The Family and Children’s Index (FCI) is an interagency data information system which ties together basic information about children and their families who have had relevant contact and have been identified as at-risk for abuse or neglect by the participating agencies. The data is gathered from each agency’s existing data system(s). FCI allows authorized professionals from participating agencies to know when other agencies may have pertinent information about a child or family with whom they are involved.
In 1991, Assembly Bill 3491 (Gotch) was adopted by the State Legislature, which added Section 18961.5 to the Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC). This Section authorizes counties to establish a computerized database system within the county to allow specified provider agencies to share certain identifying information regarding families at-risk for child abuse or neglect for the purpose of forming multi-disciplinary teams.
Provider agencies are defined as governmental or other agencies which have as one of their purposes the prevention, identification, management or treatment of child abuse or neglect. The provider agencies serving children and their families which may share certain identifying information under WIC Section 18961.5 include, but are not limited to: Social Services, Children’s Services, Health Services, Mental Health Services, Probation, Law Enforcement and Schools.
FCI currently operates under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) executed on November 06, 2009. This MOU needs to be updated to add the Department of Public Health (DPH) as it is DPH that currently uses the system (the initial MOU was with the Department of Health Services (DHS) as it was signed prior to Public Health becoming its own department). In addition, ICAN, in conjunction with the Chief Executive Office (CEO) is working to expand the usage of FCI by adding DHS, the Los Angeles County Office of Education, the Los Angeles Police Department, Childrens Hospital and eventually the Department of Coroner, other city law enforcement agencies, private hospitals and school districts.