1. When there is a concern or question regarding access to or the release of information, the Child Welfare (CW) worker consults the CW supervisor. The county director and Children and Family Services Division (CFSD) are also available for consultation.
2. Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) employees are responsible for ensuring case information, whether recorded or unrecorded, is treated in a professional manner consistent with this Section. All paper records, when not in use, are stored in locked files. CW staff are responsible for the physical protection of the local case record. Paper records regarding employees are stored by the county director in a locked file. On-line computer data regarding employees or their relatives is restricted and only accessible to employees with certain security levels or workers and supervisors currently assigned to the case.
3. Client and case record data stored in computer systems and available through various reports, screen prints, and other printouts is confidential and is protected in the same manner. Passwords and sign-on codes are confidential and are not exchanged among staff or posted. Computers are not left unattended without first entering the sign-off code. When a case is accessed, the screen is immediately cleared when desired information is obtained. Under no circumstances is the terminal left, even momentarily, with case information showing on the screen. All data collected and maintained by OKDHS, is owned by and is the responsibility of OKDHS, including electronic messages. There is no expressed or implied expectation of privacy for users of any OKDHS computer network, computer equipment, or other computer resources. All data actions or key strokes of users may be monitored at any time. 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 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. 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 CFSD program staff. CFSD 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. When Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth (OCCY) requests access to adoption records pertaining to a child in an OKDHS adoptive placement, the CFSD 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. (a) After finalization of the adoption of a child placed by OKDHS, the adoption record is stored in locked storage in the CFSD Adoption Section.
(b) 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.
8. Unless specifically ordered by the court, OKDHS is not authorized to disclose the identity or location of any person who has reported child abuse or neglect. All identifying data is excluded before such information is produced pursuant to a court order.
9. OKDHS is not prohibited from providing a summary of allegations and findings of an investigation involving a child care facility that does not disclose identities, but permits evaluation of the facility.