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

Date: September 2018

Who Needs Records Checks

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 418.016; Admin. Rules § 414-061-0030

To protect the health and safety of children who are in the custody of the Department of Human Services, the department shall require that criminal records checks be conducted on the following:

  • All persons who seek to be foster parents, adoptive parents, or relative caregivers
  • Other individuals age 18 or older who will be in the household of the foster parent, adoptive parent, or relative caregiver

In regulation: Criminal records checks, including fingerprint-based criminal records checks, and child protective services records checks also are required for a person who is or applies to be any of the following:

  • The owner, operator, or an employee or volunteer of a certified, registered, or otherwise regulated facility caring for children
  • The operator or an employee of an Oregon prekindergarten program or a Federal Head Start program
  • A child care provider who is required to be enrolled in the Central Background Registry by any State agency
  • An individual in any of the above facilities or programs who may have unsupervised contact with children

Types of Records That Must Be Checked

Citation: Admin. Rules §§ 413-120-0000; 414-061-0070

A criminal records check includes any or all of the following:

  • An Oregon criminal records check for which criminal offender information is obtained from the State police using the Law Enforcement Data System or other sources
  • A national criminal records check for which records are obtained from the Federal Bureau of Investigation through the use of fingerprint cards sent to the Oregon State Police (OSP) and other identifying information
  • A State-specific criminal records check for which records are obtained from law enforcement agencies, courts, or other criminal records information sources located in, or regarding, a State or jurisdiction outside Oregon
  • Other criminal records information, such as information obtained and used in the criminal records check process that is not criminal offender information from OSP, including, but not limited to, the following:
    • Police investigations and records
    • Information from local or regional criminal records information systems
    • Justice records, court records, or information from the Oregon Judicial Information Network
    • Sexual offender registration records
    • Warrants
    • Oregon Department of Corrections records
    • Oregon Department of Transportation's Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division information
    • Information provided on the background check requests
    • Disclosures by a subject individual
    • Any other information from any jurisdiction obtained by or provided to the department for the purpose of conducting a fitness determination

In addition to the above, child care personnel are required to have criminal history and child protective services checks.

Process for Obtaining Records Checks

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 181A.195; Admin. Rules § 413-200-0314

An authorized agency may request that the State police conduct a criminal records check on a subject individual for noncriminal justice purposes. If a nationwide criminal records check of a subject individual is necessary, the authorized agency may request that the State police conduct the check, including fingerprint identification, through the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

An authorized agency may conduct criminal records checks on subject individuals through the Law Enforcement Data System maintained by the State police in accordance with rules adopted and procedures established by the State police.

In regulation: The resource family or adoptive applicant and each adult member of the household must have face-to-face contact with a department certifier and must provide the following:

  • Information regarding criminal involvement, including arrests and convictions, about any member of the household
  • Consent to a criminal records check
  • Information regarding any previous allegations of child abuse and neglect
  • Consent to a child abuse history background check

An applicant must comply with the following requirements:

  • Sign an Authorization for Use and Disclosure of Information form to allow the department to contact an individual or an organization to complete a thorough background check of the applicant
  • Allow the department, at its discretion, to gather information regarding juvenile court involvement or law enforcement contacts of any child, not in the care or custody of the department, who lives in the household when there is reason to believe that child may pose a risk to children placed in the home and, if requested, authorize disclosure of the records regarding such information to the department

Grounds for Disqualification

Citation: Admin. Rules § 413-120-0450

individual was convicted or any other factors or circumstances that exist, who has been convicted in Oregon or any other jurisdiction of a felony crime that involves any of the following:

  • Violence, including rape, sexual assault, and homicide but not including other physical assault or battery
  • Intentional starvation or torture
  • Abuse or neglect of a child
  • Spousal abuse
  • Aiding, abetting, attempting, soliciting, or conspiring to cause the death of a child
  • Sodomy or sexual abuse
  • A crime against a child, including child pornography
  • Any of the following crimes:
    • Murder, manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, or aggravated vehicular homicide
    • Felony assault if the victim is a child or the person's spouse
    • Criminal mistreatment if the victim is a child or the person's spouse, or if the crime involves violence
    • Female genital mutilation
    • Unlawful use of an electrical stun gun, tear gas, or mace in the first degree
    • Kidnapping or custodial interference
    • Rape or incest
    • Online sexual corruption of a child
    • Custodial sexual misconduct
    • Unlawful contact with a child
    • Abandonment of a child
    • Buying or selling a person younger than age 18
    • Child neglect in the first degree
    • Criminal nonsupport
    • Using a child in a display of sexually explicit conduct
    • Encouraging child sexual abuse
    • Possession of materials depicting sexually explicit conduct of a child
    • Burglary or robbery if the crime involves violence
    • Unlawful use of a weapon if the crime involves violence
    • Compelling prostitution, if the victim is a child or the person's spouse
    • Luring a minor

An applicant will be disqualified if he or she has been convicted within the past 5 years of a felony crime that involves any of the following:

  • Physical assault or battery
  • A drug-related offense