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

Date:

Who Needs Records Checks

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 46:282; 46:286.1; 46:51.2

Background checks must be completed for the following persons:

  • Foster care and adoption applicants and any adult member of the applicant's household
  • Prospective kinship foster parents and any other individual residing in the prospective parent's home
  • Employees of the Department of Children and Family Services whose duties include the investigation of child abuse or neglect, supervisory or disciplinary authority over children, direct care of a child, or performance of licensing surveys
  • Operators, staff persons, or employees of a juvenile detention, correction, or treatment facility
  • Applicants or volunteers for positions in any organization that include supervisory or disciplinary authority over children
  • Employees or volunteers with child care provider organizations, including, but not be limited to, 'Big Brother/Sister' programs and scouting programs

Types of Records That Must Be Checked

Citation: Ch. Code Art. 1131; Rev. Stat. §§ 46:286.1; 46:51.2

A background check shall include the following:

  • A records check for all Federal arrests and convictions
  • A records check for all State arrests and convictions in this and any other State in which any of the applicants has resided
  • A records check for validated complaints of child abuse or neglect in this or any other State in which any of the applicants has resided

Process for Obtaining Records Checks

Citation: Ch. Code Art. 1131; Rev. Stat. §§ 46:286.1; 46:282; 46:51.2

Upon the filing of any court order approving an adoptive placement, the court shall immediately order the following:

  • That the sheriff or the State police, Louisiana Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information, conduct the State and Federal criminal records checks
  • That the Department of Children and Family Services conduct a records check for validated complaints of child abuse or neglect

Prospective adoptive parents shall submit a set of fingerprints to the sheriff or State police.

The department shall investigate the background of each person who applies to be a kinship foster parent or a foster or adoptive parent of a child in foster care. The department shall require each applicant and adult family member to provide fingerprints and such authorization as is necessary to conduct State and national criminal history records checks and to obtain any other information required to complete the investigation. The department shall request such information and assistance from Federal, State, or local governmental agencies as is necessary to complete the investigation.

A candidate for employment by the department shall submit his or her fingerprints to the Louisiana Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information for a criminal records check. The department shall conduct the search of the central registry for that person.

Upon receiving a request, the bureau shall survey its criminal history records and identification files and make a simultaneous request of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for like information from other jurisdictions. The bureau shall provide a report promptly and in writing but provide only such information as is necessary to specify whether or not that person has been arrested for or convicted of or pled nolo contendere to any crimes, the crimes for which he or she has been arrested for or convicted or pled nolo contendere, and the dates on which they occurred.

Grounds for Disqualification

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 15:587.1; 46:51.2

Any of the persons listed above shall be ineligible for employment or the placement of a child if he or she has been convicted of, or pled guilty or nolo contendere to, any of the following crimes:

  • Murder or manslaughter
  • Feticide
  • Rape and sexual battery
  • Kidnapping
  • Rehoming of a child
  • Criminal neglect of family
  • Criminal abandonment
  • Child prostitution, pornography, or molestation
  • A crime against nature
  • Contributing to the delinquency of a minor
  • Cruelty to juveniles
  • Child desertion
  • Crimes of violence as defined in Rev. Stat. § 14:2(B), including, but not limited to the following:
    • Solicitation for murder
    • Aggravated battery, second-degree battery, and aggravated assault
    • Mingling harmful substances
    • Intentional exposure to the AIDS virus
    • Arson
    • Aggravated criminal damage to property
    • Aggravated burglary, armed robbery, first-degree robbery, and purse snatching
    • Extortion
    • Assault by drive-by shooting and carjacking
    • Aggravated crime against nature
    • Illegal use of weapons or dangerous instrumentalities
    • Terrorism
    • Aggravated assault with a firearm
    • Stalking
    • Second degree cruelty to juveniles
    • Trafficking of children for sexual purposes and human trafficking
    • Home invasion
    • Domestic abuse
    • Vehicular homicide while intoxicated
  • Sex offenses as defined in Rev. Stat. §§ 15:541, 14:106, 14:282, 14:283, 14:283.1, 14:284, 14:286, 40:966(A), 40:967(A), 40:968(A), 40:969(A), and 40:970(A)
  • The attempt or conspiracy to commit any of the above offenses

No child shall be newly placed in a foster home for temporary care, except for emergency placement, or for adoption if it is determined that the prospective foster or adoptive parent has been convicted of or pled nolo contendere to a felony listed below, unless 5 or more years have elapsed between the date of placement and the date of successful completion of any sentence, deferred adjudication, or period of probation or parole. The crimes include the following:

  • Illegal possession of a controlled dangerous substance
  • Possession of marijuana or synthetic cannabinoids
  • Illegal manufacture and distribution of a controlled dangerous substance

Any employee of the department whose duties include direct care of a child and whose name is recorded on the State central registry subsequent to January 1, 2010, shall be terminated by the department.