DSHS Accidentally Leaks Confidential Information

SPOKANE, Wash. - Confidential information was inadvertently leaked last month by the Department of Social and Health Services Division of Child Support, potentially putting nearly 4,000 parents at risk, including over 400 in Spokane.

According to DSHS, the leak happened on July 1 when forms for medical insurance requests were sent to parents who don't have custody of their children. On the form, the section for the address of the parent with custody is supposed to be left blank, but in this case it wasn't and the information was available for the non-custodial parent to see.

None of the leaks involve foster care or domestic violence cases, according to DSHS, which blames the release of information on a clerical issue that DSHS reports was quickly addressed and corrected.

Of the nearly 4,000 parents affected by the error, 445 came from Spokane, 270 from Kennewick, 148 from Yakima and 115 came from Wenatchee.

DSHS has sent letters to all affected custodial parents apologizing for the error and has provided resources to contact them in the case of identity theft or physical or emotional harm. It is also encouraging all who may be affected to call their Child Support's Community Relations Unit at 1-800-457-6202.