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Should DCYF keep records longer?

Oct 30, 2015

BY: CCNH-LFDA Highlights

On Wednesday, October 28 Attorney General Joe Foster testified that the state should change its rules for destroying records at the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF).

Foster testified before the Commission to Review Child Abuse Fatalities.  The Commission is evaluating how DCYF handles child abuse investigations after the recent deaths of toddlers Brielle Gage and Sadie Willott.

Current law requires DCYF to destroy any files pertaining to child abuse investigations after three or seven years, depending on whether there was evidence to support a case. 

DCYF supports the proposal to keep records longer.

“The more information you have, the better you can engage and assess,” said Lorraine Bartlett, head of DCYF.

On the other hand, keeping records longer may introduce privacy concerns.

The state passed the law requiring record destruction in 2002.  At the time bill sponsor Sen. Edward Gordon testified, “I think there is a general concern in any event when the government, regardless of the agency, keeps a dossier, keeps a file on its citizens.”

How long do you think DCYF should keep records about child abuse investigations?  Comment below!

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