Temporary Actions in Response to COVID-19
All DCYF background check applicants who require fingerprints can be conditionally approved for the purpose of the background check if they pass an in-state name and date-of-birth background check. Fingerprints are still required and the DCYF background check team will track this work moving forward.
Removes crimes that do not relate directly to child safety, permanence or well-being while considering disproportionate impacts on individuals with criminal history.
DCYF background check staff will use previous fingerprint results, when available, for new background checks requiring fingerprints, and complete new in-state background check for any new criminal or negative action history.
DCYF caseworkers, contracts managers, foster care licensors and home study specialists will not perform secondary assessments when an individual with criminal or negative action history passed the background check.
DCYF staff will use previously completed administrative reviews for new background checks that do not reveal new crimes or negative actions.
Emergent placement decisions occur within an hour of completing a federal name-based background check with applicants completing an in-state name and date-of-birth and fingerprints within 15 days. Current practice requires removal of children if either of these subsequent background checks reveal a crime that may relate directly to child safety. Integrating the review process prior to removal may allow placement to continue depending on the crime and availability of information at time of this initial review.
Individuals will still complete background check applications. The DCYF background check team will complete in-state background checks, determine if the individual is conditionally approved for the purpose of the background check and notify the individual and requesting staff if approved. Applicants will continue to receive the fingerprint appointment forms and they will need to submit fingerprints when it is safe and resources are available.
DCYF caseworkers and contracts managers will no longer request criminal history from applicants who passed the background check and accept the background check decision as final. Other program vetting requirements will remain in place, except as noted above.
DCYF background check management staff will review the new background information with the goal of continuing placement if the information most likely does not relate directly to child safety. These decisions will consider the amount of time passed since conviction, seriousness of the crime and purpose of the background check.
Child Welfare Visitation
DCYF staff are strongly encouraged to conduct a simple assessment prior to making home visits or having visits into the offices. In the assessment, ask:
- If anyone in the household is currently sick;
- Has anyone in the household been in contact with anyone known to have COVID-19;
- Is anyone in the household have underlying health conditions?
Staff will then work with their supervisors to determine appropriateness of visits based on these responses, the current county health department recommendations, and case specific circumstances.
Combined In-Home Service Providers Guidance Document - Jan. 29, 2021
Continue to Report Child Abuse and Neglect - April 16, 2020