CHILD WELFARE MANUAL

Section 6, Chapter 19 (Background Checks), Subsection 1, – (Fingerprinting)

6.19.1   Fingerprinting and Criminal Checks

Revised Missouri Statute 210.487, 210.482 and 43.540, Missouri State Regulations Title 13 CSR 35-60.010 (2)(D) and Federal Regulations, Sec 471 (20)(A) require criminal records checks to include fingerprint-based checks of national crime information before placement and/or licensure and approval of a resource home.

State and national criminal record checks will be completed for each household member age 17 or older, or any person under the age of 17 who has been certified as an adult. These checks are completed by the submission of fingerprints by the applicants and required household members. The Missouri State Highway Patrol, MSHP, will complete a state criminal record check and then electronically send the fingerprint images to the FBI for a national search of criminal records. The MSHP collects the fingerprints using a contracted electronic fingerprint vendor.

Foster youth are not fingerprinted for resource home licensure and approval.

6.19.1.1 Initial check

Applicants must register with MSHP Missouri Automated Criminal History Site, MACHS, in order to schedule their fingerprinting appointment. The resource development worker provides the appropriate authorization letter to the applicant which indicates whether the applicant is being fingerprinted for;

  • foster and relative services, CD26-a,
  • adoption services only, CD26-d, or
  • respite or transitional living advocate only applicants, CD26-e.

It is the responsibility of the resource development worker to explain the registration process. The worker may assist the applicant with registration process in MACHS.

The electronic scan method is the preferred method of obtaining criminal background checks. The card and ink method will still be available in special circumstances; however, staff should be aware that this method will result in delays in receiving the criminal history. No one may be licensed or have their license renewed until criminal background results have been received. The Missouri State Highway Patrol public window is not an option for having fingerprints completed. Staff should not refer applicants or providers to the Highway Patrol to have prints completed.

The Division cannot pay for criminal background checks completed on biological parents or for court ordered studies on private adoptions and guardianships. The resource development worker will provide authorization letter CD26-b to those individuals who must pay for their fingerprinting.

The completed reports are posted on the MSHP’s Missouri Automated Criminal history System (MACHS) Internet page. The correct local office or private agency developing the resource is determined by the Registration Number. The registration number is associated with a specific OCA code. The MSHP response is received first. After the FBI has completed its search, any results will be forwarded to the MSHP, who will posts the results on their MACHS page.

The criminal record check may reveal open and closed record information on individuals consisting of arrests, prosecutor and court actions, correctional supervision, and release. All felony and serious misdemeanor arrests including sexual offender registration information as defined under 589.400, RSMo, and All alcohol and drug related traffic offenses are considered reportable criminal offenses.

Except for the specific felony history listed below, a criminal history, child abuse and neglect history, or other review information does not automatically preclude licensure. Staff should determine the relevance of all such findings to child caring responsibilities, and should seek guidance from supervisors. A supervisor must review and evaluate the background information if there is a record of conviction (other than those listed below) and or child abuse and if the decision is to approve the home assessment. The supervisor’s review and decision to approve or disapprove must be documented.

Felony Convictions

Staff may not approve the application of any person in which a record check reveals that the individual pled guilty or was found guilty of a felony for child abuse or neglect, spousal abuse, domestic violence, a crime against children (including child pornography), or a crime involving violence, including rape, sexual assault, homicide but not including  other physical assault or battery was determined by a court of competent jurisdiction.

Staff may also not approve the application of any person who has had a court of competent jurisdiction determine a felony conviction for physical assault, battery, or a drug-related offense within the last five years.

Household members age 17 and older shall disclose criminal history. Consideration shall be made of felony cases where the individual pled guilty, is found guilty and /or convicted of a criminal offense or pled guilty but instead received a suspended imposition of sentence (SIS).

In the unlikely event it is determined the best interest of a child would be served by placement in an unlicensed home, and a court of law has ordered the child placed in the unlicensed home, written approval must be obtained through supervisory lines to the Regional Director. The Regional Director must review the request and, if in agreement, forward with their recommendation to the Deputy Director for Children’s Division for final consideration. Written requests should include a thorough description of the applicant’s situation and why it would be in the child’s best interest to be placed in an unlicensed home. If approved by the Deputy Director, IV-E funding may not be used and the worker will be responsible for notifying the Eligibility Specialist who will ensure that state only funds are used.

If a resource parent commits a felony act as listed previously in this section which results in a conviction or the resource parent admits to committing the act and receives a suspended imposition of sentence (SIS ) federal funds may not be used for foster care maintenance or adoption assistance payments if any of the aforementioned conditions exist. It is imperative that in those circumstances the worker notifies the Eligibility Specialist who will enter the correct fund code for state only funding.

BSIU maintains a log of all criminal background checks completed on resource providers and applicants.

Per FBI guidelines, FBI reports can be released to local county offices and made available in court. FBI reports cannot be released to contractors or to private entities. If a contractor has requested the information to complete an assessment, they are not allowed access to the report. The Children’s Division will convey to the contractor one of the following:

  1. The report is clear; proceed with the assessment, or
  2. The report revealed something that must be explored. The contractor will then be requested to refer the family to the local Children’s Division office before continuing the assessment. Local office staff will then meet with the applicant and determine whether the applicant will be allowed to proceed with the application. If the applicant is selected out, the local office staff must inform the family in writing and notify the contractor.

The Children’s Division may enter into an outsourcing of fingerprint results agreement with a contracted agency. Outsourcing of access to MACHS may only be processed and approved by Central Office.

6.19.1.2 RAP Back

Rap Back is a service of the Missouri State Highway Patrol which provides updated criminal history information on applicants registered in the MACHS system in real-time as the printable arrests are reported to the central repository.

After an applicant and adult household members have registered in MACHS and fingerprinted, if the individual has a reportable, printable arrest, the individuals who are approved as the OCA administrator and readers for the OCA registration code that the individual was printed under will receive an email notification from MSHP.

Within 24 business hours of receiving the notification from MSHP, the OCA Administrator/Circuit Manager will access MACHS and select “click to request” the report. Only the administrator has access to request the report. Once the report is loaded then the Administrator or the Read Only staff may access the report. The Rap Back report is reviewed for further action based on the information provided in the report. It may take more than a day for the report to download. Failure to download the record within 30 days of the alert will result in the MSHP automatically unsubscribing the applicant and the applicant will have to be printed again. The report must be printed and placed in the background section of the file with the original fingerprint report. The paper copy of the original fingerprint and any Rap Back reports are kept indefinitely in the file until the file is archived. Fingerprint report and Rap Back reports must not be uploaded into FACES.

The Circuit Manager will notify the resource licensing worker as identified in FACES for the applicant or other household member within 24 hours of viewing the report.

Within 24 hours of notice, the resource licensing worker will make contact with the individual identified in the Rap Back report and assess the situation.

The worker will immediately contact his/her supervisor and Circuit Manger to report regarding the situation so determination may be made regarding further action such as a call to the hotline, removal of children and/or placing the home on administrative hold to determine if there are grounds to revoke the license/approval.

When a resource home license or approval is closed, the Circuit Manager must immediately unsubscribe the applicant or adult household member from the Rap Back program data base. Resource providers are required by regulation to notify the Children’s Division or contractor of any change in household composition 2 weeks prior to the change. When a household member age 17 and older permanently moves away from the home, the Circuit Manager must immediately unsubscribe the household member from the Rap Back program data base. Failure to remove a person who is no longer a placement provider or adult household member from the Rap Back program is a compliance error with the MSHP. Unsubscribing an individual removes them from the MACHS system. Each person who is unsubscribed from Rap Back will have to be fingerprinted again if they return to being a resource provider or living in a resource provider’s home.

6.19.1.3 License/Approval Renewal

A result of the Rap Back service provided by MSHP is that licensed/approved resource providers and adult household members do not get fingerprinted for the resource license/approval renewal.

If no Rap Back reports were received during the 2 year license/approval period, on the Background Check screen in FACES select the finding/conclusion result, “Results meet eligibility requirements” for the Fingerprint-Based Criminal Background Check. Enter the date of the fingerprint result the same as the date of the Family Care Safety Registry check result.

If Rap Back reports were received during the 2 year license/approval period, but the report did not include exclusionary information for licensure eligibility, select the finding/conclusion result, “Results require further review to determine if applicant is precluded from licensure”. In the comments box document the dates Rap Back reports were received. Enter the date of the fingerprint result the same as the date of the Family Care Safety Registry check result.

6.19.1.4 Purpose Code X

There is a delayed fingerprinting process that will be followed in the cases of the emergency placement or exigent circumstances involving a child. If there is a need to complete a Purpose Code “X” screening for emergency placement or exigent circumstances, staff should adhere to the following process:

      1. The Children’s Division worker or juvenile officer must request local law enforcement to search the Missouri Uniform Law Enforcement System (MULES) for anyone 17 years old or older residing in the household. MULES is an electronic communication system strictly used for law enforcement purposes, but permission has been granted to allow the Division access to the information in cases of emergency protective custody, where children are placed in the care and custody of CD. In accordance with Section 210.482.2 RSMo, a child should be immediately removed from the home in which he/she has been placed if anyone 17 years old or older refuses to provide fingerprints.
      2. The FBI has approved law enforcement to conduct Purpose Code “X” background screenings with a time-limited delay in fingerprinting due to placing a child as a result of an emergency situation. However, fingerprints must be submitted to the FBI within 15 days of the MULES check. To meet that deadline, the agency worker must provide the placement provider with information to schedule their screening with the contracted electronic fingerprint vendor. The fingerprint authorization letter, CD26-f, shall be provided with the correct registration number for the circuit entered in the place indicated on the letter. When a court or Children’s Division approaches a law enforcement agency about providing this type of check, the law enforcement agency is not responsible for ensuring the legitimacy of the request. Law enforcement is required to ensure the requestor is an authorized representative, and upon verification, the inquiry should be performed. Local offices should work with their multidisciplinary teams to establish protocols to fulfill the required verification process.
      3. Local offices shall document and maintain the Purpose Code X Request log, CD-153. If the Children’s Division fails to keep an accurate and up to date log to account for subsequent delayed fingerprinting, or a reason that fingerprints will not be submitted (e.g., due to a disqualifying criminal history), the Division could lose the right to delay fingerprinting in the future.

6.19.1.5 MACHS access

There are two individuals for each judicial circuit who are trained and approved to access the fingerprint results on the MSHP MACHS system.

The Circuit Manager is the Local Agency Security Officer, LASO and the OCA Administrator. The other individual is who has read only access to be able to print results for the resource case file.

Every employee who has access to the results on MACHS or access to the results after the results are printed from MACHS must complete the CJIS Security Awareness training provided on–line by MSHP.

Once an individual no longer has the job responsibility for access to MACHS, they must be removed from access immediately.

The circuit will keep a log of every request by applicant for a copy of their fingerprint results. They must request the results in writing using the prescribed form, CD-244 and provide the photo identification to pick up their results. The CD-244 must be forwarded to Central Office, CD.RequestForFingerprintBasedBackgroundChecks@dss.mo.gov for audit reporting. Only the individual printed may request and be provided a copy of their fingerprint results.

Chapter Memoranda History (prior to 01/31/07):

CD04-05, CD04-63, CD04-79, CD04-96, CD05-76

Memoranda History (After 01/31/07):

CD07-36, CD07-54, CD07-59, CD08-55, CD10-65, CD12-62, CD14-27, CD14-64, CD15-48, CD16-18, CD16-45, CD18-27, CD19-36