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Library: Policy

340:75-7-15. Background information search and assessment of results

Revised 9-15-20

(a) Authorization to conduct criminal history records searches.The applicants and adult household members give consent for Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) criminal histories records searches by signing Form 04AD003E, Request for Background Check.

(b) Background information search for applicants and adult household members.  1A background information search is conducted regarding each adult in the applicant's home as a safeguard for children placed in Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) custody.Results from the background information searches are obtained, assessed, and documented prior to the applicant's approval.Background information searches are conducted at the time of application and include, but are not limited to:

(1) an OSBI name and criminal history records search;

(2) an FBI national criminal history records search, based on fingerprints, per Section 1-7-111 of Title 10A of the Oklahoma Statutes (10A O.S. § 1-7-111);

(3) a search of the Oklahoma Sex Offender Registry;

(4) a search of the Mary Rippy Violent Offender Registry;

(5) a Department of Public Safety (DPS) report;

(6) a search of the Oklahoma State Courts Network including Oklahoma District Court Records to determine if the applicant or adult household member is, or was, a party in any court action;

(7) a search of all DHS records, including child welfare (CW) records;

(8) a search of the Restricted Registry;

(9) a search of Nontechnical Services Worker Abuse Registry maintained by the Oklahoma State Department of Health;

(10) a search of the Community Services Worker Registry;

(11) a search of all applicable out-of-state child abuse and neglect registries for the applicant or adult household member, who has not lived in Oklahoma continuously for the past five years, per 10A O.S. § 1-7-111.

(A) The potential resource home is not approved without the results for the applicant and adult household members of the out-of-state child abuse and neglect registry checks, when a registry is maintained in the applicable state.

(B) When a child abuse and neglect registry is not maintained in the applicable state, DHS requests any information that can be provided from the state; and

(12) a search of Juvenile Online Tracking System (JOLTS) records for the applicant's or each adult household member's child, 13 through 17 years of age, living in the home.

(c) Background information summary.All background information is documented on Form 04AF007E, Records Check Documentation.A copy of Form 04AF007E is shared with the resource family partner (RFP) or the resource family assessment (RFA) contractor responsible for completing an RFA.The RFP is provided background information only for searches the RFP does not conduct.

(d) Exception to fingerprinting.Per 10A O.S. § 1-7-111, the DHS Director or designee may authorize an exception to the fingerprinting requirement and an alternative procedure for obtaining a national criminal history records search for any applicant or adult residing in the home who has a severe condition that precludes such person being fingerprinted.In limited, case-specific circumstances, DHS may not be able to obtain:

(1) an individual's fingerprints as a result of the individual's disability; or

(2) legible fingerprints due to low quality fingerprints, as a result of age, occupation, or other conditions, thereby making it impossible for the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) to provide results.

(e) Out-of-state equivalent records check required based on length of residency.Prior to approval, applicants or adult household members who have lived in Oklahoma for less than five years must provide equivalent background records checks from previous state(s) of residence.Equivalent records checks include, but are not limited to, a state's criminal history search, including Sex Offender registries.Prior to approval, DHS obtains the child abuse and neglect registry check from the previous state(s) of residence, when a registry is available.When a child abuse and neglect registry is not maintained in the applicable state, DHS requests any information that the state can provide. 1

(f) Residence time requirement for kinship applicants.Prior to placement, kinship applicants or adult household members who have not lived in Oklahoma continuously for the past five years must submit fingerprints.DHS must obtain the child abuse and neglect registry check from the previous state(s) of residence, when a registry is available.Both the national criminal history records search and the child abuse and neglect registry checks must be completed, prior to a child's placement in a kinship home, per 10A O.S. § 1-7-111.When a child abuse and neglect registry is not maintained in the applicable state, DHS requests any information that the state can provide.

(g) New household members in the resource home.  2The resource parent notifies the resource specialist within 24 hours of a new household member in the resource home.A resource family's failure to notify the resource specialist of a new household member or the refusal of a household member who remains in the home to consent to a background information search is cause for removal of the foster care child from the resource home, possible closure of the resource home, and cancellation of the foster care contract.

(1) DHS completes a background information search, per this Section, for persons 18 years of age and older residing in the resource home for 30-calendar days or more.The resource parent's child who reaches 18 years of age is considered in this category.

(2) An adult household member that moves into the resource home must consent to a background information search and be fingerprinted immediately after notification to the resource specialist.

(3) The resource parent's child who turns 18 years of age must consent to a background information search and be fingerprinted within 30-calendar days of turning 18 years of age.

(4) Any child, 13 through 17 years of age who moves into the home, must have a JOLTS check completed immediately.

(h) Kinship applicant criminal history records searches after normal business hours or on a holiday.   • 3In determining the suitability of the potential kinship home, DHS uses the DHS Office of Background Investigations (OBI) to perform a name-based state and federal criminal history records search, per Section 901 et seq. of Title 28 of the Code of Federal Regulations.When OBI is not operational, DHS may elect to contract or otherwise collaborate with local law enforcement agencies to perform a name-based state and federal criminal history records search followed by fingerprint verification, per 10A O.S. § 1-7-115.

(i) Assessment of background information search results.  4, 7 through 9

(1) Felony convictions. 5DHS denies a resource home application when the applicant or any person residing in the applicant's home has a criminal conviction record for any felony offenses listed in (A) through (E) of this paragraph.The criminal conviction of an approved resource parent or any person residing in the resource home of any of the felony offenses listed in (A) through (E) of this paragraph requires the closure of the resource home, cancellation of the foster care contract, and removal of every child in DHS custody from the home.The felony offenses are:

(A) physical assault, battery, or a drug-related offense, when the conviction occurs within the five-year period preceding the application date;  6

(B) child abuse or neglect;

(C) spousal abuse or domestic abuse;

(D) a crime against a child including, but not limited to, child pornography; or

(E) a crime involving violence including, but not limited to, rape, sexual assault, or homicide, but excluding those crimes specified in (A) of this paragraph.Per 21 O.S. § 692, homicide includes manslaughter.Per Section 16 of Title 18 of the United States Code, a crime involving violence means, an offense that:

(i) has an element of the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another; or

(ii) by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense.

(2) Sex-related crimes.DHS denies the application to become a resource parent, when the applicant:

(A) or any person residing in the applicant's home has a conviction for any crime, felony or misdemeanor, specified in57 O.S. § 582, whether the conviction occurred upon a:

(i) verdict;

(ii) plea of guilty; or

(iii) plea of nolo contendere; or

(B) is subject to, living with, or married to a person who is subject to the Oklahoma Sex Offender Registration Act.

(3) Arrests, charges, or other convictions.Approval of an applicant who has, or is living with a person who has a history of arrests, charges, or convictions for any felony, other than those listed in (1) of this subsection, or a relevant misdemeanor may be approved as a resource parent on a case-by-case basis.A relevant misdemeanor includes:

(A) assault and battery;

(B) alcohol- or drug-related offenses;

(C) domestic violence; or

(D) other offenses involving the use of physical force or violence against the person or property of another.

(4) Child abuse and neglect investigations.DHS determines, on a case-by-case basis, the approval of any resource applicant with a history of child abuse and neglect investigations.  9

INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF 340:75-7-15

Revised 9-15-20

1.Background information searches.All background information searches, except for Juvenile Online Tracking System (JOLTS) searches, are completed for each applicant and adult household member using current and previous names, aliases, and Social Security numbers.

(1) Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) criminal history records searches.

(A) Background information search authorization.

(i) The child welfare (CW) specialist advises the applicant and adult household members that their signatures on Form 04AD003E, Request for Background Check, authorize Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) to complete background information searches.

(ii) When assessing kin for immediate placement, the applicant or adult household member gives his or her verbal consent.

(iii)The CW specialist follows up with the applicant and adult household members and obtains their signatures on Form 04AD003E.

(B) OSBI and FBI fingerprinting criminal history records search process.The CW specialist follows the procedure to obtain, share, and process an OSBI name and criminal history records search and an FBI national criminal history records search as outlined in (i) through (iv) of this subparagraph.

(i) For offices with live scan fingerprinting, the CW specialist:

(I) makes an appointment for every applicant and adult household member to obtain fingerprints and submits Form 04AD003E to the OKDHS Office of Background Investigations (OBI) for the OSBI records search and FBI national criminal history records search; and

(II) files a copy of Form 04AD003E for each applicant and adult household member in the resource file.

(ii) For offices without live scan fingerprinting, the CW specialist:

(I) provides two fingerprint cards to the applicant and every person 18 years of age and older residing in the applicant's home;

(II) provides the applicant with an automated fingerprinting authorization obtained through Finance AS400;

(III) instructs the applicant to take the authorization and fingerprint cards to local law enforcement or a fingerprinting agency for fingerprinting services.The applicant returns the cards to the CW specialist once fingerprinting is completed;

(IV) checks the applicant's and adult household member's fingerprint cards for accuracy and forwards the cards and Form 04AD003E, to OBI for the OSBI records search and the FBI national criminal history records search; and

(V) when the fingerprint cards are rejected and reprinting is necessary, returns the cards to and instructs the person, whose fingerprints were rejected, to take the cards to the original vendor, who reprints the person's fingerprints at no additional charge.

(iii) An individual missing fingers must submit fingerprint cards with the identifying information completed, stating the reason why he or she is missing fingers.

(iv) Fingerprint results for each applicant and adult household member are placed in separate manila envelopes with the names and resource numbers written on the outside of the envelopes and stored in a locked file cabinet.The received date is documented as the processing date of the OSBI and FBI search results in the KIDS Criminal Background Check screen.

(C) Fingerprint addendum.The resource specialist completes Form 04AF033E, National Criminal History Records Search Results –Addendum, for each adult household member when the national criminal history record search results are received.

(i) When no record is found or the results are the same as the OSBI name-based search, the addendum is completed and filed in a manila envelope with the national criminal history record search results based on fingerprints.

(ii) When the results are different from the OSBI name-based search, the resource specialist:

(I) discusses the results with the applicant or adult household member;

(II) completes Form 04AF033E;

(III) obtains the applicant's or adult household member's signature on the addendum; and

(IV) files the addendum in the manila envelope with the appropriate national criminal history record search results based on fingerprints.

(D) Exception to fingerprinting procedures.An individual with a severe physical condition that prevents him or her from caretaking and being fingerprinted may not be required to submit a fingerprint card. The resource specialist may request a fingerprint exception from OBI.

(i) The resource specialist submits an email to OBI staff requesting an exception to fingerprinting for the non-caretaker with the severe physical condition.

(ii) OBI requests a fingerprinting exception from the OKDHS Director or designee.Upon authorization, OBI requests an OSBI name-based criminal history search.

(iii) The resource specialist is notified by email and a copy of the document granting the permanent exception to the fingerprint requirement is filed in the resource file and scanned into the KIDS Resource File Cabinet.

(iv) The resource specialist documents the fingerprint exception into the KIDS Crime screen.

(v) The resource specialist continues the individual's assessment, as with any other adult household member, including determining the level of interaction with the child.

(E) OSBI record of arrest and prosecution (RAP) Back service.RAP Back is a service offered to Oklahoma non-criminal justice government agencies for non-criminal justice purposes, such as the resource parent application, continued approval decisions, and trial home reunification.

(i) The RAP Back service is not associated with the national criminal history records search and details only subsequent Oklahoma arrests after an individual's fingerprints were submitted to OSBI and FBI for non-criminal justice purposes.

(I) A yearly OSBI background check is not necessary because RAP Back reports are sent when a resource parent or adult household member is arrested.

(II) Fingerprinting for a national criminal history records search is necessary every five years for active resource parents.

(ii) RAP Back reports are received and distributed by OBI to the Resource Unit where the report:

(I) is scanned into the KIDS Resource File Cabinet;

(II) on any open resource is emailed to the assigned resource specialist, resource supervisor, and resource field manager.A phone call is made to the resource field manager to verify receipt; and

(III) is forwarded by the OKDHS resource family partner (RFP) liaison to the RFP for a supported home.

(iii) The resource specialist:

(I) obtains the police report and disposition of the criminal arrest or charge detailed on the RAP Back report;

(II) determines, upon consultation with the resource supervisor and resource field manager, if a written plan of compliance, an abuse or neglect referral, or closure of the home is warranted;

(III) contacts the resource parent to address and assess the information, when an abuse and neglect referral is not assigned;

(IV) ensures the safety and well-being of each child placed in the resource home; and

(V) documents the information in the KIDS Resource Criminal Background screen.

(iv) The Resource Unit and OKDHS Legal Services (LS) provide consultation regarding RAP Back information and related action steps.

(v) RAP Back reports received regarding persons in a closed resource home are scanned into the KIDS Resource File Cabinet by the Resource Unit.

(vi) OBI maintains an electronic log of RAP Back reports.

(2) Court records search.A search is completed to determine if the applicant or any adult household member is, or was, a party to a court action and, if so, the disposition of the criminal charges or court involvement.When the court records search indicates the applicant or any adult household member is named in any protective order case, a traffic case involving drugs or alcohol, or a criminal case that is not an automatic bar to the applicant being considered as a resource parent, the resource specialist obtains copies of the court information and the underlying law enforcement records.This information is reviewed and discussed with the applicant or adult household member to assess the home's suitability and safety for a child's placement in the home.The results are documented on Form 04AF007E, Records Check Documentation, filed in the resource file, and scanned into the KIDS Resource File Cabinet.The resource specialist searches the:

(A) Oklahoma State Courts Network at http://www.oscn.net/;

(B) Oklahoma Department of Corrections (DOC) offender information and lookup at http://doc.ok.gov/;

(C) Oklahoma District Court Records at http://www.odcr.com/; and

(D) Mary Rippy Violent Crime Offender Registry search at http://sors.doc.state.ok.us/.To search for violent and/or sex offenders, a free, self-initiated search of the Mary Rippy Violent Crime Offender Registry is conducted at the website by selecting:

(i) Violent Offenders Registry and reading the website, agreeing to the terms, and entering the search information; and

(ii) Sex Offenders Registry and reading the website, agreeing to the terms, and entering the search information.

(3) OKDHS records search.

(A) OKDHS records.The resource specialist completes a search of all OKDHS records including the CW history.A search is completed using the Information Management System (IMS) and KIDS.Each adult household member is searched using name, date of birth, and Social Security number.When the applicant or any household member discloses previous CW involvement in another state, regardless of when it occurred, the resource specialist requests the records from that state.The information is recorded on Form 04AF007E, filed in the resource file, and scanned to the KIDS Resource File Cabinet.

(B) Community Services Worker Registry.The resource specialist completes a search at https://cswrpublic.okdhs.org/cswrpublic.When an individual's name is located on the Community Services Worker Registry, the information is included in the overall assessment.When an individual's name is located on the Community Services Worker Registry, the applicant cannot be approved without a resource field manager's approval.

(C) Restricted Registry.The resource specialist completes a search at https://ccrrpublicjl.okdhs.org/ccrrpublicjl/public/.When an individual's name is located on the Restricted Registry, the applicant is denied.

(4) Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) Nontechnical Services Workers Abuse Registry.The resource specialist completes a search at https://www.phin.state.ok.us/nar/.When an individual's name is located on the Oklahoma State Department of Health Nontechnical Services Workers Abuse Registry, the information is included in the overall assessment.When an individual's name is located on the OSDH Nontechnical Services Workers Abuse Registry, the applicant cannot be approved without a resource field manager's approval.

(5) Out-of-state child abuse and neglect registry information search.When a state that maintains a child abuse and neglect registry does not respond to an information request, the resource field manager notifies a Foster Care and Adoptions deputy director who contacts the Administration for Children and Families regional office for assistance.

(A) The resource specialist documents the name of each state contacted and the efforts made to obtain the information in the KIDS Pre-Resource Contacts, but does not place the child until the required registry searches are received.

(B) When a child abuse and neglect registry is not maintained by a state and the state is unable to provide any information, the:

(i) attempt is documented in KIDS; and

(ii) a Foster Care and Adoptions deputy director determines if placement approval may proceed when the resource home is otherwise approved.

(6) JOLTS search.The resource specialist completes a JOLTS search on any applicant's or adult household member's child, who is 13 through 17 years of age, living in the home.The results are documented on Form 04AF007E, filed in the resource file, and scanned into the KIDS Resource File Cabinet.The CW specialist attempts to obtain associated Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs and law enforcement report when a JOLTS record is found.

2. Criminal history records searches for adults in the home more than 30-calendar days per year and for new household members.

(1) A criminal history records search is completed for every adult who engages in a pattern of overnight visitation for more than 30-calendar days per calendar year.

(2) The resource specialist must complete a background check and fingerprints on a new adult living in the home immediately after notification that a new adult is living in the home.The resource specialist assesses the new adult as another household member and completes an addendum to the home study within 30-calendar days.

  3.Kinship applicant criminal history records search after normal business hours or on a holiday.

(1) The CW specialist requests a name-based criminal history records search from OBI.

(A) The CW specialist givesOBI the name, race, gender, date of birth, and Social Security number of each person 18 years of age and older living in the household considered for the child's emergency placement.

(B) Each adult household member gives his or her verbal consent to initiate the search.

(C) When requested by Child Welfare Services (CWS), OBI immediately conducts the requested name-based criminal history records search, provides a verbal response on each person's criminal history, orders of protection, and outstanding warrants.

(D) The failure of any adult living in the household to permit a name-based criminal history records search results in placement denial.

(2) When OBI is not operational, the CW specialist asks local law enforcement to conduct a name-based National Crime Information Center (NCIC) criminal history search.With an NCIC history search, fingerprints for the applicant and each adult household member must be provided and submitted to OSBI within five-business days.

(A) OKDHS gives local law enforcement the name, race, gender, date of birth, and Social Security number of each person 18 years of age and older living in the household considered for the child's emergency placement.

(B) Each adult household member gives his or her verbal consent to initiate the search.

(C) When requested by OKDHS, local law enforcement immediately conducts the requested name-based state and federal criminal history records searches, provides a verbal response on each person's criminal history, protection orders, and outstanding warrants.

(D) The failure of any adult living in the household to permit a name-based criminal history records search or submit a full set of fingerprints and provide written permission authorizing OKDHS to forward the fingerprints to OSBI for an FBI national criminal history records search within the required five-business days results in placement denial or the child's immediate removal from the potential kinship resource home.

(E) When placement is made, OBI forwards fingerprints to OSBI within 15-calendar days after the results of the preliminary name-based records check are received.

(3) The CW specialist documents the criminal history records search by local law enforcement in the KIDS Resource Contacts and submits signed Form 04AD003E to OBI the next business day.

4.Guide to assess background history.The Assessment of Background Information of Resource Applicants, included on CWS Numbered Memo 15-13, is utilized by resource specialists to assess the applicant's and household member's criminal histories, CW histories, JOLTS information, or other concerning histories, such as protective orders, traffic offenses, money judgement, or multiple marriages.

5.Certain felonies prohibit applicant approval.OKDHS does not grant exceptions for felony convictions listed in Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:75-7-15, for a potential or an approved resource parent or for anyone residing in the potential or approved resource home.

6.Drug-related offenses.An alcohol-related felony conviction is a drug-related offense and prohibits approval of an applicant as a resource parent, when the conviction occurred within five years preceding the application date.

7.Other related crimes, charges, and convictions.The resource specialist conducts a thorough assessment of the risk potential to the child when there is any felony or relevant misdemeanor, criminal arrest, or a conviction history regarding the applicant or an adult household member.

8.Information and history assessment.

(a) Background information.Information that includes:

(1) physical violence;

(2) sexual components; or

(3) substance use or abuse must be reviewed and approved or denied by the resource field manager.

(b) CW history. The resource specialist and resource supervisor review all referrals, whether screened-out or accepted, investigations, reports to the district attorney, and appeals.

(1) When an applicant or household member has CW history, consideration is given to the:

(A) nature of the referral;

(B) assessment conclusion or investigation finding;

(C) nature and seriousness of the alleged or confirmed abuse or neglect;

(D) time elapsed since the referral;

(E) circumstances under which the abuse or neglect occurred;

(F) degree of rehabilitation, including verifiable documentation;

(G) number and disposition of referrals; and

(H) child's safety in the home.

(2) When the CW history is concerning, the resource field manager, or when the he or she is unavailable, a Foster Care and Adoptions deputy director is included in the CW history assessment.For assessment purposes, the applicant is approved or denied based on the CW history.

(3) The discussion and basis for the approval or denial is documented in a KIDS Pre-Resource or Resource Contact.

(c) Criminal or delinquency history.The resource specialist and resource supervisor review all criminal arrest and conviction histories for each applicant, adult household member, or a child with a JOLTS record.

(1) When assessing criminal or delinquency history, a:

(A) homicide includes any type of murder, manslaughter, or other charge involving a person's death; and

(B) relevant misdemeanor may include, but is not limited to:

(i) assault and battery;

(ii) alcohol- or drug-related offenses;

(iii) domestic violence; or

(iv) other offenses involving the use of physical force or violence against the person or property of another.

(2) According to Oklahoma Statutes, a deferred sentence means a defendant entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere; however, the court agreed to withhold a legal finding of guilt on the condition the defendant completes the terms of the deferred sentence imposed by the court.As such, the plea entered by the defendant is not a conviction to the underlying criminal charge but may be considered in determining the applicant's suitability to be a resource parent although the applicant was granted a deferred sentence.

(3) The resource specialist and resource supervisor consider all relevant issues when assessing the applicant's appropriateness or suitability to be a resource parent.

(4) Assessment of charges and convictions includes consideration of, but is not limited to, the:

(A) nature and seriousness of the criminal history;

(B) type of crime committed and charges with a detailed description of how and why the crime was committed;

(C) time elapsed since the crime or conviction;

(D) deferment's length or length and type of sentence imposed;

(E) completion date of the deferment and/or sentence;

(F) assignment of a probation or parole officer and the officer's contact and location information;

(G) degree of rehabilitation, positive changes the applicant has made in his or her lifestyle since the arrest or conviction, and a description of how and why the changes occurred;

(H) applicant's self-evaluation regarding how the experience may influence children placed in the home;

(I) child's safety in such a placement; and

(J) information obtained from the applicant's references regarding knowledge of his or her previous and current lifestyle is considered when assessing the applicant's criminal history.

(5) The resource supervisor consults the resource field manager regarding concerning-background information, including JOLTS.When the resource field manager is unavailable, a Foster Care and Adoptions deputy director is consulted.For assessment purposes, the applicant is approved or denied based on the criminal history.

(6) OKDHS LS is consulted as needed.

(7) The discussion and basis for the decision are documented in a KIDS Pre-Resource or Resource Contact.

9.Review of a decision to deny a resource home.When there is disagreement about denying an application based on criminal history records, CW history, JOLTS, or other concerning information, (1) through (3) of this Instruction are followed to obtain resolution.

(1) A Foster Care and Adoptions deputy director and the regional deputy director consult.

(2) When a consensus cannot be obtained after a Foster Care and Adoptions deputy director and the regional deputy director consult, the CWS director is consulted and makes the final decision.

(3) OKDHS LS attorneys are consulted as needed during the review process regarding an applicant's or household member's background information.

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