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Indiana Department of Child Services

DCS  > Background Check Background Check

Background Check for Department of Child Services (DCS) 

For all criminal history checks unrelated to the placement of a DCS child or employment with an agency that is licensed or contracted with DCS, please contact the Indiana State Police or visit their website at http://www.in.gov/isp/2713.htm.

NOTE: Fingerprints for non DCS (private) adoptions should contact the Indiana State Police or visit their website at http://www.in.gov/isp/2674.htm.

The mission of the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) is to protect children from abuse and neglect. DCS does this by partnering with families and communities to provide safe, nurturing and stable homes. DCS, pursuant to Indiana law, requires criminal and civil checks for those who reside or have direct contact with children under the supervision of DCS.

Specifically, Indiana law and DCS Policy requires Fingerprint-Based National Criminal History Checks, Child Protective Services (CPS) Checks, Sex Offender Registry Checks and Local Law Enforcement Agency (LEA) Record Checks for the following: Foster Family Home Licensing, Emergency and Non-emergency Relative Placements, Residential Facility and Agency Licensing employees and volunteers, DCS Contractors and Subcontractors employees and volunteers, and DCS Adoption.

1. Child Abuse/Neglect Checks/Child Protection Service (CPS) checks for current and past Indiana residents

All abuse/neglect checks must be submitted on the Indiana form per the instructions provided through a link on this page.  Please print off the form, complete and submit per the instructions supplied in the link.

Link to Form SF52802

Instructions for the completion/submission of Indiana Request for a Child Protection Services (CPS) History Check, State Form 52802 (R5 / 8-13) / CW 2128

Local DCS office’s contact information

Any CPS Check that requires information on an applicant who resided in Indiana prior to 1998 must be sent to the local DCS Local Office in the county or counties that the applicant resided in during that time period.  Any local DCS office can also complete a Statewide CPS checks for dates 1998 to through current.  Statewide CPS check requests can also be sent to the Central Office Background Check Unit (COBCU) for periods after 1998.  CPS check requests can be sent to the DCS local office where applicant lives or works or the DCS central office.

Please make sure you have filled out the form completely to ensure it can be processed. Incomplete or incorrectly completed forms will be returned unprocessed.  There is no cost for this search.  All forms require a valid signature of release.

EXCEPTION:  The appropriate form completed and released signed per the above instructions is not necessary if the request is being made by another state’s child protection service agency or a law enforcement agency for an ongoing or current investigation into an alleged case of child abuse or neglect. For these situations:

  • The request must be on official state or county letterhead.
  • It must be indicated that this request is in relationship to an ongoing CPS investigation within you state
  • Indicate who you want search completed on and include as much of the below information as possible on each person you wish to have search completed.
  • Full legal name as well as any alias information such as maiden names or nicknames.
  • Include DOB, SS#, race, gender.
  • Each Indiana county the applicant resided and a date range of the residency in each county
  • Exactly what you wish to know and to what detail level.
  • The letter must be signed by the requester and the requester's title within the requesting agency provided.

2. Fingerprint Based Checks

The State of Indiana has contracted with Morph trust (previously L1 Identity Solutions) to provide those DCS fingerprint based subjects with an electronic method to meet the fingerprint screening requirements of DCS. Paper print cards will not be accepted under normal situations.  If there is a need for printing in the subject’s home please contact the DCS Central Office Background Check Unit (COBCU) to discuss the options available.

All DCS licensed agencies, DCS contractors and Subcontractors of DCS agencies must be added to the Morpho trust registration system as a DCS agency.  This must be the first step in fingerprinting to assure that the agency appears as a DCS agency in the registration site. Subject must be printed under the agency in which they are employed and not another agency in which they are working closing with or subcontracting to meet this requirement.

 Provide the below information by e-mail to Background.CheckUnit@dcs.in.gov. You must submit the following information then wait to get a return e-mail prior to proceeding with the fingerprinting process.

  1. Indicate which of the below represents your agency, indicate more than one if you have different licenses or license and DCS contract both
    • Indiana DCS Licensed Child Placing agency - NOTE- This is not a day care center, child care center or child care ministry.  If you are one of these contact the Family and  Social Services Agency/Division of Family. Resources/Child Care Licensing
    • Indiana DCS Licensed Group Home
    • Indiana DCS Licensed Child Caring Institution (private secure or not private secure)
    • Indiana DCS contracted agency
    • Subcontracting agency providing services to DCS through an agency which is directly licensed or contracted with DCS.
  2. Legal Name of agency as it appears on DCS contract or license.
    • Is there a legal name and a different doing business name? If yes, provide both and indicate which is legal and which is doing business as name
    • If your agency is subcontracting your services through an agency directly licensed or contracted with DCS, provide the name of the agency in which your agency subcontracts through.
  3. Mailing address of agency
  4. Contact person’s name from your agency in which COBCU will contact with questions, or provide updates in background check policy or procedures as well as receive any fingerprint status letters for agency employees or volunteers that are fingerprinted for DCS purposes.
  5. Person in #D direct phone number.
  6. Person in #D e-mail address.  This will include confidential background check information at times being sent to this e-mail address.
  7. If your agency has a direct contract with DCS please provide the most recent contract number or numbers, if the agency has more than one contract with DCS.

READY TO BE FINGERPRINTED?

Customized instructions should be provided to the fingerprint subject by the following individuals depending on the reason for printing.

Printing Purpose Instructions Supplied
 Emergency relative placement  Child's Family Case Manager
 Non emergency relative placement  Child's Family Case Manager
 Reunification of a child in the home  Child's Family Case Manager
 Foster home licensure through DCS office  Foster Care Specialist at DCS
 Foster home licensure through LCPA  Licensing worker at LCPA
 DCS Adoption of a ward child  Child's Family Case Manager
 Employment/Volunteer with licensed
  • Group Home
  • Residential Facility
  • Licensed Child Placing agency
  •  Agency HR Department
     Agency HR Department
     Agency HR Department
     Employment/volunteer with DCS Contractor
  • Community Based Services provider
  • Community Mental Health Center
  • Community Partners
  • Healthy Families
  • Home Builders
  • Independent Living
  • Older Youth Services
  • Project Safe Place
  • Youth Service Bureau
  • Adoptive Services
  • Data Management
  • Other contracts directly with DCS
  •  Agency HR Department
     Agency HR Department
     Agency HR Department
     Agency HR Department
     Agency HR Department
     Agency HR Department
     Agency HR Department
     Agency HR Department
     Agency HR Department
     Agency HR Department
     Agency HR Department
     Agency HR Department
    Employment/volunteer with an agenda providing staff personnel
    or services through any one of the agencies listed
    in any of the above bullets.
    (Subcontractor/Sub provider/Subgrantee)
     Subcontractor HR Department
     Sub provider HR Department
     Subgrantee HR Department

    3. National Sex Offender Registry Checks

    Click this link to conduct a National Sex Offender Registry check:

    http://www.nsopw.gov/(X(1)S(qhgloscnubfgirubg54ctwwj))/en-US

    Do not filter to individual states, counties or cities unless necessary due the subject’s common name. Run each name or combination of names ever used during the subject’s life. Print the results of the search for your files. If there are “hits” but no a match for your subject’s on the hardcopy indicate by writing on hardcopy “no matches”, date and sign.

    4. Local Law Enforcement Checks

    This is a name based check done with the police department or sheriff office that would respond to the subject of the checks current home address or any previous home address in which the subject of the check has resided in the past five years. The law enforcement agency to complete the check would be the agency that would respond to a 911 call from the subject’s home addresses.

    The Application for Criminal History Background Check form must be completed and signed by each subject of the check and retained in the local office file or agency personnel file. A copy of the Application for Criminal History Background Check form may be sent to the local law enforcement agency and the bottom section of this form complete the LEA and returned to the requestor.  It is not mandatory to use this form for LEA checks.

    Application for Criminal History Background Check form SF 53259/CW 3610  PDF  Word

    ADDITIONAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR USING THE APPLICATION FOR CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK HISTORY IN COMPLETING LEA REQUESTS

    5.  DCS Contractors and Subcontractors Only

    DCS Contractor & Subcontractor Background Check Presentation

    Revised Exhibit 1 Exhibit 1 Certification of Completion of Required Criminal and Background Checks

    EXHIBIT 1 Subcontractors Certificate of Completion of Required Criminal and Background Checks revision 3_8.1.13

    Tool to Record Converted Personnel for Contractors, Submit with Exhibit One

    Should you have any questions regarding the process, please feel free to e-mail DCS at

    Background.CheckUnit@dcs.IN.gov or contact staff of the DCS Background Check Unit:

    Brandi Hatcher, COBCU Clerical Assistant: 317-234-4410
    Cindy Hewett, COBCU Supervisor: 317-234-5001
    Brian Figueiredo, COBCU Consultant: 317-234-5745
    Dan Dunbar, COBCU Consultant: 317-234-5000
    Lisa Doran, COBCU Consultant: 317-232-0453
    Scott Hood, COBCU Consultant: 317-234-5002
    Juana Harrison, COBCU Consultant: 317-234-6890