Department for Community Based Services

Standards of Practice Online Manual

4.5.4 Background Checks for Kinship Care Providers or Relative Caregivers 

Cabinet for Health and Family Services

Department for Community Based Services
Division of Protection and Permanency
Standards of Practice Online Manual
Chapter:
Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC) 
Effective:
4/1/2013 
Section:
4.5.4 Background Checks for Kinship Care Providers or Relative Caregivers 
Version:

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Legal Authority/Introduction

 LEGAL AUTHORITY: 

Procedure 

The SSW:

  1. Assures that the kinship care provider or relative caregiver and each adult member of the household submit to the following background checks prior to approval:
    1. A criminal records check:
      1. An in state criminal records check conducted by the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC); or
      2. If the applicant or adult household member has resided out of state within the five (5) year period prior to the date of application, a criminal records check of the National Crime Information Database (NCID) conducted by means of a fingerprint scan as outlined in SOP 12.4.1 Child Abuse/Neglect Central Registry and Fingerprint Checks; and 1
    2. A child abuse and neglect check for each state of residence during the past five (5) years using the DPP-159 Background Check for Caretaker Relatives or Kinship Caregivers (as outlined in SOP 12.4.1 Child Abuse/Neglect Central Registry and Fingerprint Checks); and
    3. A sex offender registry address check by submitting the DPP-159 to the Central Office Records Management Section;
  2. Assures that each adolescent household member(s) submits to a child abuse and neglect check as outlined in SOP 12.4.1 Child Abuse/Neglect Central Registry and Fingerprint Checks;
  3. Does not recommend approval 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. Crime involving violence, including, but not limited to: rape, sexual assault, or homicide; or
        5. Physical abuse, battery or a drug or alcohol within the five (5) year period prior to the application; or
      2. Criminal conviction relating to child abuse or neglect;
      3. Civil judicial determination related to child abuse or neglect; or
    2. 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; or if
    3. A sex offender registry address check and supporting documentation confirm that a sex offender resides at the applicant's home address;
  4. 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 voluntarily terminated; 
    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 voluntarily terminated; 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 or had parental rights voluntarily terminated; 
  5. 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;
  6. Consults with the regional attorney, if appropriate, to determine the nature and classification of an offense if a 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 non-violent) or classification (i.e. felony or misdemeanor);
  7. Requests that the applicant provide evidence of rehabilitation by submitting the following documentation 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:
    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 character references when the applicant or adult household member has been convicted of a crime;
  9. Conducts a personal interview for verbal and nonverbal cues to the reference’s response regarding the criminal conviction when possible;
  10. Conducts a phone interview with the reference when an in person interview is not possible;
  11. Holds a staffing with the FSOS and regional staff designated by the SRA when the SSW finds a previous report of either child abuse or neglect or a criminal records check with a negative finding; 2
  12. Obtains permission to proceed with the evaluation process when an applicant or adult member of the applicant’s household has been convicted of a misdemeanor or nonviolent felony.

The FSOS: 

  1. Submits the applicant's documentation, to the SRA or designee for final approval if the applicant had a prior substantiation of child abuse or neglect.

The SRA or designee: 

  1. Grants approval of the completed evaluation for an applicant's household with a misdemeanor or nonviolent felony conviction. 

Contingencies and Clarifications

  1. When urgent placements become necessary, it is the responsibility of the SSW, at the time the child is placed with a relative, to ensure that a cursory home evaluation is completed, including a home inspection and completion of TWIST, criminal background 3 and sex offender registry address checks, even if a complete assessment cannot be made immediately.  This is imperative to ensure that a child is not placed into unsafe conditions. 
  2. If an adult becomes a new member of an approved kinship care provider’s or relative caregiver’s household, the new adult member of the household submits to background checks within thirty (30) calendar days of residence within the household as described in Procedure 1.
  3. If an adolescent becomes a new member of an approved kinship care provider’s or relative caregiver’s household, the new adolescent member of the household submits to a child abuse and neglect check as outlined in SOP 12.4.1 Child Abuse/Neglect Central Registry and Fingerprint Checks within thirty (30) calendar days of residence within the household.
  4. If a sex offender registry address check indicates a sexual offender is residing in the home of a relative caregiver applicant, the SSW will be contacted by staff in the Division of Protection and Permanency to discuss supporting documentation needed to verify this, and to discuss any protective measures that may need to be taken regarding any child residing in that home. 
 

Footnotes  

  1. An AOC check is not required when a NCID check is completed as a records check of the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet (Kentucky State Police) is included with a NCID check.
  2. The staffing is utilized to determine if additional action or assessment is needed by either the applicant or the SSW.
  3. AOC checks are only available during business hours.  The SSW should ensure that an official check is completed as soon as possible.

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