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

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Who Needs Records Checks

Citation: Comp. Laws Ann. §§ 722.115; 710.23f; 712A.19a

Background checks are required for the following:

  • Individual applicants, owners, partners, and directors of child care organizations, including the following:
    • Child-caring institutions
    • Child-placing agencies
    • Children's camps and children's campsites
    • Children's therapeutic group homes
    • Child care centers, daycare centers, nursery schools, and parent cooperative preschools
    • Foster homes, group homes, or child care homes
  • Applicants for licensure to operate a foster family home or foster family group home and adult members of the household

Background checks also are required for the following persons:

  • A person seeking to adopt a child
  • A proposed guardian of the child
  • All persons age 18 or older residing in the home

Types of Records That Must Be Checked

Citation: Comp. Laws §§722.115d; 722.115q; 722.119; 712A.19a

The background investigation on an applicant shall include the following:

  • A criminal history background check performed by the State police using the internet criminal history access tool (ICHAT) or equivalent check on that person from the State or province of residence
  • A check of the central registry by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

Any person who will be present at a child care organization, including a licensee, adult household member, staff member, or unsupervised volunteer may not have contact with a child who is in the care of a child care organization, until he or she provides the child care organization with documentation from the Department of Human Services that he or she has not been named in a central registry case as the perpetrator of child abuse or child neglect.

If a child is placed in a guardian's or a proposed guardian's home, the court shall order the department to conduct a criminal records check and a central registry clearance within 7 days.

Process for Obtaining Records Checks

Citation: Comp. Law §§ 722.115h; 722.115k

Each person applying for licensure shall give written consent at the time of application for the State police to conduct a criminal history check The department shall require the person to submit his or her fingerprints to the State police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the criminal history check. The department shall request a criminal history check on a form and in the manner prescribed by the State police.

Within a reasonable time after receiving a complete request, the State police shall conduct the criminal history check and provide a report of the results to the department. The report shall contain any criminal history record information on the person maintained by the State police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The State police shall store and maintain all fingerprints submitted under this act in an automated fingerprint identification system database that provides for an automatic notification at the time a subsequent criminal arrest fingerprint card submitted into the system matches a set of fingerprints previously submitted.

Grounds for Disqualification

Citation: Comp. Law §§ 722.115q; 722.115r

If a central registry clearance documents that a licensee, child care staff member, or adult member of the household is named in a central registry case as a perpetrator of child abuse or child neglect, he or she is ineligible to receive a license to operate a child care center, group child care home, or family child care home, be an adult member of the household, or be a child care staff member.

An individual required to undergo a criminal history check will be disqualified if the individual does either of the following:

  • Refuses to consent to the required criminal history check or central registry check
  • Knowingly makes a materially false statement or omits information in connection with a criminal history check or central registry check

An individual required to undergo a criminal history will be disqualified for any of the following:

  • Is registered, or is required to be registered, on a State sex offender registry or repository or the National Sex Offender Registry
  • Has been convicted of any of the following felonies:
    • Murder or homicide
    • Child abuse or child neglect
    • A crime against a minor child, including, but not limited to, child pornography
    • Spousal abuse or domestic violence
    • A crime involving rape or sexual assault
    • Kidnapping
    • Arson
    • Physical assault or battery
    • Human trafficking or involuntary servitude
  • Has been convicted of a violent misdemeanor against a child, including, but not limited to, one or more of the following crimes:
    • Child abuse
    • Child endangerment
    • Sexual assault
  • Has been convicted of a misdemeanor involving child pornography

An individual will be disqualified if he or she has been convicted of one or more of the following felonies or an attempt or conspiracy to commit one or more of the following felonies, unless 10 years have lapsed since the conviction:

  • Harm or threatened harm to an individual
  • The use of a firearm or dangerous weapon
  • Cruelty or torture of any person
  • Misrepresentation of any material fact, bribery, fraud, larceny, embezzlement, theft, home invasion, breaking and entering, or receiving and concealing stolen property
  • Operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated or impaired causing serious injury or death
  • Use of a computer or the internet to commit a crime
  • Cruelty to animals, including, but not limited to, fighting, killing, torturing, and abandoning
  • Aggravated stalking; aggravated indecent exposure; indecent exposure by a sexually delinquent person; pandering; transporting an individual for prostitution; or keeping, maintaining, or operating a house of ill fame

An individual will be disqualified if he or she has been convicted of a felony drug offense, unless 7 years have lapsed since the conviction.

An individual will be disqualified if he or she has been convicted of one or more of the following misdemeanors, unless 5 years have lapsed since the conviction:

  • Operating under the presence of a controlled substance, use or possession of a controlled substance, and selling or furnishing a controlled substance to a minor
  • Using computers to commit a crime; a substantial misrepresentation of a material fact; embezzlement; breaking and entering; and any other fraudulent crime, except retail fraud in the third degree, petty theft, or shoplifting
  • Stalking, assault, spousal abuse, domestic violence, weapons offense, harboring runaways, aiding and abetting, and arson