FCASPL 208 (Central Registry Searches)
Family, Children and Adult Services Procedure Letter No. 208
February 2, 2011
TO: All Family, Children and Adult Services Manual Holders
FROM: Michael B. Colbert, Interim Director
SUBJECT: Searches of the Alleged Perpetrator Database contained within the Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System (SACWIS)

This procedure letter provides updates to public children services agencies (PCSAs), private child placing agencies (PCPAs) and private noncustodial agencies (PNAs) on the process of conducting child abuse and neglect searches, as described in the Family, Children and Adult Services Procedure letter (FCASPL) No. 180.

Pursuant to section 5103.18 of the Revised Code (ORC), searches of the Alleged Perpetrator Database within the Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System (SACWIS) must be conducted prior to certification or recertification of all foster homes. Sections 3107.033 and 3107.034 of the ORC also require these searches prior to approval of all adoptive home studies and home study updates.

Updates Affecting PCPAs and PNAs

The following is the procedure for private agencies to request the searches:

  • ODJFS will conduct searches of the Alleged Perpetrator Database for each individual search request from private agencies.
  • The agency must provide the following information for each individual for whom a search is being requested:
  • Full name, including maiden or other names used.
  • Date of birth.
  • Social Security Number.
  • Home address.
  • For each search request, the agency must confirm that verifications of the date of birth and Social Security Number are on file with the agency.
  • The agency must identify the specific reason for each search (for example, specify if the search is for a prospective adoptive or foster parent).
  • The agency must provide the name(s) of the agency contact persons who are designated/approved to request search results, including their contact information (address, phone number and e-mail, if applicable). The agency must inform ODJFS of any changes/additions to that information as necessary.
  • Agencies should submit "batches" of requests on a regular, self-determined time frame - for example, every Monday. Agencies are discouraged from sending multiple individual search requests each week. Agencies must allow a minimum of 45 days for search results.
  • Search requests cannot be submitted via telephone.
  • ODJFS will return result letters for each search electronically to the contact person designated by the requesting agency. Results will be mailed to those agencies that do not have electronic capabilities.
  • Result letters will advise agencies either that there is "NO MATCH" found for the individual's name in the SACWIS system as an alleged perpetrator of a substantiated or indicated report of child abuse and/or neglect, or that a "MATCH" is found for the individual as an alleged perpetrator for a substantiated or indicated report of child abuse and/or neglect. Result letters shall be maintained in the family resource case file.
  • Search results will not be provided via telephone or fax.

Updates Affecting PCSAs

As of the effective date of this procedure letter, PCSAs will no longer be required to submit a request for a check of the child abuse and neglect database from ODJFS. Each PCSA will continue to be responsible for conducting searches of the Alleged Perpetrator Database contained within SACWIS for individuals who require searches, e.g., prospective foster and/or adoptive applicants. At the time a search is conducted, each PCSA must print the perpetrator letter generated by SACWIS and maintain the letter in the family resource case file.

PCSAs have the option of rescinding any requests submitted on or after December 1, 2010 by contacting Barbara Parker via e-mail at barbara.parker@jfs.ohio.gov. Any requests not rescinded will be processed in order of date received, and a response provided to the PCSA. Search requests submitted by PCSAs after the effective date of this procedure letter will not be processed. ODJFS is working to amend the Administrative Code rules affected by this updated procedure.

Updates Affecting All Agencies

ORC sections 5103.18 and 3107.34 also require agencies to request a check of the central registry of other states in which a prospective foster care or adoptive applicant - or other adult living in the applicant's household - has resided in the five years immediately prior to the application. If the applicant or other adult has resided in another state during that time period, we suggest that the recommending agency determine whether that state has a child abuse and neglect registry. If so, contact that state to request a check. Currently, there is no standardized way to make these requests. States with registries vary in their definitions, standards and placement of names. The following Web site contains a list of the central registries of many other states: http://ccld.ca.gov/res/word/AWStateContacts.doc. It is maintained by the state of California and is updated regularly.

Child abuse and neglect search requests must be sent electronically as an e-mail attachment to Barbara Parker at barbara.parker@jfs.ohio.gov. Agencies without electronic capabilities can mail search requests to Barbara Parker at Central Registry, ODJFS/OFC/BCAP, P.O. Box 182709, Columbus, OH 43218-2709.

Anyone with questions regarding this procedure letter may contact the OCF Help Desk at 1-866-886-3537, option 4.


The following chart shows what materials should be inserted into the Family, Children and Adult Services Manual (FCASM).