FOIA Advisor

Q&A: records from child protective services in Idaho and South Dakota

Q&A (2015-16)Allan BlutsteinComment

Q.  Can I use the Freedom of Information Act to obtain information from "health and welfare child protection services" in Idaho and South Dakota?

A.   Yes, as a general matter.  In Idaho, the Department of Health and Welfare is subject to the state's public records law.  Here are instructions about making a request to the Department, as well as a guide to the applicable law.  In South Dakota, the Department of Social Services is subject to the state's open records law.  For your convenience, here is a request template that you can use.            

Keep in mind, however, that certain records are protected from disclosure.  For example, you may not be able to access a third party's medical or other personal information without that person's consent.  These exemptions are spelled out in each state's law, which are accessible in the links above.