Frequently Asked Questions for Perpetrators and/or Alleged Perpetrators

How do I Know if I Have Been Substantiated in a CPS investigation?

Once an investigation has concluded and the Department has determined that based on the evidence obtained during the investigation, you were identified, also known as “substantiated” as a perpetrator of child abuse or child neglect, you will receive a notification letter. Notification letters are hand delivered to the last known address that the Department has on file for you. You may contact your local office or the case worker assigned to your case to ensure the correct address is on file. The Department typically delivers the letters within 30 days of case closure.


What if I Don’t Agree with the Substantiation? 

The notification letter contains instructions on how to request that your case be reviewed.  You have 20 business days from the date of the notification letter to request a formal file review. This review is conducted by specialists in the Formal File Review unit in the Division of Due Process Procedures, which is in a separate division than the division that conducted the investigation and took no part in the investigation that led to the substantiation.  During the process, you will be notified on how to submit any additional information that may assist in the review of the case.


What is a Formal File Review and How Do I Request One?

Please read the Appeals & Due Process page for more information. 


What is the Child Abuse Registry?

The Child Abuse Registry is a list maintained by the Department of Children’s Services that includes the names of people that have been substantiated as perpetrators of child abuse or neglect.  A person’s name will not be placed on the Registry until all reviews or hearings have concluded or the person waived their right to due process.  The purpose of the Registry is to protect children from persons who were identified as perpetrators of child abuse or neglect.


How Long will My Name Remain on the Child Abuse Registry?

Your name may remain on the Child Abuse Registry indefinitely. Once a person has been substantiated for child abuse or neglect, they will be given the opportunity to challenge that decision. If the decision is upheld through due process, the person’s name will remain on the Registry. A person can request to be removed from the Registry by applying to the Child Abuse Registry Review Committee. You can review the Child Abuse Registry Review Committee policy


How do I Request a Review by the Child Abuse Registry Review Committee?

To request a review, a person must have exhausted or waived any and all review opportunities. This means that you have either not requested a review of your case or the review process concluded with a decision to uphold the substantiation against you. You must also wait one year since the date of case closure. If both criteria have been met, you may apply for a review by completing the application found on the Request for Removal page.


Is the Child Abuse Registry Shared Publicly?

No.  The general public does not have access to the Child Abuse Registry.  However, there are statutorily required circumstances in which the Department may release the name of a person who is listed on the Registry to other state agencies or organizations due to the nature of the employment or licensing of the person.


Who has Access to Child Abuse Registry Information?

DCS staff are the only ones who have direct access to Child Abuse Registry information.  Other entities, such as schools, daycares, DCS contract providers, or licensed child placing agencies, may ask DCS staff to check the Registry to see if a name is on the Registry. 


How do I Request Information to Show I Have Never Been Substantiated in an Investigation? 

This request is only for those persons who have had prior involvement with Child Protective Services. This request is not to be used in lieu of an employment background check and should not be made by a third party.

If you have had prior involvement with Child Protective Services, and you would like to request written verification that this involvement did not result in a substantiated case of abuse or neglect, you can: 

  • Fill out and submit the online form entitled Request No CPS History letter.
  • You will receive a response within 10 business days via email if you provided an email address on your application or via the US Postal Service.
  • If our records indicate that you do have a history as person who was substantiated for child abuse or neglect, you will receive a letter which will direct you to a member of our Due Process Procedures staff. That person will be able to provide you with more detail about the substantiated case(s).