Background Checks for Prospective Foster, Adoptive, and Kinship Caregivers - North Dakota

Date: September 2018

Who Needs Records Checks

Citation: Cent. Code §§ 50-11-02; 14-15-11; 50-11.1-06.2; Admin. Code § 75-03-14-07

Background checks are required for the following persons:

  • A prospective foster parent
  • A prospective adoptive parent
  • A staff member, including an operator, caregiver, provider, or any other employee or volunteer of an early childhood program

The following individuals are required to obtain criminal background checks:

  • A provider or an applicant for early childhood services licensure or in-home provider registration
  • Emergency designees and staff members of providers and applicants for early childhood services licensure or in-home provider registration
  • Household members of a residence in which early childhood services are provided

In regulation: Background checks are required for all adults living in the family foster home for children.

Types of Records That Must Be Checked

Citation: Admin. Code § 75-03-14-01

A background check includes a child protection services check in each State that the individual has resided in the previous 5 years and a criminal history record investigation.

Process for Obtaining Records Checks

Citation: Cent. Code §§ 50-11-06.8; 50-12-03.2

For each person subject to a background check, the appropriate agency shall secure from a law enforcement agency or any other agency authorized to take fingerprints two sets of fingerprints and shall provide all other information necessary to secure State criminal history record information and a nationwide background check under Federal law. Upon a request of an agency, a law enforcement agency shall take fingerprints of any person in need of a background check. An agency that takes fingerprints as provided under this section may charge a reasonable fee to offset the cost of fingerprinting.

The agency shall assure that information obtained under the above subsection is provided to the Department of Human Services. Upon receipt of all fingerprints and necessary information relating to a criminal history record investigation, the department shall submit the fingerprints and information to the Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

The Bureau of Criminal Investigation shall request a nationwide background check from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and, upon receipt of a response, provide the response from the Federal Bureau of Investigation to the department. The Bureau of Criminal Investigation also shall provide any criminal history record information that may lawfully be made available under chapter 12-60 to the department.

Grounds for Disqualification

Citation: Cent. Code § 50-11-02.1; Admin. Code §§ 75-03-14-04.1; 75-03-14-04

Conviction of an offense does not disqualify a person from licensure unless the department determines that the offense has a direct bearing upon that person's ability to serve the public as the operator of a facility or that, following conviction of any offense, the person is not sufficiently rehabilitated.

In regulation: An applicant must not have been found guilty of, pled guilty to, or pled no contest to any of the following:

  • Any of the following offenses:
    • Homicide
    • Assaults, threats, coercion, or harassment
    • Kidnapping
    • Human trafficking
    • Gross sexual imposition or sexual imposition
    • Continuous sexual abuse of a child
    • Corruption or solicitation of minors
    • Luring minors by computer or other electronic means
    • Sexual abuse of wards
    • Sexual assault
    • Robbery or felony burglary
    • Sexual performances by children
    • Promoting or facilitating prostitution
    • Child procurement
    • Abuse or neglect of a child
  • An offense under the laws of another jurisdiction that is substantially similar as any of the offenses listed above
  • An offense, other than one listed above, if the department determines that the individual has not been sufficiently rehabilitated

A resident of the family foster home for children, except a foster child, may not have been the subject of a child abuse or neglect assessment in which a services-required decision was made, unless the director or foster care supervisor of the regional center, after making appropriate consultation with persons qualified to evaluate the capabilities of the resident, documenting criteria used in making the decision, and imposing any restrictions deemed necessary, approves the issuance of a license and if either of the following apply:

  • The resident can demonstrate the successful completion of an appropriate therapy.
  • The resident can demonstrate the elimination of an underlying basis precipitating the neglect or abuse.