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

Date:

Who Needs Records Checks

Citation: Ann. Laws §§ 25-6-9.1; 26-6-14; 26-6-14.4

Background checks are required for the following individuals and entities:

  • A prospective adoptive parent and members of the prospective parent's household
  • Foster home caregivers
  • Staff at any intensive residential treatment center, residential treatment center, group care center, or group home
  • Staff at any daycare facility
  • Staff at a child-placing agency
  • Staff at a before- and after-school daycare programs
  • Staff providing of supervision and training for youth age 16 through 20 who are wards of the State in an independent-living preparation program
  • Any adult, including a volunteer, who:
    • Is responsible for administration or direct supervision of staff
    • Resides in the facility
    • Provides care and supervision to the children

Types of Records That Must Be Checked

Citation: Ann. Laws §§ 26-6-14.3; 25-6-9.1; Admin. Code §§ 67:14:32:05.03; 67:42:01:05.02

For a foster care applicant and any other person specified in §§ 26-6-14 and 26-6-14.4, a criminal records check is required.

An adoption home study must include a fingerprint-based criminal records check completed by the Division of Criminal Investigation and a central registry screening completed by the Department of Social Services. In addition, no child who is in the custody of the department may be placed in a home for adoption until a fingerprint-based criminal records check has been completed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for each adopting parent.

In regulation: An applicant shall be screened to determine if he or she has been involved in any substantiated incidents of child abuse or neglect. The individual may not have a substantiated report of child abuse or neglect. Substantiated reports of child abuse or neglect include reports placed into the department's central registry, reports placed on the central registry of another State, and reports that were investigated and substantiated by a Tribal program.

Process for Obtaining Records Checks

Citation: Ann. Laws §§ 23-5-12; 26-6-14.3; 26-6-14.5; Admin. Code §§ 67:14:32:05.03; 67:42:01:05.02

Any person may examine criminal history information filed with the attorney general that refers to that person. The person requesting such information shall supply the attorney general with a written request together with fingerprint identification. The person may also authorize the attorney general to release his or her criminal history information to other individuals or organizations. The attorney general may require the person to sign a waiver releasing the State, its employees, or its agents from any liability before releasing criminal history information.

For each applicant, the department shall obtain the criminal record from an appropriate law enforcement agency to determine whether the applicant has ever been convicted of a crime specified by the rules of the department.

The applicant must sign the waiver, be fingerprinted, and sign a declaration under penalty of perjury regarding any prior criminal conviction and military history. The applicant shall submit the fingerprints to the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Identification Division.

In regulation: The department shall screen an applicant, family members, and other household members who are age 10 and older to determine if the individual has been involved in any substantiated incidents of child abuse or neglect.

Grounds for Disqualification

Citation: Ann. Laws §§ 26-6-14.3; 26-6-14.11; Admin. Code §§ 67:14:32:05.03, .05; 67:42:01:05.01, .02

If it is found that the applicant or any other person specified in § 26-6-14.4 has been convicted of a crime specified by the rules of the department, the application shall be denied.

A person will be disqualified if he or she:

  • Has been convicted of any of the following:
    • Child abuse pursuant to chapter 26-10
    • A sex offense pursuant to chapter 22-22
    • Within the preceding 5 years, any other felony
  • Is listed on the sex offender registry
  • Is listed on the central registry for child abuse and neglect

In regulation: An individual is not eligible to receive a foster home license or approval as an adoptive parent if the individual or any other adult living in the home has a conviction for any of the following:

  • A crime that would indicate harmful behavior toward children
  • A crime of violence as defined by § 22-1-2 or a similar statute from another State, including any of the following:
    • Murder or manslaughter
    • Rape
    • Aggravated assault
    • Riot
    • Robbery or burglary in the first degree
    • Arson
    • Kidnapping
    • Felony sexual contact
    • Felony child abuse
  • A sex crime pursuant to chapter 22-22 (including rape and sexual exploitation of a minor), chapter 22-24A (child pornography), or § 22-22A-3 (aggravated incest) or similar statutes from another State
  • Within the preceding 5 years, a conviction for any other felony

A prospective foster or adoptive parent may not have a substantiated report of child abuse or neglect.