Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall

Final Text

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Action:
Amend Background Checks for Child Welfare Agencies
Stage: Final
22VAC40-191-50

22VAC40-191-50. Explaining requirements for satisfactory background checks.

A. The department and registering and approving authorities must require documentation of satisfactory background checks for applicants, agents, employees, volunteers, and others living in family day homes and foster and adoptive homes as specified in 22VAC40-191-40.

1. A satisfactory sworn statement or affirmation is:

a. A fully completed original that states that the person:

(1) Does not have a criminal conviction that is a barrier crime or is any felony conviction within the last five years; and

(2) Is not the subject of a founded complaint of child abuse or neglect within or outside the Commonwealth; and

b. When there is no other knowledge that the individual has an unsatisfactory background.

Criminal convictions include prior adult convictions and juvenile convictions or adjudications of delinquency based on a crime that would be a felony if committed by an adult within or outside the Commonwealth. Convictions also include convictions in other states that are equivalent to those specified in this section.

2. A satisfactory central registry finding is one in which:

a. A copy of the department's child protective services check form is returned to the requesting agency or state or local Department of Social Services indicating that, as of the date on the reply, the individual whose name was searched is not identified in the Central Registry of Founded Child Abuse/Neglect Investigations as an involved caregiver with a founded disposition of child abuse/neglect; and

b. There is no other knowledge that the individual has a founded disposition in Virginia or elsewhere.

3. A satisfactory criminal history record check report is one in which:

a. An original hard copy or Internet inquiry reply from the Department of State Police is returned to the agency, individual or authorized agent making the request with:

(1) No convictions indicated; or

(2) Convictions indicated, but no barrier crimes or other felony convictions in the last five years;

b. A letter is received from the Office of Background Investigations with a finding of "eligible"; and

c. There is no other knowledge that the individual has a barrier crime, or other felony conviction in the past five years, in Virginia or elsewhere.

The facility must have viewed an original criminal history record report maintained by a contract employee or contract agency that is dated less than six months before the independent contract employee or contract employee is hired by a contract agency begins providing services at the facility. (See also 22VAC40-191-90.)

4. A child-placing agency may approve as an adoptive or foster parent an applicant convicted of not more than one misdemeanor of assault and battery, as defined in § 18.2-57 of the Code of Virginia, not involving abuse, neglect or moral turpitude, or a minor, provided 10 years have elapsed following the conviction.

5. A child-placing agency may approve as a foster parent an applicant convicted of statutory burglary for breaking and entering a dwelling home or other structure with intent to commit larceny who has had his civil rights restored by the Governor, provided 25 years have elapsed following the conviction.

6. A child-placing agency must consider the results of background checks on a birth parent prior to placing the child of the birth parent with the birth parent, when the child is in a foster care placement (unless the birth parent has revoked an entrustment agreement pursuant to § 63.2-1223 or 63.2-1817 of the Code of Virginia or a local board or the birth parent revokes a placement agreement with legal custody remaining with the parent, parents, or guardians pursuant to § 63.2-900 of the Code of Virginia).

7. No petition for adoption shall be granted if an adoptive parent has been convicted of a sexually violent offense or an offense requiring registration pursuant to § 9.1-902 of the Code of Virginia.

8. A child-placing agency may approve as an adoptive or foster parent an applicant convicted of felony possession of drugs, who has had his civil rights restored by the Governor, provided 10 years have elapsed following the conviction.

9. A child-placing agency may approve as a kinship foster care parent an applicant convicted of the following offenses, provided that 10 years have elapsed from the date of the conviction and the local board or child-placing agency makes a specific finding that approving the kinship foster care placement would not adversely affect the safety and well-being of the child: (i) a felony conviction for possession of drugs as set out in Article 1 (§ 18.2-247 et seq.) of Chapter 7 of Title 18.2 of the Code of Virginia, but not including a felony conviction for possession of drugs with the intent to distribute; (ii) a misdemeanor conviction for arson as set out in Article 1 (§ 18.2-77 et seq.) of Chapter 5 of Title 18.2; or (iii) an equivalent offense in another state.

10. A licensed child day center may hire for compensated employment persons who have been convicted of not more than one misdemeanor assault offense as defined in § 63.2-57 18.2-57 of the Code of Virginia if 10 years have elapsed following the conviction, unless the person committed such offense while employed in a child day center or the object of the offense was a minor.

B. Background checks results are not open ended.

1. When a minor living in a family day home turns 18, the operator is responsible for making sure that the 18-year-old complies with all background check requirements for adults pursuant to 22VAC40-191-40 D 4.

2. Operators must submit new background checks as part of the renewal application packages of registered family day homes. With the exception of those facilities that are exempt per § 63.2-1716 of the Code of Virginia, background checks are required every three years for all other persons required to have background checks pursuant to 22VAC40-191-40 D.

3. If a person leaves a facility and the criminal history record report or central registry check finding is less than 91 days old, the person must be permitted to take the report or reports with him. The facility must keep a copy of any report a person takes and write on it that it is a copy, and that the original of any criminal history record report was verified.

4. Unless there is a criminal conviction or a founded complaint of child abuse and neglect during that period, a background check remains valid at a facility if no more than 12 consecutive months have passed from when a person:

a. Began a leave of absence from that facility;

b. Was terminated from employment at that facility; or

c. Was transferred to a center owned and operated by the same employer or entity.

5. The facility, department, or registering or approving authority may require a new background check relevant to this suspicion if there is reason to suspect that a person who has submitted acceptable background checks, as required by this regulation, has:

a. A barrier crime conviction in Virginia or elsewhere;

b. A felony conviction that is not for a barrier crime within the last five years in Virginia or elsewhere; or

c. A founded complaint of child abuse and neglect in Virginia or elsewhere.

6. When the facility, department, or registering or approving authority chooses to require a new background check:

a. The facility, department, or registering or approving authority may allow the person to continue the same relationship with the child welfare agency until the child care provider or licensing, registering, or approval authority receives the new Virginia background check information or equivalent documentation from another state; or

b. If there is reason to suspect that a person has a barrier crime conviction, a felony conviction in the last five years, or has a founded complaint of child abuse and neglect, the facility, department, or registering or approving authority may require that the person not be alone with children, even if the documentation is not Virginia background check information or equivalent information from another state.

C. Waivers of some criminal convictions are possible. Refer to 22VAC40-191-90 through 22VAC40-191-130 for an explanation of the waiver.