The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to notify social services districts, the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, voluntary authorized agencies and in-state and out-of-state adoption agencies of the provisions of Chapter 623 of the Laws of 2008 that amended section 378-a (2) of the Social Services Law (SSL) regarding criminal history record checks for foster and adoptive parents. Effective October 1, 2008, certain crimes committed by applicants to be foster or adoptive parents will mandatorily disqualify them from becoming foster or adoptive parents. Furthermore, if already certified or approved foster or adoptive parents are convicted of these crimes after October 1, 2008, they must have their certification or approval revoked. The category of presumptive disqualifying crimes is eliminated by Chapter 623 of the Laws of 2008.
Chapter 623 of the Laws of 2008 does not impact persons who were fully certified or approved as foster or adoptive parents prior to October 1, 2008, for convictions that occurred prior to that date. Chapter 623 of the Laws of 2008 does not change in any way the requirements regarding crimes committed by household members age 18 and over. Discretionary consideration, based upon a safety assessment, remains the procedure when a criminal history record check reveals any arrests or convictions regarding any such persons.Regulatory amendments to 18 NYCRR parts 421 and 443 will be filed on an emergency basis to implement the requirements of Chapter 623 of the Laws of 2008. This ADM is to be used in conjunction with 07-OCFS-ADM-01 [State and National Criminal History Record Checks (for Foster/Adoptive Parents)] issued on February 7, 2007, in order to have complete up-to-date guidance on the subject of criminal history record checks for foster and adoptive parents. 07-OCFS-ADM-01 remains in effect except for the provisions regarding presumptive disqualifying crimes.