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1/25/2012 9:46:46 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
A Monumental Victory for All Parents Took Effect Jan. 1

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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A Monumental Victory for All Parents Took Effect Jan. 1

From: Family Protection Ministries and HSLDA

Bill: AB 717--Reform of California's Child Abuse Registry

The passage of AB 717, which went into effect January 1, 2012, is a
great victory for all parents and a huge step in correcting a
long-standing law that ignored the constitutional principle of
"innocent until proven guilty." Many innocent parents who have been
wrongly accused of abusing or neglecting their children have had their
lives effectively placed on hold and often severely damaged or
destroyed. No parent is immune from being falsely accused of child
abuse and facing an invasive, frightening, costly, and drawn-out legal
investigation. Parents will now be able to challenge findings by
Child Protective Services when listed on the Child Abuse Central
Index.

The Penal Code requires the Department of Justice to maintain the
Child Abuse Central Index (CACI). Prior to the passage of AB 717, the
CACI maintained a list of not only "substantiated" child abusers but
also others whose cases were not "substantiated." No due process
hearing was provided to give parents an opportunity to prove their
innocence before or after being placed on the child abuse registry
(CACI).

AB 717 has corrected this practice by specifying that only
"substantiated" reports of child abuse or neglect shall be maintained
in the Child Abuse Central Index. All others will be purged.

Family Protection Ministries and HSLDA worked in partnership to
achieve this very significant change in the law. This victory is the
result of long hours spent behind the scenes over the last 10 years to
regain lost freedom. This unprincipled law in the California Penal
Code has ruined the lives of many good, innocent parents for many
years. We thank God for this great victory!

Background Summary:

Five major positive technical changes to the law from AB 717 took
effect January 1, 2012.

(1) From Jan. 1 on, only those reports of suspected child abuse or
neglect that are "substantiated" will be forwarded to the California
Department of Justice for retention in the Child Abuse Central Index
(CACI).

(2) All reports that were in the CACI, other than "substantiated," are
now required to be removed.

(3) Anyone whose name was added to the CACI before Jan. 1, 2012 and
remains in the CACI may now challenge the finding with the county
social services agency that forwarded the report. This is required to
be done in a due process hearing consistent with current guidelines
for due process hearings on other matters in California. If they win
the challenge, the report will be removed from the CACI.

(4) Those individuals whose cases are determined to be "substantiated"
and whose case report is forwarded to Department of Justice for
retention in the CACI after Jan. 1, 2012, also now have the same right
to a due process hearing as described in No. 3 above.

(5) The definition of "substantiated" is now clearer and is more
protective for those falsely accused of committing child abuse or
neglect.

Please remember that Family Protection Ministries is supported by your
donations. Out of gratitude for the tireless effort of FPM to obtain
justice for parents and to help them to continue to advocate
effectively for homeschooling and parental rights, would you consider
a tax-deductible donation to FPM? Please go to the FPM website at
www.pheofca.org/donate.html for information on how to make a
contribution today.

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