The Indiana Department of Child Services will begin using an online background check program next week, a change the department expects will expedite new employee processing by about two weeks.
DCS will launch its online background check portal on Monday, when it will begin using a new online program to screen teachers and other volunteers who want to work with children. The portal will replace traditional pen-and-paper background check procedures and is expected to decrease the turnaround time from 21 to 10 days.
“Reduced wait time is paramount to helping potential employers make sound decisions about applicants who want to work with youth,” Andria Hoying, DCS deputy director of placement support and compliance, said in a Thursday statement. “Moving the system online helps us evaluate history in a more timely fashion in order to assure the safety of children.”
When an agency enters a request for employee and volunteer information, the portal will send the applicant an email notifying them that a request for information has been made. The applicant can then log in to the portal and enter the requested information, which will be cross-referenced with local law enforcement history, sex offender records and previous DCS records related to child abuse and neglect. Applicants are also fingerprinted, but prints are not routed through the portal.
“Organizations of all types make requests to DCS to verify child protective histories,” Cindy Hewett, the department’s background check program manager, said in a statement. Hewett also noted Hoying’s department completed nearly 100,000 background check forms last year.