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

Date:

Who Needs Records Checks

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 346-17; 346-19.7; 846-2.7

Background checks are required for applicants for licensure or employment, employees, and volunteers who provide care to children, vulnerable adults, or individuals with disabilities, including the following persons and entities:

  • Operators and employees of child-caring institutions and child-placing organizations
  • Resource family homes, including all adults residing in the resource family home
  • Relative foster home care providers
  • Prospective adoptive parents, including all adults residing in the prospective adoptive home
  • Applicants to operate child care facilities, prospective employees of the applicant, and new employees and household members of the provider after registration or licensure
  • Persons exempt pursuant to § 346-152 to be eligible to provide child care and receive child care subsidies
  • Employees, prospective employees, and teacher trainees in any public school
  • Employees and prospective employees who may be in positions that place them in close proximity to children in recreation or child care programs and services
  • Private school employees and prospective employees
  • Foster grandparent program participants

Types of Records That Must Be Checked

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 346-17; 346-19.7; 846-2.7; Code of Regs. §§ 17-1625-17; 17-1627-6

Any person who seeks to become a foster or adoptive parent, including all adults residing in the home, shall be subject to criminal history records checks in accordance with § 846-2.7 and child abuse and neglect registry checks in accordance with procedures of the Department of Human Services.

The criminal history records check shall include the submission of fingerprints to:

  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation for a national criminal history records check
  • The Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center for a State criminal history records check that shall include nonconviction data

In regulation: The department shall conduct criminal history clearances, child abuse and neglect registry checks, background checks, and any other checks deemed necessary, such as employment checks, on applicants, employees, and household members.

Process for Obtaining Records Checks

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 346-17; 346-19.7; 846-2.7

As a condition for a certificate of approval, any entity listed above shall provide consent to the department to obtain criminal history record and child abuse and neglect registry information. The department shall request the following:

  • A criminal history records check through the Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center
  • A child abuse and neglect registry check

For the criminal history records check, the department shall:

  • Notify applicants that their fingerprints shall be retained by the Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for all purposes and uses authorized for fingerprint submissions
  • Verify that the applicant will be or is physically working or volunteering in the State
  • Submit to the Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center a request for a criminal history records check on an applicant with a complete set of electronic fingerprints and a signed waiver allowing the release of State and national criminal history records information

The applicant, employee, or volunteer subject to a criminal history records check shall provide the following to the department:

  • Consent to obtain the individual's fingerprints, conduct the criminal history records check, and participate in the rap back program
  • Identifying information required by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, such as the individual's name, date of birth, height, weight, eye color, hair color, gender, race, and place of birth
  • A statement indicating whether the individual has ever been convicted of a crime and, if so, the particulars of the conviction

Grounds for Disqualification

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 346-17; 346-19.7; ; Code of Regs. §§ 17-1625-17; 17-1627-19

The department may deny a certificate of approval if an operator, employee, or new employee of a child care institution or child-placing organization's facility, or any adult residing in a resource family home, was convicted of a crime other than a minor traffic violation involving a fine of $50 or less and if the department finds that the criminal history record or child abuse registry history of an operator, employee, new employee, or adult residing in a resource family home poses a risk to the health, safety, or well-being of the children in care.

The department may deny a person's application to adopt a child if either of the prospective adoptive parents or any adult residing in the prospective adoptive home was convicted of an offense for which incarceration is a sentencing option, and if the department finds by reason of the nature and circumstances of the crime that either of the prospective adoptive parents, or any adult residing in the prospective adoptive home, poses a risk to the health, safety, or well-being of the child. A denial shall occur only after appropriate investigation, notification of results and planned action, and opportunity to meet and rebut the finding.

The department may deny a person's application to adopt a child if either of the prospective adoptive parents or any adult residing in the prospective adoptive home has a history of confirmed child abuse or neglect, or both, revealed by the child abuse and neglect registry check, and if the department finds by reason of the nature and circumstances of the abuse or neglect, or both, that either of the prospective adoptive parents or any adult residing in the prospective adoptive home poses a risk to the health, safety, or well-being of the child. A denial shall occur only after an appropriate investigation, notification of results and planned action, and an opportunity to meet and rebut the finding.

In regulation: Applicants, adult household members, and employees shall not have any of the following:

  • A felony conviction, at any time, for child abuse or neglect; for spousal abuse; for a crime against children, including child pornography; or for a crime involving violence, including rape, sexual assault, or homicide but not including other physical assault or battery
  • A felony conviction, within the last 5 years, for physical assault, battery, or a drug-related offense

Convictions of other crimes, the circumstances of which indicate that the applicant or adult household member or employee poses a risk to the health, safety, or well-being of children, may be grounds for denial. Except for the felony convictions listed above, the type of criminal offense, when it occurred, and evidence of rehabilitation may be considered in determining whether the individual poses a risk to the health, safety, or well-being of children. A single item of evidence, however, may not be conclusive evidence of rehabilitation.

An employment history indicating violence, alcohol or drug abuse, and any other violation of employer rule or policy, the circumstances of which indicate that the applicant may pose a risk to the health, safety, or well-being of children may be grounds for denial, revocation, or nonrenewal of a certificate of approval.

Background information that shows that the individual has been identified as and confirmed to be a perpetrator of child abuse or neglect may be a basis for denial, revocation, or nonrenewal of certificate of approval.