Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CACI)
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Law Offices of Benita Ventresca408-395-8822
20 S. Santa Cruz Ave., Suite 212, Los Gatos, CA 95030
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Los Gatos Lawyer Defense of CACI False Allegations of Child Abuse and Neglect

Attorney Assisting Santa Clara County Clients in CACI Reports and Investigations

Mountain View CACI defense attorney

California law takes child abuse very seriously, and the state has put a number of important measures in place to ensure that children's safety and well-being is protected. Unfortunately, this vigilance when it comes to protecting children can lead to false accusations of child abuse, and alleged abusers can be caught up in the system, receiving a record that affects their personal and professional reputation for the rest of their lives. Allegations of child abuse can be especially damaging during divorce, affecting the court's decisions related to child custody and visitation.

California Law: CANRA and CACI

In California, the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA) requires "mandated reporters" such as teachers, school employees, day care center workers, doctors, nurses, coaches, therapists, priests, and ministers to make a report to law enforcement if they have reasonable suspicion that a child has been the victim of abuse or neglect.

After receiving a report, a social worker will investigate the case, and they will make one of three possible findings:

  • Unfounded - The investigator believes that the report was false, injuries occurred accidentally, or abuse or neglect did not occur.
  • Substantiated - The investigator believes that the evidence shows that the alleged abuse or neglect was more likely than not to have occurred.
  • Inconclusive - The investigator does not believe that the report of abuse or neglect is unfounded, but there is insufficient evidence to determine whether the alleged abuse actually occurred.

When a social worker finds that a report is substantiated, they will file a report with the California Department of Justice (DOJ), and information about the case will be added to the Child Abuse Central Index (CACI). The CACI will include the names and descriptions of suspects and victims, the type of abuse or neglect which was alleged, and the findings of the investigation.

Information in the CACI is used by law enforcement officials who are conducting investigations and prosecutions and social welfare agencies which screen people applying for licenses or employment as child care providers. It will also be visible in background checks for people who are applying to adopt a child or act as a foster parent.

CACI Hearings

When a substantiated report of suspected child abuse or neglect is made to the DOJ, the suspect will be notified in writing of their inclusion in the CACI. After receiving this notice, the alleged abuser has the right to a hearing to contest the CACI listing. A request for a hearing will be denied if a court has determined that the alleged abuse or neglect occurred, or if the court case is still pending.

If a CACI hearing or court proceeding determines that the report of alleged child abuse or neglect was not substantiated, the DOJ will be notified of these results, and the name of the alleged abuser will be removed from the CACI.

Contact a Los Gatos Family Law Attorney

If you have received notice that your name has been added to the CACI, you should contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. At the Law Offices of Benita Ventresca, we can help you understand your rights, work with you to file the proper paperwork to request a CACI hearing, and provide the representation you need as you contest the allegations against you. Contact a Los Gatos CACI hearing lawyer today at 408-395-8822 to schedule a free initial consultation. The Law Offices of Benita Ventresca is located in downtown Los Gatos and serves clients in Santa Clara County, including Cupertino, Campbell, Mountain View, Saratoga, and Palo Alto.

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Law Offices of Benita Ventresca

20 S. Santa Cruz Ave., Suite 212
Los Gatos, CA 95030

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Conveniently located in downtown los gatos and
close to highway 280, 85 & 880


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