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      RS 46:282     


§282. Investigation of foster and adoptive parent applicants

           A. The Department of Children and Family Services, office of children and family services, shall investigate the background of each person who applies to be a foster or adoptive parent of a child in foster care. The investigation required by this Section shall include but shall not be limited to a determination of whether the applicant or any adult member of the applicant's household has been charged with a crime and, if so, the disposition of those charges. The office shall require each applicant and adult family member to provide fingerprints and such authorization as is necessary to conduct state and national criminal history record checks and to obtain any other information required to complete the investigation. The department is authorized to promulgate regulations as may be necessary to conduct the criminal history record checks authorized in this Section.

           B. The office of children and family services shall request such information and assistance from federal, state, or local governmental agencies as is necessary to complete the investigation required by this Section. Only information which bears a reasonable relation to the performance of the duties of a foster parent shall be requested.

           C. The office of children and family services shall not require an applicant to provide any physical identity materials other than photographs or fingerprints. Such materials shall be returned to the applicant upon completion of the investigation, and no copy of such materials may be retained by the office or by any agency to which such identity materials were transmitted.

           D. All inquiries from persons wishing to contract to care for foster children shall be responded to within three working days of the inquiry. The response shall either be the mailing of application forms or the scheduling and notification of a foster parent orientation meeting to be held within twenty-one days of the inquiry. Upon receipt of a completed application form, the background and fitness investigation concerning the prospective foster parents shall be completed and a determination regarding fitness made within ninety days of the receipt of a properly completed application, provided that the department may extend the investigatory period for the purpose of allowing potential foster parents to come into compliance with program standards. The applicants shall be notified of the determination within ten days of its completion.

           Added by Acts 1978, No. 741, §1. Acts 1983, No. 710, §1; Acts 1997, No. 1349, §2; H.C.R. 115, 2001 R.S.

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