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When Does Maryland Require Background Checks for Child Care Workers?

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In order to safeguard the best interests of children residing within the state, Maryland law requires certain employers and employees to undergo a criminal background check. In order to work with children, these employers and employees must submit to a review of their criminal history at both the state and federal levels.

Which Facilities are Required to Obtain Criminal Background Checks?

Under Maryland Code of Family Law Section 5-551, certain facilities must obtain criminal background checks for all employers and employees. These facilities include but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Child Care Centers licensed under Maryland Code of Education Title 9.5, Subtitle 4;
  • Family Child Care Homes and Large Family Child Care Homes registered under Maryland Code of Education Title 9.5, Subtitle 3;
  • Child Care Homes licensed under Maryland Code of Human Services Title 9;
  • Child Care Institutions licensed under Maryland Code of Family Law Title 5, Subtitle 5 or Title 9 of the Human Services Article;
  • Juvenile Detention, Correction, and Treatment Facilities established under Title 9 of the Human Services Article;
  • Public Schools defined under Maryland Code of Education Title 1;
  • Private and Nonpublic Schools filing annual reports under Maryland Code of Education Title 2;
  • Foster Care Family Homes and Group Facilities defined under Title 5, Subtitle 5 of the Family Law Article;
  • Home Health and Residential Service Agencies authorized under Maryland Code of Health—General Title 19;
  • Recreation Centers and Programs primarily catering to minor children; and
  • Day and Residential Camps primarily catering to minor children.

Which Individuals are Required to Obtain Criminal Background Checks?

Under Section 5-551, certain individuals must obtain a criminal background check in the best interest of children. These individuals include:

  • People attempting to adopt a child through a placement agency;
  • People attempting to become the guardian of a child;
  • People appointed to become the guardian of a child;
  • Adult relatives who receive placement of a child through a local department;
  • Adults who live in a family child care home, large family child care home, informal child care facility, foster care home, or child care home;
  • Adults who reside with a person seeking adoption or guardianship of a child;
  • People who perform, or agree to perform, informal child care;
  • Parents or guardians of a child in out-of-home placement, if requested by a local department; and
  • Adults who reside with a parent or guardian of a child in out-of-home placement, if requested by a local department.

Additionally, Section 5-551 authorizes facilities and local departments to require criminal background checks for volunteers who work with children.

Let Us Help You Today

If you have legal questions about Maryland laws regulating child custody, care, or support, it can be extremely useful to speak with a proficient family law attorney. The Bel Air child visitation attorneys at Schlaich & Thompson, Chartered have more than 60 years of combined legal experience in family and criminal law, including child custody, care, and support. If you need legal help, contact us today for an initial consultation.

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