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

Date:

Who Needs Records Checks

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 19-5-207; 26-6-104; 26-6-107

Records checks are required for the following persons:

  • Prospective adoptive parents and any adults living in the home
  • Applicants for licensure to operate a family child care home, a foster care home, a child care center, a residential child care facility, a secure residential treatment center, or a child-placing agency
  • Employees, newly hired employees, licensees, or individuals who reside in a licensed facility
  • Persons applying to be a foster care home or kinship foster care home and all adults living in the home

Types of Records That Must Be Checked

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 26-6-107

The records that need to be checked include the following:

  • A fingerprint-based criminal history records check to determine if the applicant or adult residing in the home has been convicted of any of the crimes listed below
  • A check of the ICON system at the State Judicial Department to determine the status or disposition of any pending criminal charges brought against the applicant or adult who resides in the home that were identified by the fingerprint-based criminal history records check through the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • A check of the State department's automated database for information to determine if the applicant or adult who resides in the home has been identified as having a finding of child abuse or neglect and whether such finding has been determined to present an unsafe placement for a child
  • A check against the State's sex offender registry and against the national sex offender public registry operated by the U.S. Department of Justice for names and addresses in the registries and the interactive database system for Colorado to determine if the applicant or adult who resides at the home is a registered sex offender

In addition to the fingerprint-based criminal history records check, the county department or child-placing agency shall contact the appropriate entity in each State in which the applicant or any adult residing in the home has resided within the preceding 5 years to determine whether the individual has been found to be responsible in a confirmed report of child abuse or neglect.

An applicant for certification as a foster care home shall provide a list of all the prior child-placing agencies to which he or she had previously applied. The county department shall contact those agencies to conduct a reference check.

Process for Obtaining Records Checks

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 26-6-107; 19-5-207

The department shall require each adult who is age 18 and older, including, but not limited to, the applicant, any owner, employee, newly hired employee, licensee, and any adult who is age 18 and older who resides in the licensed facility to obtain a fingerprint-based criminal history records check to determine whether the person being investigated has been convicted of any of the criminal offenses listed below or any other felony.

For all applicants applying to be a foster care home or kinship foster care home, regardless of reimbursement, the county department or child-placing agency shall require each adult who is age 18 or older and who resides in the home to obtain a fingerprint-based criminal history records check through the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The applicant must provide the county department or child-placing agency with the addresses of where the applicant and any adult residing in the home has lived in the preceding 5 years, including addresses from other States.

In all petitions for adoption, in addition to the written home study report, the court shall require the county department, the designated qualified individual, or the child-placing agency to conduct the fingerprint-based criminal history records checks for any prospective adoptive parent or any adult residing in the home. To fulfill this requirement, a prospective adoptive parent shall be responsible for providing a complete set of fingerprints to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and for obtaining the fingerprint-based criminal history records checks. The prospective adoptive parent also shall be responsible for the cost of the criminal history records checks.

Grounds for Disqualification

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 26-6-104(7); 26-6-107; 19-5-207

The department shall not issue a license to operate a family child care home, a foster care home, a child care center, a residential child care facility, a secure residential treatment center, or a child-placing agency if the applicant, an affiliate of the applicant, a person employed by the applicant, or a person who resides with the applicant at the facility has been convicted of any of the following:

  • Child abuse
  • A crime of violence, as defined in § 18-1.3-406
  • Any felony offense involving unlawful sexual behavior
  • Any felony that includes an act of domestic violence
  • Any felony involving physical assault, battery, or a drug-related offense within the 5 years preceding the date of application for a license or certificate
  • A pattern of misdemeanor convictions within the 10 years immediately preceding the submission of the application
  • Any offense in any other State, the elements of which are substantially similar to the elements of any one of the offenses described above

For all applicants applying to be a foster care home or kinship foster care home, the county department or child-placing agency shall contact the appropriate entity in each State in which the applicant or any adult residing in the home has resided within the preceding 5 years to determine whether the individual has been found to be responsible in a confirmed report of child abuse or neglect.

A prospective adoptive parent may be disqualified if the results of the criminal records check indicate that he or she or any adult residing in the home have been convicted at any time of a felony or misdemeanor in one of the following areas:

  • Child abuse or neglect
  • Spousal abuse
  • Any crime against a child, including, but not limited to, child pornography
  • Any crime that includes an act of domestic violence
  • Violation of a protection order
  • Any crime involving violence, rape, sexual assault, or homicide
  • Any felony physical assault or battery conviction or felony drug-related conviction within, at a minimum, the past 5 years

An applicant also may be disqualified if a check of child maltreatment registries reveals that the prospective adoptive parent or parents or any adult residing in the home has been found to be responsible in a confirmed report of child abuse or neglect.