General Laws

Section 26A. When deciding whether to approve or reject a registration of interest for foster care placement, the department shall conduct a review of any misdemeanor offense discovered through a criminal offender record information search conducted under section 172B of chapter 6 in order to assist the department in accurately evaluating whether the mere existence of the offense has a substantial effect on the applicant’s current or future ability to assume and carry out the responsibilities of a foster parent in such a manner that the rights of the child to sound health and normal physical, mental, spiritual and moral development are insured. The review shall include, but not be limited to, a review of the following: (i) the time that has elapsed between the date of the offense and the filing of the registration of interest; (ii) the seriousness and specific circumstances of the offense; (iii) the number and nature of other offenses; (iv) the age of the offender at the time of the offense; (v) the findings and recommendations of the family resource worker assigned by the department to discuss the facts surrounding the misdemeanor with the applicant; (vi) the recommendations given to the family resource worker by personal or employment references chosen by the applicant or received otherwise; (vii) the current and future needs of the child to be placed and the probable effect that the misdemeanor would have on the applicant’s ability to fulfill those needs; (viii) any reports or recommendations received by the department from the applicant’s parole or probation officer if 1 was assigned; (ix) a copy of the police report pertaining to the offense in question if obtainable within a reasonable period of time or discussions with a police officer familiar with the facts surrounding the offense; and (x) discussions with the child to be placed regarding his current and past relationship with the applicant, unless these discussions are inappropriate. Nothing in this section shall affect the discretion of the department to approve or reject the registration of interest for foster care placement.