Bill Text

PDF |Add To My Favorites |Track Bill | print page

AB-1450 Child Abuse Central Index.(2019-2020)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
Date Published: 01/06/2020 02:00 PM
AB1450:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  January 06, 2020

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1450


Introduced by Assembly Member Lackey
(Coauthor: Senator Wilk)

February 22, 2019


An act to add Section 11166.6 to amend Sections 11169 and 11170 of, and to add Section 11169.5 to, the Penal Code, relating to child abuse.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1450, as amended, Lackey. Child abuse reporting: cross-reporting among local agencies. Child Abuse Central Index.
Existing law designates certain individuals, such as teachers, peace officers, physicians, and clergy members, among others, as mandated reporters and requires them to report suspected child abuse or neglect to specified agencies whenever the mandated reporter, in their professional capacity or within the scope of their employment, knows of, or observes, a child whom the mandated reporter knows or reasonably suspects has been the victim of child abuse or neglect. Existing law requires specified local agencies to forward those reports to the Department of Justice in writing of all cases the agencies investigate of known or suspected child abuse or severe neglect that are determined to be substantiated. Existing law requires the Department of Justice to be a repository of reports of suspected child abuse and severe neglect and to maintain those reports in the Child Abuse Central Index (CACI). Existing law prohibits a police or sheriff’s department from forwarding to the Department of Justice a report of a case the police or sheriff’s department investigates of known or suspected child abuse or neglect.
This bill would authorize a police or sheriff’s department to which a report of suspected child abuse or severe neglect is made on or after January 1, 2021, or that is investigating an open case for which a report of suspected child abuse or severe neglect was made on or before January 1, 2021, to forward to the Department of Justice a report in writing of its investigation of known or suspected child abuse or severe neglect that is determined to be substantiated. The bill would require a police or sheriff’s department that forwards a report to comply with the same requirements placed on other reporting agencies and would require the police or sheriff’s department to adopt notification and grievance procedures. The bill would prescribe minimum requirements for the notification and grievance procedures, including specifying timelines and rules governing the grievance hearing. The bill would also make conforming changes.

Existing law requires a county probation or welfare department to immediately, or as soon as practicably possible, report to the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the case, to the agency given responsibility for investigation of child welfare cases, and to the district attorney’s office every known or suspected instance of child abuse or neglect, as specified. Existing law states the intent of the Legislature that the law enforcement agencies and the county welfare or probation department of each county develop and implement cooperative arrangements in order to coordinate existing duties in connection with the investigation of suspected child abuse or neglect cases. Existing law requires a local law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over a reported case of child abuse to report to the county welfare or probation department that it is investigating the case, and requires the county welfare department or probation department, in certain cases, to evaluate what action or actions would be in the best interest of the child and to submit its findings to the district attorney, as specified.

This bill would, no later than January 1, 2030, require each county to establish a private and secure online database for cross-reporting substantiated reports of child abuse and neglect. The bill would require each county to develop a process for a person to petition to have the person’s name removed from the database if the report regarding the individual is unsubstantiated. The bill would require each database to be implemented with policies to oversee the sharing of information, including, but not limited to, cross-reporting among the county welfare department, the district attorney’s office, and local law enforcement agencies, to ensure that each agency carries out its mandated investigative response to reports of child abuse or neglect. The bill would require unsubstantiated reports to be purged from the database. The bill would state findings and declarations of the Legislature regarding reporting child abuse and neglect. By imposing new duties on counties, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YESNO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 11169 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

11169.
 (a) An Except for a police department or sheriff’s department, an agency specified in Section 11165.9 shall forward to the Department of Justice a report in writing of every case it investigates of known or suspected child abuse or severe neglect that is determined to be substantiated, other than cases coming within subdivision (b) of Section 11165.2. An agency shall not forward a report to the Department of Justice unless it has conducted an active investigation and determined that the report is substantiated, as defined in Section 11165.12. If a report has previously been filed which report subsequently proves to be not substantiated, the Department of Justice shall be notified in writing of that fact and shall not retain the report. The reports required by this section shall be in a form approved by the Department of Justice and may be sent by fax or electronic transmission. An agency specified in Section 11165.9 receiving a written report from another agency specified in Section 11165.9 shall not send that report to the Department of Justice.

(b)On and after January 1, 2012, a police department or sheriff’s department specified in Section 11165.9 shall no longer forward to the Department of Justice a report in writing of any case it investigates of known or suspected child abuse or severe neglect.

(b) A police or sheriff’s department to which a report is made on or after January 1, 2021, pursuant to Section 11165.9, or that is investigating an open case for which a report was made on or before January 1, 2021, pursuant to Section 11165.9, may forward to the Department of Justice a report in writing of its investigation of known or suspected child abuse or severe neglect that is determined to be substantiated, other than cases coming within subdivision (b) of Section 11165.2. A police or sheriff’s department shall not forward a report to the Department of Justice pursuant to this subdivision unless it has conducted an active investigation and determined that the report is substantiated, as defined in Section 11165.12. If a previously filed report subsequently proves to be not substantiated, the Department of Justice shall be notified in writing of that fact and shall not retain the report. A police or sheriff’s department that forwards a report to the Department of Justice pursuant to this subdivision is subject to all of the requirements imposed by this section and shall adopt notification and grievance procedures as set forth in Section 11169.5.
(c) At the time an agency specified in Section 11165.9 forwards a report in writing to the Department of Justice pursuant to subdivision (a); (a) or (b), the agency shall also notify in writing the known or suspected child abuser that he or she has they have been reported to the Child Abuse Central Index (CACI).The (CACI). The notice required by this section shall be in a form approved by the Department of Justice. department. The requirements of this subdivision shall apply with respect to reports forwarded to the department on or after the date on which this subdivision becomes operative.
(d) Subject to subdivision (e), any a person who is listed on the CACI has the right to a hearing before the agency that requested his or her the person’s inclusion in the CACI to challenge his or her their listing on the CACI. The hearing shall satisfy due process requirements. It is the intent of the Legislature that the hearing provided for by this subdivision shall not be construed to be inconsistent with hearing proceedings available to persons who have been listed on the CACI prior to the enactment of the act that added this subdivision.
(e) A hearing requested pursuant to subdivision (d) shall be denied when a court of competent jurisdiction has determined that suspected child abuse or neglect has occurred, or when the allegation of child abuse or neglect resulting in the referral to the CACI is pending before the court. A person who is listed on the CACI and has been denied a hearing pursuant to this subdivision has a right to a hearing pursuant to subdivision (d) only if the court’s jurisdiction has terminated, the court has not made a finding concerning whether the suspected child abuse or neglect was substantiated, and a hearing has not previously been provided to the listed person pursuant to subdivision (d).
(f) Any A person listed in the CACI who has reached 100 years of age shall have his or her their listing removed from the CACI.
(g) Any A person listed in the CACI as of January 1, 2013, who was listed prior to reaching 18 years of age, and who is listed once in CACI with no subsequent listings, shall be removed from the CACI 10 years from the date of the incident resulting in the CACI listing.
(h) If, after a hearing pursuant to subdivision (d) or a court proceeding described in subdivision (e), it is determined the person’s CACI listing was based on a report that was not substantiated, the agency shall notify the Department of Justice department of that result and the department shall remove that person’s name from the CACI.
(i) Agencies, including police departments and sheriff’s departments, shall retain child abuse or neglect investigative reports that result or resulted in a report filed with the Department of Justice pursuant to subdivision (a) or (b) for the same period of time that the information is required to be maintained on the CACI pursuant to this section and subdivision (a) of Section 11170. Nothing in this This section precludes does not prohibit an agency from retaining the reports for a longer period of time if required by law.
(j) The immunity provisions of Section 11172 shall do not apply to the submission of a report by an agency pursuant to this section. However, nothing in this section shall be construed to does not alter or diminish any other immunity provisions of state or federal law.

SEC. 2.

 Section 11169.5 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

11169.5.
 A police or sheriff’s department that forwards a report of known or suspected child abuse or severe neglect to the Department of Justice pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 11169 shall adopt notification and grievance procedures that, at a minimum, include all of the following requirements:
(a) Within five business days of submitting a person’s name to the department for listing on the CACI, the police or sheriff’s department shall send the following forms to the person’s last known address:
(1) A notice of the CACI listing.
(2) A description of the grievance procedures for challenging a listing on the CACI.
(3) A form to request a grievance hearing, including a referral number for the person’s case.
(b) The notice of the CACI listing required by subdivision (a) shall contain the following information:
(1) Notice that the police or sheriff’s department has completed an investigation of suspected child abuse or severe neglect, which the department has determined to be substantiated, and that the police or sheriff’s department has submitted the person’s name to the Department of Justice for listing on the CACI.
(2) The victim’s name, a brief description of the alleged abuse or severe neglect, and the date and location where the abuse or neglect occurred.
(c) (1) A person who requests a grievance hearing shall, within 30 calendar days of the date of notice of the CACI listing, send by mail, fax, or electronic mail, or deliver in person to the police or sheriff’s department, a signed and completed request for grievance hearing form that includes all of the required information contained on the form. Failure to send the completed request for grievance hearing form within the required time period constitutes a waiver of the right to a grievance hearing.
(2) A completed Request for Grievance Hearing form shall include the referral number, name of the police or sheriff’s department that investigated the abuse or neglect, the person’s contact information and date of birth, the reason for grievance, and contact information for the person’s attorney or representative, if any.
(d) A grievance hearing shall be scheduled within 10 business days, and shall be held no later than 60 calendar days, after the date the request for a grievance hearing is received by the police or sheriff’s department, unless otherwise agreed to by the person requesting the hearing and the police or sheriff’s department.
(1) Notice of the date, time, and place of the grievance hearing shall be mailed by the police or sheriff’s department to the person requesting the hearing at least 30 calendar days before the grievance hearing is scheduled, unless otherwise agreed to by the person and the police or sheriff’s department.
(2) The person requesting the hearing may have an attorney or other representative present at the hearing to assist the person.
(3) Either party may request a continuance of the grievance hearing not to exceed 10 business days. Additional continuances or dismissal of the grievance hearing shall be granted with mutual agreement of both parties involved or for good cause.
(4) The police or sheriff’s department may resolve a grievance hearing at any point by changing a finding of substantiated child abuse or severe neglect to a finding of not substantiated and notifying the Department of Justice of the need to remove the person’s name from the CACI.
(e) The grievance review officer assigned to conduct the grievance hearing shall be a staff member or other employee of the police or sheriff’s department who was not directly involved in the decision to include the person’s name in the CACI and who was not involved in the investigation of the action or finding that is the subject of the grievance hearing.
(1) The grievance review officer shall be capable of objectively reviewing the case information pertaining to the grievance and be able to conduct a fair and impartial hearing. A grievance review officer shall voluntarily disqualify themselves and withdraw from any proceeding in which the grievance review officer cannot give a fair and impartial hearing or in which the grievance review officer has an interest.
(2) A party may request at any time prior to the close of the record, that the grievance review officer be disqualified upon the grounds that a fair and impartial hearing may not be held.
(3) A request that a grievance review officer be disqualified shall be ruled upon by the grievance review officer prior to the close of the record. The grievance review officer’s determination is subject to rehearing review and judicial review in the same manner and to the same extent as other determinations of the grievance review officer in the proceeding.
(f) The person requesting the grievance hearing, or the person’s attorney or representative, if any, and the police or sheriff’s department shall be permitted, at least 10 days prior to the hearing, to examine all records and relevant evidence that is not otherwise made confidential by law, that the opposing party intends to introduce at the grievance hearing.
(1) The police or sheriff’s department shall redact names and personal identifiers from the records and other evidence as required by law and to protect the identity and health and safety of a mandated reporter. The police or sheriff’s department may also redact information regarding a mandated reporter’s observations of the evidence indicating child abuse or severe neglect, if necessary to protect the identity and health and safety of the mandated reporter.
(2) The police or sheriff’s department shall release disclosable information to the person’s attorney or representative only if the person has provided the police or sheriff’s department with a signed consent to do so.
(3) The person requesting the hearing and the police or sheriff’s department shall exchange witness lists at least 10 days in advance of the grievance hearing.
(4) Failure to disclose evidence or witness lists in advance of the grievance hearing may constitute grounds for the opposing party to object to consideration of the evidence or to object to allowing testimony of a witness during the hearing.
(g) Each party and their attorney or representative, and witnesses while testifying, shall be the only persons authorized to be present during the grievance hearing unless both parties and the grievance review officer consent to the presence of other persons.
(h) All testimony given during the grievance hearing shall be given under oath or affirmation.
(1) The grievance review officer has no subpoena power.
(2) Each party may call witnesses to the hearing and may question witnesses called by the other party. The grievance review officer may limit the questioning of a witness to protect the witness from unwarranted embarrassment, oppression, or harassment.
(3) The grievance review officer may permit the testimony or presence of a child at a hearing only if the child’s participation in the grievance hearing is voluntary and the child is capable of providing voluntary consent.
(A) The grievance review officer may prevent the presence or examination of a child at a grievance hearing for good cause, including, but not limited to, protecting the child from trauma or to protect the child’s health, safety, or well-being.
(B) The grievance review officer may interview a child outside the presence of the parties in order to determine whether the participation of the child is voluntary or whether good cause exists for preventing the child from being present or testifying at the grievance hearing.
(4) The police or sheriff’s department officer who conducted the investigation that is the subject of the grievance hearing shall be present at the hearing if the officer is available to participate in the grievance hearing.
(i) At the hearing, the police or sheriff’s department shall first present its evidence supporting its actions or findings that are the subject of the grievance. The person who requested the grievance hearing may then provide evidence supporting the person’s claim that the police or sheriff’s department decision should be withdrawn or changed. The police or sheriff’s department shall then be allowed to present rebuttal evidence in further support of its finding. Thereafter, the grievance review officer may, at the grievance review officer’s discretion, allow the parties to submit any additional evidence as may be warranted to fully evaluate the matter under review.
(j) The police or sheriff’s department shall have the proceedings of the grievance review hearing audio recorded as part of the official administrative record.
(1) The police or sheriff’s department shall maintain the administrative record of the grievance hearing.
(2) The police or sheriff’s department shall keep possession of the recording and transcript, and its contents shall remain under seal, except that the person who requested the grievance hearing or the person’s attorney or representative shall be entitled to inspect the recording and any related transcripts.
(3) If the person who requested the grievance hearing seeks to inspect the transcript, the cost for transcribing a recording of the hearing shall be assessed to that person.
(4) The police or sheriff’s department shall file the administrative record with the court if any party seeks judicial review of the final decision of the grievance review officer.
(k) At the conclusion of the grievance hearing, the grievance review officer shall make a determination based on the evidence presented at the grievance hearing, whether the allegation of child abuse or severe neglect is unfounded, substantiated, or inconclusive, as defined by Section 11165.12.
(1) The grievance review officer shall render a written decision within 30 calendar days of the completion of the grievance hearing. The written decision shall contain a summary statement of the facts, the issues involved, findings, and the basis for the decision.
(2) A copy of the decision shall be sent to the person who requested the grievance hearing and the person’s attorney or representative, if any.
(3) If the person who requested the grievance hearing chooses to challenge the written determination, the evidence and information disclosed at the grievance hearing may be part of an administrative record for a writ of mandate and shall be kept confidential.
(4) The grievance hearing administrative record shall be kept confidential, including if any of the parties request that it be filed with the court under seal.
(l) The grievance hearing administrative record shall be retained for a length of time consistent with current law, regulations, or judicial order that governs the retention of the underlying record, but not less than one year from the decision date in any circumstance, and shall include all records accepted into evidence at the hearing.

SEC. 3.

 Section 11170 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

11170.
 (a) (1) The Department of Justice shall maintain an index of all reports of child abuse and severe neglect submitted pursuant to Section 11169. The index shall be continually updated by the department and shall not contain any reports that are determined to be not substantiated. The department may adopt rules governing recordkeeping and reporting pursuant to this article.
(2) The department shall act only as a repository of reports of suspected child abuse and severe neglect to be maintained in the Child Abuse Central Index (CACI) pursuant to paragraph (1). The submitting agencies are responsible for the accuracy, completeness, and retention of the reports described in this section. The department shall be responsible for ensuring that the CACI accurately reflects the report it receives from the submitting agency.
(3) Only information from reports that are reported as substantiated shall be filed pursuant to paragraph (1), and all other determinations shall be removed from the central list. If a person listed in the CACI was under 18 years of age at the time of the report, the information shall be deleted from the CACI 10 years from the date of the incident resulting in the CACI listing, if no subsequent report concerning the same person is received during that time period.
(b) The provisions requirements of subdivision (c) of Section 11169 apply to any information provided pursuant to this subdivision.
(1) The Department of Justice department shall immediately notify an agency that submits a report pursuant to Section 11169, or a prosecutor who requests notification, of any information maintained pursuant to subdivision (a) that is relevant to the known or suspected instance of child abuse or severe neglect reported by the agency. The agency shall make that information available to the reporting health care practitioner who is treating a person reported as a possible victim of known or suspected child abuse. The agency shall make that information available to the reporting child custodian, Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act guardian ad litem appointed under Rule 5.662 of the California Rules of Court, or counsel appointed under Section 317 or 318 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, or the appropriate licensing agency, if he or she they or the licensing agency is handling or investigating a case of known or suspected child abuse or severe neglect.
(2) When a report is made pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 11166, or Section 11166.05, the investigating agency, upon completion of the investigation or after there has been a final disposition in the matter, shall inform the person required or authorized to report of the results of the investigation and of any action the agency is taking with regard to the child or family.
(3) The Department of Justice department shall make relevant information from the CACI available to a law enforcement agency, county welfare department, tribal agency pursuant to Section 10553.12 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, or county probation department that is conducting a child abuse investigation.
(4) The department shall make available to the State Department of Social Services, to any county licensing agency that has contracted with the state for the performance of licensing duties, to a county approving resource families pursuant to Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, or to a tribal court or tribal child welfare agency of a tribe, consortium of tribes, or tribal organization that has entered into an agreement with the state pursuant to Section 10553.1 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, information regarding a known or suspected child abuser maintained pursuant to this section and subdivision (a) of or Section 11169 concerning any person who is an applicant for licensure or approval, or any adult who resides or is employed in the home of an applicant for licensure or approval, or who is an applicant for employment in a position having supervisorial or disciplinary power over a child or children, or who will provide 24-hour care for a child or children in a residential home or facility, pursuant to Section 1522.1 or 1596.877 of the Health and Safety Code, or Section 8714, 8802, 8912, or 9000 of the Family Code, or Section 11403.2 or 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(5) The Department of Justice department shall make available to a Court Appointed Special Advocate program that is conducting a background investigation of an applicant seeking employment with the program or a volunteer position as a Court Appointed Special Advocate, as defined in Section 101 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, information contained in the index regarding known or suspected child abuse by the applicant.
(6) For purposes of child death review, the Department of Justice department shall make available to the chairperson, or the chairperson’s designee, for each county child death review team, or the State Child Death Review Council, information for investigative purposes only that is maintained in the CACI pursuant to subdivision (a) relating to the death of one or more children and any prior child abuse or neglect investigation reports maintained involving the same victims, siblings, or suspects. Local child death review teams may share any relevant information regarding case reviews involving child death with other child death review teams.
(7) The department shall make available to investigative agencies or probation officers, or court investigators acting pursuant to Section 1513 of the Probate Code, responsible for placing children or assessing the possible placement of children pursuant to Article 6 (commencing with Section 300), Article 7 (commencing with Section 305), Article 10 (commencing with Section 360), or Article 14 (commencing with Section 601) of Chapter 2 of Part 1 of Division 2 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, or Article 2 (commencing with Section 1510) or Article 3 (commencing with Section 1540) of Chapter 1 of Part 2 of Division 4 of the Probate Code, information regarding a known or suspected child abuser contained in the index concerning any adult residing in the home where the child may be placed, when this information is requested for purposes of ensuring that the placement is in the best interest of the child. Upon receipt of relevant information concerning child abuse or neglect investigation reports contained in the CACI from the Department of Justice department pursuant to this subdivision, the agency or court investigator shall notify, in writing, the person listed in the CACI that he or she is they are in the index. The notification shall include the name of the reporting agency and the date of the report.
(8) Pursuant to Section 10553.12 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, the department shall make available to a tribal agency information regarding a known or suspected child abuser maintained pursuant to this section or subdivision (a) of Section 11169 who is being considered as a prospective foster or adoptive parent, an adult who resides or is employed in the home of an applicant for approval, any person who has a familial or intimate relationship with any person living in the home of an applicant, or an employee of the tribal agency who may have contact with children.
(9) The Department of Justice department shall make available to a government agency conducting a background investigation pursuant to Section 1031 of the Government Code of an applicant seeking employment as a peace officer, as defined in Section 830, information regarding a known or suspected child abuser maintained pursuant to this section concerning the applicant.
(10) The Department of Justice department shall make available to a county child welfare agency or delegated county adoption agency, as defined in Section 8515 of the Family Code, conducting a background investigation, or a government agency conducting a background investigation on behalf of one of those agencies, information regarding a known or suspected child abuser maintained pursuant to this section and subdivision (a) of or Section 11169 concerning any applicant seeking employment or volunteer status with the agency who, in the course of his or her their employment or volunteer work, will have direct contact with children who are alleged to have been, are at risk of, or have suffered, abuse or neglect.
(11) (A) Persons or agencies, as specified in subdivision (b), if investigating a case of known or suspected child abuse or neglect, or the State Department of Social Services or any county licensing agency pursuant to paragraph (4), or a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program conducting a background investigation for employment or volunteer candidates pursuant to paragraph (5), or an investigative agency, probation officer, or court investigator responsible for placing children or assessing the possible placement of children pursuant to paragraph (7), or a government agency conducting a background investigation of an applicant seeking employment as a peace officer pursuant to paragraph (9), or a county child welfare agency or delegated county adoption agency conducting a background investigation of an applicant seeking employment or volunteer status who, in the course of his or her their employment or volunteer work, will have direct contact with children who are alleged to have been, are at risk of, or have suffered, abuse or neglect, pursuant to paragraph (10), to whom disclosure of any information maintained pursuant to subdivision (a) is authorized, are responsible for obtaining the original investigative report from the reporting agency, and for drawing independent conclusions regarding the quality of the evidence disclosed, and its sufficiency for making decisions regarding investigation, prosecution, licensing, placement of a child, employment or volunteer positions with a CASA program, or employment as a peace officer.
(B) If CACI information is requested by an agency for the temporary placement of a child in an emergency situation pursuant to Article 7 (commencing with Section 305) of Chapter 2 of Part 1 of Division 2 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, the department is exempt from the requirements of Section 1798.18 of the Civil Code if compliance would cause a delay in providing an expedited response to the agency’s inquiry and if further delay in placement may be detrimental to the child.
(12) (A) Whenever information contained in the Department of Justice department’s files is furnished as the result of an application for employment or licensing or volunteer status pursuant to paragraph (4), (5), (8), (9), or (10), the Department of Justice department may charge the person or entity making the request a fee. The fee shall not exceed the reasonable costs to the department of providing the information. The only increase shall be at a rate not to exceed the legislatively approved cost-of-living adjustment for the department. In no case shall the fee exceed fifteen dollars ($15).
(B) All moneys received by the department pursuant to this section to process trustline applications for purposes of Chapter 3.35 (commencing with Section 1596.60) of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code shall be deposited in a special account in the General Fund that is hereby established and named the Department of Justice Child Abuse Fund. Moneys in the fund shall be available, upon appropriation by the Legislature, for expenditure by the department to offset the costs incurred to process trustline automated child abuse or neglect system checks pursuant to this section.
(C) All moneys, other than those described in subparagraph (B), received by the department pursuant to this paragraph shall be deposited in a special account in the General Fund which is hereby created and named the Department of Justice Sexual Habitual Offender Fund. The funds shall be available, upon appropriation by the Legislature, for expenditure by the department to offset the costs incurred pursuant to Chapter 9.5 (commencing with Section 13885) and Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 13890) of Title 6 of Part 4, and the DNA and Forensic Identification Data Base and Data Bank Act of 1998 (Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 295) of Title 9 of Part 1), and for maintenance and improvements to the statewide Sexual Habitual Offender Program and the California DNA offender identification file (CAL-DNA) authorized by Chapter 9.5 (commencing with Section 13885) of Title 6 of Part 4 and the DNA and Forensic Identification Data Base and Data Bank Act of 1998 (Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 295) of Title 9 of Part 1).
(c) (1) The Department of Justice department shall make available to any agency responsible for placing children pursuant to Article 7 (commencing with Section 305) of Chapter 2 of Part 1 of Division 2 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, upon request, relevant information concerning child abuse or neglect reports contained in the index, when making a placement with a responsible relative pursuant to Sections 281.5, 305, and 361.3 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. Upon receipt of relevant information concerning child abuse or neglect reports contained in the index from the Department of Justice department pursuant to this subdivision, the agency shall also notify in writing the person listed in the CACI that he or she is they are in the index. The notification shall include the location of the original investigative report and the submitting agency. The notification shall be submitted to the person listed at the same time that all other parties are notified of the information, and no later than the actual judicial proceeding that determines placement.
(2) If information is requested by an agency for the placement of a child with a responsible relative in an emergency situation pursuant to Article 7 (commencing with Section 305) of Chapter 2 of Part 1 of Division 2 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, the department is exempt from the requirements of Section 1798.18 of the Civil Code if compliance would cause a delay in providing an expedited response to the child protective agency’s inquiry and if further delay in placement may be detrimental to the child.
(d) The department shall make available any information maintained pursuant to subdivision (a) to out-of-state law enforcement agencies conducting investigations of known or suspected child abuse or neglect only when an agency makes the request for information in writing and on official letterhead, or as designated by the department, identifying the suspected abuser or victim by name and date of birth or approximate age. The request shall be signed by the department supervisor of the requesting law enforcement agency. The written requests shall cite the out-of-state statute or interstate compact provision that requires that the information contained within these reports shall be disclosed only to law enforcement, prosecutorial entities, or multidisciplinary investigative teams, and shall cite the safeguards in place to prevent unlawful disclosure of any confidential information provided by the requesting state or the applicable interstate compact provision.
(e) (1) The department shall make available to an out-of-state agency, for purposes of approving a prospective foster or adoptive parent in compliance with the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-248), information regarding a known or suspected child abuser maintained pursuant to subdivision (a) concerning the prospective foster or adoptive parent, and any other adult living in the home of the prospective foster or adoptive parent. The department shall make that information available only when the out-of-state agency makes the request indicating that continual compliance will be maintained with the requirement in paragraph (20) of subsection (a) of Section 671 Section 671(a)(20) of Title 42 of the United States Code that requires the state to have in place safeguards to prevent the unauthorized disclosure of information in any child abuse and neglect registry maintained by the state and prevent the information from being used for a purpose other than the conducting of background checks in foster or adoption placement cases.
(2) With respect to any information provided by the department in response to the out-of-state agency’s request, the out-of-state agency is responsible for obtaining the original investigative report from the reporting agency, and for drawing independent conclusions regarding the quality of the evidence disclosed and its sufficiency for making decisions regarding the approval of prospective foster or adoptive parents.
(3) (A) Whenever information contained in the index is furnished pursuant to this subdivision, the department shall charge the out-of-state agency making the request a fee. The fee shall not exceed the reasonable costs to the department of providing the information. The only increase shall be at a rate not to exceed the legislatively approved cost-of-living adjustment for the department. In no case shall the fee exceed fifteen dollars ($15).
(B) All moneys received by the department pursuant to this subdivision shall be deposited in the Department of Justice Child Abuse Fund, established under subparagraph (B) of paragraph (12) of subdivision (b). Moneys in the fund shall be available, upon appropriation by the Legislature, for expenditure by the department to offset the costs incurred to process requests for information pursuant to this subdivision.
(f) (1) Any A person may determine if he or she is they are listed in the CACI by making a request in writing to the Department of Justice. department. The request shall be notarized and include the person’s name, address, date of birth, and either a social security number or a California identification number. Upon receipt of a notarized request, the Department of Justice department shall make available to the requesting person information identifying the date of the report and the submitting agency. The requesting person is responsible for obtaining the investigative report from the submitting agency pursuant to paragraph (11) of subdivision (b) of Section 11167.5.
(2) No A person or agency shall not require or request another person to furnish a copy of a record concerning himself or herself, the other person, or notification that a record concerning himself or herself the other person exists or does not exist, pursuant to paragraph (1).
(g) If a person is listed in the CACI only as a victim of child abuse or neglect, and that person is 18 years of age or older, that person may have his or her their name removed from the index by making a written request to the Department of Justice. department. The request shall be notarized and include the person’s name, address, social security number, and date of birth.

SECTION 1.

The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a)Cross-reporting among law enforcement agencies, county welfare departments, and county district attorney’s offices is mandated in cases involving allegations of child abuse and neglect immediately or as soon as practically possible by telephone and by written report within 36 hours of receiving the information concerning the incident.

(b)Written mandated reports are made by completing the Suspected Child Abuse Report (SCAR) (Form SS-8572). Once a written SCAR is created, that document must be cross-reported among the county probation or welfare department, the law enforcement agency, and the district attorney’s office.

(c)The current process of telephone, fax, or electronic transmission of the report is antiquated and has not ensured the consistent and timely sharing and coordination of Form SS-8572. The current system also does not confirm that designated agencies receive or act upon the form.

(d)The current system does not allow for the consistent and timely sharing of historical information among designated agencies. Previously submitted reports and previously completed investigations of abuse and neglect by both child welfare and law enforcement agencies help determine the level of risk to children when assessing current reports of suspected child abuse and neglect.

(e)The current system of sharing SCARs among designated agencies contains numerous opportunities for inconsistencies due to human error. The manual system of sharing Form SS-8572 and other pertinent information is currently a process whereby individual staff will cross-report the form and, in their assessment, other relevant reports at their discretion. The current process for sharing and coordinating investigations among agencies contains gaps that have the potential to perpetuate unaccountability among coordinating agencies rendering vulnerable children at continued risk of abuse and neglect.

(f)Los Angeles County envisioned, created, and currently utilizes an Electronic Suspected Child Abuse Report System (eSCARS) which facilitates the mandated duty to cross-report reports of suspected child abuse and neglect among all affected agencies in order to be in compliance with the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act.

(g)The eSCARS is a secure, web-based application linking the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, forty-five other independent law enforcement agencies in the county, the district attorney’s office, and other relevant government agencies with each other. The eSCARS assists in the elimination of errors and lengthy time delays that transpire when paper-based methods of reporting are employed. The eSCARS also expedites the secure electronic transmission and receipt of SCARs among all relevant agencies. It has reduced paper costs, printing, clerical and manual processes, and significantly cut backlogs at the agencies.

SEC. 2.Section 11166.6 is added to the Penal Code, to read:
11166.6.

(a)This section shall be known, and may be cited, as Gabriel’s Law.

(b)No later than January 1, 2030, each county shall establish a private and secure online database for purposes of cross-reporting substantiated reports of child abuse and neglect among agencies and individuals authorized to receive that information.

(c)The database shall reflect a real time, Web-based information sharing system that allows rapid and secure electronic transmission and receipt of mandated cross-reports, ensuring that the proper agencies receive the report and providing a detailed history of past incidents of abuse entered into the system by child and family welfare agencies.

(d)Each county shall develop policies and procedures for entering, reviewing, and purging information in the database, criteria for substantiating reports, and retention periods for information.

(e)Each county shall develop a process for an individual to petition to have the individual’s name removed from the database if the report against the individual is found to be unsubstantiated.

(f)A county with an existing online reporting system that meets these requirements is deemed to be compliant with this section.

(g)Each online database shall be implemented with policies to oversee the sharing of information, including, but not limited to, cross-reporting among the county welfare department, the district attorney’s office, and local law enforcement agencies, to ensure that each agency carries out its mandated investigative response to reports of child abuse or neglect.

(h)Each database shall be used and operated in compliance with all applicable state and federal regulations, statutes, and guidelines.

(i)The database shall be used by law enforcement officials, child and family welfare service agencies, and district attorneys’ offices only for the purposes of reporting and investigating reports of child abuse and neglect.

(j)All reports that are not substantiated shall be purged from the database.

(k)For purposes of this section, “cross-reporting” means the transmission of information to agencies given responsibility for the investigation of cases falling under Section 300 of the Welfare and Institutions Code and subject to the mandated reporter requirements of Section 11166.

(l)This section does not relieve a law enforcement agency or child protective agency from the duty to submit a substantiated report of child abuse or severe neglect to the Department of Justice for inclusion in the Child Abuse Central Index as required by Section 11169.

SEC. 3.

If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.