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

Date: September 2018

Who Needs Records Checks

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 49-5-60; 49-5-62; 49-5-69.1; 19-8-16

Background checks are required for the following persons:

  • The director and for each employee of any facility at which children are received for care, including the following:
    • Any person employed to perform any duties that involve personal contact between that person and any child being cared for at the facility
    • Any adult person who resides at the facility or who, with or without compensation, performs duties that involve personal contact between that person and any child being cared for by the facility
  • Foster parents and other adult persons that reside in the foster home or provide care to children placed in the home
  • Prospective adoptive parents

Types of Records That Must Be Checked

Citation: Ann. Code § 49-5-60; Rules & Regs. r. 290-9-2-.06; 290-9-2-.07

The following records checks are required:

  • A national fingerprint records check by the Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • A State fingerprint records check by the Georgia Crime Information Center (GCIC)

In regulation: For adoption petitioners and foster care applicants: When an individual in the home has not resided in the State for the 5 years preceding the application for approval, the child-placing agency shall require additional documentation available through the State child welfare agency in which the applicant resided that the individual is not listed on the child abuse and neglect registry.

Process for Obtaining Records Checks

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 49-5-60; 49-5-64

Accompanying any application for licensure or approval of a home, an applicant shall furnish to the Department of Human Services a records check application. The term 'records check application' means two sets of classifiable fingerprints; a records search fee to be established by the department by rule and regulation, payable in such form as the department may direct to cover the cost of a fingerprint records check; and an affidavit by the applicant disclosing the nature and date of any arrest, charge, or conviction of the applicant for the violation of any law, except for motor vehicle parking violations, whether or not the violation occurred in this State, and such additional information as the department may require.

The department shall transmit to GCIC both sets of fingerprints and the records search fee from each fingerprint records check application. Upon receipt of the application, GCIC shall promptly transmit one set of fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a search of bureau records and an appropriate report and shall retain the other set and promptly conduct a search of its records and records to which it has access. Within 10 days after receiving fingerprints acceptable to GCIC, the application, and fee, GCIC shall notify the department in writing of any derogatory finding, including, but not limited to, any criminal record, of the State fingerprint records check or if there is no such finding. After a search of Federal Bureau of Investigation records and fingerprints and upon receipt of the bureau's report, the department shall make a national fingerprint records determination.

Grounds for Disqualification

Citation: Ann. Code § 49-5-60; Rules & Regs. r. 290-9-2-.04

A person will be disqualified if a records check reveals a criminal conviction for any of the following crimes:

  • Any felony
  • Simple battery when the victim is a minor
  • Contributing to the delinquency of a minor
  • A violation of title 16, chapter 6 (sexual offenses), excluding the offenses of bigamy or marrying a bigamist
  • Criminal attempt when the crime attempted is any of the crimes specified above
  • Any other offenses committed in another jurisdiction which, if committed in this State, would be one of the enumerated crimes listed above

In regulation: An applicant shall not be approved when it has been determined that he or she has a criminal record involving any of the following crimes:

  • Murder or felony murder
  • Aggravated assault or aggravated battery
  • Cruelty to children or cruelty to a person age 65 or older
  • Rape, aggravated sodomy, child molestation, enticing a child for indecent purposes, or aggravated sexual battery
  • Armed robbery
  • Abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a disabled adult or elderly person
  • Any other offense committed in another jurisdiction that, if committed in this State, would be deemed to be a crime listed in this paragraph without regard to its designation elsewhere