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

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Who Needs Records Checks

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 210.487; 210.1080

Background checks are required for the following:

  • An applicant for a foster parent license
  • All persons age 17 and older residing in the applicant's household
  • Any child younger than age 17 residing in the applicant's home who the Children's Division has determined has been certified as an adult for the commission of a crime

Background checks also are required for child care staff members, which include the following:

  • Child care providers
  • Persons employed by a child care provider, including contract employees or self-employed individuals
  • Individuals or volunteers whose activities involve the care or supervision of children for a child care provider or unsupervised access to children who are cared for or supervised by a child care provider
  • Individuals residing in a family child care home who are age 17 and older

Types of Records That Must Be Checked

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 210.1080; Code of State Regs. Tit. 13, § 40-73.030

A criminal background check includes the following:

  • A Federal Bureau of Investigation fingerprint check
  • A search of the National Crime Information Center's National Sex Offender Registry
  • A search of the following registries, repositories, or databases in Missouri, the State in which the child care staff member resides, and each State in which such staff member resided during the preceding 5 years:
    • The State criminal registry or repository, with the use of fingerprints being required in the State in which the staff member resides and optional in other States
    • The State sex offender registry or repository
    • The State-based child abuse and neglect registry and database

In regulation: For prospective adoptive parents, the written family assessment shall include the following:

  • Child abuse and neglect background screening checks that are no more than 6 months old
  • Criminal arrest records from a State law enforcement agency that are no more than 6 months old
  • Criminal conviction records, including a fingerprint search, from a State law enforcement agency

Process for Obtaining Records Checks

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 210.487; 210.1080

When conducting investigations of persons for the purpose of foster parent licensing, the division shall:

  • Conduct a search for all persons older than age 17 in the applicant's household for evidence of full orders of protection
  • Obtain fingerprints for any person older than age 17 in the applicant's household
  • Determine whether any person older than age 17 residing in the home is listed on the child abuse and neglect registry

Prior to the employment or presence of a child care staff member in a family child care home, group child care home, child care center, or license-exempt child care facility, the child care provider shall request the results of a criminal background check for such child care staff member from the Department of Health and Senior Services. The department shall process the request for a criminal background check as expeditiously as possible but not to exceed 45 days after the date on which the provider submitted the request.

Grounds for Disqualification

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 210.1080

Upon completion of the criminal background check, any child care staff member or prospective child care staff member shall be ineligible for employment or presence at a family child care home, a group child care home, a licensed child care center, or a license-exempt child care facility if such person:

  • Refuses to consent to the criminal background check as required by this section
  • Knowingly makes a materially false statement in connection with the criminal background check
  • Is registered or is required to be registered on a State sex offender registry or the National Sex Offender Registry
  • Has a finding of child abuse or neglect or any other finding of child abuse or neglect based on any other State's registry or database
  • Has been convicted of a felony consisting of any of the following:
    • Murder
    • Child abuse or neglect
    • A crime against children, including child pornography
    • Spousal abuse
    • A crime involving rape or sexual assault
    • Kidnapping
    • Arson
    • Physical assault or battery
    • A drug-related offense committed during the preceding 5 years
  • Has been convicted of a violent misdemeanor committed as an adult against a child, including the following crimes: child abuse, child endangerment, or sexual assault, or of a misdemeanor involving child pornography
  • Has been convicted of any similar crime in any Federal, State, municipal, or other court