Monday, April 21, 2008

Sex offenders at California child care facilities

Audit finds sex offenders at California child care facilities

April 16, 2008


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The state social services agency on Wednesday was moving to shut down nine homes used for child daycare and foster care after an audit found registered sex offenders living there in violation of state law.

The revelation came after state auditors compared the addresses of 75,000 licensed facilities, including foster family homes and in-home daycare centers, with the state's database of registered sex offenders.

California Department of Social Services Director John Wagner said the audit found that the addresses of 49 sex offenders matched those of 46 child care facilities.

The department was able to confirm nine of the cases during inspections of all 46 facilities that were completed Monday, Wagner said.

Three license suspensions already are in effect — two in Los Angeles and one in San Bernardino. In the three cases, one offender had been convicted of sexual battery while the other two had been convicted of oral copulation with a minor, said Larry Bolton, the department's chief lawyer.

Two foster children were removed Wednesday by Los Angeles authorities responding to one of the cases, Wagner said. In another case, a sex offender was living in a home with three children and two grandchildren.

Investigators are interviewing the children who had contact in each of the homes or day care centers.

"We haven't finished the interviews, but no indication yet" that any child was actually abused, Bolton said.

The department would not immediately give details on the other six pending suspensions.

The Bureau of State Audits asked for the department's database of licensed facilities in November, but the social services agency did not learn of the matches with sex offenders until last week, Wagner said. The audit is due for release Tuesday.

Of the 46 address matches, 25 were in Los Angeles, eight in the Central Valley, seven in the San Francisco Bay area, four in San Diego, and one each in San Bernardino and Sacramento.

In most cases, the department's inspectors could not verify that a sex offender was living at the address or found that the offender was there but children were not present.

It is a violation of state law for daycare and foster care licensees not to report the names of any adults living in or associated with their facilities, Wagner said.

The Department of Social Services needs that information to conduct background checks on the license holder and others living at the home or child care center. Had the department discovered a resident was a sex offender, the license would have been denied or suspended, Wagner said.

Three of the 49 sex offenders are on parole, but none was found to be living in improper housing, said Gordon Hinkle, a spokesman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

One of the three was living in an elder care facility that occasionally might have taken in foster care children. That person was moved to a different location Wednesday as a precaution, Hinkle said.

State Auditor Elaine Howle declined to comment about the Department of Social Services action on Wednesday.

On the Net:
California Department of Social Services:

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When you visit this site you can enter your address and a map will pop up with your house as a small icon of a house. There will be red, blue and green dots surrounding your entire neighborhood. When you click on these dots a picture of a criminal will appear with his or her home address and the description of the crime he or she has committed. The best thing is that you can show your children these pictures and see how close these people live to your home or school. This site was developed by John Walsh from Americas Most Wanted.

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Over the years my opinions have changed but this will never change: Jesus Christ, Lord, God and Savior, died on the cross and rose from the dead to pay for my sin.