Background Checks for Prospective Foster, Adoptive, and Kinship Caregivers - Indiana

Date:

Who Needs Records Checks

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 31-19-7-1; 31-27-4-5; 31-27-2-1; 29-3-5-1.5; 31-28-5.8-5.5; 12-17.2-5-1

Criminal history checks are required for the following persons or entities:

  • A proposed adoptive parent and any other person who is currently residing in the proposed adoptive home
  • An applicant applying for a foster family home license
  • Child-caring institutions, group homes, and child-placing agencies
  • A petitioner for appointment as a guardian of a minor and any other household members
  • Each person who is currently residing with an older youth in a host home or supervised independent living arrangement
  • Operators and employees of child care homes

Types of Records That Must Be Checked

Citation: Ann. Code § 31-9-2-22.5

A criminal history check includes the following

  • A fingerprint-based criminal history background check of both national and State records databases
  • A national name-based criminal history records check if an individual has a physical disability that prevents fingerprinting
  • A check for each substantiated report of child abuse or neglect reported in a jurisdiction where a probation officer, a caseworker, or the Department of Child Services has reason to believe that a person who is age 14 or older resided within the previous 5 years
  • A check of the national sex offender registry maintained by the U.S. Department of Justice for all persons who are at least age 14
  • A check of local law enforcement agency records in every jurisdiction in which a person who is at least age 18 has resided within the previous 5 years

Process for Obtaining Records Checks

Citation: Ann. Code § 31-27-4-5

As part of an application, an applicant must submit a statement attesting the following:

  • Whether the applicant has been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor relating to the health and safety of children
  • Whether the applicant has been charged with a felony or a misdemeanor relating to the health and safety of children during the pendency of the application

An applicant shall submit the necessary information, forms, or consents for the department to conduct a criminal history check for each individual who is an applicant.

The department shall conduct a criminal history check of the applicant's employees and volunteers who have or will have direct contact on a regular and continuing basis with children who are or will be under the direct supervision of the applicant and all household members. The department shall determine whether the subject of a national fingerprint-based criminal history check has a record of any of the following:

  • A conviction for a felony
  • A conviction for a misdemeanor relating to the health and safety of a child
  • A juvenile adjudication for a nonwaivable offense, as defined in § 31-9-2-84.8, that, if committed by an adult, would be a felony

A person who is the subject of a criminal history check conducted in accordance with this section may request the State police department to provide the person with a copy of any State or national criminal history report concerning the person.

Grounds for Disqualification

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 31-27-4-6; 31-27-4-13; 31-9-2-84.8

The following are grounds for a denial of a license application:

  • A determination by the department of child abuse or neglect by:
    • The applicant
    • An employee or a volunteer of the applicant who has direct contact on a regular and continuous basis with children who are under the direct supervision of the applicant
    • A person residing in the applicant's residence
  • A criminal conviction of the applicant of any of the following:
    • A felony
    • A misdemeanor related to the health and safety of a child
    • A misdemeanor for operating a child care center or child care home without a license
    • A misdemeanor for operating a foster family home without a license
  • A determination by the department that the applicant made false statements in the applicant's application for licensure
  • A determination by the department that the applicant made false statements in the records required by the department
  • A juvenile adjudication of the applicant for an act listed below that, if committed by an adult, would be a felony

The department shall deny a license when an applicant fails to meet the requirements for a license. The department shall deny a license to an applicant who has been convicted of a nonwaivable offense, as defined in § 31-9-2-84.8. A nonwaivable offense includes the following:

  • Murder, voluntary manslaughter, or reckless homicide
  • Causing or assisting suicide
  • Battery within the past 5 years
  • Domestic battery or aggravated battery
  • Kidnapping
  • Criminal confinement within the past 5 years
  • Human and sexual trafficking
  • A felony sex offense under § 35-42-4
  • Arson within the past 5 years
  • Incest
  • Neglect of a dependent
  • Child selling
  • A felony involving a weapon within the past 5 years
  • A felony relating to controlled substances within the past 5 years
  • An offense relating to material or a performance that is harmful to minors or obscene
  • A felony under § 9-30-5 (operating a vehicle while intoxicated) within the past 5 years
  • A felony that is substantially equivalent to a felony listed above for which the conviction was entered in another State

The department may deny a license to an applicant who:

  • Has been convicted of a felony that is not described above
  • Has had a juvenile adjudication for an act described above that, if committed by an adult, would be a felony

The department shall send written notice by certified mail that the application has been denied and give the reasons for the denial. An administrative hearing concerning the denial of a license shall be provided upon written request by the applicant. The request must be made no more than 30 days after receiving the written notice.