The California Child Abuse Central Index (CACI)

Juvenile Dependency Court

The California Child Abuse Central Index (CACI) was created under the authority of the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act, found in the California Penal Code Sections 11164 to 11174.3.

What is the CACI?

The CACI is administered by the Office of the Attorney General and is an invaluable tool for state and local law enforcement in preventing and protecting children from abuse and neglect. When an individual is suspected of child abuse, an investigation is initiated and the person’s information is entered into the CACI. Reports involve allegations of neglect and serious physical, mental, emotional, and sexual abuse of a child. Reports are submitted to the CACI by county probation and welfare departments.

“Mandatory reporters” that suspect a child is being neglected or abused usually initiate reports and investigations. Mandatory reporters include school staff, health care providers, emergency personnel, clergy members, and law enforcement officers. Mandatory reporters must report their suspicions to their local Child Welfare Office or Child Protective Services. If allegations against an individual are determined to be either inconclusive or substantiated, the report is sent to the Department of Justice to be entered into the CACI.

Information in the CACI is mainly used in two ways. The CACI is used by law enforcement to aid in investigation and prosecution, and to identify repeat offenders or repeated abuse against a particular child. The CACI is also used by certain social welfare agencies to screen candidates for licensing or employment in several fields including child and foster care. The information is also used in making placement decisions regarding adoption and foster homes. The information in the CACI is private and only used by certain individuals and organizations.

What information appears on the CACI?

CACI collects several pieces of information relating to each report and investigation including:

  • Name and personal description of victim
  • Name and personal description of suspect
  • Reporting agency that conducted the investigation
  • Case name/ number assigned by the reporting agency
  • Types of abuse alleged and investigated
  • Substantiation of investigation findings

Each reporting agency is responsible for the accuracy of the information submitted to the CACI.

How can I find out if my name is on the CACI?

There are two ways to inquire whether someone’s name appears on the CACI. One way is to fill out the California Department of Justice Child Abuse Central Index Self Inquiry Request form, pdf, sign it before a notary, and mail it to the California Department of Justice. Alternatively, an individual may send a notarized letter asking whether their name appears on the CACI. The letter must include the following information:

  • All the names and aliases the person has used
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security Number, Driver’s license number, passport number
  • Current address
  • Previous California addresses

How can I have my name removed from the CACI?

Individuals listed in the CACI only as victims of child neglect or abuse may petition to have their name removed after their 18th birthday. This may be done by sending a notarized letter to the California Department of Justice. The letter must contain the victim’s name, date of birth, social security number, and address.

If the allegations against an individual are found to be substantiated, the individual will remain on CACI for the rest of his or her life. It is very difficult to remove a person’s information if the findings are substantiated.

If the allegations are inconclusive, an individual will remain in the CACI for 10 years. If after 10 years there have been no additional incidents of child abuse or neglect, the individual may request removal of their name. If, however, there were additional incidents of child abuse or neglect, the individual’s name will remain on the CACI.

A grievance hearing is the only other way to have an individual’s name removed from CACI. When an individual is notified of their placement in CACI, they are also notified of their opportunity to contest this through a grievance hearing. It is very important to have a qualified attorney present with you at your grievance hearing.

Orange County CACI Defense at the Johnson Criminal Law Group

Our criminal defense attorney at the Johnson Criminal Law Group will provide you with experienced legal defense for child abuse and neglect charges. If facing possible charges it is important to get in touch with our Orange County criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. We can be reached by phone at 949-622-5522 or you can send us a message online today.

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