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Senate Approves Bill to Preserve Abuse, Neglect Records

N.H. State House
Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire's child protection agency would be required to keep reports of child abuse and neglect for at least seven years under a bill passed by the state Senate.

Currently, allegations that the Division of Children Youth and Families deems not worth investigating are destroyed after one year. Such "screened-out" records would be kept for seven years under the bill.

Reports that were investigated but deemed unfounded would be kept for 10 years instead of the current three, while reports with supporting evidence of abuse or neglect would be kept indefinitely, instead of for seven years.

The bill also creates an unfunded pilot program to store electronic copies of screened out and closed reports from some offices. Democrats fought for funding, but Republicans said the agency can find the money in its existing budget.

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