A. The department shall maintain a central registry of reports of child abuse and neglect that are substantiated and the outcome of the investigation of these reports made under this article.  A finding made by a court pursuant to section 8-844, subsection C that a child is dependent based on an allegation of abuse or neglect shall be recorded as a substantiated finding of abuse or neglect. The department shall incorporate duplicate reports on the same incident in the original report and shall not classify duplicate reports as new reports.

Terms Used In Arizona Laws 8-804

  • Abuse: means the infliction or allowing of physical injury, impairment of bodily function or disfigurement or the infliction of or allowing another person to cause serious emotional damage as evidenced by severe anxiety, depression, withdrawal or untoward aggressive behavior and which emotional damage is diagnosed by a medical doctor or psychologist and is caused by the acts or omissions of an individual who has the care, custody and control of a child. See Arizona Laws 8-201
  • Adult: means a person who is eighteen years of age or older. See Arizona Laws 8-201
  • Allegation: something that someone says happened.
  • Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
  • Department: means the department of child safety. See Arizona Laws 8-201
  • Dependent: A person dependent for support upon another.
  • Person: includes a corporation, company, partnership, firm, association or society, as well as a natural person. See Arizona Laws 1-215
  • Referral: means a report that is submitted to the juvenile court and that alleges that a child is dependent or incorrigible or that a juvenile has committed a delinquent or criminal act. See Arizona Laws 8-201

B. The department shall conduct central registry background checks and shall use the information contained in the central registry only for the following purposes:

1. As a factor to determine qualifications for any of the following:

(a) Foster home licensing.

(b) Adoptive parent certification.

(c) Individuals who apply for child welfare agency licensing.

(d) Child care home certification.

(e) Registration of unregulated child care homes with the child care resource and referral system.

(f) Home and community based services certification for services to children or vulnerable adults.

(g) An adult who works in a group home, residential treatment center, shelter or other congregate care setting.

2. As a factor to determine qualifications for persons who are employed or who are applying for employment with this state in positions that provide direct service to children or vulnerable adults.

3. As a factor to determine qualifications for individuals who are employed or who are applying for employment with a child welfare agency in positions that provide direct service to children or vulnerable adults.

4. As a factor to determine qualifications for positions that provide direct service to children or vulnerable adults for:

(a) Any person who applies for a contract with this state and that person’s employees.

(b) All employees of a contractor.

(c) A subcontractor of a contractor and the subcontractor’s employees.

(d) Prospective employees of the contractor or subcontractor at the request of the prospective employer.

5. To provide information to licensees that do not contract with this state regarding persons who are employed or seeking employment to provide direct services to children pursuant to title 36, chapter 7.1.

6. To identify and review reports concerning individual children and families, in order to facilitate the assessment of safety and risk.

7. To determine the nature and scope of child abuse and neglect in this state and to provide statewide statistical and demographic information concerning trends in child abuse and neglect.

8. To allow comparisons of this state’s statistical data with national data.

9. To comply with section 8-804.01, subsection B.

10. To provide information to licensees described in subsection D of this section regarding persons who are employed or seeking employment to provide direct services to children in a licensed behavioral health residential facility.

11. To provide information to licensees regarding persons who are employed or seeking employment in an intermediate care facility for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

C. Licensees that do not contract with the state and that employ persons who provide direct services to children pursuant to title 36, chapter 7.1 must submit to the department of child safety in a manner prescribed by the department of child safety information necessary to conduct central registry background checks. The department of health services shall verify whether licensees, pursuant to title 36, chapter 7.1, have complied with the requirements of this subsection and any rules adopted by the department of health services to implement this subsection.

D. Beginning September 1, 2019, licensees that do not contract with this state, that contract with the federal government, that receive only federal monies and that employ persons who provide direct services to children in a licensed behavioral health residential facility pursuant to title 36, chapter 4 must submit to the department of child safety in a manner prescribed by the department of child safety information necessary to conduct central registry background checks.  The department of health services shall verify whether the licensees, pursuant to title 36, chapter 4, have complied with the requirements of this subsection.

E. Beginning on April 24, 2019, licensees that employ persons to provide direct care in an intermediate care facility for individuals with intellectual disabilities must submit to the department of child safety in a manner prescribed by the department of child safety information necessary to conduct central registry background checks. The department of health services shall verify whether the licensees, pursuant to title 36, chapter 4, comply with the requirement of this subsection.

F. If the department of economic security received a report before September 1, 1999 and determined that the report was substantiated, the department of child safety shall maintain the report in the central registry until eighteen years from the child victim’s date of birth.

G. If the department of economic security or the department of child safety received a report on or after September 1, 1999 and determined that the report was substantiated, the department of child safety shall maintain the report in the central registry for a maximum of twenty-five years after the date of the report. If the department of child safety maintains reports in the central registry for less than twenty-five years, the department shall adopt rules to designate the length of time it must maintain those reports in the central registry.

H. The department shall annually purge reports and investigative outcomes received pursuant to the time frames prescribed in subsections F and G of this section.

I. Any person who was the subject of a department investigation may request confirmation that the department has purged information about the person pursuant to subsection H of this section.  On receipt of this request, the department shall provide the person with written confirmation that the department has no record containing identifying information about that person.

J. The department shall notify a person, contractor or licensee identified in subsection B, paragraph 4, subdivisions (a), (b) and (c) and subsection B, paragraphs 5 and 10 and 11 of this section who is disqualified because of a central registry check conducted pursuant to subsection B of this section that the person may apply to the board of fingerprinting for a central registry exception pursuant to section 41-619.57.

K. Before being employed in a position that provides direct services to children or vulnerable adults pursuant to subsection B, paragraphs 4, 5 and 10 and 11 or subsections C and D and E of this section, employees shall certify, under penalty of perjury, on forms that are provided by the department whether an allegation of abuse or neglect was made against them and was substantiated. The forms are confidential. If this certification does not indicate a current investigation or a substantiated report of abuse or neglect, the employee may provide direct services pending the findings of the central registry check.

L. A person who is granted a central registry exception pursuant to section 41-619.57 is not entitled to a contract, employment, licensure, certification or other benefit because the person has been granted a central registry exception.

M. An agency of this state that conducts central registry background checks as a factor to determine qualifications for positions that provide direct services to children or vulnerable adults shall publish a list of disqualifying acts of substantiated abuse or neglect.

N. An agency of this state that conducts central registry background checks may provide information contained in the central registry on all reports of child abuse and neglect that are substantiated and the outcomes of the investigations of the reports to carry out this section. Identifying information regarding any person other than the perpetrator may not be released. Information received pursuant to this section may not be further disseminated unless authorized by law or court order.

O. The department may enter into agreements with other state agencies to conduct the central registry background checks required by this section.

P. For the purposes of this section, "intermediate care facility for individuals with intellectual disabilities" has the same meaning prescribed in section 36-551.