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

Date:

Who Needs Records Checks

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 10, §§ 402; 7505-5.3; Tit. 10A, § 1-9-106

Background checks are required for the following persons:

  • All personnel associated with a child care facility, including the following:
    • Owners and responsible entities prior to the issuance of a permit or license
    • Prospective employees
    • Contract employees and volunteers prior to allowing unsupervised access to children
    • Adults living in the facility or planning to live in the facility
    • Children residing in the facility when they reach age 18
  • A prospective foster parent
  • A prospective adoptive parent or any household member age 18 or older
  • A person related to a child by blood, marriage, adoption, and by tie or bond to a child, and/or to whom has been ascribed a family relationship role, who is being considered for approval as a kinship foster care parent

A 'child care facility' includes any public or private child care residential facility, child-placing agency, foster family home, child care center, part-day program, out-of-school time program, day camp, drop-in program, program for sick children, family child care home, or large family child care home providing either full-time or part-time care for children away from their own homes.

Types of Records That Must Be Checked

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 10, § 7505-5.3; Admin. Code §§ 340:75-7-15; 340:110-3-282

Prospective adoptive parents are required to have a criminal background check and a child abuse and neglect information system check. The background check shall consist of the following:

  • A national fingerprint-based criminal background check
  • A search of the sex offenders registry
  • A search of the child abuse and neglect information system
  • A Department of Public Safety Motor Vehicle Report shall be when the child to be adopted is in the legal custody of the Department of Human Services
  • When the adoptive parent or other household member age 18 or older has not maintained continuous residency in the State for the prior 5 years, a child abuse registry check from every other State in which the person resided during that 5-year period

In regulation: For resource parents, kin caregivers, and adult household members, required background checks include the following:

  • A State name-based criminal records history search
  • A Federal Bureau of Investigation fingerprint-based national criminal history search
  • A search of the violent offender registry
  • A search of the State Courts Network or District Court Records to determine whether the applicant or adult household member is or was a party in any court action
  • A search of all department records for child maltreatment history
  • A background check request from Family Advocacy for active or retired military applicants

Child care personnel applicants, prior to hire, are required to undergo a national criminal history records search, based upon the submission of fingerprints.

Process for Obtaining Records Checks

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 10, § 7505-5.3; Admin. Code § 340:75-7-15

The department or the Office of Juvenile Affairs shall provide for a juvenile justice information system review for any child over age 13 residing in a foster family home, or who subsequently moves into the foster family home, other than the foster child.

Each prospective adoptive parent or other household member age 18 or older shall be required to cooperate with the requirements of the department and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation with regard to the criminal background check and child abuse check, including, but not limited to, signing a release of information form allowing the release of the results of any search to the agency or person conducting the home study or home study update.

In regulation: The applicant and adult household members must provide a signed consent form for the State and national criminal records history search.

Prior to approval, applicants or adult household members who have lived in Oklahoma for less than 5 years must provide the equivalent background records check from previous State(s) of residence. Equivalent records check includes, but is not limited to, a State's criminal history search, including the sex offender registry. The department will obtain the child abuse and neglect registry check from the previous State(s) of residence, when a registry is available, prior to approval.

Grounds for Disqualification

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 10, § 405.3; Admin. Code §§ 340:75-7-15; 340:75-15-88; 340:110-3-282

The department shall maintain the Child Care Restricted Registry, accessible to the public through an online database. The department shall place the name of an operator or employee of a child care facility on the registry when an individual

  • Is the subject of a substantiated finding of child abuse or neglect
  • Has been subject to a revocation or denial of a child care facility license
  • Has a specified criminal history, as defined by department rules

In regulation: A resource parent applicant will be disqualified when the applicant, or any person residing in the home of the applicant, has a criminal conviction record for any of the following felony offenses:

  • Child abuse or neglect
  • Domestic abuse
  • A crime against a child including, but not limited to, child pornography
  • A crime involving violence, including, but not limited to, rape, sexual assault, or homicide and any offense that:
    • Has as an element of the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another
    • By its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense
  • Physical assault, battery, or a drug-related offense when the conviction occurs within the 5-year period preceding the application date

Reasons for denial of the home assessment or closure of the resource home may include, but are not limited to, either of the following:

  • The applicant or any person residing in the home has a history of alleged or confirmed child abuse or neglect.
  • The applicant or any person residing in the home has a history of arrests or convictions.

The application is denied when the applicant or any adult member of the applicant's household has a felony conviction for any of the following offenses:

  • Physical assault, battery, or a drug-related offense within the 5-year period preceding the application date
  • Child abuse or neglect
  • Domestic abuse
  • A crime against a child, including, but not limited to, child pornography
  • A crime involving violence, including, but not limited to, rape, sexual assault, or homicide

The application is denied when the applicant has been convicted of a sex-related offense or is subject to, married to, or living with a person subject to the Oklahoma Sex Offender Registration Act.

Individuals with criminal history restrictions are prohibited to work at child care facilities. Criminal history restrictions include pending charges, pleas of guilty or nolo contendere (no contest), or convictions of any criminal activity involving any of the following:

  • Gross irresponsibility or disregard for the safety of others
  • Violence against an individual
  • Sexual misconduct
  • Child abuse or neglect
  • Animal cruelty
  • Possession, sale, or distribution of illegal drugs
  • A pattern of criminal activity