2016 New Hampshire Revised Statutes
Title XII - PUBLIC SAFETY AND WELFARE
Chapter 170-E - CHILD DAY CARE, RESIDENTIAL CARE, AND CHILD-PLACING AGENCIES
Section 170-E:29-a - State Registry and Criminal Records Check for Child Care Institutions and Child Care Agencies.

NH Rev Stat § 170-E:29-a (2016) What's This?

[RSA 170-E:29-a effective until October 1, 2016; see also RSA 170-E:29-a set out below.]
    170-E:29-a State Registry and Criminal Records Check for Child Care Institutions and Child Care Agencies. –
    I. Child care institutions and child care agencies, with the exception of foster family homes, that are required to be licensed according to the provisions of this chapter shall, prior to making a final offer of employment to a person who will be responsible for the care of, or who will have regular contact with children, and upon adding a new household member, a current household member who turns 17 years of age, or other persons who will have regular contact with children, submit to the department, the names, birth names, birth dates, and addresses of such persons and other information required by the department as prescribed by rules adopted by the commissioner under RSA 541-A. The persons described in this paragraph shall submit directly to the department of safety a notarized criminal history records release form, as provided by the New Hampshire division of state police, which authorizes the release of the person's criminal records, if any, to the department. The person shall submit with the release form a complete set of fingerprints taken by a qualified law enforcement agency or an authorized employee of the department of safety. The department of safety shall complete the criminal history records check and forward such record, if any, to the department. In the event that the first set of fingerprints is invalid due to insufficient pattern, a second set of fingerprints shall be necessary to complete the criminal history records check. If, after 2 attempts, a set of fingerprints is invalid due to insufficient pattern, the department may, in lieu of the criminal history records check, accept police clearances from every city, town, or county where the person has lived during the past 5 years.
    II. (a) The department shall, for every name submitted on an application and for each person for whom information is required to be submitted pursuant to paragraph I, review the names, birth names, birth dates, and current and previous addresses of such persons against the state registry of founded abuse and neglect reports.
       (b) The department of safety shall submit the criminal history records release form to the New Hampshire division of state police, which shall conduct a criminal history records check through its records and through the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Upon completion of the background investigation, the division of state police shall release copies of the criminal conviction records to the department. The department shall maintain the confidentiality of all criminal history records information received pursuant to this paragraph.
       (c) The costs of criminal history record checks shall be borne by the licensee; provided, that the licensee may require an applicant to pay the actual costs of the criminal history check of the employee.
    III. Notwithstanding paragraph I, a licensee may make a final offer of employment and allow a person to begin working in the program while the results of the state and national criminal background check is pending provided that, prior to beginning employment, the applicant completes a sworn statement signed by a notary public or justice of the peace stating that he or she:
       (a) Does not have any felony conviction in this or any other state.
       (b) Has not been convicted of a sexual assault, assault including simple assault, any other violent crime, abuse, neglect, or any other crime that shows that they may pose a threat to well-being of children, such as a violent crime or a sexually-related crime against an adult.
       (c) Has not had a finding by the department or any administrative agency in this or any other state for abuse, neglect or exploitation of children.
    IV. The results of the federal criminal background check shall be valid for 3 years. Prior to the expiration of that 3-year period, a person required to undergo a criminal background check pursuant to this section shall submit a new set of fingerprints and undergo a subsequent federal criminal background check. If a person who is or has been employed or volunteered at a child care institution or child care agency is offered employment or volunteers at another child care institution or child care agency or a child day care agency, the person shall, before entering employment or volunteering with the new agency, undergo a New Hampshire state criminal records check through the department of safety and shall complete a sworn statement as set forth in paragraph III.
    V. If any person whose name has been submitted for a check under this section has been convicted of a violent or sexually-related crime against a child, or of a crime which shows that the person might be reasonably expected to pose a threat to a child, such as a violent crime or a sexually-related crime against an adult, the department shall:
       (a) If the person is the applicant or owner, revoke or deny the license.
       (b) If the person is a board member, household member, or child care institution or child care agency personnel, or any other person having regular contact with the enrolled children:
          (1) Inform the child care institution or child care agency that the person poses a threat to children and give the program an opportunity to take immediate corrective action to remove the person from the program, and, in conjunction with the department, to develop a corrective action plan, approved by the department, which shall ensure that the person will not be on the premises of the child care institution or child care agency and shall have no contact with children enrolled in the child care institution or child care agency; and/or
          (2) Suspend, deny, or revoke the license or permit if the child care institution or child care agency refuses to take corrective action as indicated in subparagraph (b)(1), or subsequently fails to comply with the corrective action plan approved by the department.
    VI. If any person whose name has been submitted for this check has been convicted of a felony offense or violent crime deemed directly or indirectly harmful to children in child residential care, crimes against minors or adults, except crimes as provided in paragraph V, or is the subject of a founded complaint of child abuse or neglect, the department may deny, revoke, or suspend a license, permit, or registration pending the development and implementation of a corrective action plan approved by the department. The department shall conduct an investigation in accordance with rules adopted under this subdivision to determine whether the person poses a present threat to the safety of children. The investigation shall include an opportunity for the person to present evidence on his or her behalf to show that the person does not pose a threat to the safety of children.
    VII. At the time the licensee is next due to renew the license, the licensee shall submit a notarized criminal conviction record release authorization form and a set of fingerprints to the department of safety for any existing employee or household member who is 17 years of age or older and who has not undergone a national criminal background check as of the effective date of this section. Upon receiving the results of the state and national criminal records check, if the licensee learns that a current employee has been convicted of any felony, a sexual assault, any other violent crime, assault including simple assault, abuse, neglect or any other crime that shows that they may pose a threat to well-being of children, such as a violent crime or a sexually-related crime against an adult, or has a founded allegation of abuse, neglect or exploitation against children, the licensee shall either terminate the employee or suspend the employee and promptly request a waiver from the department allowing the employee to resume working in the program. Upon receiving the results of the state and national criminal records check, if the licensee learns that a current household member has been convicted of any felony, a sexual assault, any other violent crime, assault including simple assault, abuse, neglect or any other crime that shows that the person may pose a threat to well-being of children, such as a violent crime or a sexually-related crime against an adult, or has a founded allegation of abuse, neglect or exploitation against children, the licensee shall take immediate corrective action to remove the person from the child care institution or child care agency, and, in conjunction with the department, develop a corrective action plan, approved by the department, which shall ensure that the person will not be on the premises of the child care institution or child care agency and shall have no contact with children residing in the child care institution or agency. If the licensee fails to take such corrective action, the department shall suspend the license until such time as the licensee does implement the corrective action, or it shall revoke the license.
    VIII. The commissioner shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to the confidentiality of information collected under this section and to the release, if any, of such information.

[RSA 170-E:29-a effective October 1, 2016; see also RSA 170-E:29-a set out above.]


170-E:29-a State Registry and Criminal Records Check for Child Care Institutions and Child Care Agencies. --
    I. Child care institutions and child care agencies, with the exception of foster family homes, that are required to be licensed according to the provisions of this chapter shall, prior to making a final offer of employment to a person who will be responsible for the care of, or who will have regular contact with children, and upon adding a new household member, or other persons who will have regular contact with children, submit to the department, the names, birth names, birth dates, and addresses during the preceding 5 years of such persons and other information required by the department as prescribed by rules adopted by the commissioner under RSA 541-A.
    I-a. The persons described in paragraph I shall submit directly to the department of safety a notarized criminal history record information authorization form, as provided by the New Hampshire division of state police, which authorizes the release of the person's criminal records, if any, to the department. The persons shall complete a Federal Bureau of Investigation fingerprint check using the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System through a qualified law enforcement agency or an authorized employee of the department of safety. The department of safety shall complete the criminal history records check and forward such record, if any, to the department. In the event that the first set of fingerprints is invalid due to insufficient pattern, a second set of fingerprints shall be necessary to complete the criminal history records check. If, after 2 attempts, a set of fingerprints is invalid due to insufficient pattern, the department may, in lieu of the criminal history records check, accept police clearances from every city, town, or county where the person has lived during the past 5 years.
    II. (a) For every name submitted on an application and for each person for whom information is required to be submitted pursuant to paragraph I, the department shall search for such persons against the New Hampshire sex offender and abuse and neglect registries, the sex offender and abuse and neglect registries of each state where the individual resided in the past 5 years, and the National Sex Offender Registry.
       (b) The department of safety shall submit the criminal history records release form to the New Hampshire division of state police, which shall conduct a criminal history records check through its records and through the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Upon completion of the background investigation, the division of state police shall release copies of the criminal conviction records to the department. The department shall maintain the confidentiality of all criminal history records information received pursuant to this paragraph.
       (c) The costs of criminal history record checks shall be borne by the licensee; provided, that the licensee may require an applicant to pay the actual costs of the criminal history check of the employee.
    III. Notwithstanding paragraph I, a licensee may make a final offer of employment and allow a person to begin working in the program while the results of the state and national criminal background check is pending provided that, prior to beginning employment, the applicant completes a statement stating that he or she:
       (a) Does not have any felony conviction in this or any other state.
       (b) Has not been convicted of a sexual assault, assault including simple assault, any other violent crime, abuse, neglect, or any other crime that shows that they may pose a threat to well-being of children, such as a violent crime or a sexually-related crime against an adult.
       (c) Has not had a finding by the department or any administrative agency in this or any other state for abuse, neglect or exploitation of children.
    IV. The results of the criminal background check shall be valid for 5 years. Prior to the expiration of that 5-year period, a person responsible for the care of, or who has regular contact with children in child care institutions or child care agencies, or household members, or other persons who will have regular contact with children, shall undergo a background check pursuant to this section.
    IV-a. If a person who is or has been employed or volunteered at a child care institution or child care agency is offered employment or volunteers at another child care institution or child care agency or a child day care agency, the person shall not be required to undergo the criminal records check described in paragraph I-a if the previous criminal records check was completed within the last 5 years and the person was determined by the department to be eligible for employment. Before entering employment or volunteering with the new agency, the person shall complete a statement as set forth in paragraph III.
    V. The department shall make a determination regarding the individual's eligibility for employment no later than 45 days from submission of all required information as described in paragraphs I and I-a. If any person whose name has been submitted for a check under this section is registered or required to be registered on a state sex offender registry or repository, or the National Sex Offender Registry, or has been convicted of a felony consisting of murder, child abuse or neglect, a crime against children including child pornography and trafficking, spousal abuse, a crime involving rape or sexual assault, kidnapping, arson, physical assault or battery, or a drug-related offense committed during the previous 5 years, or any other violent or sexually related misdemeanor or against a child, including child abuse, child endangerment, sexual assault, or a misdemeanor involving child pornography, or of a crime which shows that the person might be reasonably expected to pose a threat to a child, such as a violent crime or a sexually-related crime against an adult, the department shall:
       (a) If the person is the applicant or owner, revoke or deny the license.
       (b) If the person is a board member, household member, or child care institution or child care agency personnel, or any other person having regular contact with the enrolled children inform the child care institution or child care agency that the person is ineligible for employment and give the program an opportunity to take immediate corrective action to remove the person from the program, and, in conjunction with the department, to develop a corrective action plan, approved by the department, which shall ensure that the person will not be on the premises of the child care institution or child care agency and shall have no contact with children enrolled in the child care institution or child care agency.
       (c) Suspend, deny, or revoke the license or permit if the child care institution or child care agency refuses to take corrective action as indicated in subparagraph (b), or subsequently fails to comply with the corrective action plan approved by the department.
    VI. If any person whose name has been submitted for this check has been convicted of a felony offense or violent crime deemed directly or indirectly harmful to children in child residential care, crimes against minors or adults, except crimes as provided in paragraph V, or is the subject of a founded complaint of child abuse or neglect, the department may deny, revoke, or suspend a license or permit pending the development and implementation of a corrective action plan approved by the department. The department shall conduct an investigation in accordance with rules adopted under this subdivision to determine whether the person is ineligible for employment. The investigation shall include an opportunity for the person to present evidence on his or her behalf to show that the person does not pose a threat to the safety of children.
    VII. (a) Once the department has made a determination that the individual required to complete a criminal record check under paragraph I-a is eligible for employment, the department shall issue a child care employment eligibility card, which shall be valid for 5 years provided that no disqualifying convictions are subsequently submitted, and the individual remains eligible as described in RSA 170-E:7, II-a(b). The state may require additional background checks to be completed based upon conviction information submitted.
       (b) The fee for a child care employment eligibility card shall be $50, and the card shall be valid for 5 years from the date of issuance. The fee for a replacement card shall be $15.
    VIII. The commissioner shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to the confidentiality of information collected under this section and to the release, if any, of such information.

Source. 2013, 216:2, eff. Sept. 8, 2013. 2016, 158:6, eff. Oct. 1, 2016.

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