What You Must Know About the CACI and Security Clearance
Here’s the situation: 1) You work for the military, law enforcement, FBI, Attorney General’s office, or a private company who contracts with the federal government. 2) Your job requires you to get on a military base or work with classified information, and therefore you must hold security clearance. 3) You have just been notified by your county child welfare services agency that they placed your name on the Child Abuse Central Index (CACI).
I get a lot of calls from people in that situation. Below are the questions they most commonly ask, along with the answers.
Will CPS Notify My Command or My Employer that My Name Has Been Placed on the CACI?
This question is difficult to answer. First, California law makes the placement of someone’s name on the CACI confidential. So CPS should not be talking to anyone at your office or the military about your placement on the CACI.
However, there are some situations where a CPS social worker has regular contact with the local Family Advocacy or Family Protection office in the military. It is possible that the CPS social worker would notify them of your CACI listing. That information could be passed on to your command.
Will My Security Clearance Automatically Be Revoked Once My Name Is In the CACI?
I have never seen any previous client’s security clearance be automatically revoked after a CACI listing, so I feel comfortable in saying the answer is “no.” The CACI listing does not trigger an automatic revocation.
Can I Pass a Security Clearance Background Check If My Name is On the CACI?
This is the key question because if you can’t keep your security clearance, you can’t keep your job, right?
I have had clients whose names were placed on the CACI and they were able to keep their security clearance. (However, the CACI listing did make them ineligible for some job appointments and also disqualified them from advancement/promotions. And as you know, if you can’t advance, the military, federal government agency or private contractor you work for will be less likely to keep you.)
Having said that, a CACI listing can hurt your chances of passing your security clearance background check. Here’s why. To keep or obtain security clearance, you must pass 13 Adjudicative Guidelines (A through M), five of which could be implicated by your name being on the CACI:
- Guideline D—Sexual Behavior
- Guideline E—Personal Conduct
- Guideline G—Alcohol Consumption
- Guideline I—Psychological Conditions
- Guideline J—Criminal Conduct.
Depending on your specific situation, any or all of these Guidelines could be implicated, and could prevent you from obtaining or keeping security clearance. This is true even if you were never prosecuted or convicted of a crime.
What Should I Do Now?
There are many jobs that require a background check in order to obtain or keep the security clearance necessary to perform the job. Those who fill those jobs must hold be able to hold a position of trust. If the government has questions about your character or trustworthiness, you are at risk of being ineligible for security clearance. When your career is on the line, make sure you get someone you trust to help you keep it. You have too much to lose to leave your fate in the hands of anyone but an expert in CACI cases. Call me to get the help you need today.