DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

  DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

   <<< Return to OPP Table of Contents
Handbook 7: Relative Home Approvals
7-10  CLETS Criminal Background Checks for RHAs

 

Relative Home Approvals
7-10  CLETS Criminal Background Checks for RHAs
Reference Points
Overview
Who Must Be Checked
What Does a Criminal Check Include
What Form to Use
CLETS Results
CLETS Check for a Temporary, Emergency Placement
Requesting a Non-Urgent CLETS Check
Requesting an Urgent CLETS Check
Criminal Record Checks for Persons in Another States
Documenting Results of a CLETS Check
Other References


Reference Points
Effective Date: 5/01/07
Last Updated: 11/06/08
 Legal Basis:
Popup Window Welfare and Institutions Code ( WIC) § 16504.5(b)
PDF All County Letter (ACL) No. 08-46: AB 2651 (Chapter 701, Statutes of 2008) Federal Non-Exemptible and Federal Five Year Ban Criminal Convictions
Popup Window California Assembly Bill (AB) 2651
Popup Window Health and Safety (HS) Code § 1522(g)(1)(c)
 Non CWS/CMS Forms:
PDF

Out-of-State Disclosure & Criminal Record Statement (LIC 508 D)

PDF  LIC 508 D (Spanish)

PDF LIC 508 D (Vietnamese)

MS Word Sheriff's Dept. Criminal Record Check Request (CLETS) - Combined SCZ 686A-SCZ152 for Caregivers and Volunteers SCZ686A
bullet Contact Documentation Log (SC909) - not online
 CWS/CMS Forms:
bullet Service Management Section: Contact Notebook


Overview  

The Department of Family and Children's Services (DFSC) under contract with the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) Community Care Licensing Division (CCLD) is responsible for reviewing criminal record information, investigating relevant arrests and processing requests for exemptions, consistent with the policies and procedures of the CCLD.

The California Law Enforcement Telecommunication System (CLETS) provides social workers with verification that an individual has no criminal history in the state of California. CLETS also provides copies of criminal histories (rap sheets) of individuals who have been charged with or convicted of crimes in California. The social worker submits an inquiry to CLETS for every individual needing clearance for a relative or non-relative family member (NREFM) home approval and placement of a child. Subsequently, each of those individuals must submit to Live Scan Fingerprinting within ten (10) judicial days of the CLETS request. Certain criminal histories preclude approving a home for placement of a child.

    < Return to OPP Table of Contents | ^ Back to Top of Page
   
Who Must be Checked  

Criminal background checks must be conducted on the following people when a relative or non-relative extended family member (NREFM) is being assessed for a home approval:

  • All relatives and non-relative extended family members applying to be a placement for a child.
  • Other persons age 18 years or older residing in the caregiver's home.

For any of the above persons who must submit to a background check and is found to have a criminal record, the social worker must request a Director's Exemption prior to approving the home. 

The Out-of-State Disclosure & Criminal Record Statement (LIC 508 D) must be signed and criminal background checks must be obtained on the following additional persons, before actually placing a child in the home: 

  • Other persons age 18 years or older (other than professionals providing services to the child) known to the social worker to have significant contact with the child, including any person who has a familial or intimate relationship with any person living in the home.
  • Any persons 14 years old or older living in the home who the social worker believes may have a criminal record.
    • Criminal record check information concerning these persons is recorded in a CWS/CMS Contact in the child's case or on a Contact Documentation Log (SC909).  The information does not need to be entered on the SOC 815 form. 
  •  

For any of the additional above persons who must submit to a background check and is found to have a criminal record, the social worker must request a Director's Exemption prior to placing the child in the home.

    < Return to OPP Table of Contents | ^ Back to Top of Page
   
What Does a Criminal Check Include  

A full criminal record check includes:

  • A record check of the California Law Enforcement Telecommunication System (CLETS), which social workers request by submitting a Sheriff's Dept. Criminal Record Check Request (CLETS) - Combined SCZ 686A-SCZ152 for Caregivers and Volunteers SCZ686A, and

  • Confirmation of the CLETS record check from the Department of Justice (DOJ), obtained through Live Scan fingerprinting, and

  • A criminal record history from the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).
    < Return to OPP Table of Contents | ^ Back to Top of Page
   
What Form to Use  

Requests for CLETS must be accompanied by a referral for Live Scan fingerprinting.  No CLETS request is processed without the accompanying Live Scan Referral. The purpose of this step is to ensure that DFCS is in compliance with the Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) 16504.5(b) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) requirement that every person for whom a CLETS request is made is fingerprinted within ten (10) days of the CLETS request. Even if the person does not comply with fingerprinting, the completion of the Live Scan Referral shows the Department's effort in notifying that person of the requirement.

To assist social workers in meeting this requirement, the CLETS request and the Live Scan Referral form have been combined into one form.  Social workers use the Sheriff's Dept. Criminal Record Check Request (CLETS) - Combined SCZ 686A-SCZ152 for Caregivers and Volunteers SCZ686A when requesting criminal record histories for:

  • A caregiver (primary applicant)
  • Any adult residing in the caregiver's home (additional adult)
  • Any adult known to the social worker to have significant contact with the child, including any person who has a familial or intimate relationship with any person liven in the home (additional adult)
  • Any person between the age of 14-18 living in the home who the social worker believes may have a criminal record
  • A respite care provider (additional adult)
    < Return to OPP Table of Contents | ^ Back to Top of Page
   
CLETS Results  

Convictions for Non-Exemptible Crimes

The results of a criminal record check must be reviewed to determine if there is a history of criminal convictions.  If there is a conviction, a further determination must be made as to whether the conviction is for an exemptible crime or for a non-exemptible crime under state and federal criteria. 

The social worker:

If.. then..

the crime is on the state

non-exemptible crimes list

 

it is non-exemptible, and the home cannot be approved.

the crime is not on the state non-exemptible crimes list

determine if it is a felony conviction.

If.. then..
it is a felony  conviction
  • Use the lists to determine if the felony crime is a federal non-exemptible crime or a federal five year ban crime.
If.. then..

the crime is not on the federal non-exemptible or a federal five year ban crime list

 

proceed with the Director's Exemption process.
the crime is on the federal non-exemptible or a federal five year ban crime list

the home may not be exempted.*

*This law applies to:

  • Relatives and NREFMs applying for home approvals after Oct. 1, 2008 and to all other adults who reside in the home.
  • Individuals who move into appproved homes after Oct. 1, 2008
  • Individuals who are found after Oct. 1, 2008 to have significant contact with a child who is placed in an approved home.


  • Consults with County Counsel if there are questions.

If the the individual's criminal conviction may not be exempted, the home cannot be approved while the individual resides in the home.  An individual who cannot be considered for a Director's Exemption because he or she has been convicted of a crime on the state or federal non-exemptible crimes list or the federal five year ban crimes list may appeal the determination.  Upon appeal, the determination may be reviewed by a Greivance Review Agent to determine whether the crime for which the individual has been convicted meets the statutory language for a state or federal non-exemptible crime or federal five year ban crime. 

If an individual is found to have any misdemeanor or felony convictions for crimes that are exemptible, a Simplified Exemption or Director's Exemption must be signed, before the home can be approved and the child placed in the home.



Criminal Charges with No Disposition

If the Live Scan results indicate that an individual has an arrest charge and there is no disposition, the social worker must determine if an investigation of the arrest is needed.  Refer to OPP Chapter 7-15: Subsequent Arrest Notifications and Arrest-Only Investigations on Initial Approvals for complete procedures for arrest only charges.

Based on policy and procedures approved by the Department of Justice, the social worker may discuss all convictions noted on the rap sheet with the subject.  It is not necessary to obtain a Judgment of Conviction prior to this discussion. It is also permissible to show the rap sheet to the subject.  If the subject is an adult living in the home, the subject's rap sheet shall not be shown to the prospective caregiver.  If the subject is the caregiver, the caregiver's rap sheet shall not be shown to his or her spouse.  (CCL Manual 7-1500)

    < Return to OPP Table of Contents | ^ Back to Top of Page
   
Requesting a CLETS Check for a Temporary, Emergency Placement  

If needing quick CLETS results for placing a child on a temporary, emergency basis, a social worker:

  • Follows procedures for an urgent request through the Assessment Center, or
  • Directly contacts the DOJ Command Center at (916) 227-3244
    • The Command Center provides 24-hour-a-day CLETS record checks only for temporary placements pending the Initial Hearing.
    • The social worker provides the Command Center with the specific DFCS phone number (on file at the DOJ), (408) 369-4000, to verify that the social worker is authorized to receive CLETS criminal information.
    • The Command Center verbally reports what is found regarding the criminal check.
    • The social worker requests that the DOJ Command Center sends a written response to confirm what was provided verbally. This confirmation is filed in the child's case file.

For continued placement of the child in the relative or caregiver home:

  • WIC § 16504.5(b) requires that that Live Scan fingerprinting be initiated by the Department, within ten (10) judicial days of a California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (CLETS) check, unless the whereabouts of the subject of the check are unknown or the subject of the check refuses to submit to the fingerprint check.
    • Live Scan is considered initiated when the adult has submitted to finger printing.  
    • If Live Scan fingerprinting is not completed for each individual requiring it, the social worker must assure that either the person who was not Live Scanned or the child is removed from the home.
    < Return to OPP Table of Contents | ^ Back to Top of Page
   
Requesting a Non-urgent CLETS Check   Most CLETS requests are made for regular (non-urgent) priority responses.  These responses a generally received within two business days. For relative and NREFM caregiver assessments needing a regular priority response, the social worker:
  • Faxes a completed Combined SCZ 686A-SCZ152 for Caregivers and Volunteers for each relative or NREFM or additional adult needing clearance to the Assessment Center -Fax: (408)938-4009.
    • A CLETS request will not be submitted to the Sheriff's Department, unless The Assessment Center receives a Live Scan Referral (SCZ152) with the CLETS request.

The staff at the Assessment Center:

  • Reviews and signs the SCZ686A and faxes it to the Sheriff's Department.
  • Ponies a copy of the Live Scan Referral (SCZ152) to the DFCS Administrative Support Bureau, Attn: Randy Parker, 373 W. Julian St. Office, 5th floor.
  • Mails the original Live Scan Referral (SCZ152) to the relative or NREFM caregiver.  

The Sheriff's Department's staff checks for criminal records in the CLETS and FBI databases and faxes the responses (“No criminal record” or a copy of the criminal record) to the Assessment Center.

The Assessment Center staff routes hard copies of the criminal record results in a sealed envelope marked “Confidential” to social workers within approximately one business day, unless other arrangements are made.

WIC § 16504.5(b) requires that that Live Scan fingerprinting be initiated by the Department, within ten (10) judicial days of a California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (CLETS) check, unless the whereabouts of the subject of the check are unknown or the subject of the check refuses to submit to the fingerprint check.

  • Live Scan is considered initiated when the adult has submitted to finger printing.  
  • If Live Scan fingerprinting is not completed for each individual requiring it, the social worker must assure that either the person who was not Live Scanned or the child is removed from the home.
    < Return to OPP Table of Contents | ^ Back to Top of Page
   
Requesting an Urgent CLETS Check  

An urgent request for a criminal record check may be made for the fastest possible, high priority response. This may be necessary when a social worker in the field must immediately determine the appropriateness of releasing a child to a non-custodial parent or assess a relative or NREFM for an emergency, temporary placement. To receive an urgent response, the social worker:

  • Calls the Receiving, Assessment and Intake Center staff at (408)792-1860.
  • Provides the name, address, date of birth, Social Security number and driver's license number of each individual for whom a Rush response is necessary.
  • Gives the Assessment Center staff any necessary information to assist the staff person in completing the CLETS Request (SCZ 686A) and a Live Scan Referral (SCZ152) for each individual needing clearance.
    • A CLETS request will not be submitted to the Sheriff's Department, unless it is accompanied by a Live Scan Referral.
     
  • Tells the Assessment Center staff that an urgent response is necessary.
  • Gives the Assessment Center staff a cell phone or other number at which the social worker can be reached.
  • Receives a response by phone.
  • Receives a hard copy of the CLETS results via pony.

WIC § 16504.5(b) requires that that Live Scan fingerprinting be initiated by the Department, within ten (10) judicial days of a California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (CLETS) check, unless the whereabouts of the subject of the check are unknown or the subject of the check refuses to submit to the fingerprint check.

  • Live Scan is considered initiated when the adult has submitted to finger printing.  
  • If Live Scan fingerprinting is not completed for each individual requiring it, the social worker must assure that either the person who was not Live Scanned or the child are removed from the home.
    < Return to OPP Table of Contents | ^ Back to Top of Page
   
Criminal Record Checks for Persons in Other States  

The social worker requests criminal background checks on relative caregivers and other adults living in the home in other states through the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department using the Sheriff's Dept. Criminal Record Check Request (CLETS) - Combined SCZ 686A-SCZ152 for Caregivers and Volunteers.

The requirement for Live Scan fingerprinting within five days of the CLETS request applies to persons living in other states. If the social worker requests a preliminary criminal record on an individual in a relative home in another state, the social worker must follow-up to ensure that the individual is fingerprinted by Live Scan in the other state within five (5) judicial days .  Therefore, prior to requesting a criminal background check through Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department, the social worker verifies that Live Scan fingerprinting is available to the individual in the other state. 

    < Return to OPP Table of Contents | ^ Back to Top of Page
   
Documenting Results of a CLETS Check  
  • For Caregivers and All Adults Living in the Caregiver's Home

    The date upon which the CLETS check results are received by the social worker is entered on the SOC 815, page 3, Criminal Background Checks. The worker writes the date in the box labeled CLETS, in line with the individual's name. 

 
  • For Individuals Having Significant Contact with the Child, Not Living in the Home or for A Child between the Ages of 14-18 Who the Worker Believes May Have a Criminal History.

    The results are documented in CWS/CMS Contact Page and are not documented on the SOC 815.

    < Return to OPP Table of Contents | ^ Back to Top of Page
   
Other References  
bullet2 Live Scan Fingerprinting
bullet2 OPP Chapter 7-13: Director's Exemption
bullet2 List of State non-Exemptible Crimes
bullet2 List of Federal non-Exemptible and Federal Five Year Ban Crimes
    < Return to OPP Table of Contents | ^ Back to Top of Page