DSHS accidentally released confidential information of almost 4,000 custodial parents

Posted on Aug 11, 2011
The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services Division of Child Support released a statement on Tuesday, August 9, notifying the public of the accidental disclosure of the addresses of nearly 4,000 custodial parents in the state.

The Division of Child Support handles most child support payments in the state. After mailing out information regarding medical insurance to noncustodial parents in early July, the state realized that the documents included mailing addresses for the custodial parents as well. The error is said to have been caused by a coding problem on the federally required insurance enrollment form.

Adolfo Capestany, a spokesman for the division, told the Seattle Times that that none of the released addresses were determined to be highly sensitive, such as addresses of domestic violence victims or foster families.

The state has made changes to minimize this mistake from happening again. Additionally, all individuals whose information was released have been notified. Anyone who may have been affected can contact the Division of Child Support's Community Relations Unit at 1-800-457-6202 with concerns or to gather information about the risk of identity theft or physical or emotional harm as a result of the information leakage.

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