INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The state of Indiana is helping parents try to keep their children safe.
It recently launched a registry that gives parents access to information on people with child abuse convictions.
The Child Abuse Registry is easy to navigate. All you have to do is go on the state government website and type in the first and last name of the person you’re searching for.
The registry will show you a list of their convictions, if any, ranging from child neglect, battery and sexual offenses against a child.
Parents and child advocates told 24-Hour News 8 they believe the registry is a good tool for parents to use.
“We have to make sure they are cared for the best way that we can,” said Ashley Ford, a parent who joined others enjoying the beautiful weather at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park on Monday evening.
Ford said she had a rough start to the day. But she’s now making the most of the time with her kids, ages 10, 9 and 6. “Everything turned around, got to spend some time with the kids, just enjoy the weather before this rain that comes,” she said.
Ford said she does everything to make sure her kids are safe, especially when it comes to finding someone she can trust to watch them.
“You know, to be able to find somebody that we trust, it’s definitely hard,” she said. “I think that the website will make it a lot easier … a lot easier.”
Information in the registry dates back five years, to July 1, 2012, so any convictions prior to that date will not show up.
If the people you’re searching for have been convicted, it will list the people’s names, ages, photos, last known cities of residence, as well as descriptions of their convictions.
“You know, the first step is: Does this individual have a conviction in the last five years? If not, OK, what are some other positive things that we can do to ensure safety of our children,” said Sandy Runkle, director of programs at Prevent Child Abuse Indiana.
Runkle believes it’s a great starting tool for parents and caregivers.
“Any tool that can help keep children safe, we think it’s great, you know, as long as people use it in conjunction with other checks and balances,” she said.
In addition to using the registry, Runkle believes it’s always best for parents to use other methods to check.
“I think it’s a great starting place and hopefully it will encourage more conversations about what else we can do and what other tools are out there to help keep our kids safe,” she said.
Runkle said parents and caregivers also should check for references and recommendations, and look into a person’s education and background, such as training and certifications.
Click here to search the Child Abuse Registry.
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