State Central Child Abuse Registries

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State Central Child Abuse Registries

Postby MaggieC » Wed Jul 16, 2008 6:51 pm

I have been researching and reading. I think I have read hundreds of personal stories both on websites and in the news. It seems that systemwide (state to state) no matter what the circumstances, i.e. if the police find you innocent, that CPS always places the parents on the central registry. So even if the child is returned, the parents are still placed on the registry which precludes them from working in jobs involving children and law enforcement and also precludes them from adopting children.

Also, should the child fall and skin a knee for instance, the record is produced which then may be used as "evidence" for a new case of abuse.

Of course, unknown to many, there are legal mechanisms in place in which to appeal those registry placings and my research also indicates that most appeals are won.

My question to everyone here is: even if your children were returned to you did you find that you had a "record" with the registry?

Does anyone know of one single time when a family was truly exonerated and not placed on the registry?

Thank you all for your responses. I am in the learning phase here and would like to learn as much as I can.

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Postby Marina » Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:11 pm

Here is a state supreme court case. ... enDocument

When doing an internet search for something like this, use the search term "court opinion." That will bring up a lot of court cases. I think court opinons are awesome. They are written like no other document can be written. Also, you can find information in them that will lead you to a thousand other things.

For example, if the court opinion sites a case, such as "Smith v. Jones," for a fake example, then do a search for that term. That will lead you to other cases that quote "Smith v. Jones" in their arguments.



Postby MaggieC » Thu Jul 17, 2008 6:19 pm

Actually, I am a legal research paralegal and have read much case law concerning this but of course, the only reason for the case law is because the parents (or others) were placed on the registry and petitioned to be removed.

I am wondering though, if anyone was not placed on the registry.

I am of the opinion that no matter what one does (service plan, exonerated by the court) that CPS still places that person on the registry.

In NY, there is an administrative hearing process in which a person petitions to be removed from the registry. A sort of "inhouse" process often done solely on papers without a hearing.

Should the request be denied, then the petitioner may file a petition to be heard in court. The bar is high on this but the cases I have read generally have good results for the petitioner.

But again, just wondering, as I think no matter what...................CPS files that report with the registry.

In NY, the report is active until the youngest child reaches the age of 28.

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Postby LanceBabe » Fri Jul 18, 2008 5:01 am

If my daughter is put on that registry, you can bet I'm going to do everything I can to get her taken off. Her only "crime" is that she talked to her doctor about her fear of developing postpartum depression and CPS is making it sound as if -- no, they are actually CLAIMING -- she was actively having thoughts of hurting her baby.

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Postby Marina » Fri Jul 18, 2008 3:56 pm


There are 2 different records databases.

The first is a record of accusations. This is supposed to be used for internal Agency purposes only. If there are 3 false accusations, for example, then the Agency is mandated to transfer the case from the "assessment" track over to the "investigation" track, for those states which have the alternative response system. ... ideall.pdf

The second is a record of "founded" cases. This is the one that can be challenged in an administrative appeal. In Child Welfare, a "preponderance of evidence" is needed. In the criminal investigation, evidence is needed "beyond reasonable doubt." This database is open to child care providers, etc. ... regall.pdf

I think this is the common perception. Your research may have shown something more sinister.

If a person is sued in civil court, for something like an eviction for not paying rent, then the record will show up on the courts database which is online in many places. If the case is dismissed, for any number of reasons, then that fact will also show up on the database also. If a summons was mailed rather than delivered by a sherriff in person, then maybe the person didn't even know about the court hearing if they have moved to another state. Maybe the landlord's secretary pocketed the money, and the tenant showed the cancelled check as evidence.

Another scenario may be this: A couple rents a place, there is domestic violence, and one person leaves. If both parties are on the lease, then the landlord will go after both parties for back rent.

On some job applications, the employer asks if the applicant has ever been arrested. If the answer is Yes, then there is an opportunity to explain. Someone may be arrested merely because they have been mistaken for someone else.



Postby MaggieC » Fri Jul 18, 2008 7:19 pm

The NY SCR (and I believe IL is quite similar) would contain unfounded or indicated cases. I have to check my notes but I believe substantiated is another higher level.

Indicated seems to be the way things normally go-at least according to case law in NY and my experience in NY.

The slimmest of "evidence" is provided for the indicated status. If indicated, that means that the subject remains on the registry until the youngest child in the household reaches the age of 28.

This record is routinely checked when the subject applies for any job related to children, law enforcement or if the subject applies to adopt or foster a child, even a relative's child. The registry is also scanned should another future accusation arise.

This could be devastating for a settled adult but even more so devastating for a young adult just beginning on life's road. It greatly precludes that individual from a myriad of job opportunities; teacher, social worker, day care worker, EMS, medical school, law school (character is previewed prior to aceptance to the Bar), day care worker, nurse, school bus driver, school cafeteria worker, therapist, summer camp employee, state department employees, all law enforcement including local, state, and federal-the list can go on and on.

I worked on a case some time ago wherein the "subject's" career would have been ruined had his name remained on the registry. It was startling to read the "evidence" of the abuse cited by CPS. Read objectively, this person did not abuse, rather he used common sense and sensitivity to address normal childhood situations such as bedwetting or eating too many sweets.

We were able to clear his name and the record was expunged. But the window to do so was very slim.

This individual was highly educated and so read the fine print of the letter indicating him and so knew quickly to obtain counsel to clear his name from the Registry.

Again, he was highly educated and read the fine print. I am not sure how many others would have done this. Heck, I am not sure how many others may even have ever received the letter noting the status.

This is a very serious and yes, sinister, side of the social service laws.

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Postby Momoffor » Mon Jul 21, 2008 10:15 pm

I know I have been listed in the registry even though my children were never removed. Supposedly, my name was supposed to have been taken off after 3 years which that time has come and gone.

BUT I have no idea if I have been removed or not. (my money is on the latter) in order to get a job in the location we are stationed at now, I need to get a Secret security clearance. Something that I am not sure will go though or not, because of the CPS thing. And really dont want to fork out the amount of money required for the check if its just going to get bounced back because of the CPS ordeal.

Supervision neglect of a 10 and 9 year old is what I was founded with. (They were both 2 months away from being 11 and 10). I have never done anything criminal in my life and never got more than a speeding ticket until this.

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Postby Marina » Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:27 am

. ... 07-eng.pdf

Virginia Department of Social Services – Child Protective Services


6. Enclose $5.00


Links to state laws ... ies/state/

From this website, it is not clear how records are used in VA for example.

For employment screening, it says records are used for people applying to work in a school, either as an employee or volunteer. But it doesn't even mention working in child care.

Yet it says disclosure is related to whatever policies Social Services establishes.

The link is not clear on "public" disclosure.

I suppose a parent would have to go look in the policy manual for current regulations.


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Postby Greegor » Sun Feb 22, 2009 11:40 pm

If you get a court ordered expungement, make sure
to mention both the state agency tracking computer
AND the Federally accessable SACWIS database.
That is how they keep "double books" and I think
expungements have missed this important loophole.

The registry makes it 3 databases.

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