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1476 Retention of Consummated Adoption Case Records

CPS 96-8

Management Policy

The case record of a consummated adoption consists of the family's adoptive home study, all other material in the adoptive home record, the child's conservatorship record (including all or part of the family's case record, as relevant), narrative recording about the adoptive placement, legal documents, and any other written information as required by policy and for minimum standards. This case record also contains foster care and adoption subsidy eligibility financial records and related materials (ledgers, vouchers, trust fund documents, etc.). In the paper case record environment, the above listed material is combined into one record. If a child in DFPS conservatorship is placed for adoption with a family approved by another agency, the consummated adoption record consists of

  •  the child's conservatorship record,

  •  a copy of the adoptive home study, and

  •  reports provided by the agency supervising the placement.

Consummated adoption records must be retained permanently on microfilm. The Central Records Unit in state office is the final repository for these records. (See Item 1480, Consummated Adoption Records.) The adoption records are microfilmed after the cases have been closed for three years. The microfilm copy is checked for completeness and accuracy before destroying the paper copy.

Staff must save original material that is not suitable for microfilming, such as photographs, original birth certificates, memorabilia, and letters to the child in the memorabilia file. The material is identified by case name and sent to the Central Records Unit as part of the consummated-adoption records.

See Item 1471 for a reference to the permanent retention of consummated adoption case record from the perspective of the child who was adopted and Item 1475 for a rule about permanent retention of the record from the perspective of the family that adopted the child.

1477 Destruction of Case Records in Regional Storage

CPS 96-8

Management Policy

Monthly, CAPS will provide a report listing cases that

  •  are subject to destruction of the paper record and deletion from CAPS the next month because the retention period has expired. The purpose of this part of the report is to alert staff that these cases will be destroyed after another month unless the retention period is extended in accordance with Item 1470 for client cases and Item 1475 for foster/adoptive home cases.

  •  have been deleted from CAPS in the current month because the retention period has expired. The purpose of this part of the report is to identify the paper cases that staff are to destroy because the retention period has elapsed.

When authorized by the appropriate person, staff may extend the retention period for authorized reasons using the Records Retention window in CAPS. The staff person must document the approval of and reason for the extension on the Records Retention window.

If the retention period is not extended, designated regional staff must retrieve and destroy the listed paper case record, if there is one. In most instances, a paper record for the case will exist. When one does not, staff may document the lack of a paper case record on the Case File Management window.

Each local office designates a person to be responsible for the destruction of the paper portion of case records. Before destroying records, regional staff must notify the regional records coordinator of the intent to destroy records, using Form 4706, Transfer of Material to DFPS Records Storage. Staff must document on the form a description of the type of record to be destroyed, inclusive dates, and the number of records. If regional staff cannot find a paper case record for a listed case, they must document on the list that the record cannot be located. The regional director for families and children must institute procedures to ensure that all reasonable efforts are made to locate missing case records.

The regional records coordinator

  •  approves the destruction of the records; or

  •  sends this information to the Records Information Unit, as appropriate. The Records Information Unit must secure approval for destroying the records from the Audit department, the state librarian, and the state auditor. The Records Information Unit must provide a copy of the authorization to the regional records coordinator.

If the records are transported to another location for destruction, staff must ensure that they are kept confidential.

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