Friday, May 25, 2018
To protect children and youth in foster care from identity theft, federal and local laws mandate that state child welfare agencies take certain preventive actions:
- Each youth in foster care, age 14 and older, must receive, without cost, a copy of their consumer credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies (TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian) annually;
- All children and youth, regardless of their age, will receive a copy of their consumer credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies prior to their exit from foster care;
- Because all credit reports contain confidential and private information, any transmission of confidential and private information must be through secured means (e.g., to email a copy of a credit report, the email must be encrypted).
The Equifax Security Breach
In September 2017, Equifax announced that between mid-May and July 2017, hackers had tapped into their system and stolen information regarding approximately 143 million people. The stolen identification included names, Social Security numbers, birthdates, addresses, and (in some cases) driver’s license numbers and credit card numbers. Some youth in CFSA care may have been affected by this breach. A fact sheet is available here that provides suggestions on how youth can protect themselves from identity theft.
If you have questions or comments about this topic, you may contact the Office of Planning, Policy, and Program Support (“OPPPS”) at (202) 724-7100, [email protected] or [email protected]
The downloadable documents below provide guidelines for ensuring that CFSA complies with District and federal law and regulations for protecting children and youth in foster care from identity theft and the process for obtaining credit reports for children and youth in care.