All States make out-of-State inquiries about adults having child abuse and neglect perpetrator records. The primary reasons that States specify for making inquiries include that a person is under investigation for child abuse (with 88.9% of States reporting this as a reason inquiries are made) and a person has applied to be a foster parent or adoptive parent (86.1%). Inquiries are also made if a person has been found to have abused or neglected a child (72.2%); the person has applied to be a child welfare worker or staff for a licensed provider (63.9%); and in cases of removal of a child from their own home (55.6%).
In general, requests for information are made directly by local child welfare offices (86.1%), although it is not uncommon for central office child welfare staff to make inquiries (58.3%). Inquiries are made by telephone, paper, and electronically. In addition to consulting specific States, some jurisdictions (32.4%) may also check national criminal databases such as the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database. In deciding what States it would be useful to contact, States rely primarily upon the person of interest to disclose where he or she has lived (86.1%). (See table 19.)
Although States are aware of differences in the classification of maltreatment types, and in the standards of proof used to substantiate maltreatment, only a few actually report inquiring about these issues when requesting information from other States. This may indicate a certain degree of knowledge about the policies of States they frequently contact, but it may also indicate that when confirming prior perpetrator status, States are not that concerned about such differences.
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