PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The state Department of Children, Youth and Families says an employee accidentally threw out a flash drive with encrypted information about nearly 1,000 children in the state’s foster care system.

Department spokeswoman Kerri White says the employee discarded the flash drive while cleaning their desk.

WPRI-TV reports the drive contained the names, birth dates, addresses and Social Security numbers of 982 children. The department sends the information to credit reporting agencies annually, which is required by federal law.

White says the risk of an information breach is very low because the device is password protected and encrypted. The department says it isn’t aware of the information being misused at this time.

The department sent letters to the affected children, and the employee involved is no longer doing the credit checks.

Information from: WPRI-TV,