Background Checks for Prospective Foster, Adoptive, and Kinship Caregivers - Alabama

Date:

Who Needs Records Checks

Citation: Ala. Code §§ 38-13-2; 38-12-3

The following persons or entities are required to undergo background checks:

  • An applicant for license as a child care or adult care facility or a child-placing agency
  • An applicant for employment or for a volunteer position to a Department of Human Resources (DHR) licensed child care or adult care facility
  • An adult household member of a child care or adult care facility in a home setting
  • An individual who submits an application for a volunteer position or for employment with the DHR in a position in which the person has unsupervised access to children, adults, or individuals with disabilities as one of the essential functions of the job
  • An applicant for approval as an adoptive parent of a child or as a foster parent of an adult or child

A person may become a kinship foster parent only upon the completion of an investigation to ascertain if there is a State or Federal record of criminal history for the prospective kinship foster parent or any other adult residing in the prospective foster parent's home.

Types of Records That Must Be Checked

Citation: Ala. Code § 38-13-2; Admin. Code r. 660-5-29-.02

A criminal history background information check includes a review of any and all records containing any information collected and stored in the criminal record repository of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center, and the Alabama State Law Enforcement Agency involving an arrest or conviction by a criminal justice agency, including, but not limited to, child abuse crime information as defined by 42 U.S.C. § 5119, the National Child Protection Act of 1993, conviction record information, fingerprint cards, correctional data and release information, and identifiable descriptions and notations of convictions.

In regulation: For approval as a foster parent, an applicant and each adult household member shall submit a completed request for clearance of the State central registry on child abuse and neglect.

Process for Obtaining Records Checks

Citation: Admin. Code r. 660-5-29-.02

At the time of initial application, an applicant and each adult household member shall submit a completed request for clearance of the State central registry on child abuse and neglect. The applicant also shall obtain a completed request for clearance of the central registry for each caregiver, substitute, volunteer, domestic worker, and any other person who has contact with the children or unsupervised access to the children. Completed forms shall be submitted to DHR. A subsequent request for clearance of the State central registry may be requested by DHR at any time.

Each applicant, licensee, adult household member, substitute, caregiver, volunteer, domestic worker, as well as any other person who has contact with the children or unsupervised access to the children shall submit to the Alabama Bureau of Investigation, State Law Enforcement Agency, as instructed by DHR, a request for a criminal history background information check accompanied by the following:

  • Fingerprints, properly executed by a law enforcement agency or an individual properly trained in fingerprinting techniques
  • Written consent from the applicant, licensee, each adult household member, substitute, caregiver, volunteer, domestic worker, as well as any other person who has contact with the children or unsupervised access to the children for the release of the criminal history background information to DHR
  • The required fee, unless the fee is to be paid by DHR
  • Identification verification of name, date of birth, race, sex, and Social Security number in the form of a photo identification from any governmental agency, such as a driver's license, nondriver's identification, or a program participation card

A copy of the identification verification shall be kept on file in the DHR county office or the child-placing agency.

Grounds for Disqualification

Citation: Ala. Code § 38-13-2

Convictions for any of the following crimes shall make an individual unsuitable for employment, volunteer work, approval, or licensure:

  • Murder, manslaughter, or criminally negligent homicide
  • A sex crime, including:
    • Enticing a child to enter a vehicle, room, house, office, or any other place for immoral purposes
    • Incest, when the offender is an adult and the victim is a minor
    • Kidnapping of a minor, except by a parent, in the first or second degree
    • Promoting prostitution, rape, sexual misconduct, sexual torture, sexual abuse, or sodomy
    • Soliciting a child by computer for the purposes of committing a sexual act and transmitting obscene material to a child by computer
    • Violation of the Alabama Child Pornography Act
    • Any solicitation, attempt, or conspiracy to commit any of the offenses listed above
    • A crime listed in the Alabama Sex Offender Registration and Community Notification Act (title 15, chapter 20A)
  • A crime that involves the physical or mental injury or maltreatment of a child, the elderly, or an individual with disabilities
  • A crime committed against a child
  • A crime involving the sale or distribution of a controlled substance
  • Robbery
  • A crime or offense committed in another State or under Federal law that would constitute any of the above crimes in this State

Conviction for any crime listed in the Adoption and Safe Families Act, 42 U.S.C. § 671(a)(20), shall disqualify a person from being approved or continuing to be approved as a foster parent or adoptive parent, and a convicted person shall be deemed unsuitable for employment, volunteer work, approval, or licensure as a foster parent or adoptive parent.

The department may set other disqualifying convictions by rule under the Administrative Procedure Act for DHR-licensed child or adult care facilities.