Department for Community Based Services

Standards of Practice Online Manual

12.4 Background Checks for Foster and Adoptive Parents

Cabinet for Health and Family Services

Department for Community Based Services
Division of Protection and Permanency
Standards of Practice Online Manual
Chapter:
Chapter 12-Resource Family Recruitment, Certification and Reimbursement
Effective:
11/18/2015
Section:
12.4 Background Checks for Foster and Adoptive Parents
Version:
3

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Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Procedure

The R&C Worker:

  1. Assures that the foster and adoptive home applicant(s) and each adult member of the applicant's household submit to the following background checks prior to approval:1
    1. A criminal records check of the National Crime Information Database (NCID), including the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet (Kentucky State Police) conducted by means of a fingerprint scan;
    2. A sex offender registry address check through the Kentucky State Police;
    3. A child abuse or neglect check for each state of residence during the past five (5) years;
  2. Ensures that each adolescent member of the applicant's household submits to a child abuse and neglect check as outlined in SOP 12.4.1 Child Abuse/Neglect Central Registry and Fingerprint Checks;
  3. Identifies the name of each applicant, adolescent member of the applicant's household, and adult member of the applicant's household who has been found by the Cabinet to have:
    1. Committed sexual abuse or sexual exploitation of a child;
    2. Been responsible for a child fatality or near fatality related to abuse or neglect;
    3. Abused or neglected a child within the seven (7) year period immediately prior to the application for approval as a foster and adoptive home parent; or
    4. Had parental rights terminated involuntarily;
  4. Contacts the court of jurisdiction for a complete history of the offense or the applicant provides a court certified copy if a criminal records check of an applicant or adult member of the applicant’s household results in a report of a criminal conviction; 1
  5. Does not recommend approval for an applicant if:
    1. A criminal records check reveals that the applicant, or adult member of the applicant's household, has a:
      1. Felony conviction involving:
        1. Child abuse or neglect;
        2. Spousal abuse;
        3. A crime against a child or children (including child pornography);
        4. A crime involving violence, including, but not limited to: rape, sexual assault, or homicide; or
        5. Physical abuse, battery, or a drug or alcohol offense within the five (5) year period prior to the application; or
      2. Criminal conviction relating to child abuse or neglect; or
      3. Civil judicial determination related to child abuse or neglect; or
    2. A sex offender registry address check reveals that the applicant, or adult member of the applicant's household, has a criminal conviction of a sexual offense;
    3. A child abuse or neglect check reveals that the applicant, adolescent member of the applicant's household, or adult member of the applicant's household, has been found to have:
      1. Committed sexual abuse or sexual exploitation of a child;
      2. Been responsible for a child fatality or near fatality related to abuse or neglect; or
      3. Had parental rights terminated involuntarily;
  6. Considers the approval on a case-by-case basis with consideration given to the nature of the offense, length of time  and life experiences since the offense of an applicant, if:
    1. The applicant has been convicted of a nonviolent felony or misdemeanor;
    2. The applicant has been found by the Cabinet or another child welfare agency to have abused or neglected a child, or the applicant's parental rights were terminated voluntarily; 
    3. An adolescent member of the applicant's household has been found by the Cabinet to have abused or neglected a child, or had parental rights terminated voluntarily; or
    4. An adult member of the applicant's household has been convicted of a nonviolent felony or any misdemeanor, found by the Cabinet to have abused or neglected a child, other than as specified in Procedure #6, or had parental rights voluntarily terminated; 
  7. Requests that the applicant provide evidence of rehabilitation when a criminal records check reveals a conviction or fine on any charge other than a minor traffic offense on an applicant or adult member of the applicant’s household  by submitting:
    1. A statement from the appropriate justice agency attesting to the individual's rehabilitation;
    2. A character reference from a person with good standing in the community (not a relative or close friend); or
    3. A statement from an employer, who is aware of the conviction and who can attest to the person's behavior since the conviction;
  8. Interviews all personal references, including character references, when the applicant or adult household member has been convicted of a crime; 2
  9. Holds a staffing with the R&C FSOS and regional staff designated by the SRA when the R&C worker finds a previous report of either child abuse or neglect or a criminal records check with a negative finding; 3
  10. Obtains permission to proceed with the preparation process when an applicant or adult member of the applicant’s household has been convicted of a misdemeanor or a nonviolent felony;
  11. Maintains a completed copy of each criminal records check and DPP-157 Background Checks for Applicants or Foster-Adoptive Parents on behalf of each foster and adoptive home parent applicant approved or not approved as a foster and adoptive home parent, and member of the applicant's household; 4
  12. Assures that any new adult member of the household of an approved foster and adoptive home parent submits within thirty (30) calendar days of residence to:
    1. A child abuse or neglect check for each state of residence during the past five (5) years;
    2. A sex offender registry address check through the Kentucky State Police; and
    3. A NCID criminal records check conducted by means of a fingerprint scan;
  13. Assures that any new adolescent member of the household of an approved foster, adoptive, relative or kinship care provider submits to a child abuse and neglect check within thirty (30) calendar days of residence within the household as outlined in SOP 12.4.1 Child Abuse/Neglect Central Registry and Fingerprint Checks.

The R&C FSOS:

  1. Submits the applicant's documentation to the service region administrator (SRA) or designee for final approval if the applicant had a prior substantiation of child abuse or neglect or a criminal records check with a negative finding.

Practice Guidance

  • A completed copy of each DPP-157-Child Abuse or Neglect Check is maintained on behalf of each adolescent member of the household.
  • If a sex offender registry address check reveals a criminal conviction of a sexual offense for a family during a re-evaluation, the P&P staff will notify the R&C FSOS responsible for the home of the results.  If a child is placed in the foster and adoptive home at the time that a sexual offender registry check reveals a positive address check, the child is moved into another placement alternative.  The home will be closed to further intake until supporting documentation verifies otherwise. 
 

Footnotes

  1. Respite care providers are required to complete the same background checks as foster and adoptive parent applicants.
  2. If a FBI criminal records check reveals a charge in another state for which Kentucky has no equivalent or a charge with an unknown nature (i.e., violent or nonviolent) or classification (i.e., felony or misdemeanor) the SSW/R&C worker may consult with the regional attorney to determine the nature and classification of the offense.
  3. When at all possible, a personal interview is conducted for verbal and nonverbal cues to the response. When an in person interview is not possible, a telephone interview may be conducted.
  4. The staffing is utilized to determine if additional action or assessment is needed by either the applicant or the SSW/R&C worker, and to make recommendations as to whether or not the applicant will proceed with the Pre-Service Family Preparation Training process.
  5. All documentation is archived once the home is closed or disapproved.

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