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Statutes > Indiana > Title31 > Ar27 > Ch5

IC 31-27-5

    

Chapter 5. Regulation of Group Homes

IC 31-27-5-1

Group home operation; necessity for license; number of children
and location of home
    

Sec. 1. (a) A person may not operate a group home without a
license issued under this article.
    (b) The state or a political subdivision of the state may not operate
a group home without a license issued under this article.
    (c) A person may not operate a group home if:
        (1) the number of children maintained on the premises at any
one (1) time is greater than the number authorized by the
license; or
        (2) the children are maintained in a building or place not
designated by the license.
As added by P.L.145-2006, SEC.273.

IC 31-27-5-2

Conditions for issuance of license
    

Sec. 2. (a) A license may be issued only if the group home is in
substantial compliance with food, health, safety, and sanitation
standards as determined under rules adopted by the department under
IC 31-27-2-4 or in accordance with a variance or waiver approved by
the department under IC 31-27-2-8.
    (b) A license may be issued only if the group home is in
compliance with the fire and life safety rules as determined by the
state fire marshal under rules adopted by the department under
IC 31-27-2-4 or in accordance with a variance or waiver approved by
the department under IC 31-27-2-8.
    (c) The department may issue a waiver or variance regarding a
determination by the state fire marshal or the department under
subsections (a) and (b).
As added by P.L.145-2006, SEC.273.

IC 31-27-5-3

Group home plat or deed restrictions
    

Sec. 3. (a) This section applies to:
        (1) a restriction;
        (2) a reservation;
        (3) a condition;
        (4) an exception; or
        (5) a covenant;
that is created after June 30, 1990, in a subdivision plat, deed, or
other instrument of or pertaining to the transfer, sale, lease, or use of
property.
    (b) This section applies to a group home that houses:
        (1) not more than ten (10) children; and
        (2) only children who are judicially determined to be either:
            (A) children in need of services under IC 31-34-1 (or

IC 31-6-4-3 or IC 31-6-4-3.1 before their repeal); or
            (B) children who have committed a delinquent act under
IC 31-37-2-2, IC 31-37-2-3, or IC 31-37-2-5 (or
IC 31-6-4-1(a)(2), IC 31-6-4-1(a)(3), or IC 31-6-4-1(a)(5)
before their repeal).
    (c) A restriction, a reservation, a condition, an exception, or a
covenant in a subdivision plat, deed, or other instrument of or
pertaining to the:
        (1) transfer;
        (2) sale;
        (3) lease; or
        (4) use;
of property that would permit the residential use of property but
prohibit the use of that property as a group home is, to the extent of
the prohibition, void for public policy reasons.
    (d) The prohibition described in subsection (c) is void even if the
prohibition is based on any of the following grounds:
        (1) The group home is a business.
        (2) The persons residing in the group home are not related.
        (3) Any other reason.
As added by P.L.145-2006, SEC.273.

IC 31-27-5-4

Apply for licenses; criminal history checks
    

Sec. 4. (a) An applicant must apply for a group home license on
forms provided by the department.
    (b) An applicant must submit the required information as part of
the application.
    (c) An applicant must submit with the application a statement
attesting the following:
        (1) That the applicant has not been convicted of:
            (A) a felony; or
            (B) a misdemeanor relating to the health and safety of
children.
        (2) That the applicant has not been charged with:
            (A) a felony; or
            (B) a misdemeanor relating to the health and safety of
children;
        during the pendency of the application.
    (d) The department on behalf of an applicant, or, at the discretion
of the department, an applicant, shall conduct a criminal history
check of the following:
        (1) Each individual who is an applicant.
        (2) The director or manager of a facility where children will be
placed.
        (3) An employee or a volunteer of the applicant who has or will
have direct contact on a regular and continuing basis with a
child who is or will be placed in a facility operated by the
applicant.
    (e) If the applicant conducts a criminal history check under

subsection (d), the applicant shall:
        (1) maintain records of the information it receives concerning
each individual who is the subject of a criminal history check;
and
        (2) submit to the department a copy of the information the
applicant receives concerning each person described in
subsection (d)(1) through (d)(3).
    (f) If the department conducts a criminal history check on behalf
of an applicant under subsection (d), the department shall:
        (1) determine whether the subject of a national fingerprint
based criminal history check has a record of a conviction for:
            (A) a felony; or
            (B) a misdemeanor relating to the health and safety of a
child;
        (2) notify the applicant of the determination under subdivision
(1) without identifying a specific offense or other identifying
information concerning a conviction contained in the national
criminal history record information;
        (3) submit to the applicant a copy of any state limited criminal
history report that the department receives on behalf of any
person described in subsection (d); and
        (4) maintain a record of every report and all information it
receives concerning a person described in subsection (d).
    (g) Except as provided in subsection (h), a criminal history check
described in subsection (d) is required only at the time an application
for a new license or the renewal of an existing license is submitted.
    (h) A criminal history check of a person described in subsection
(d)(2) or (d)(3) must be completed on or before the date on which the
subject of the check is employed or assigned as a volunteer.
However, a fingerprint based criminal history background check
under IC 31-9-2-22.5(1)(B) for a person described in subsection (d)
must be completed not later than the conclusion of the first ninety
(90) days of employment in or assignment of a volunteer to a
position described in subsection (d). If a person described in this
subsection has been the subject of a criminal history check (as
described in IC 31-9-2-22.5) that was conducted not more than one
(1) year before the date the license application is submitted to the
department, a new criminal history check of that person is not
required.
    (i) An applicant or licensee may provisionally employ an
individual or assign a volunteer described in subsection (d)(3) for
whom a criminal history check is required during the period after the
process of requesting fingerprint based criminal history background
check information has been initiated by or on behalf of the applicant
or licensee but before the determination is obtained by or
communicated to the applicant or licensee. If the determination is not
received within ninety (90) days after the effective date of hire or
volunteer assignment, the employee or volunteer relationship must
be terminated or suspended until a determination is received. An
employee or volunteer whose determination has not yet been

received may not have direct contact with a child who is or will be
placed at a facility operated by the applicant or licensee unless the
direct contact occurs only in the presence of a volunteer or employee
of the applicant or licensee who has been the subject of a completed
and approved criminal history check. In determining whether to
provisionally hire or assign as a volunteer an individual described in
subsection (d)(3), the applicant or licensee shall consider the
following:
        (1) The training time required by an employee or a volunteer.
        (2) The safety and security of the children under the supervision
of the applicant or licensee.
        (3) The safety and security of the other staff and volunteers
working under the supervision of the applicant or licensee.
        (4) The staffing concerns of the applicant or licensee.
        (5) Any other factor relating to the safety and security of the
applicant's or licensee's operations.
    (j) The department shall, at the applicant's request, inform the
applicant as to whether the department has or does not have a record
of the person who is the subject of a criminal history background
check and whether the department has identified the person as an
alleged perpetrator of abuse or neglect. The department may not
provide to the applicant any details or personally identifying
information contained in any child protective services investigation
report.
    (k) A person who is the subject of a criminal history check
conducted in accordance with this section may request the state
police department to provide the person with a copy of any state or
national criminal history report concerning the person.
As added by P.L.145-2006, SEC.273. Amended by P.L.138-2007,
SEC.56.

IC 31-27-5-5

Establishment of county group home; operation
    

Sec. 5. (a) A county may establish a child group home. The group
home may be operated by:
        (1) the county; or
        (2) a public or private agency under contract with the county;
and must be operated under the rules adopted by the director under
this article.
    (b) This section does not affect the following:
        (1) IC 31-31-1-1 or IC 31-40, requiring the county fiscal body
to appropriate sufficient money to pay for services ordered by
the juvenile court.
        (2) IC 31-31-8, authorizing the juvenile court to establish
detention and shelter care facilities.
        (3) IC 12-13-5 and IC 12-19-1, requiring the department and the
county office to provide care and treatment for delinquent
children and children in need of services.
As added by P.L.145-2006, SEC.273.

IC 31-27-5-6

Grounds for denial of license applications
    

Sec. 6. (a) The following constitute sufficient grounds for a denial
of a license application:
        (1) A determination by the department of child abuse or neglect
by:
            (A) the applicant;
            (B) an employee of the applicant who has direct contact, on
a regular and continuous basis, with children who are under
the direct supervision of the applicant; or
            (C) a volunteer of the applicant who has direct contact, on a
regular and continuous basis, with children who are under
the direct supervision of the applicant.
        (2) A criminal conviction of the applicant, or the director or
manager of a facility where children will be placed by the
applicant, for any of the following:
            (A) A felony.
            (B) A misdemeanor related to the health and safety of a
child.
            (C) A misdemeanor for operating a child caring institution,
foster family home, group home, or child placing agency
without a license under this article (or IC 12-17.4 before its
repeal).
            (D) A misdemeanor for operating a child care center or child
care home without a license under IC 12-17.2.
        (3) A determination by the department that the applicant made
false statements in the applicant's application for licensure.
        (4) A determination by the department that the applicant made
false statements in the records required by the department.
        (5) A determination by the department that the applicant
previously operated a home or facility without a license
required under any applicable provision of this article (or
IC 12-17.4 before its repeal) or IC 12-17.2.
    (b) An application for a license may also be denied if an employee
or volunteer of the applicant who has direct contact on a regular and
continuous basis with children who are under the direct supervision
of the applicant has been convicted of any of the following:
        (1) A felony described in IC 31-27-4-13(a).
        (2) Any other felony or a misdemeanor relating to the health
and safety of a child, unless the applicant is granted a waiver by
the department to employ or assign the person as a volunteer in
a position described in this subsection.
    (c) In determining whether to grant a waiver under subsection (b),
the department shall consider the following factors:
        (1) The length of time that has passed since the disqualifying
conviction.
        (2) The severity, nature, and circumstances of the offense.
        (3) Evidence of rehabilitation.
        (4) The duties and qualifications required for the proposed
employment positions or volunteer assignment.

    (d) Notwithstanding subsection (a) or (b), if:
        (1) a license application could be denied due to a criminal
conviction of, or a determination of child abuse or neglect by,
an employee or a volunteer of the applicant; and
        (2) the department determines that the employee or volunteer
has been dismissed by the applicant;
the criminal conviction of, or determination of child abuse or neglect
by, the former employee or former volunteer does not constitute a
sufficient basis for the denial of a license application.
    (e) The department may adopt rules to implement this section.
As added by P.L.145-2006, SEC.273. Amended by P.L.138-2007,
SEC.57.

IC 31-27-5-7

Incomplete applications
    

Sec. 7. The department may not act on an incomplete application.
The department shall return an incomplete application with a
notation concerning omissions. The return of an incomplete
application is without prejudice.
As added by P.L.145-2006, SEC.273.

IC 31-27-5-8

Investigation of applicants
    

Sec. 8. The department shall investigate a person seeking
licensure to determine whether the person is in compliance with this
article and the rules adopted under this article. The investigation
shall be conducted at a reasonable time and in a reasonable manner
in announced or unannounced visits. Activities may include onsite
inspections, record reading, observation, and interviewing. The
department may require that evidence of compliance with the rules
be presented in a form and manner specified in the rules.
As added by P.L.145-2006, SEC.273.

IC 31-27-5-9

Issuance of license
    

Sec. 9. The department shall issue a license to a person who meets
all of the license requirements when an investigation shows the
applicant to be in compliance under this article.
As added by P.L.145-2006, SEC.273.

IC 31-27-5-10

Eligibility of waivers and variances
    

Sec. 10. A group home may be eligible to receive a waiver or
variance from the requirements of this chapter by complying with
IC 31-27-2-8.
As added by P.L.145-2006, SEC.273.

IC 31-27-5-11

Waiver of maximum group home stay
    

Sec. 11. (a) The department may grant a waiver of the sixty (60)

day maximum stay for a child if the group home licensed as a shelter
care facility applies for the waiver before the expiration of the sixty
(60) day period.
    (b) The group home shall document in the request for a waiver
that the waiver is in the best interest of the child.
As added by P.L.145-2006, SEC.273.

IC 31-27-5-12

Denial of license
    

Sec. 12. (a) The department shall deny a license when an
applicant fails to meet the requirements for a license.
    (b) The department shall send the applicant written notice by
certified mail that the application has been denied and give the
reasons for the denial.
    (c) An administrative hearing concerning the denial of a license
shall be provided upon written request by the applicant. The request
must be made not more than thirty (30) days after the applicant
receives the written notice under subsection (b).
    (d) An administrative hearing shall be held not more than sixty
(60) days after the department receives a written request under
subsection (c).
    (e) An administrative hearing shall be held in accordance with
IC 4-21.5-3.
    (f) The department shall issue a decision not more than sixty (60)
days after the conclusion of a hearing under this section.
As added by P.L.145-2006, SEC.273.

IC 31-27-5-13

Investigation of unlicensed premises
    

Sec. 13. The department shall investigate any premises that the
department has reason to believe are being used for child care
without a license in circumstances where a license is required.
As added by P.L.145-2006, SEC.273.

IC 31-27-5-14

Duration of license; limitations; renewal; public display
    

Sec. 14. (a) A license for a group home expires four (4) years after
the date of issuance, unless the license is revoked, modified to a
probationary status, or voluntarily returned.
    (b) A license issued under this chapter:
        (1) is not transferable;
        (2) applies only to the licensee and the location stated in the
application; and
        (3) remains the property of the department.
    (c) A current license shall be publicly displayed.
    (d) If a licensee submits a timely application for renewal, the
current license remains in effect until the department issues a license
or denies the application.
As added by P.L.145-2006, SEC.273. Amended by P.L.146-2006,
SEC.35.

IC 31-27-5-15

Probationary status; duration; expiration; extension
    

Sec. 15. (a) The department may place a licensee on probationary
status if the licensee is temporarily unable to comply with a rule and
if:
        (1) the noncompliance does not present an immediate threat to
the health and well-being of the children in the care of the
licensee;
        (2) the licensee files a plan with the department, the state
department of health, or the state fire marshal to correct the
areas of noncompliance within the probationary period; and
        (3) the department, the state department of health, or the state
fire marshal approves the plan.
    (b) A probationary status period is for not more than six (6)
months. However, the department may extend a probationary status
period for one (1) additional period of six (6) months.
    (c) At the expiration of a probationary status period, the
department shall:
        (1) reactivate the license to the end of the original term of the
license;
        (2) extend the probationary status period as permitted in
subsection (b); or
        (3) revoke the license.
As added by P.L.145-2006, SEC.273. Amended by P.L.146-2006,
SEC.36.

IC 31-27-5-16

Inspections
    

Sec. 16. The department and the state fire marshal shall do the
following:
        (1) Make annual onsite inspections.
        (2) Keep written records of the monitoring activities and
inspections.
As added by P.L.145-2006, SEC.273.

IC 31-27-5-17

Cooperation by licensees
    

Sec. 17. A licensee shall cooperate with the department and the
state fire marshal in carrying out the activities required by section 16
of this chapter, including permitting the department and the state fire
marshal to conduct announced or unannounced inspections.
As added by P.L.145-2006, SEC.273.

IC 31-27-5-18

Records
    

Sec. 18. (a) A licensee shall keep records required by the
department regarding each child in the control and care of the
licensee and shall report to the department, upon request, the facts
the department requires with reference to children.
    (b) The department shall keep records regarding children and facts

learned about children and the children's parents or relatives
confidential.
    (c) The following have access to records regarding children and
facts learned about children:
        (1) A state agency involved in the licensing of the group home.
        (2) A legally mandated child protection agency.
        (3) A law enforcement agency.
        (4) An agency having the legal responsibility to care for a child
placed at the group home.
        (5) The parent, guardian, or custodian of the child at the group
home.
        (6) A citizen review panel established under IC 31-25-2-20.4.
        (7) The department of child services ombudsman established by
IC 4-13-19-3.
As added by P.L.145-2006, SEC.273. Amended by P.L.138-2007,
SEC.58; P.L.182-2009(ss), SEC.376.

IC 31-27-5-19

Notice of enforcement actions; informal meetings
    

Sec. 19. Except as provided in section 29 of this chapter, the
department shall give a licensee thirty (30) days written notice by
certified mail of an enforcement action. The licensee shall also be
provided with the opportunity for an informal meeting with the
department. The licensee must request the meeting not more than ten
(10) working days after receipt of the certified notice.
As added by P.L.145-2006, SEC.273.

IC 31-27-5-20

Administrative hearings
    

Sec. 20. (a) An administrative hearing concerning the decision of
the department to impose a sanction under this chapter shall be
provided upon a written request by the licensee. The request must be
made not more than thirty (30) days after the licensee receives notice
under section 19 of this chapter. The written request must be made
separately from an informal meeting request made under section 19
of this chapter.
    (b) An administrative hearing shall be held not more than sixty
(60) days after the department receives a written request under
subsection (a).
As added by P.L.145-2006, SEC.273.

IC 31-27-5-21

Procedure for administrative hearings
    

Sec. 21. A hearing requested under section 20 of this chapter shall
be held under IC 4-21.5-3.
As added by P.L.145-2006, SEC.273.

IC 31-27-5-22

Issuance of decisions
    

Sec. 22. The department shall issue a decision not more than sixty

(60) days after the conclusion of a hearing under section 20 of the
chapter.
As added by P.L.145-2006, SEC.273.

IC 31-27-5-23

Repealed

    (Repealed by P.L.146-2006, SEC.60.)

IC 31-27-5-24

Repealed

    

(Repealed by P.L.146-2006, SEC.60.)

IC 31-27-5-25

Repealed

    

(Repealed by P.L.146-2006, SEC.60.)

IC 31-27-5-26

Cessation of operation upon revocation of license
    

Sec. 26. A group home shall cease operation when the license of
the group home is revoked.
As added by P.L.145-2006, SEC.273.

IC 31-27-5-27

Notice
    

Sec. 27. (a) After the license of a group home is revoked, the
department shall notify in writing each person responsible for each
child in care to ensure that the children are removed from the group
home.
    (b) The written notice shall be sent to the last known address of
the person responsible for the child in care and shall state that the
license of the group home has been revoked.
As added by P.L.145-2006, SEC.273. Amended by P.L.146-2006,
SEC.37.

IC 31-27-5-28

Judicial review
    

Sec. 28. A final decision of the department made after a hearing
is subject to judicial review under IC 4-21.5-5.
As added by P.L.145-2006, SEC.273.

IC 31-27-5-29

Investigation of noncompliance; injunctions; corrective action
plans; removal of children; informal meetings
    

Sec. 29. (a) The department shall investigate a report of a licensed
group home's noncompliance with this article and the rules adopted
under this article if there is reasonable cause to believe that
noncompliance with this article and rules adopted under this article
creates an imminent danger of serious bodily injury to a child or an
imminent danger to the health of a child. The department shall report
its findings to the attorney general and to the county office and the

prosecuting attorney in the county where the group home is located.
    (b) The attorney general or the department may do the following:
        (1) Seek the issuance of a search warrant to assist in the
investigation.
        (2) File an action for injunctive relief to stop the operation of a
group home if there is reasonable cause to believe that the
group home's noncompliance with this article and the rules
adopted under this article creates an imminent danger of serious
bodily injury to a child or an imminent danger to the health of
a child.
    (c) The department may require a plan of corrective action for
emergency protection of children described in subsection (b).
    (d) The department may provide for the removal of children from
a group home described in subsection (b).
    (e) An opportunity for an informal meeting with the department
shall be available after injunctive relief is ordered under subsection
(b)(2).
As added by P.L.145-2006, SEC.273.

IC 31-27-5-30

Expiration of injunctions for noncompliance
    

Sec. 30. A court order granted under section 29(b)(2) of this
chapter expires upon the later of the following:
        (1) Sixty (60) days after the order is issued.
        (2) When a final departmental decision is issued under sections
20 through 22 of this chapter if notice of an enforcement action
is issued under section 19 of this chapter.
As added by P.L.145-2006, SEC.273.

IC 31-27-5-31

Grounds for revocation of license
    

Sec. 31. (a) The following constitute sufficient grounds for
revocation of a license:
        (1) A determination by the department of child abuse or neglect
by:
            (A) the licensee;
            (B) an employee of the licensee who has direct contact, on
a regular and continuous basis, with children who are under
the direct supervision of the licensee; or
            (C) a volunteer of the licensee who has direct contact, on a
regular and continuous basis, with children who are under
the direct supervision of the licensee.
        (2) A criminal conviction of the licensee, or the director or
manager of a facility where children will be placed by the
licensee, for any of the following:
            (A) A felony.
            (B) A misdemeanor related to the health or safety of a child.
            (C) A misdemeanor for operating a child caring institution,
foster family home, group home, or child placing agency
without a license under this article (or IC 12-17.4 before its

repeal).
            (D) A misdemeanor for operating a child care center or child
care home without a license under IC 12-17.2.
        (3) A determination by the department that the licensee made
false statements in the licensee's application for licensure.
        (4) A determination by the department that the licensee made
false statements in the records required by the department.
        (5) A determination by the department that the licensee
previously operated a home or facility without a license
required under any applicable provision of this article (or
IC 12-17.4 before its repeal) or IC 12-17.2.
    (b) A license may also be revoked if an employee or volunteer of
the licensee who has direct contact on a regular and continuous basis
with children who are under the direct supervision of the licensee has
been convicted of any of the following:
        (1) A felony described in IC 31-27-4-13(a).
        (2) Any other felony or a misdemeanor relating to the health
and safety of a child, unless the licensee is granted a waiver by
the department to employ or assign the person as a volunteer in
a position described in this subsection.
    (c) In determining whether to grant a waiver under subsection (b),
the department shall consider the following factors:
        (1) The length of time that has passed since the disqualifying
conviction.
        (2) The severity, nature, and circumstances of the offense.
        (3) Evidence of rehabilitation.
        (4) The duties and qualifications required for the proposed
employment positions or volunteer assignment.
    (d) Notwithstanding subsection (a) or (b), if:
        (1) a license could be revoked due to a criminal conviction of,
or a determination of child abuse or neglect by, an employee or
a volunteer of the licensee; and
        (2) the department determines that the employee or volunteer
has been dismissed by the licensee within a reasonable time
after the licensee became aware of the conviction;
the criminal conviction of, or determination of child abuse or neglect
by, the former employee or former volunteer does not constitute a
sufficient basis for the revocation of a license.
    (e) The department may adopt rules to implement this section.
As added by P.L.145-2006, SEC.273. Amended by P.L.138-2007,
SEC.59.

IC 31-27-5-32

Compliance with rules; disciplinary sanctions; revocation of license
    

Sec. 32. (a) A licensee shall operate a group home in compliance
with the rules established under this article and is subject to the
disciplinary sanctions under subsection (b) if the department finds
that the licensee has violated this article or a rule adopted under this
article.
    (b) After complying with the procedural provisions in sections 19

through 22 of this chapter, the department may revoke the license
when the department finds that a licensee has committed a violation
under subsection (a).
As added by P.L.145-2006, SEC.273. Amended by P.L.146-2006,
SEC.38.

IC 31-27-5-33

Investigation of unlicensed group homes; injunctions; civil
penalties
    

Sec. 33. (a) The department shall investigate a report of an
unlicensed group home and report the department's findings to the
attorney general and to the county office and the prosecuting attorney
in the county where the group home is located.
    (b) The attorney general or the department may do the following:
        (1) Seek the issuance of a search warrant to assist in the
investigation.
        (2) File an action for injunctive relief to stop the operation of a
group home if there is reasonable cause to believe that the
group home is operating without a license required under this
article.
        (3) Seek in a civil action a civil penalty not to exceed one
hundred dollars ($100) a day for each day a group home is
operating without a license required under this article.
    (c) An opportunity for an informal meeting with the department
shall be available after injunctive relief is ordered under subsection
(b)(2).
    (d) The civil penalties collected under this section shall be
deposited in the department of child services child care fund
established by IC 31-25-2-16.
As added by P.L.145-2006, SEC.273. Amended by P.L.1-2007,
SEC.204.

IC 31-27-5-34

Expiration of injunctions for unlicensed operation
    

Sec. 34. A court order granted under section 33(b)(2) of this
chapter expires when the group home is issued a license.
As added by P.L.145-2006, SEC.273.

IC 31-27-5-35

Violations of chapter
    

Sec. 35. A person who knowingly or intentionally violates this
chapter commits a Class B misdemeanor.
As added by P.L.145-2006, SEC.273.