Information Maintained by the Office of Code Revision Indiana Legislative Services Agency
IC 31-33-8
     Chapter 8. Investigation of Reports of Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect

IC 31-33-8-1
Investigations by the department of child services; time of initiation; investigations of child care ministries
    
Sec. 1. (a) The department shall initiate an appropriately thorough child protection assessment of every report of known or suspected child abuse or neglect the department receives, whether in accordance with this article or otherwise.
    (b) If a report of known or suspected child abuse or neglect is received from a judge or prosecutor requesting the department to initiate a child protection assessment, the department shall initiate an assessment in accordance with this section.
    (c) If a report of known or suspected child abuse or neglect is received from:
        (1) medical personnel;
        (2) school personnel;
        (3) a social worker;
        (4) law enforcement officials or personnel;
        (5) judiciary personnel; or
        (6) prosecuting attorney personnel;
the department shall forward the report to the local office to determine if the department will initiate an assessment in accordance with this section.
    (d) If the department believes that a child is in imminent danger of serious bodily harm, the department shall initiate an onsite assessment immediately, but not later than one (1) hour, after receiving the report.
    (e) If the report alleges a child may be a victim of child abuse, the assessment shall be initiated immediately, but not later than twenty-four (24) hours after receipt of the report.
    (f) If reports of child neglect are received, the assessment shall be initiated within a reasonably prompt time, but not later than five (5) days, with the primary consideration being the well-being of the child who is the subject of the report.
    (g) If the report alleges that a child lives with a parent, guardian, or custodian who is married to or lives with a person who:
        (1) has been convicted of:
            (A) neglect of a dependent under IC 35-46-1-4; or
            (B) a battery offense under IC 35-42-4; or
        (2) is required to register as a sex or violent offender under IC 11-8-8;
the department shall initiate an assessment within a reasonably prompt time, but not later than five (5) days after the department receives the report, with the primary consideration being the well-being of the child who is the subject of the report.
    (h) If the safety or well-being of a child appears to be endangered or the facts otherwise warrant, the assessment shall be initiated

regardless of the time of day.
    (i) If a report alleges abuse or neglect and involves a child care ministry that is exempt from licensure under IC 12-17.2-6, the department and the appropriate law enforcement agency shall jointly conduct an investigation. The investigation shall be conducted under the requirements of this section and section 2(b) of this chapter.
As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.16. Amended by P.L.234-2005, SEC.117; P.L.124-2007, SEC.10; P.L.131-2009, SEC.43; P.L.205-2013, SEC.339.

IC 31-33-8-2
Investigations by law enforcement agencies
    
Sec. 2. (a) Upon the receipt of each report under this chapter of known or suspected child abuse, the department shall contact the law enforcement agency in the appropriate jurisdiction.
    (b) The law enforcement agency, with the department, shall conduct an immediate onsite investigation of the report if the law enforcement agency has reason to believe that an offense has been committed. The law enforcement agency shall investigate the alleged child abuse or neglect under this chapter in the same manner that the law enforcement agency conducts any other criminal investigation.
As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.16. Amended by P.L.234-2005, SEC.118.

IC 31-33-8-3
Photographs and x-rays
    
Sec. 3. (a) Except as provided in subsection (b), the department shall:
        (1) cause color photographs to be taken of the areas of trauma visible on a child who is subject to a report; and
        (2) if medically indicated, cause a radiological examination of the child to be performed.
    (b) If the law enforcement agency participates in the assessment, the law enforcement agency shall cause the color photographs to be taken as provided by this section.
    (c) The department shall reimburse the expenses of the photographs and x-rays.
As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.16. Amended by P.L.234-2005, SEC.119; P.L.131-2009, SEC.44.

IC 31-33-8-4
Notice to prosecuting attorney of reports involving child's death
    
Sec. 4. The law enforcement agency shall:
        (1) give telephone notice; and
        (2) immediately forward a copy;
of reports made under this article that involve the death of a child to the appropriate prosecuting attorney.
As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.16.

IC 31-33-8-5


Forwarding copies of reports to prosecuting attorney
    
Sec. 5. The department shall immediately forward a copy of all reports made under this article to the appropriate prosecuting attorney if the prosecuting attorney has made a prior request to the service in writing for the copies.
As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.16. Amended by P.L.234-2005, SEC.120.

IC 31-33-8-6
Investigatory duties of department of child services; purpose
    
Sec. 6. The department shall promptly make a thorough assessment upon either the oral or written report. The primary purpose of the assessment is the protection of the child.
As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.16. Amended by P.L.234-2005, SEC.121; P.L.131-2009, SEC.45.

IC 31-33-8-7
Scope of assessment by department of child services; order for access to home, school, or other place, or for mental or physical examinations; petition to interview child; order; requirements
    
Sec. 7. (a) The department's assessment, to the extent that is reasonably possible, must include the following:
        (1) The nature, extent, and cause of the known or suspected child abuse or neglect.
        (2) The identity of the person allegedly responsible for the child abuse or neglect.
        (3) The names and conditions of other children in the home.
        (4) An evaluation of the parent, guardian, custodian or person responsible for the care of the child.
        (5) The home environment and the relationship of the child to the parent, guardian, or custodian or other persons responsible for the child's care.
        (6) All other data considered pertinent.
    (b) The assessment may include the following:
        (1) A visit to the child's home.
        (2) An interview with the subject child.
        (3) A physical, psychological, or psychiatric examination of any child in the home.
    (c) If:
        (1) admission to the home, the school, or any other place that the child may be; or
        (2) permission of the parent, guardian, custodian, or other persons responsible for the child for the physical, psychological, or psychiatric examination;
under subsection (b) cannot be obtained, the juvenile court, upon good cause shown, shall follow the procedures under IC 31-32-12.
    (d) If a custodial parent, a guardian, or a custodian of a child refuses to allow the department to interview the child after the caseworker has attempted to obtain the consent of the custodial parent, guardian, or custodian to interview the child, the department

may petition a court to order the custodial parent, guardian, or custodian to make the child available to be interviewed by the caseworker.
    (e) If the court finds that:
        (1) a custodial parent, a guardian, or a custodian has been informed of the hearing on a petition described under subsection (d); and
        (2) the department has made reasonable and unsuccessful efforts to obtain the consent of the custodial parent, guardian, or custodian to interview the child;
the court shall specify in the order the efforts the department made to obtain the consent of the custodial parent, guardian, or custodian and may grant the motion to interview the child, either with or without the custodial parent, guardian, or custodian being present.
As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.16. Amended by P.L.234-2005, SEC.122; P.L.131-2009, SEC.46; P.L.162-2011, SEC.45.

IC 31-33-8-8
Order for child's immediate removal; preparation of investigative report
    
Sec. 8. (a) If, before the assessment is complete, the opinion of the law enforcement agency or the department is that immediate removal is necessary to protect the child from further abuse or neglect, the juvenile court may issue an order under IC 31-32-13.
    (b) The department shall make a complete written report of the assessment.
    (c) If a law enforcement agency participates in the assessment, the law enforcement agency shall also make a complete written report of the assessment.
As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.16. Amended by P.L.234-2005, SEC.123; P.L.131-2009, SEC.47.

IC 31-33-8-9
Provision of copies of investigative report by department of child services
    
Sec. 9. (a) The department's report under section 8 of this chapter shall be made available to:
        (1) the appropriate court;
        (2) the prosecuting attorney; or
        (3) the appropriate law enforcement agency;
upon request.
    (b) If child abuse or neglect is substantiated after an assessment is conducted under section 7 of this chapter, the department shall forward its report to the office of the prosecuting attorney having jurisdiction in the county in which the alleged child abuse or neglect occurred.
    (c) If the assessment substantiates a finding of child abuse or neglect as determined by the department, a report shall be sent to the coordinator of the community child protection team under IC 31-33-3.


As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.16. Amended by P.L.35-1998, SEC.4; P.L.234-2005, SEC.124; P.L.131-2009, SEC.48.

IC 31-33-8-10
Provision of information and copies of investigative report by law enforcement agency
    
Sec. 10. If the law enforcement agency participates in the child abuse or neglect assessment, the law enforcement agency shall forward all information, including copies of an assessment report under section 7 of this chapter, on an incident in which a child may be a victim of alleged child abuse or neglect, whether obtained under this article or not, to the office of the prosecuting attorney.
As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.16. Amended by P.L.131-2009, SEC.49.

IC 31-33-8-11
Law enforcement agency's duty to release information to department of child services
    
Sec. 11. In all cases, the law enforcement agency shall release information on an incident in which a child may be a victim of alleged child abuse or neglect, whether obtained under this article or not, to the department.
As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.16. Amended by P.L.234-2005, SEC.125.

IC 31-33-8-12
Classifying reports as substantiated or unsubstantiated
    
Sec. 12. Upon completion of an assessment, the department shall classify reports as substantiated or unsubstantiated.
As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.16. Amended by P.L.70-2004, SEC.13; P.L.234-2005, SEC.126; P.L.131-2009, SEC.50.

IC 31-33-8-13
Court findings to be entered in the child protection index
    
Sec. 13. Whenever a court finds that a child is a child in need of services on the basis of a child abuse or neglect report classified as substantiated under section 12 of this chapter, the department shall enter into the child protection index established under IC 31-33-26-2 identifiable information concerning the court's judgment.
As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.16. Amended by P.L.234-2005, SEC.127; P.L.138-2007, SEC.65.

IC 31-33-8-14
Repealed
    
(Repealed by P.L.138-2007, SEC.93.)