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| 1 minute read

Youth organizations have limited ability to check Georgia's child abuse & neglect database

One unanticipated result of Georgia's abolishing its child abuse registry last fall is that many youth serving organizations no longer have the ability (or corresponding duty) to check the state's child abuse and neglect database. Georgia now limits database access to government agencies and "licensed entities in Georgia, which interact with children or are responsible for providing care for children, which shall only be provided information for purposes of employment of a specific individual. (This includes child placing agencies and child care institutions).” 

Thus, organizations that do not require a license to operate in Georgia, such as places of worship, camps, or mentoring organizations, cannot independently access the database. Even those groups that are licensed cannot access the database to screen a volunteer.  In some areas, licensing agencies have taken on the job of screening and can access the database for both employees and volunteers. Aside from that possibility, however, there is no avenue for YSOs to screen adults for substantiated charges of abuse and neglect.

The corollary is that, if you have no avenue for getting that information, then you have no duty to look for it, at least in official records. You will still have the ability to ask about such issues when checking recommendations or interviewing applicants. You also can get a signed statement from the applicant that they have no such record. Those avenues are more important now that you have no ability to double-check the information in official databases.

The Investigation Outcome Notification System is database that houses all of Georgia's substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect from 2008 to present.

Tags

child protection policies, child abuse, child neglect, youth serving organizations