Division of Children & Family Services

Request Records from DCFS

Investigative File Request

Any person who was an alleged offender in a child maltreatment investigation can request a copy of the investigation file after the investigation has concluded whether the determination was substantiated or unsubstantiated.

Note: The investigation file must be redacted to remove the reporter’s information. By law, our agency is unable to release the name of the person who made the report to the hotline.

Who else can request a copy of the investigation file?

  • Alleged offender
  • Law enforcement
  • Attorneys representing the alleged offender or alleged victim
  • Prosecuting attorneys
  • Parents of juvenile who were the alleged victim or alleged juvenile offender (Note: parents of alleged victims cannot receive a copy of the investigation file until due process has occurred)

Is there a fee?

A non-refundable processing fee of $10.00, by check or money order (no cash or temporary checks) must be submitted with each request. The check or money order should be made payable to the Arkansas Department of Human Services.

How to submit a request?

To request a copy of the investigation file, please complete the Investigation File Request form here (https://humanservices.arkansas.gov/wp-content/uploads/Investigation-File-Request-Form.pdf). This form must be notarized. Mail the notarized form including a $10 check or money order to:

DCFS Release of Information Unit
P O Box 1473, Slot S-555
Little Rock AR 72203
Phone: 501-682-0405

How will the file be sent to me?

On the Investigation File Request Form, you have the option to have a copy of the file emailed or mailed. Be sure to mark if you want the form emailed or mailed. (Note: If the investigation file includes DVDs or CDs, these items will have to be mailed to you)

Out-of-State Records Request

If you are an out-of-state child welfare or law enforcement agency and needed to request investigation records from an individual who has lived in Arkansas, please email this request on your agency’s letterhead to ARAbuseNeglectRecords@dhs.arkansas.gov.

Case File Request

IN-HOME AND FOSTER CARE CASE RECORDS
Reports, correspondence, memoranda, case histories, or other materials related to protective services and foster care records, shall be confidential and shall not be released or otherwise made available, except to the extent permitted by federal and state law and only as listed below. This includes protected health information compiled or received by a licensee or state agency engaged in placing a child.
  1. To the child’s parent, guardian, or custodian;
    1. However, the licensee or state agency may redact information from the record such as the name or address of foster parents or providers when it is in the best interest of the child.
    2. The licensee or state agency shall redact counseling records, psychological or psychiatric evaluations, examinations or records, drug screens or drug.
  2. To the child;
  3. to health care providers to assist in the care and treatment of the child at the discretion of the licensee or state agency and if deemed to be in the best interest of the child;
    1. Health care providers include doctors, nurses, emergency medical technicians, counselors, therapists, mental health professionals, and dentists.
  4. To school personnel and child care centers caring for the child at the discretion of the licensee or state agency and if deemed to be in the best interest of the child;
  5. To foster parents, the foster care record for children in foster care currently placed in their home;
    1. However, information contained in records released by the Department to the foster parent about the parents or guardians and any sibling not in the foster home will not be re-disclosed by the foster parent and will only be sued to assist the foster parent in the care of the child placed in the foster parent’s home (see Policy VII-H: Providing Information to Foster Parents).
  6. Upon presentation of an order of appointment, to a court-appointed special advocate;
  7. to the attorney ad litem for the child;
  8. For law enforcement or the prosecuting attorney upon request;
  9. to circuit courts, as provided for in the Arkansas Juvenile Code of 1989, § 9-27-301 et seq;
  10. In a criminal or civil proceeding conducted in connection with the administration of any such plan or program;
  11. Others-see POLICY I-E: CONFIDENTIALITY https://humanservices.arkansas.gov/wp-content/uploads/Master_DCFS_Policy.pdf



How long are records kept?

All child protective services, differential response, out-of-home placement (foster care) services, and supportive services are retained for five (5) years after the youngest child turns 21 years old.

DCFS is required to keep case files until the youngest child in the case is 26 years old.

How to submit a request?

Legal Subpoena’s should be submitted to the DHS Privacy office at:
DHS.Subpeona@dhs.arkansas.gov

To request a copy of the case file, please complete the Case File Request form here (https://humanservices.arkansas.gov/wp-content/uploads/Case-File-Request-Form.pdf). This form must be notarized.

Email request: ARAbuseNeglectRecords@dhs.arkansas.gov

US Mail:

DCFS Release of Information Unit
P O Box 1437, Slot S-555
Little Rock AR 72203
Phone: 501-682-0405

How will the file be sent to me?

If requesting records via a subpoena through the DHS Privacy Office, records will be returned electronically.

If requesting records on the Case File Request Form, you have the option to have a copy of the file emailed or mailed.

What about adoption records?

Adoption cases are sealed and DCFS is not allowed to release adoption files unless specifically court-ordered to do so. For more information on adoption records please see https://humanservices.arkansas.gov/divisions-shared-services/children-family-services/frequently-asked-questions/#mcvar

DCFS Address

P.O. Box 1437, Slot S560
Little Rock, AR 72203-1437

DCFS Phone Number

501-682-8770
TDD: 501-682-1442
​Fax:501-682-2491

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