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Public Records Requests


The Vermont General Assembly has established guidelines that facilitate access to public records.

Any document produced or acquired in the course of doing state business is a public record and may be subject to public disclosure, unless specifically exempted by law.


Records Exempt from Disclosure

While the Department for Children and Families strongly favors access to public documents and records, exceptions to that general policy of disclosure are listed in 1 V.S.A. § 317(c).

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Documents that are confidential by law (e.g., adoption and foster care records)
  • Documents containing certain types of personal or financial information about individuals
  • Documents recognized as being privileged
  • Document that by law may only be disclosed to specifically designated persons
  • Documents relevant to active litigation
  • The names of, or information pertaining to, individuals involved with the department (e.g., whether an individual is getting or has ever received economic benefits through the department)

Below are contacts for certain kinds of records.

  • Adoptions Finalized in VT:
    Contact the Vermont Adoption Registry.
     
  • Family Records:
    If you are a child protection agency from another state seeking a family's records, contact Patricia Casanova, Deputy Compact Administrator, (802) 241-9003.
     
  • Foster Care Records:
    For copies of your records while in Vermont foster care, contact the Family Services District Office your family was involved with.

Fees for Obtaining a Copy of a Public Record

DCF will charge fees for providing a copy of a public record in accordance with the rule adopted by the Secretary of State as set forth below.

  • Staff time involved in physically duplicating a record: $.33 per minute after the first 30 minutes
  • Senior-level staff time and IT specialists’ time spent extracting data from databases or performing similar tasks necessary to comply with a request to create a new public record: $.57 per minute
  • Other staff time for which cost can be charged and collected under this section: $.45 per minute
  • Photocopies: $.05 per single-sided page, $.09 per double-sided page for pages up to 8.5 by 14 inches
  • Color photocopies: $1.00 per single-sided page
  • Computer-generated paper copies: $.02 per page for pages up to 8.5 by 14 inches
  • Computer diskettes: $.28 each for 3.5-inch diskettes
  • Compact discs: $.86 each for write-once CD w/case, $2.31 each for re-writable CD w/case
  • Audio tapes: $.81 each
  • Video tapes: $1.69 each
  • DVDs: $2.00 each for write-once DVD w/case, $4.00 each for re-writable DVD w/case

*Note: there are fees for copies of public records that are established by statute that may override the fees established by this schedule.


Requesting a Public Record

Please put your request in writing and email it to Macie.Rebel-Kidwell@vermont.gov

If email is not an option, mail your request to: Public Records Requests, DCF Commissioner's Office, 280 State Drive, HC1 North, Waterbury, VT  05671-1080.

DCF will respond to your request within three business days of receiving it unless there are unusual circumstances and the three day period may be extended in accordance with 1 V.S.A.  § 318. Unusual circumstances may result in an extension, upon written notice, of up to ten (10) business days from receipt of your request.


Appeal Process

If you believe you were wrongly denied a request for public records, you may write to: Public Records Requests, DCF Commissioner's Office, 280 State Drive, HC1 North, Waterbury, VT  05671-1080.


For More Information

The following sub-sections outline additional considerations of the law: