346-154 Background checks. (a) The department shall develop standards to ensure the reputable and responsible character of an applicant to operate a child care facility, prospective employees of the applicant, household members, and new employees or household members of the provider after registration or licensure, which shall include criminal history record checks in accordance with section 846-2.7, sex offender registry checks, child abuse record checks, and adult abuse perpetrator checks.

For the purposes of this section, "adult abuse perpetrator check" means a search to determine whether an individual is known to the department as a perpetrator of abuse as defined in section 346-222, by means of a search of the individual's name and birth date in the department's adult protective services file.

(b) An applicant to operate a child care facility shall:

(1) Be subject to criminal history record checks in accordance with section 846-2.7;

(2) Submit to the department or its designee, under penalty of law, statements signed by the applicant, prospective employees of the applicant, and household members of the applicant indicating whether the applicant, any of the prospective employees, or any of the household members has ever been confirmed to have abused or neglected a child or vulnerable adult, including threatened harm; and

(3) Provide consent to the department or its designee to conduct a criminal history record check in accordance with section 846-2.7, a sex offender registry check, a child abuse record check, and an adult abuse perpetrator check, and to obtain criminal history information, sex offender registry information, child abuse record information, and adult abuse perpetrator information for verification.

(c) A provider shall:

(1) Be subject to criminal history record checks in accordance with section 846-2.7 and sex offender registry checks;

(2) Submit to the department or its designee a statement signed by any household member or any employee hired after the initial licensure or registration that requires the household member or employee to indicate, under penalty of law, whether the household member or employee has ever been confirmed to have abused or neglected a child or vulnerable adult, including threatened harm; and

(3) Provide consent to the department or its designee to conduct a criminal history record check in accordance with section 846-2.7, a sex offender registry check, a child abuse record check, and an adult abuse perpetrator check, and to obtain criminal history information, sex offender registry information, child abuse record information, and adult abuse perpetrator check information for verification.

(d) The department or its designee shall obtain information on the applicant, any household member, and any prospective employee of the applicant, including any household member or new employee retained after the applicant is issued a registration or license under this part, from the following sources:

(1) Criminal history record information through the Hawaii criminal justice data center in accordance with section 846-2.7;

(2) National and state sex offender registries; and

(3) Child abuse record information and adult abuse perpetrator check information from the department in accordance with departmental procedures.

(e) The department may deny an application for or revoke a license or registration to operate a child care facility if:

(1) The applicant, a household member, or any prospective employee has been convicted of a crime other than a minor traffic violation involving a fine of $50 or less, or ever been confirmed to have abused or neglected a child or vulnerable adult; or

(2) The department finds that the criminal history, history of registration as a sex offender, or child abuse record or adult abuse perpetrator check record of that applicant, household member, or prospective employee indicates that the applicant, household member, or prospective employee may pose a risk to the health, safety, or well-being of children.

(f) The department may request the provider to terminate the employment or residency of a new employee or household member or may suspend or revoke the license or registration of the provider who employs a new employee or who allows continued residency of a household member if:

(1) The employee or household member has been convicted of a crime other than a minor traffic violation involving a fine of $50 or less, or ever been confirmed to have abused or neglected a child or vulnerable adult; or

(2) The department finds that the criminal history, history of registration as a sex offender, or child abuse record or adult abuse perpetrator check record of the new employee or household member indicates that the new employee or household member may pose a risk to the health, safety, or well-being of children.

(g) The department shall deny an application for a license or registration, shall request the provider to terminate the employment or residency of a new employee or household member, or shall suspend or revoke the license or registration of the provider who employs a new employee or who allows continued residency of a household member if the applicant, employee, or household member:

(1) Refuses to consent to the background checks;

(2) Knowingly makes a materially false statement in connection with the background checks; or

(3) Is registered, or required to be registered, on the national sex offender registry or any state sex offender registry.

(h) The department or its designee, in obtaining and relying upon the background check information, is presumed to be acting in good faith and shall be immune from civil liability for taking or recommending action based upon the background check information. The presumption of good faith may be rebutted upon a showing of proof by a preponderance of the evidence that the department or its designee relied upon information or opinion that it knew was false or misleading or that such reliance was not reasonable. [L 1985, c 208, pt of 2; am L 1986, c 297, 3; am L 2001, c 201, 4; am L 2003, c 95, 9(6); am L 2008, c 136, 4; am L 2012, c 41, 2; am L 2016, c 88, 4]

 

Cross References

 

Child placing organizations, child caring institutions, and foster boarding homes, standards, see 346-17.

 

 

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