How long must child abuse reports and records be kept?

Records held by local social service agencies, investigating agencies, and schools will be retained on the following schedule.

  1. For family assessment cases and cases in which there is no determination of maltreatment or need for child protective services, records must be kept for four years. These records may only be used in future risk and safety assessments and may not be used for other purposes.
  2. If there is a determination of maltreatment or need for child protective services, reports must be maintained for at least ten years after the final entry in the record.

Minn. Stat. § 626.556, subd. 11c, paras. (a) and (b).

Records held by law enforcement agencies will be destroyed according to the same schedule each agency has adopted under state law for destruction of all other types of records.

Records regarding a report of maltreatment held by a school will be destroyed by the school when ordered to do so by the investigating agency. The agency must order the destruction of the records when other records regarding the report are scheduled to be destroyed. Minn. Stat. § 626.556, subd. 11c, para. (c).

Records given to a court services agency by a local social services agency must be destroyed when the local social services agency directs, following the general timetable that applies to the local social services agency. Minn. Stat. § 626.556, subd. 11c, para. (d).

May the alleged abuser learn the reporter’s name after the investigation ends?

Yes; (1) if the reporter consents, or (2) upon a written court finding that the report was false and there is evidence that it was made in bad faith. Minn. Stat. § 626.556, subd. 11, para. (a).

This and any related posts have been adopted from the Minnesota House of Representatives Research Department’s Information Brief, Overview of the Maltreatment of Minors Act, written by legislative analyst Lynn Aves.

This is also part of a series of posts on Minnesota’s Maltreatment of Minors Act.