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, 2024, 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 procedures to notify persons reported to the CACI. The bill would require the Department of Justice to create a grievance procedure for reports to the CACI submitted by police or sheriff's departments, and 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.Statutes affected:
AB1544: 11169 PEN, 11170 PEN
02/17/23 - Introduced: 11169 PEN, 11170 PEN
05/18/23 - Amended Assembly: 11169 PEN, 11170 PEN
AB 1544: 11169 PEN, 11170 PEN