What is a comprehensive background check?
A fingerprinted Delaware State Bureau of Identification (SBI) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) report of a person’s entire criminal history, a search of the Delaware Child Protection Registry, Delaware Sex Offender Registry, all necessary out-of-state sex offender registries, and the National Sex Offender Registry.
Note: People that currently reside or have resided outside of Delaware within the last 5 years require additional state criminal history and child abuse and neglect searches as described under, “What is the process for a comprehensive background check?”.
Who is required to have a comprehensive background check?
People 18 and over who have regular direct access or unsupervised access to children receiving care in a:
- Family Child Care Home
- Large Family Child Care Home
- Early Care and Education and School-Age Center
- Licensed Youth Camps
What is the process for a comprehensive background checks?
- Fingerprinting locations are available in all three counties. Schedule a fingerprint appointment with the Delaware State Police by calling 302-739-2528 in New Castle County and Sussex County. In Kent County, call 302-739-5871 or walk-in to be fingerprinted without an appointment.
- After fingerprints are obtained, the person receives Delaware State Bureau of Identification (SBI) receipt of fingerprinting as proof of being fingerprinted. Early Care and Education and School-Age Centers and Licensed Youth Camps shall maintain the form in the person’s personnel file. Family Child Care providers shall immediately send a copy of the form to their licensing specialist.
- Delaware State Police forward the SBI and FBI criminal history results, Delaware Sex Offender and the National Sex Offender Registry checks to Department of Children, Youth and Their Families’ (DSCYF) Criminal History Unit (CHU).
- CHU conducts a search of the Delaware Child Protection Registry and all necessary out-of-state sex offender registries to determine if the person is named as a perpetrator in any Delaware substantiated case(s) of child abuse or neglect or appears on any out-of-state sex offender registries.
- Simultaneously, child care persons currently residing or who have resided outside of Delaware within the last 5 years, shall contact each state of residence and request an out-of-state child abuse and neglect search and an out-of-state criminal history search, if applicable. Child care persons shall provide the search results to the licensed child care provider.
- The licensed child care provider submits the results of the out-of-state checks to the DSCYF, Criminal History Unit
- via fax to 302-633-5191,
- via email to DSCYF, or
- via postal mail to Criminal History Unit, The Concord – Hagley Building, 3411 Silverside Road, Wilmington, DE 19810.
Note: A comprehensive background check cannot be completed without the results of all required criminal and child abuse and neglect searches.
- CHU makes an initial eligibility determination within 45 days based on the results and notifies the licensed provider by email. Note: When a person is determined ineligible or prohibited, CHU also notifies the person through U.S. postal mail of the background check results and provides instructions on how he/she can request an administrative review to challenge the accuracy or completeness of the results.
What are the responsibilities of a licensed child care provider regarding comprehensive background checks?
- Ensure that all adults who have regular direct access or unsupervised access to children receiving care have been fingerprinted, and have provided a Delaware State Bureau of Identification (SBI) receipt of fingerprinting.
- Maintain a copy of the SBI receipt of fingerprinting for each person.
- Ensure persons currently residing outside of Delaware or persons who have resided outside of Delaware within the last 5 years request the necessary out-of-state criminal and child abuse and neglect searches. Based on the current guidance from the Federal government, for States participating in the Interstate Identification Index (III) National Fingerprint File (NFF) — FBI, an FBI fingerprint check satisfies the requirement to check both the FBI fingerprint database and the requirement to search the State’s own criminal history record repository. The Department of Services for Children, Youth and Families’ Criminal History Unit will inform you what checks are required to complete the comprehensive background check process. Child abuse and neglect checks are always required for people who currently reside out of state and for those who have resided out-of-state in the past five years.
- Provide the results of the searches to the Department of Children, Youth and Their Families’ (DSCYF) Criminal History Unit (CHU).
- Immediately notify CHU when a person has been terminated from employment prior to completion of the comprehensive background check.
- Immediately remove a person from direct access with children when notified by the CHU or the Office of Child Care Licensing of a prohibited determination for centers or a prohibited or ineligible determination for family and large family child care.
- Require all people to immediately notify employer/licensee of any prohibited criminal convictions or entry on the Child Protection Registry at a level III or level IV.
- Immediately notify the Office of Child Care Licensing of all known prohibited criminal convictions and entries on the child protection registry at a level III and level IV.
What are the grounds for denying employment or licensure regarding comprehensive background checks?
- Prohibited criminal convictions and prohibited child abuse and neglect substantiations with time parameters as designated under 31 Delaware Code, Section 309, 16 Delaware Code, Section 923, and the convictions listed below as designated by Child Care Development Block Grant Act of 2014:
- Refuses a background check
- Knowingly makes a materially false statement in connection with the background check
- Is registered, or is required to be registered, on a state sex offender registry or repository or the National Sex Offender Registry
- Has been convicted of a felony consisting of murder, child abuse or neglect, crimes against children (including child pornography), spousal abuse, crime involving rape or sexual assault, kidnapping, arson, physical assault, or a drug-related offense committed during the preceding 5 years
- Has been convicted of a violent misdemeanor committed as an adult against a child
- Ineligible criminal convictions other than those that are prohibited shall be reviewed in consideration of other criteria below. The review will be conducted by the Department of Children, Youth and Their Families’ (DSCYF) Criminal History Unit. A recommendation will be made using the following criteria:
- Types of criminal convictions (including but not limited to):
- Offenses against an individual where physical harm or death has taken place.
- Drug Offenses.
- Offenses involving weapons, explosive devices, or threat of harm.
- Offenses involving public indecency and obscenity.
- Offenses that show a disregard of others.
- Cruelty to animals or deviant behavior.
- Number of convictions
- Length of time since conviction(s)
- Criminal record since the conviction(s)
- Relationship of the conviction(s) to the type of job assignment or responsibilities of the person
- Current probation or parole status as a result of the conviction(s)
- Policies of DSCYF
- DELACARE Regulations – Background Checks for Child-Serving Entities
How do I appeal an ineligible or prohibited comprehensive background check determination?
The background check is only one factor being considered in the hiring or approval process. If the employer makes an adverse judgment before the check is completed or based on any criterion other than the background check, the administrative review does not apply.
Any person who is determined ineligible or prohibited as a result of an adverse judgment made by the Criminal History Unit (CHU) on the basis of the criminal background check results, shall be entitled to an administrative review for reconsideration. If the person believes the criminal background check information resulting in a determination of ineligible or prohibited is inaccurate or incomplete, the person may request an administrative review. The request must be submitted in writing to CHU within 10 business days of receiving notification of the determination of ineligible or prohibited.
When a person has requested an administrative review, the following shall apply:
- The person shall be removed from direct access to children or provisions made for on-site supervision of the person during working hours pending the results of the review.
- The employer shall notify the criminal history specialist of the action taken with the person pending the review results. This notification is in addition to following established procedures and regulations already governing State personnel or individual facilities or agencies.
In the case of an administrative review of a decision involving a licensed center, family child care, or youth camp, the Office of Child Care Licensing director or designee shall conduct the review and issue a written decision within 10 business days.
The employer and the person shall be bound by the final decision of the administrative review which is made by the person that conducted the review. If the employer does not accept and follow the decision, sanctions shall apply.