Arizona Central Registry Abuse or Neglect Rehabilitation
What would someone applying for a Central Registry exception need to show as far as being rehabilitated from the substantiated claim of abuse and neglect?
Here is a brief breakdown of what the Central Registry is. The Department of Child Services in Arizona has a database that essentially has anyone with a substantiated claim of abuse or neglect of a child. This database is then checked by certain employers who are required to check that database to employ someone.
If someone is applying for a job with one of those organizations and the Central Registry background check comes back and says, yes, they’re on the list. That individual has to get a Central Registry exception with the Arizona Board of Fingerprinting, allowing him to accept the job from the employer. And then alternatively would enable the employer to offer the job to the potential employee.
Required Documents for a Central Registry Exception
When you apply for a Central Registry exception, the Board of Fingerprinting looks at several factors. But the absolute number one factor is, has the applicant rehabilitated since the incident, which led them to be on the registry in the first place?
Let’s go through some things people can do to rehabilitate themselves and some ancillary factors that go into the decision from the Board.
When you apply for the exception, they will want any documents associated with the DCS investigation.
The substantiated claim, any back and forth if you have those documents. They’ll also ask if there have been any criminal incidents. As you probably already know, if you have a conviction for abuse and neglect of a child, it’s almost impossible to get a fingerprint clearance card. But suppose you avoided any criminal charges or convictions due to that incident but had a substantiated claim put on the registry. In that case, you can still get the Central Registry exception.
They want to know the facts of the incident itself. Then, depending upon the facts of that abuse or neglect situation, what has the individual done since that time?
So, they’ll take this into account when this happens. Suppose something happened 15 years ago, and there’s been no incident since that time versus an incident six months ago. In that case, the Board will weigh how long ago the event occurred and whether there’s been any recurrence of the same behavior since then.
Criminal Convictions: Conviction for Abuse and Neglect of a Child
So, the longer ago the substantiated claim is, the better.
Second, have any criminal convictions that have nothing to do with abuse or neglect since the incident? Let’s say ten years ago, you had a substantiated claim of abuse or neglect of a child, and then since that time, you’ve had domestic violence abuse with a partner, and you’ve had a DUI. Whatever it was, that doesn’t show that you’ve made substantial changes in your life.
So, having multiple criminal incidents in between the substantiated claim of abuse or neglect and when you apply for the Central Registry exception certainly will play a role in that. The things you can show to the Board that would indicate your rehabilitation. Have you gone to therapy or counseling?
Custody of the children certainly is essential. Sometimes when you have a substantiated claim of abuse or neglect, you may lose some custody rights of the children or maybe completely. So, have you had some of those restored? Have there been positive interactions between the children and yourself at the time? Those things are essential. Going to counseling, therapy, and that type of thing certainly is helpful. But as you can imagine, it is difficult to prove that you’ve entirely rehabilitated from an abuse or neglect claim.
The amount of time between the incident now is the most critical factor. And then, as I said, having no criminal incidents since that time is also essential. If you’ve had subsequent children without any issues, that goes towards the incident being an isolated thing. If you’ve had multiple incidents substantiated and put on the registry, that will be a difficult hurdle to overcome.
Positive Behavioral Changes
Ultimately, they want to see that the individual has learned their lesson, incorporated positive changes into their lives, and ensured that these behaviors don’t recur. So, that is how you can prove to the Board that you have rehabilitated from an abuse or neglect substantiated claim with DCS.
What is the Arizona Central Registry Exception?
What is the Arizona Central Registry Exception?
The Arizona Central Registry is essentially a database of individuals in Arizona that have substantiated claims of abuse or neglect of children through the DCS (Department of Child Services) in Arizona. Suppose you’ve had criminal convictions for similar incidents, abuse, or neglect of children. In that case, you’ll be placed on the Central Registry.
In Arizona, specific jobs require a background check, including a search of the Arizona Central Registry. Suppose you’re going to apply for a job requiring a background check, and you have substantiated claims of abuse or neglect or have had criminal convictions for the same of children. That job cannot hire you unless you get a Central Registry exception with the Arizona Board of Fingerprinting.
How to Apply for the Central Registry Exception
Next, how would you apply for the Central Registry exception with the Board? The Board will want the documents associated with the substantiated claim to make the process as simple as possible. If there’s a criminal conviction, they need the court documents, the police records—that type of thing. Ultimately, the Board wants to know that if these things happened, the individual has been rehabilitated to some extent so that the Board feels comfortable allowing them to be around vulnerable children.
There are some crimes for which you cannot get a good cause exception, and you’ll never be granted a central registry exception. They have a list on the website with the Arizona Board of Fingerprinting. It’s in the Arizona Revised Statutes of what’s called precluded offenses.
There are crimes that you can appeal with the central registry exception or good cause exception. And there are crimes where you will never get a fingerprint clearance card. Let’s break that down. If you did have a crime that put you on the Central Registry and is considered a precluded offense that completely stops you from ever getting a card, you’re out of luck.
However, if you are put on the list for not a crime, but there was a child services investigation, and they substantiated a claim of abuse or neglect, that would be the situation where you would be able to apply for the Central Registry exception with the Board of Fingerprinting.
If nothing has happened since that time, meaning there has been no rehabilitation at all, you haven’t gone to counseling, haven’t done therapy or ethics training, or you have never been able to get custody of the child involved, that type of thing. It’s going to be very difficult to get the central registry exception. These are rare, to be honest.
Most of the time, if someone does have a substantiated claim of abuse or neglect in their past, they’ll avoid applying for jobs where the Level 1 Fingerprint Clearance Card is necessary. However, a few want to go through with it, and that’s what this process is for.
So, that’s what a central registry exception is in Arizona State.
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