340:75-1-42. Client Information confidentiality
(a) Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) records. Per Section 1-6-101 of Title 10A of the Oklahoma Statutes (10A O.S. §§ 1-6-101) and Part 1340 of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations (45 CFR Part 1340), Child Welfare (CW) records and information are confidential. These statutes mandate that records prepared, obtained, or maintained by OKDHS are confidential with regard to the child who is or has been under OKDHS care, custody, or supervision or to a family member or other person living in the home of the child.
(1) Any record made in the course of a referral, assessment, investigation, or inquiry by OKDHS to determine whether a child is or may be deprived is confidential and not open to public inspection.
(2) The term "record" means any written or printed document, paper, form, log, report, file, or note and any film, photograph, audio tape recording, visual tape recording, or computer tape or disk, or information entered into and maintained in an automated or computerized information system.
(3) Confidential CW records include any study, plan, recommendation, assessment, report, or other information describing the history, diagnosis, condition, care, treatment, or custody regarding a child, or safety analysis records that have been prepared and obtained in response to a report of alleged child abuse or neglect and include assessment reports and reports to the District Attorney with all supporting documentation attached and any addendums.
(4) The contents of OKDHS records cannot be disclosed without a court order except to certain persons or entities authorized by statute. CW case-specific information is not subject to the Oklahoma Open Records Act. Child Welfare neither confirms nor denies that a specific child abuse or neglect investigation is in process or that CW services are provided to a specific child or family member unless the criteria specified per OAC 340:75-1-44(e) is met regarding the death or near death of a child. • 1 through 5
(b) Adoption records. All papers and records pertaining to adoption are confidential as required by 10 O.S. § 7505-1.1. The OKDHS adoption case record includes the child's case file and the adoptive home file. When the adoptive placement is authorized, the child's case file and the adoptive home file become part of the adoption record, per OAC 340:75-15-103. Records regarding adoption subsidy assistance are confidential. When required after finalization of the adoption of a child in OKDHS custody, Post Adoption Services Section releases social and medical history that does not identify the adoptive family. • 6 & 7
(c) HIV/AIDS information. Refer to OAC 340:75-1-113 through 340:75-1-114 for rules regarding Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) confidentiality and the release of confidential information.
(d) Disclosure of information to persons or agencies providing professional services.
(1) Pursuant to 10A O.S. § 1-2-107, OKDHS may provide information to a person or agency providing professional services such as a medical examination of or therapeutic intervention with a victim of abuse or neglect. This information may include, but is not limited to:
(A) the investigative determination; or
(B) the services offered and provided.
(2) OKDHS provides information including the investigative determination, the services offered or provided, and such other information deemed necessary by OKDHS, to any hospital or any physician, including, but not limited to, doctors of medicine and dentistry, licensed osteopathic physicians, residents and interns, reporting the abuse or neglect of a child pursuant to 10A O.S. § 1-2-101. The information is entered and maintained in the child's medical records.
INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF 340:75-1-42
1.Consultation available when question arises regarding information disclosure.When there is a concern or question regarding access to or the release of information, the child welfare (CW) specialist consults the CW supervisor.The district director and programs personnel are available for consultation.
2.Case record security.Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) employees assure case information, whether recorded or unrecorded, is treated in a professional manner consistent with this Section.
(1) Each paper record, when not in use, is stored in locked files.
(2) Paper records regarding employees are stored by the district director in a locked file.
(3) On-line computer data regarding employees or employee's relatives is restricted and only accessible to employees with certain security levels or CW specialists and supervisors currently assigned to the case.
3.Confidentiality of client and case record data stored in computer system.
(1) Client and case record data stored in computer systems and available through various reports, screen prints, and other printouts is confidential and protected in the same manner as a paper case record.
(2) Passwords and sign-on codes are confidential and are not exchanged between OKDHS employees or posted.
(3) Computers are not left unattended without first entering the sign-off code.
(4) When a case is accessed, the screen is immediately cleared when desired information is obtained.
(5) Under no circumstances is the terminal left, even momentarily, with case information showing on the screen.
(6) All data collected and maintained by OKDHS, is owned by and the responsibility of OKDHS, including electronic messages.
(7) There is no expressed or implied expectation of privacy for users of any OKDHS computer network, computer equipment, or other computer resources.
(8) All users' data actions or key strokes may be monitored at any time.
(9) The person administratively responsible for the computer routinely monitors computer usage in the office ensuring adherence to the practices described in this Section.
4.Statistical data reports not considered confidential.Statistical data reports are not considered confidential and may be released when the data:
(1) does not identify an individual, or family; or
(2) is a summary of a situation that does not identify an individual or family.
5.Emergency or unusual request for confidential information.An emergency or unusual request for the release of case information detailed in OAC 340:75-1-42 through 340:75-1-46 is referred to the appropriate programs staff.Programs staff seeks advice from the OKDHS Legal Division when atypical information regarding clients is requested by the court, public officials, investigative units, or law enforcement.
6.Disclosure of adoption records to Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth (OCCY).When OCCY requests access to adoption records pertaining to a child in an OKDHS adoptive placement, the Adoption Section is consulted for direction prior to the release of any information.Information identifying the adoptive parent is redacted by OKDHS prior to releasing the record to OCCY.
7.Storage and confidentiality of adoption information.
(1) After finalization of the adoption of the child placed by OKDHS, the adoption record is stored in locked storage in the Adoption Section.
(2) The adoptive family is not identified in any form in the child's birth family record or in reports to the court in the child's deprived court case.