Background Checks for Prospective Foster, Adoptive, and Kinship Caregivers - Rhode Island

Date:

Who Needs Records Checks

Citation: Gen. Laws §§ 14-1-34; 15-7-11; 40-13.2-4 through 40-13.2-5.1; Code of Rules §§ 03-240-802; 03-240-806

Background checks are required for the following persons:

  • Prospective foster parents
  • Prospective adoptive parents and any household member age 18 or older
  • Operators and employees of child care facilities
  • Operators, employees, and volunteers of a facility or program that is a youth-serving agency

In regulation: Background checks are required for the following:

  • All placements with relatives
  • Any person seeking to operate a residential care facility, daycare center, or family daycare home
  • Prospective employees of home daycare providers
  • All persons who are offered employment in positions that involve supervisory or disciplinary power over children or involve routine contact with children without the presence of other employees

Types of Records That Must Be Checked

Citation: Gen. Stat. §§ 14-1-34; 40-13.2-2; Code of Rules §03-240-806

Background investigations require checks of the following:

  • A State and nationwide criminal records
  • The child abuse and neglect tracking system of substantiated complaints

In regulation: For the nationwide criminal records check, the person's fingerprints are compared to those on file through the National Criminal Identification computer operated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Process for Obtaining Records Checks

Citation: Gen. Stat. §§ 14-1-34; 15-7-11

For a prospective foster parent, the Department for Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) shall apply to the Bureau of Criminal Identification of the State police or the local police department for a nationwide criminal records check, or the DCYF may directly process a nationwide criminal records check of prospective foster parents and any household member age 18 and older. The check will conform to the applicable Federal standards, including the taking of fingerprints to identify the applicant. DCYF shall request the attorney general, through the Division of Criminal Identification, to make available any criminal record of present and prospective foster parents. The attorney general shall immediately comply with that request, and DCYF shall examine these records in determining the suitability of these persons to be foster parents. The criminal records check shall be conducted without charge to the foster parents.

As part of the investigation or investigative home study report for a prospective adoptive parent, a request shall be made to the attorney general through the Division of Criminal Identification to make available any criminal record maintained by the division. The prospective adoptive parent shall apply to the Bureau of Criminal Identification of the State police or the local police department for a nationwide criminal records check.

At the conclusion of a background check, the State police, attorney general, or the local police department shall promptly destroy the fingerprint record of the applicant.

Grounds for Disqualification

Citation: Code of Rules § 03-240-806

An applicant will be disqualified when information from the national criminal records check reveals a conviction or arrest pending disposition for any of the crimes identified below:

  • Murder, voluntary manslaughter, or involuntary manslaughter
  • Kidnapping or kidnapping with intent to extort
  • Sexual assault, assault by a spouse, assault with intent to commit specified felonies, felony assault, or domestic assault
  • Felony child abuse
  • Incest
  • Child snatching
  • Exploitation for commercial or immoral purposes
  • Public indecency
  • Transportation for indecent purposes, harboring, prostitution, or pandering
  • Deriving support or maintenance from prostitution
  • Circulation of obscene publications and shows
  • Sale or exhibition to minors of indecent publications, pictures, or articles
  • Child nudity in publication
  • Any drug-related offense