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What Is California’s Child Abuse Central Index (CACI)?

Posted on in Child Custody & Visitation

California family lawyerChildren are some of the most vulnerable members of our society, especially when they are in danger of abuse by the people who are responsible for raising and caring for them. In order to help keep children safe, the state of California has put several laws in place designed to protect them from abuse and neglect, including the establishment of the Child Abuse Central Index (CACI). However, these laws can negatively affect people who are falsely accused of child abuse. During child abuse investigations, it is important to know your rights and understand how the laws affect you.

Understanding the CACI

In California, when a report of suspected child abuse or severe neglect is made to a law enforcement agency, a social worker will investigate the situation. If they find that the report is substantiated (meaning that they believe that it is more likely than not that the alleged abuse actually occurred), their report will be forwarded to the Child Abuse Central Index, which is administered by the California Attorney General.

A person’s file in the CACI will include the following information:

  • The names and descriptions of the child abuse suspect and the alleged victims;
  • The agency which investigated the report of child abuse and the name/number of the agency’s case file; and
  • The type of abuse which was investigated.

While information on the CACI is not available to the general public, a variety of people and organizations have access to this data, including:

  • Law enforcement agencies;
  • County welfare departments;
  • County probation departments;
  • Prosecutors;
  • Employers and potential employers;
  • Licensing agencies;
  • Child welfare agencies;
  • Adoption agencies;
  • People conducting background checks for employment or volunteer candidates;
  • Out of state agencies conducting law enforcement investigations; and
  • Out of state agencies seeking to approve prospective foster or adoptive parents.

Being listed in the CACI can have serious consequences that can affect a person’s ability to adopt a child, act as a foster parent, volunteer for certain organizations, or find employment as a teacher, day care center worker, coach, nurse, or a variety of other occupations. Fortunately, the law allows a person listed on the CACI to request a grievance hearing and ask to have their name removed.

Contact a Los Gatos CACI Hearing Lawyer

If you have received notice that your name has been listed on the CACI, or if you are under investigation for child abuse or neglect, it is essential to secure the services of an experienced attorney who can help you protect your good name and minimize the consequences to your life, your family, and your career. At the Law Offices of Benita Ventresca, we will work to protect your rights and provide you with the skilled, compassionate representation you need in your CACI hearing. Contact a Los Gatos family law attorney at 408-395-8822 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://oag.ca.gov/childabuse

http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=PEN&sectionNum=11170.

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