of:
(i) the nature and seriousness of the alleged behavior; and
(ii) the person's continuing access to children.
(3) A person alleged to have abused or neglected a child and whose name has been placed on the registry in accordance with subdivision (2) of this subsection shall be notified of the registry entry, provided with the commissioner's findings, and advised of the right to seek an administrative review in accordance with section 4916a of this title.
(4) If the name of a person has been placed on the registry in accordance with subdivision (2) of this subsection, it shall be removed from the registry if the substantiation is rejected after an administrative review.
(b) A registry record means an entry in the child protection registry that consists of the name of an individual substantiated for child abuse or neglect, the date of the finding, the nature of the finding, and at least one other personal identifier, other than a name, listed in order to avoid the possibility of misidentification.
(c) The commissioner shall adopt rules to permit use of the registry records as authorized by this subchapter while preserving confidentiality of the registry and other department records related to abuse and neglect.
(d) For all substantiated reports of child abuse or neglect made on or after the date the final rules are adopted, the commissioner shall create a registry record that reflects a designated child protection level related to the risk of future harm to children. This system of child protection levels shall be based upon an evaluation of the risk the person responsible for the abuse or neglect poses to the safety of children. The risk evaluation shall include consideration of the following factors:
(1) the nature of the conduct and the extent of the child's injury, if any;
(2) the person's prior history of child abuse or neglect as either a victim or perpetrator;
(3) the person's response to the investigation and willingness to engage in recommended services; and
(4) the person's age and developmental maturity.
(e) The commissioner shall develop rules for the implementation of a system of child protection registry levels for substantiated cases. The rules shall address:
(1) the length of time a person's name appears on the registry;
(2) when and how names are expunged from the registry;
(3) whether the person is a juvenile or an adult;
(4) whether the person was charged with or convicted of a criminal offense arising out of the incident of abuse or neglect; and
(5) whether a family division of the superior court has made any findings against the person.
(f) [Repealed.] (Added 1981, No. 207 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. April 25, 1982; amended 1989, No. 295 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 1991, No. 159 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2007, No. 77, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2007; 2007, No. 168 (Adj. Sess.), § 8; No. 172 (Adj. Sess.), § 20; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.),, § 238.)