Code of the District of Columbia

§ 4–1371.09. Confidentiality of information.

*NOTE: This section has been amended by emergency legislation with identical permanent legislation that will become effective in December, 2021.*

(a) All information and records generated by the Committee, including statistical compilations and reports, and all information and records acquired by, and in the possession of, the Committee are confidential.

(b) Except as permitted by this section, information and records of the Committee shall not be disclosed voluntarily, pursuant to a subpoena, in response to a request for discovery in any adjudicative proceeding, or in response to a request made under subchapter II of Chapter 5 of Title 2, nor shall it be introduced into evidence in any administrative, civil, or criminal proceeding.

(c) Committee information and records may be disclosed only as necessary to carry out the Committee’s duties and purposes. The information and records may be disclosed by the Committee to another child fatality review committee if the other committee is governed by confidentiality provisions which afford the same or greater protections as those provided in this subchapter.

(d) Information and records presented to a Committee team during a child fatality review shall not be immune from subpoena or discovery, or prohibited from being introduced into evidence, solely because the information and records were presented to a team during a child death review, if the information and records have been obtained through other sources.

(e) Statistical compilations and reports of the Committee that contain information that would reveal the identity of a person identified in § 4-1371.08(c) are not public records or information, and are subject to the prohibitions contained in subsection (a) of this section.

(f) The Committee shall compile an Annual Report of Findings and Recommendations, which shall be publicly available and submitted to the Mayor and Council. The annual report shall include:

(1) The number of child fatalities in the District annually, with a description of the causes, and for those fatalities where abuse, neglect, or another form of child maltreatment is the cause of the fatality or a contributing factor, the number, type, and response of any agency contact prior to the fatality;

(2) Statistics on all reviews conducted in the past calendar year, including the date of each fatality, when the Committee staff learned of the fatality, and when the Committee began and concluded each review;

(3) Findings regarding factors, including agency practices, that may have prevented particular fatalities from occurring;

(4) Recommendations for preventing fatalities and identifying children most at risk of fatalities, including agency policies and practices that need improvement to prevent fatalities;

(5) A timeline for implementing corrective actions;

(6) An identification of any necessary funding to implement changes to policies and practices or corrective actions;

(7) The responses required by subsection (f-1) of this section; and

(8) A description of the progress made on the findings and recommendations made in the prior annual report.

(f-1) Any agency that is implicated by a recommendation included in the Committee's Annual Report of Findings and Recommendations shall provide the Committee with a response to the specific recommendation.

(g) Repealed.

(h) At the direction of the Mayor and for good cause, special findings and recommendations pertaining to other specific child fatalities may be disclosed to the public.

(i) Nothing shall be disclosed in any report of findings and recommendations that would likely endanger the life, safety, or physical or emotional well-being of a child, or the life or safety of any other person, or which may compromise the integrity of a Mayor’s investigation, a civil or criminal investigation, or a judicial proceeding.

(j) If the Mayor or the Committee denies access to specific information based on this section, the requesting entity may seek disclosure of the information through the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The name or any other information identifying the person or entity who referred the child to the Department of Human Services, Child and Family Services Agency, or the Metropolitan Police Department shall not be released to the public.

(k) The Mayor shall promulgate rules implementing the provisions of §§ 4-1371.07 and 4-1371.08. The rules shall require that a subordinate agency director to whom a recommendation is directed by the Committee shall respond in writing within 30 days of the issuance of the report containing the recommendations.

(l) The policy recommendations to a particular agency authorized by this section shall be incorporated into the annual performance plans and reports required by subchapter XIV-A of Chapter 6 of Title 1.