An FBI official says Indiana never sought the agency’s advice on a new state law that requires caseworkers to perform FBI background checks on relatives who want to provide foster care to a child family member, reports the Indianapolis Star. Had that happened, the state law could have been crafted to conform with federal law, said James Davis of the FBI’s Indianapolis office. As the law is written, caseworkers won’t have access to FBI criminal records when the law goes into effect today. This means nationwide criminal records checks cannot be performed.
Last month, Marion County juvenile court Judge James W. Payne criticized the law, saying he never was asked for input on the proposal. He predicted that the type of national background checks called for by the law could result in children being delayed in licensed foster care for weeks or months while the investigations took place.