Nebraska Revised Statute 43-4324

Chapter 43 Section 4324

43-4324.

Office; access to records; subpoena; records; statement of record integrity and security; contents; treatment of records.

(1) In conducting investigations, the office shall access all relevant records through subpoena, compliance with a request of the office, and voluntary production. The office may request or subpoena any record necessary for the investigation from the department, the juvenile services division as permitted by law, the commission, a foster parent, a licensed child care facility, a juvenile detention facility, a staff secure juvenile facility, or a private agency that is pertinent to an investigation. All case files, licensing files, medical records, financial and administrative records, and records required to be maintained pursuant to applicable licensing rules shall be produced for review by the office in the course of an investigation.

(2) Compliance with a request of the office includes:

(a) Production of all records requested;

(b) A diligent search to ensure that all appropriate records are included; and

(c) A continuing obligation to immediately forward to the office any relevant records received, located, or generated after the date of the request.

(3) The office shall seek access in a manner that respects the dignity and human rights of all persons involved, maintains the integrity of the investigation, and does not unnecessarily disrupt child welfare programs or services. When advance notice to a foster parent or to an administrator or his or her designee is not provided, the office investigator shall, upon arrival at the departmental office, bureau, or division, the private agency, the licensed child care facility, the juvenile detention facility, the staff secure juvenile facility, or the location of another provider of child welfare services, request that an onsite employee notify the administrator or his or her designee of the investigator's arrival.

(4) When circumstances of an investigation require, the office may make an unannounced visit to a foster home, a departmental office, bureau, or division, a licensed child care facility, a juvenile detention facility, a staff secure juvenile facility, a private agency, or another provider to request records relevant to an investigation.

(5) A responsible individual or an administrator may be asked to sign a statement of record integrity and security when a record is secured by request as the result of a visit by the office, stating:

(a) That the responsible individual or the administrator has made a diligent search of the office, bureau, division, private agency, licensed child care facility, juvenile detention facility, staff secure juvenile facility, or other provider's location to determine that all appropriate records in existence at the time of the request were produced;

(b) That the responsible individual or the administrator agrees to immediately forward to the office any relevant records received, located, or generated after the visit;

(c) The persons who have had access to the records since they were secured; and

(d) Whether, to the best of the knowledge of the responsible individual or the administrator, any records were removed from or added to the record since it was secured.

(6) The office shall permit a responsible individual, an administrator, or an employee of a departmental office, bureau, or division, a private agency, a licensed child care facility, a juvenile detention facility, a staff secure juvenile facility, or another provider to make photocopies of the original records within a reasonable time in the presence of the office for purposes of creating a working record in a manner that assures confidentiality.

(7) The office shall present to the responsible individual or the administrator or other employee of the departmental office, bureau, or division, private agency, licensed child care facility, juvenile detention facility, staff secure juvenile facility, or other service provider a copy of the request, stating the date and the titles of the records received.

(8) If an original record is provided during an investigation, the office shall return the original record as soon as practical but no later than ten working days after the date of the compliance request.

(9) All investigations conducted by the office shall be conducted in a manner designed to ensure the preservation of evidence for possible use in a criminal prosecution.