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Inclusion Policy

[Created: 01/2018 — Updated: 05/2024}


The Indiana 211 Database Inclusion Policy ensures that the Indiana 211 team collects and classifies the most comprehensive, accurate, and up-to-date information about human services available throughout the state of Indiana. Indiana 211 uses the Inform USA/211 Human Services Indexing System.

Activities that help people to become more self-sufficient, sustain independence, strengthen family relationships, support personal and social development and ensure the well-being of individuals, families, groups and communities. Specific human services include ensuring that people have access to adequate food, shelter, clothing, and transportation; financial resources to meet their needs; consumer educations and decision support; criminal justice or legal services; education and environmental protection; both routinely and in times of disaster or other emergencies. Human services also facilitate the capabilities of people to care for children or other dependents; ensure that protective services are available to those who are vulnerable; provide for the support of older adults and people with disabilities; offer social, faith-based, and leisure time activities; provide for the cultural enrichment of the community; and ensure that people have the information they need to fully participate in community life.


Indiana 211 established the Inclusion and Exclusion Policy in accordance with the accreditation standards of the Inform USA. The following policies are to be uniformly and fairly applied, published, and regarded as a trusted resource database to build awareness of the scope and limitations of the databases.

Indiana 211 may solicit agencies to be added to the database, or agencies may request consideration for inclusion.

Inclusion Guidelines

As part of the consideration for inclusion in the Indiana 211 resource database, agencies must meet A through C below, exceptions may be made for emergency services during disasters.

Offers one of these services:And has:And has:
Health, Human Services, Consumer, Educational, Environmental, or Disaster RelatedExisted for six months serving individuals in IndianaProof of license as required by regulating agencies and has a governing body

We will include the following types of organizations that have met the inclusion guidelines.

  • Government agencies and government supported programs;
  • Community, nonprofit, and/or faith-based organizations that offer social services to the community at large;
  • Crisis lines, hotlines, and help lines administered by nonprofit organizations or government entities;
  • Community and self-help support groups that offer free or sliding-scale fee services;
  • Advocacy groups that offer direct services to the community at large;
  • Community collaborations and coalitions;
  • Agencies that offer easily accessible program information through a locator tool or specialized information and referral database.

We will consider the following types of organizations that have met the inclusion guidelines.

  • Agencies or programs providing service related to Indiana 211 contracts;
  • Temporary programs that are active in response to special circumstances such as natural or man-made disasters or seasonal and holiday programming;
  • Programs that provide any of a broad spectrum of services for the community including opportunities for individuals or groups to participate in community improvement or service projects, or to have a voice in the political process;
  • Programs that provide scholarships for services that do not offer sliding-scale fee structures, such as for mental health or substance use treatment;
  • Agencies with no physical location may be included if they provide unbiased professional advice via a website. In most cases, for a web-only based site to be considered the following criteria must be met:
    • It is mandatory to have an individual to contact who can communicate with Indiana 211 to provide updates to the I&R database. This can be either an informational email or a specific contact email.
    • Demonstrate a provision of service for at least six months  .
    • Evidence of a mailing address
  • For-profit agency services providing services not adequately met by the non-profit sector and follow regulatory guidelines. For example:
    • Programs that have a sliding-scale fee structure that meets the needs of low to moderate-income individuals;
    • Programs that offer free service, pro bono service, scholarships, or reduced fees;
    • Programs that satisfy court-ordered requirements;
    • Programs that provide unique, specifically targeted, or difficult to access services;
    • Public and private housing programs that offer subsidized payments.

We will not include the following types of organizations.

  • Agencies that deny service on the basis of age, gender, race, sexual orientation, disability, religious belief, or national origin;
  • Agencies that violate federal, state, or local laws or regulations;
  • Agencies with any serious substantiated complaint lodged against it by any regulatory body or other health or human service organization;
  • Agencies or programs which offer a service to members only, such as churches and social clubs;
  • Individual resources that are already maintained by other comprehensive registries when that information is regularly maintained and accurate (e.g., agencies exclusively providing childcare);
  • Agencies that are not licensed in areas where licensing standards exist;
  • Any other agency that does not meet the specified inclusion criteria.

Additional examples, for further clarification, are included in Appendix A.

Quality Control

To ensure it meets the changing needs of the community, the Indiana 211 Database Inclusion Policy is reviewed annually by Indiana 211. In addition, Indiana 211 conducts regular database reviews to ensure that all agencies and services are in compliance with the Indiana 211 Database Inclusion Policy.

To remain in good standing and prevent removal from the database, agencies which are included must agree to participate in an annual review and maintain regular updates of their data as changes occur.

Failure to comply or respond to an Indiana 211 database update request may result in an agency’s exclusion from the Indiana 211 Database.


No endorsement or lack of endorsement of any agency/program shall be construed from its inclusion in or omission from the Indiana 211 database.

Information collected by Indiana 211 for inclusion in its database, is provided voluntarily by the organizations that are listed. Staff makes only routine editorial revisions for consistency of style and format and do not evaluate the programs and services.

Any organization that has a service listed in the Indiana 211 database is prohibited from using that to promote their service.

Indiana 211 reserves the right to exclude or remove agencies and programs from the database that do not meet inclusion criteria or that do not comply with verification requests.

Any organization included in the Indiana 211 database has the potential to be shared on social media, our website, and marketing materials.

Indiana 211 may exclude or remove organizations from its resource database for any reason but is not limited to, fraud, misrepresentation, or discrimination.

Indiana 211 may evaluate degree of demand/need for the services offered to determine continuation in the resource database.

Inclusion Requests

After reviewing the inclusion guidelines, an organization believes the criteria are met for inclusion, the organization can follow the steps below to initiate a new inclusion request:

Appeal Process

Organizations that want to appeal a decision regarding their inclusion or exclusion of information in the IN211 database or consumers who wish to make a similar appeal regarding a potential resource will follow these guidelines:

  • Submit a written rebuttal to the IN211 Database Team by emailing
    • Enter “Appeal Resource Inclusion” in the subject line of the email to ensure the Database Team is aware of the appeal request.
    • Include the inclusion guidelines section which supports the appeal for inclusion of the organization/program in the Indiana 211 Resource Database

Appendix A

Indiana 211 Categorical Resource Inclusion Examples

Education Resources

Public, Non-Charter Schools

  • Do NOT Include: Individual public schools or school districts; however, a statewide school “locator” is included to provide addresses and contact information for public schools in Indiana.

Charter Schools

  • Do NOT Include:  Individual charter schools; however, may include website “locators” to provide addresses and contact information for charter schools in Indiana.

Private/Parochial Schools

  • Do NOT Include:  Private or parochial schools; however, may include website “locators” to provide addresses and contact information for charter schools in Indiana.


  • Include: On My Way Pre-K Indiana Preschool Voucher program, Regional Child Care Referral agency. Head Start and Early Head Start programs
  • Do NOT Include:  Individual preschools, which are maintained by Regional Child Care Referral agency.

Special Education

  • Do NOT Include: Agencies designated to coordinate special education services for public schools (including multi-school special education cooperatives).

Adult Basic Education

  • Include: Free adult basic education (ABE), English as a second language (ESL), High School Equivalency test preparation courses, and adult diploma programs (generally limited to nonprofit agencies). Small “materials fees” are acceptable, High School Equivalency test sites.

Continuing Education

  • Include:  Continuing education opportunities provided by nonprofit agencies, particularly those focusing on low-cost opportunities for seniors, persons with limited income, and other targeted populations.

Post-Secondary Education

  • Include:  Community colleges as well as traditional colleges and universities (both private and public) that are regionally accredited.
  • Do NOT Include:  Colleges/universities that have national accreditation only or have internal programs/services specific to students of particular institutions.

Health, Disability, Substance Use, and Mental Health Resources

Community and Public Clinics

  • Include:  Low-cost, free, and sliding-scale mental and physical health clinics offered by government, nonprofit, and faith-based agencies.

Hospitals/Health Groups

  • Include: Area hospitals, including associated emergency services, low-cost clinics, physician referral services, and senior discount programs.
  • Do NOT Include:  Education and support groups/programs limited to patients of the hospital. Patient financial service programs.

Emergency/Urgent Care Services

  • Include: Urgent care clinics, including those offered by commercial agencies, as a lower-cost alternative to emergency rooms for walk-in services, after-hour services, and non-life-threatening conditions
  • Do NOT Include:  Ambulance services

Physicians/Private Practice

  • Do NOT Include:  Private medical practices, even if they accept Medicaid/Medicare.

Car Seat Programs

  • Include:  Automotive Safety Program agency as a central intake point
  • Do NOT Include:  Individual participants in the Automotive Safety Program


  • Include:  Free, low-cost, and sliding-scale counseling services offered by government or nonprofit agencies. Faith-based counseling; faith-based agencies that offer non-denominational counseling from accredited therapists may be listed under “General Counseling Services.”
  • Do NOT Include:  Private, for-profit counseling services, with the exception of accredited batterer’s intervention courses.

Substance Use Treatment

  • Include:  Government, nonprofit, and faith-based agencies that provide free, reduced-cost, for profit, or sliding-scale substance use treatment. This includes outpatient as well as residential services. Substance use treatment facilities that are DMHA approved facilities. Included is Shatterproof Treatment Atlas locator a Next Level Recovery tool.

Senior/Disability Services

  • Include: Agencies (such as local Area Agency on Aging, Bureau of Developmental Disabilities, or Vocational Rehabilitation) that offer intake for such subsidy programs and/or that provide referrals to private providers of services for seniors and persons with disabilities. These programs will all be listed under the “Aging and Disability Services” taxonomy.
  • Do NOT Include: Home health, adult day care, residential care, supported employment, supported living services, or other senior or disability related services that require specific benefits enrollment (such as Medicaid, Medicaid Waiver, or Vocational Rehabilitation) and/or that charge full-scale pay.

Respite Care

  • Include: Programs that provide respite care for children that have parents in crisis, at no cost.
  • Do NOT Include: Programs that provide medical related respite care for children or adults or programs that charge a fee for respite care.

Housing Resources

Housing Properties

  • Include:  Public housing authorities and nonprofit property management agencies that offer subsidized units
  • Do NOT Include: Private property management agencies or sales agencies, or Individual properties (exceptions may be made in rare cases, of individual such as for public housing communities, if intake is only available at the properties themselves)

Senior/Disability Housing

  • Do NOT Include:  Supported living communities, nursing homes, or other residential facilities for seniors or persons with disabilities.

Government Resources

Elected Officials

  • Include:  Township trustees, county commissioners, sheriffs, and other key elected officials for the areas we serve, also include tools for finding information about elected officials, candidates, and voting sites by address. Include the state headquarters for major political parties.

Local Government

  • Include:  Municipal governments and services for select towns and cities.

Fire and Police Stations

  • Include:  County dispatch numbers for all areas served, only fire stations and police stations with regular staff hours.
  • Do NOT Include:  Volunteer fire stations that are unstaffed except as needed, or police departments that consist only of an on-call town marshal


  • Include: Parks departments/boards with information regarding City/Town Parks as well as some City/Town Park locations with special programs (i.e. Spray Grounds).
  • Do NOT Include:  County level parks, or Individual State Parks; however, include statewide information and a locator through the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Child Care and Youth Development Resources

Child Care

  • Do NOT Include: Child care providers, whether private, public, or nonprofit, as these are maintained by the regional Child Care Referral agencies.

Youth Enrichment

  • Include:  Youth clubs and programs that are offered by established nonprofits, are open to the public (not exclusive to a single group, such as students of a particular school), are free or low cost, and have a focus on enrichment (rather than child care or recreation).

Donations/Volunteer Opportunities

Monetary Donations

  • Do NOT Include:  Provide information about making monetary donations, except in the cases of agencies that manage donations for large-scale and locally relevant disasters, such as American Red Cross.

Material Donations

  • Do NOT Include:  Vehicle donation programs or Programs that accept donations of material goods to be distributed for free or sold at low cost in a thrift store that benefits other social service programs.

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Do NOT Include:  Established, coordinated volunteer programs

Private/Commercial Agencies

Generally commercial businesses are not included. Exceptions are made for the following cases:

  • Social service, government assistance, and charitable outreach programs offered through a commercial agent. Examples include pharmacy discount programs, free credit reports, Lifeline discounted phone service (through phone companies, not individual sales representatives), public service information provided by private media outlets, and support groups.
  • Plasma centers (included based on community demand)
  • Private utility companies that provide gas, electric, or water services to the public, as well as municipally contracted landfills
  • Job search websites that are free for job seekers
  • Toll-free directory assistance supported by advertisements
  • Private medical providers that provide specific services not met by traditional physician resources (such as pharmacy-based urgent care clinics)
  • Lower-cost long-distance transportation options, such as train or bus services (private taxi services or airlines are not included)
  • Facilities that offer treatment services for people struggling with substance use disorder

Museums/Historical Societies

  • Do NOT Include: Museums focused on State, local history, Local (county or city) historical societies, Individual historical sites or any museums

Food Resources

  • Include:
    • Food pantries, low-cost food cooperatives, home delivered meals, and meal sites (soup kitchens) open to the community
    • Meals provided by or at the schools for students during out-of-school times such as Spring, Fall, and Winter breaks
    • A web locator tool for the Indiana Department of Education program for summer food sites (Summer Food Service Program)
    • Farmers markets that offer one or more of the following: dollar-for-dollar EBT (SNAP) matching program, accept Area Agency on Aging market vouchers, or accept WIC market vouchers
  • Do NOT Include:
    • Client-only food programs
    • After-school or sack food programs for students only
    • Farmers markets on the sole basis of accepting EBT cards as a payment form

Support Groups

  • Nonprofit self-help support groups (a “self-help group” is a voluntary gathering of people who share a similar problem, condition, or history). The group should charge no fees for services, although it may ask for donations to cover expenses for a meeting space.
  • Do NOT Include: mental health church/recovery/hospital support groups that are specific to the attendees of the program. Will not list support groups that have locators but will direct to the locator tool.