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

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Who Needs Records Checks

Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 39.0138; 39.521; 63.092; 402.302; 402.313

The following persons are subject to background checks:

  • All persons, including parents, being considered by the Department of Children and Families for placement of a child, including all nonrelative placement decisions
  • All members of the household, age 12 and older, of the person being considered
  • A relative, parent, or other adult being considered for placement of a child
  • Prospective adoptive parents
  • Proposed legal custodians
  • Child care personnel, including all owners, operators, employees, and volunteers working in a child care facility
  • Registered family day care homes

Types of Records That Must Be Checked

Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 39.0138; 402.302

The records that must be checked include the following:

  • The State Automated Child Welfare Information System (SACWIS)
  • Local and statewide criminal history records
  • State and national criminal history information
  • Out-of-State criminal history records for any person age 18 or older who has resided in another State if that State allows the release of such records

Child care personnel are subject to screening. 'Screening' is the act of assessing the background of child care personnel and volunteers in accordance with State and Federal law and includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Employment history checks, including documented attempts to contact each employer that employed the applicant within the preceding 5 years
  • Searches of the criminal history records, sexual predator and sexual offender registries, and child abuse and neglect registries of any State in which the applicant resided during the preceding 5 years

Process for Obtaining Records Checks

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 39.0138

The department shall conduct a records check through SACWIS and the required local and statewide criminal history records checks. A criminal history records check may include, but is not limited to, submission of fingerprints to the Department of Law Enforcement for processing and forwarding to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for State and national criminal history information and local criminal records checks through local law enforcement agencies. An out-of-State criminal history records check must be initiated for any person age 18 or older who has resided in another State if that State allows the release of such records.

Grounds for Disqualification

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 39.0138

The department may not place a child with a person other than a parent if the criminal history records check reveals that the person has been convicted of any felony that falls within any of the following categories:

  • Child abuse, abandonment, or neglect
  • Domestic violence
  • Child pornography or other felony in which a child was a victim of the offense
  • Homicide, sexual battery, or other felony involving violence, other than felony assault or felony battery when an adult was the victim of the assault or battery, or resisting arrest with violence

The department may not place a child with a person other than a parent if the criminal history records check reveals that the person has, within the previous 5 years, been convicted of a felony that falls within any of the following categories:

  • Assault or battery
  • A drug-related offense
  • Resisting arrest with violence