Arkansas Child Maltreatment Registry: What if you are added to the list?

Being listed on the Arkansas Child Maltreatment Registry can negatively impact you in several areas of your life.

Many people may not be aware of what the Arkansas Child Maltreatment Registry is, or what the implications are of having your name appear on it. Individuals placed on the registry may face a number of difficulties as a result. Therefore, it is important to file a timely appeal (within 30 days of receipt of the notice) if you disagree with any findings by the state that result in placement on the registry, or file for removal from the registry if you meet the necessary criteria.

What is the Child Maltreatment Registry?

The Arkansas Department of Human Services ( DHS) maintains the Child Maltreatment Central Registry. After investigating an accusation of abuse or neglect, a DHS investigator will determine if there is enough evidence to support a "true finding" of child maltreatment. If DHS feels the evidence is adequate to support a "true finding" of abuse or neglect the person accused of maltreatment will be added to the registry.

What happens if I am listed on the Registry?

Being on the registry may impact your employment. If you are listed on the registry, you are prohibited from working or volunteering in any occupation where you are responsible for the care of another individual. This may include positions in hospitals, nursing homes, day care centers or schools. This restriction can be constructed broadly and even apply to jobs where you do not directly care for another person. Moreover, it may impact any professional licenses you hold.

Additionally, being on the registry may impact your custody or visitation rights and prevent you from adopting or fostering a child.

What can I do to protect my rights?

If you disagree with the findings made by DHS it is important that you appeal within 30 days. A hearing will then be scheduled where you may have an attorney represent you and present your side of the story. You can also call witnesses to testify on your behalf. Prior to the hearing it is important for you or your attorney to obtain a copy of the investigative file from DHS so you know what information was provided to DHS to substantiate the findings against you.

You may also file for removal from the registry if you meet specific criteria and can demonstrate that you have been rehabilitated. An attorney can assist in this process.

Consult with an experienced attorney

Since there is potentially so much at stake by having your name placed on the Child Maltreatment Registry it is valuable to seek the guidance of a knowledgeable attorney. Vickie Lynn Cochran can help you navigate through the legal process, work to ensure your interests are protected, and advocate on your behalf.

Keywords: child abuse, child neglect, Arkansas