§ 4–1301.51. Mandatory investigation of child abuse and neglect cases by multidisciplinary team.
(a) Every instance of sexual abuse of a child shall be reviewed and investigated by a multidisciplinary investigation team (“MDT”), which shall focus, first, on the needs of the child, and, second, on the law enforcement, prosecution, and related civil proceedings. The MDT may handle other instances of child abuse and neglect as identified in the protocol provided in subsection (b) of this section.
(1) A MDT shall consist of one or more representatives of the:
(A) Metropolitan Police Department;
(B) Child and Family Services Agency; and
(C) Office of the Corporation Counsel.
(2) The Office of the United States Attorney and the Children’s Advocacy Center shall be requested to designate one or more representatives to serve on a MDT, and those designated representatives shall be included on the MDT.
(3) A MDT may also include:
(A) A representative of the District of Columbia Public Schools;
(B) Licensed mental health practitioners;
(C) Medical personnel;
(D) Child development specialists;
(E) Victim counselors; and
(F) Experts in the assessment and treatment of substance abuse.
(b) The MDT shall adopt a written child abuse protocol to ensure coordination and cooperation among all agencies investigating and prosecuting cases arising from alleged child abuse or neglect to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the agencies handling the cases and to facilitate the provision of services to children and families. The protocol shall:
(1) Define additional categories of abuse and neglect cases, in addition to sexual abuse, which will be handled by the MDT;
(2) Outline in detail the procedures to be used in investigating and prosecuting cases arising from alleged child abuse or neglect; and
(3) Outline in detail the methods to be used in coordinating treatment programs and other services to the child, the family, and the perpetrator.
(Sept. 23, 1977, D.C. Law 2-22, title I-A, § 151; as added Oct. 19, 2002, D.C. Law 14-206, § 2(f), 49 DCR 7815; June 12, 2003, D.C. Law 14-310, § 6, 50 DCR 1092; Mar. 13, 2004, D.C. Law 15-105, § 34(b), 51 DCR 881.)
This section is referenced in § 4-1301.52.
Effect of Amendments
D.C. Law 14-310, in subsec. (a), validated a previously made technical correction; and repealed subsec. (c) which had read as follows: “(c) Subsections (a) and (b) of this section shall apply as of October 1, 2003.”
D.C. Law 15-105, in subsec. (a), validated a previously made technical correction.
For temporary (90 day) addition of § 4-1301.51, see § 2 of Improved Child Abuse Investigations Technical Emergency Amendment Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-494, October 23, 2002, 49 DCR 9781).
For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Improved Child Abuse Investigations Technical Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-603, January 7, 2003, 50 DCR 687).
For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Improved Child Abuse Investigations Technical Temporary Amendment Act of 2002 (D.C. Law 14-240, March 25, 2003, law notification 50 DCR 2753).
§ 4–1301.52. Confidentiality of information and records of the Children’s Advocacy Center.
(a)(1) Except as permitted by paragraph (2) of this subsection, all information and records in the possession of Safe Shores, the District of Columbia’s Children’s Advocacy Center, relating to victims or witnesses of alleged child abuse, neglect, or any alleged crime committed against a child shall not be subject to subpoena, discovery, inspection, or disclosure in any court proceeding.
(2) A party may obtain information and records in the possession of the CAC that are covered by paragraph (1) of this subsection, and use such materials in a court proceeding, only upon making a particularized showing that:
(A) The outcome of the proceeding probably would be different if the requested information and records were not disclosed;
(B) The CAC is the only source of the requested information and records;
(C) The requested information and records would be subject to disclosure in the proceeding if they were in the possession of the government; and
(D) Disclosure of the requested information and records would not violate any other applicable law, rule, or regulation.
(3)(A) No subpoenas shall be served upon the CAC. The particularized showing required by paragraph (2) of this subsection may be made only by formal, written motion submitted to the court, supported by an affidavit based upon personal knowledge, demonstrating strong prima facie evidence that the moving party has satisfied the requirements of paragraph (2) of this subsection.
(B) If, after conducting an initial review of the motion and the supporting evidence, the court determines that the requisite prima facie showing has not been made, the court shall deny the motion.
(C) If the court determines that the requisite prima facie showing has been made, the court shall notify the CAC of the preliminary ruling and afford the CAC an opportunity to oppose the motion within 10 days after the CAC’s receipt of the notice, or, for good cause shown, a longer period of time to be determined by the court.
(4) If a party seeking access to information and records protected by paragraph (1) of this subsection prevails on its motion, the CAC shall submit the requested information and records to the court for an in camera review. The court shall permit disclosure only with respect to factual information for which the moving party has requested access and made a particularized showing of need pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection. All other information shall be redacted or otherwise protected from disclosure. Under no circumstances shall mental impressions, conclusions, opinions, or theories contained in protected CAC records be subject to disclosure.
(5) The limitations imposed by this subsection do not apply to disclosures of protected CAC information and records to representatives of a multidisciplinary investigation team established under § 4-1301.51, or their respective agents, for use in the performance of their official duties.