Child Abuse Central Index (CACI) – FAQ (2 of 2)
How do I get off of the CACI?
At the time you received the letter stating that you have been listed on the CACI, you should have also received Notice of your Grievance Rights. Unless a criminal or dependency court has already found the allegations to be true, you have a right to a grievance hearing in front of an impartial review officer named by the child welfare agency who conducted the investigation.
How do I handle the CACI Grievance Hearing?
You can either represent yourself at the CACI Grievance Hearing, or hire an attorney to represent you. Either way, the CACI Grievance Hearing is essentially a “mini-trial” in a child welfare agency conference room. You or your attorney will have the opportunity to cross-examine the social worker investigator that made the “substantiated” child abuse finding. You will also have an opportunity to answer questions under oath to give your side of the facts and events that led to the child abuse referral.
Will there be an attorney appointed to represent me?
Unfortunately, there is no legal provision for the government to appoint you an attorney for a CACI Grievance Hearing. You must hire an attorney privately if you choose to have an attorney for the Grievance Hearing to fully protect your civil and constitutional rights.
What happens after the CACI Grievance Hearing?
A few months after the CACI hearing you will get a written Decision in the mail signed by the agency Director. If the decision is in your favor and downgrades the finding from “substantiated” to either “inconclusive” or “unfounded” the agency will send notification of such to the DOJ and notify you that they have done so. You should then wait a few weeks and do the “self-check” inquiry through the DOJ website to confirm that you are no longer on the CACI.
If the decision is NOT in your favor, you can appeal it by filing a writ in the Superior Court. This is a more complicated process and would be difficult to execute successfully for a non-attorney. In a writ proceeding, a Superior Court Judge reviews the transcript of the CACI Grievance Hearing and reads legal motions filed by you and the Agency and determines if you should remain on the CACI or be removed.