HONEST AND COMPASSIONATE LEGAL GUIDANCE FOR FAMILIES
Child Welfare and Confidentiality: The Laws and Why They Exist
Confidentiality and CINC
February 23, 2023
Child in Need of Care (CINC) Cases, cases in which a child is often placed state custody due to concerns over their safety in their home, are confidential by law. The paramount goal in a CINC case is to always consider the best interest of the minor child. To this end, the proceedings, documents, and information learned during CINC cases are all highly confidential to protect the privacy rights of the child involved. We are often talking about young children and very sensitive issues of their family. The children involved do not have the legal or mental capability to consent to their very personal story being told to the world. It is widely agreed that it is not appropriate, fair, or moral to share the child’s story of their life and family to the world. A young child should not have to grow up and learn that some version of their life’s story has been made public without their permission. To this end, the Kansas legislature enacted statutes to protect the child’s right to privacy.
K.S.A. 38-2209 Confidentiality of child in need of care records “In order to protect the privacy of children who are the subject of a child in need of care record or report, the records identified in this section shall be confidential…”
Those records include Court documents, agency records, and other information regarding the child’s placement, family history, and even the child’s name related to their involvement in the proceedings.
The Kansas legislature further laid out penalties if someone shares this information publicly, including a civil fine of up to $1,000. The legislature made this breach of confidentiality a crime punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine through a criminal case. K.S.A. 38-2209(b)
If you are involved in a Child in Need of Care Case, it’s important to remember the need and rationale for a child’s right to confidentiality.
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