Parents Urged To Make Use Of New Child Abuse Registry When Shopping For Child Care

August 10, 2017
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Public safety officials are urging Hoosier parents to make use of a new tool which could potentially save families from tragedy.

Indiana’s new Child Abuse Registry is now available for free to the public since last month.

The registry works much like Indiana’s Sex Offender Registry, however, it provides information on those convicted of crimes related to child abuse and neglect.

So a sex offense, a battery on a child, child selling, child neglect, neglect of a dependent,” explained Johnson County Deputy Prosecutor Carrie J. Miles.

Law enforcement officials hope that more Hoosier parents will become aware of the registry and utilize it when making decisions about child care for their children.

While licensed day care facilities perform criminal background checks on prospective employees, a lot of parents turn to unlicensed facilities or at-home day cares, where background checks are not always performed.

“I would also encourage parents to think about, if they use an in-home daycare, not just the person who’s in charge of the daycare, but who’s regularly coming in and out of that house,” Miles said.  “Who else lives there?”

The registry, known as “Kirk’s Law,” was inspired by the tragic case of 19-month-old toddler, Kirk Coleman.  Coleman had died from injuries sustained at an Elkhart County daycare that had a history of child abuse.

Records show the Indiana Department of Child Services has received over 19,000 substantiated reports of child abuse and neglect in Indiana so far this year.

Miles believes that the Child Abuse Registry could prove to be a life-saving tool for parents choosing a daycare or babysitter.

Parents may also use the registry to check out any adult who spends time around their kids, whether that be a neighbor or the parents of one of their own child’s friend.

Parents really need to use all the tools they have available,” Miles said.  “Common sense, references, criminal background checks.”

The registry is limited to convictions going back to the year 2012.  If you want to search further or look for other kinds of convictions, the state’s public court record website may be used called MyCase.

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