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8.4F  TITLE IV-E, General Title IV-E Requirements, Criminal Record and Registry Checks

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Question 1.  
Do States have to request information from a "State" maintained child abuse and neglect registry of a U.S. Territory in which a prospective foster or adoptive parent has resided within the last five years in accordance with section 471(a)(20)(C)(i) of the Social Security Act (the Act)?
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Question 4.  
Do the requirements for a criminal records check include checks for any member of the household over the age of 18?
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Question 5.  
Does a "drug-related offense" include an alcohol-related felony conviction?
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Question 6.  
May an Indian tribe elect not to conduct or require criminal records checks on foster or adoptive parents if it obtains an approved resolution from the governing body of the Indian tribe?
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Question 7.  
Must a State complete the fingerprint-based check of national crime information databases required by section 471(a)(20)(A) of the Social Security Act before placing a child in the home of a prospective foster or adoptive parent?
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Question 8.  
Must the State conduct the child abuse and neglect registry checks required by section 471(a)(20)(C) of the Social Security Act before placing a child in the home of a prospective foster or adoptive parent?
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Question 9.  
Does section 471(a)(20) of the Social Security Act (the Act) require the State to conduct a child abuse and neglect registry check on an adult who moves into a licensed/approved foster or adoptive home?
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Question 10.  
Please explain the criminal background check requirements of section 471(a)(20)(A) of the Act and to whom they apply.
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Question 11.  
To whom do the child abuse and neglect registry checks for prospective foster and adoptive parents at section 471(a)(20)(C) of the Social Security Act (the Act) apply?
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Question 12.  
May a State develop alternative procedures for background checks that do not include a fingerprint-based check of the national crime information databases (NCID) or a check of all State-maintained child abuse and neglect registries in which a prospective foster or adoptive parent and other adults living in the house have resided in the past five years?
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Question 13.  
If a foster parent decides to become an adoptive parent, would the background check provisions of section 471(a)(20) of the Social Security Act (the Act) apply if the foster parent had already undergone the checks to be licensed as a foster parent?
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Question 14.  
May a State establish an appropriate timeframe for when a fingerprint-based check of the national crime information databases or a child abuse and neglect registry check must be completed or can remain valid to meet the purposes in section 471(a)(20) of the Social Security Act (the Act)?
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Question 15.  
May a State determine that it will not license or approve a foster or adoptive parent who has a criminal record other than one specified in section 471(a)(20)(A)(i) or (ii) of the Social Security Act (the Act)?
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Question 16.  
Section 471(a)(20)(C)(i) of the Social Security Act (the Act) requires a State to request a check of information in another State¿s child abuse and neglect registry in which a prospective foster parent, adoptive parent, or other adult in the home has resided in the preceding five years. With regard to this provision, is the requesting State able to comply with the law if the other State that maintains such a registry denies the request because the provision is not yet effective in the other State?
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Question 17.  
Must a State make a registry check request pursuant to section 471(a)(20)(C)(i) of the Social Security Act (the Act) of a State which is not yet required to comply with such a request due to having an ACF-approved delayed effective date for section 471(a)(20)(C)(ii) of the Act?
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Question 18.  
Section 471(a)(20)(C)(i) of the Social Security Act (the Act) states that "the State shall check any child abuse and neglect registry maintained by the State..." How does this apply if a State does not maintain a child abuse and neglect registry?
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Question 19.  
How should a State proceed when another State that maintains a child abuse and neglect registry does not respond to an out-of-State request to check a child abuse and neglect registry pursuant to section 471(a)(20)(C)(i) of the Social Security Act (the Act)?
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Question 20.  
How should a State that maintains a child abuse and neglect registry and has an ACF-approved delayed effective date respond to incoming requests for child abuse and neglect registry information on prospective adoptive and foster parents pursuant to section 471(a)(20)(C) of the Social Security Act? Is that State out of compliance with the law if it does not provide the information?
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Question 21.  
If a State has verified that another State does not maintain a child abuse and neglect registry, is the State still required by section 471(a)(20)(C)(i) of the Social Security Act (the Act) in every case to make a request to that other State?
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Question 22.  
Some States have procedures that predicate releasing information from their State-maintained child abuse and neglect registry on the requesting State meeting certain conditions. For example, some States require the requesting State to obtain a notarized release or consent from the prospective foster or adoptive parent and others charge a fee for the information. Is this permissible?
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Question 23.  
If the child will not receive title IV-E foster care maintenance or adoption assistance payments, must a prospective foster parent or adoptive parent who will be licensed or approved by an Indian tribe meet the requirements of 471(a)(20) of the Social Security Act (the Act)?
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Question 24.  
Section 471(a)(20)(A)(i) and (ii) of the Social Security Act (the Act) prohibit a State from claiming title IV-E foster care maintenance payments or adoption assistance payments when prospective foster or adoptive parents have been convicted of certain crimes. Are there any exemptions or exceptions permitted from this requirement, such as the State or Indian tribe under a title IV-E agreement with the State considers the prospective parent rehabilitated or the placement is in the best interests of the child?
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Question 25.  
Is an Indian tribe that has a title IV-E agreement under section 472(a)(2)(B)(ii) of the Social Security Act (the Act) permitted an exemption or exception to the background check provisions of section 471(a)(20) of the Act?
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Question 26.  
Do States have to request information from a child abuse and neglect registry of an Indian tribe in which a prospective foster or adoptive parent has resided within the last five years in accordance with section 471(a)(20)(C)(i) of the Social Security Act (the Act)? Do Indian tribes have to comply with such a request from a State according to section 471(a)(20)(C)(ii) of the Act?
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Question 28.  
For the purposes of section 471(a)(20)(C) of the Social Security Act (the Act), what constitutes a "child abuse and neglect registry maintained by the State"? If a State does not have such a registry, is it required to develop one?
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Question 29.  
What information must a State release from its child abuse and neglect registry to comply with an incoming request from another State for information on an adult member of a prospective foster or adoptive parent's home as required by section 471(a)(20)(C)(ii) of the Social Security Act? For example, may the State release information only on substantiated reports of abuse and neglect?
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Question 30.  
Some prospective foster or adoptive parents have unreadable or missing fingerprints due to their age, disability, or occupation. How can a State comply with section 471(a)(20)(A) of the Social Security Act (the Act) in such cases?
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Question 31.  
Does the State title IV-E agency, or licensing authority, itself have to request information from a State-maintained child abuse and neglect registry pursuant to section 471(a)(20)(C)(ii) of the Social Security Act (the Act)? Similarly, does the State title IV-E agency, or licensing authority, itself have to receive the registry information?
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Question 32.  
Upon the dissolution of an adoption or death of the adoptive parents of a child receiving title IV-E adoption assistance, must the child's new prospective adoptive parents meet the background check requirements of section 471(a)(20) of the Social Security Act (the Act) before they can receive IV-E adoption assistance if that subsequent adoption will be achieved through a private or independent entity?
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Question 33.  
Are the criminal background check requirements at section 471(a)(20)(A) of the Social Security Act (the Act) applicable to all international, private or independent adoptions?
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