§ 14-1-34. Placement of dependent and neglected children Criminal records of foster parents made available.
(a) If, after a hearing on any petition, a child shall be found to be dependent or neglected within the meaning of this chapter, the court shall by decree assign the custody of the child to the director of children, youth and families, for any period that shall seem fit to the court; and the director of children, youth and families shall become entitled to the custody of the child to the exclusion of any other person. The court may at any time, for good cause shown, modify or revoke the decree.
(b) The department of children, youth and families shall apply to the bureau of criminal identification of the state police or the local police department for a nationwide criminal records check of prospective foster parents or the department of children, youth and families may directly process a nationwide criminal records check of prospective foster parents and any household member age 18 and older. The check will conform to the applicable federal standards including the taking of fingerprints to identify the applicant. The department of children, youth and families shall request the attorney general, through the division of criminal identification, to make available any criminal record of present and prospective foster parents. The attorney general shall immediately comply with that request, and the department of children, youth and families shall examine these records in determining the suitability of these persons to be foster parents. The criminal record check shall be conducted without charge to the foster parents. At the conclusion of the background check required in this section, the state police, attorney general, or the local police department shall promptly destroy the fingerprint record of the applicant obtained pursuant to this chapter.
(c) No license shall be issued by the department of children, youth and families to any individual seeking to be licensed as a foster parent until such time as the results of both the nationwide and statewide, criminal record background check, including the nature of any prior criminal record, are forwarded to the department of children, youth and families. The department may authorize the placement of a child in a prospective foster home pending licensure for a period not to exceed six (6) months only after the department has conducted a DCYF background check pursuant to § 40-13.2-3.1 and a statewide criminal record background check. In the event the department is unable to complete the licensing process within six (6) months of the child's placement in the foster home, and if the department determines that continued placement of the child in said foster home is in the child's best interest, the department shall file a petition with the family court to seek authorization to allow the child(ren) to remain in the foster home pending completion of the licensing process. The department shall provide notice of all such petitions to the office of the child advocate, children(s) parent/guardian, and CASA attorney.
(P.L. 1944, ch. 1441, § 25; G.L. 1956, § 14-1-34; Reorg. Plan No. 1, 1970; P.L. 1978, ch. 77, § 1; P.L. 1981, ch. 285, § 1; P.L. 1982, ch. 231, § 1; P.L. 1993, ch. 138, art. 43, § 1; P.L. 2000, ch. 107, § 1; P.L. 2001, ch. 77, art. 23, § 2; P.L. 2007, ch. 23, § 1; P.L. 2007, ch. 25, § 1; P.L. 2007, ch. 73, art. 22, § 1; P.L. 2016, ch. 147, § 1; P.L. 2016, ch. 154, § 1.)