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

Date:

Who Needs Records Checks

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 63.2-1720; 63.2-1720.1; 63.2-1721; 63.2-1721.1; 63.2-1724; 63.2-900.1; 63.2-1726; Admin. Code Tit. 22, § 40-211-20

Background checks are required for the following persons and entities:

  • Employees and volunteers of licensed child-placing agencies, independent foster homes, or family day systems
  • Employees and volunteers of registered family day homes or family day homes approved by a family day systems
  • Employees and volunteers of child day centers or licensed family day homes
  • Applicants and agents who are or will be involved in the day-to-day operations of a child-placing agency, independent foster home, family day system, family day home, child day center, or family day home or who are or will be alone with, in control of, or supervising one or more of the children
  • Any other adult living in the home of an applicant for registration as a family day home
  • Prospective employees, volunteers, or other persons who are expected to be alone with one or more children enrolled in a child day center that is exempt from licensure
  • Relatives requesting approval as kinship foster care providers
  • Employees, volunteers, and service providers of children's residential facilities

In regulation: Background checks are required for applicants for approval as foster families, adoptive families, resource families, or respite families.

Types of Records That Must Be Checked

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 63.2-1720; 63.2-1721

Background checks require all of the following:

  • A sworn statement or affirmation disclosing whether the person has a criminal conviction or is the subject of any pending criminal charges within or outside the Commonwealth and whether or not the person has been the subject of a founded complaint of child abuse or neglect within or outside the Commonwealth
  • A criminal history records check through the Central Criminal Records Exchange pursuant to § 19.2-389
  • A search of the central registry for any founded complaint of child abuse and neglect

Process for Obtaining Records Checks

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 63.2-1720.1; 63.2-1721.1

An applicant required to undergo a background check shall do all of the following:

  • Provide a sworn statement or affirmation disclosing whether he or she has ever been convicted of or is the subject of pending charges for any offense within or outside the Commonwealth and whether he or she has been the subject of a founded complaint of child abuse or neglect within or outside the Commonwealth
  • Submit to fingerprinting and provide personal descriptive information described in § 19.2-392.02(B)(2)
  • Authorize the State Department of Social Services to obtain a copy of information from the central registry maintained on any investigation of child abuse or neglect undertaken on him or her

The applicant's fingerprints and personal descriptive information shall be forwarded through the Central Criminal Records Exchange to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the purpose of obtaining national criminal history record information regarding the applicant. Upon receipt of an applicant's record or notification that no record exists, the Central Criminal Records Exchange shall forward the information to the department, and the department shall report to the applicant's prospective employer whether the applicant is eligible to have responsibility for the safety and well-being of children. In cases in which the record forwarded to the department is lacking disposition data, the department shall conduct research in whatever State and local recordkeeping systems are available in order to obtain complete data before reporting to the applicant's prospective employer.

Grounds for Disqualification

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 63.2-1722; 19.2-392.02; 63.2-1721

An applicant may be denied approval if the background check indicates that the applicant has been convicted of any barrier crime, as defined in § 19.2-392.02, or is the subject of a founded complaint of child abuse or neglect within or outside the Commonwealth. A 'barrier crime' includes, but is not limited to, any of the following:

  • A felony violation of a protective order
  • Murder or manslaughter
  • Malicious wounding by mob
  • Abduction or abduction for immoral purposes
  • Kidnapping
  • Assault and bodily wounding
  • Robbery
  • Carjacking
  • Adulteration of food, drink, drugs, cosmetics, etc.
  • Extortion by threat, threats of death or bodily injury, or felony stalking
  • Sexual assault
  • Arson
  • Drive-by shooting
  • Use of a machine gun or sawed-off shotgun in a crime of violence
  • Prostitution, commercial sexual conduct, or commercial exploitation of a minor
  • Human trafficking or commercial sex trafficking
  • Crimes against nature involving children
  • Incest
  • Taking indecent liberties with children
  • Abuse and neglect of children
  • Failure to secure medical attention for an injured child
  • Obscenity offenses or employing or permitting a minor to assist in any obscenity-related offense
  • Possession of child pornography
  • Electronic facilitation of pornography
  • Delivery of drugs to prisoners
  • Escape from jail
  • Felonies by prisoners
  • Any offense listed in § 9.1-902 that results in the person's requirement to register with the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry
  • An equivalent offense in another State

In the case of child welfare agencies and foster and adoptive homes approved by child-placing agencies, a 'barrier crime' also shall include convictions for any of the following:

  • Burglary
  • Any felony violation relating to possession or distribution of drugs
  • An equivalent offense in another State

Child welfare agencies and foster and adoptive homes approved by child-placing agencies also may be disqualified for either of the following:

  • A conviction of any other felony not listed above unless 5 years have elapsed since conviction
  • A founded complaint of child abuse or neglect within or outside the Commonwealth

A child-placing agency may approve as a foster or adoptive parent an applicant for whom any of the following apply:

  • He or she has been convicted of not more than one misdemeanor not involving abuse, neglect, or moral turpitude of a minor, provided 10 years have elapsed following the conviction.
  • He or she has been convicted of statutory burglary for breaking and entering a dwelling, home, or other structure with intent to commit larceny, who has had his or her civil rights restored by the governor, provided 25 years have elapsed.
  • He or she has been convicted of felony possession of drugs who has had his or her civil rights restored by the governor, provided 10 years have elapsed.