Child abuse registries protect thousands of children from harm and neglect every year. Despite their benefits, there are instances where they do more harm than good – especially when they're inaccurate. If a person's name is accidentally on a child abuse registry, others will treat them as offenders. The error also creates challenges when securing housing and looking for employment opportunities, making it difficult to lead a productive life.
While people assume that mistakes rarely happen on registries, recent reports in Pennsylvania paint a different picture. One Capital Star news story tells the story of Kalia, a home health aide with a young son.
While in the care of his father, Kalia's son had an accidental burn injury. When the child's father took him to the hospital after developing an infection, child welfare services placed both Kalia and the father on the child abuse registry for medical neglect. Kalia was not home when the incident happened.
Due to a child abuse registry error, Kalia faced multiple obstacles trying to find employment in the medical field and eventually hired an attorney to clear her name.
Addressing a Flawed System
The Capital Star news story highlights an imperfect system that disproportionately affects people of color and those struggling financially. Other reports confirm that Black, Native American, Hispanic, and multi-racial children experience overrepresentation in abuse and neglect cases.
While social service employees strive to work in a child's best interests, mistakes happen during reporting, especially with little oversight and accountability.
Pennsylvania's Clean Slate Act aims to seal misdemeanor documents after ten years, but this does not apply to those on the child abuse registry. If a person receives a notice of engaging in child abuse, they must go through the appeals process. If successfully able to defend against allegations, the person may receive an expungement, or elimination, of their name on the registry. However, this rarely happens without an attorney and a legal fight.
Appealing a Registry Error
To err is human, and social workers are susceptible to making mistakes that may damage an innocent person's reputation for life. Unfortunately, those mistakes are all too common, and thousands of people suffer and lose their rights in the meantime. Bear in mind that the child abuse registry prevents you from being around children. Your name will also appear when employers perform a background check.
While the courts give you a chance to defend yourself at a hearing, you must act swiftly to clear your name by filing an appeal. If you face allegations of child abuse and believe that the charge is baseless, call attorney Joseph D. Lento to determine the next step.
Call Lento Law Firm for Expert Advice
Attorney Lento helps you fight registry errors and works to expunge your record in the event of an erroneous accusation.
A child abuse registry error causes years of suffering and damage, not to mention isolation that can impact your health and quality of life. Don't let a false or erroneous allegation cost you your freedom, social standing, and professional reputation. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to discuss your options.