Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006: Summary of Child Welfare Provisions

Background

Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 is a Federal act passed to protect children from sexual exploitation and violent crime, to prevent child abuse and child pornography, to promote Internet safety, and to honor the memory of Adam Walsh and other child crime victims. Below is an abridged portion of the Adam Walsh Law, it is not all inclusive.

Brief Overview

P. L. 109-248 is primarily intended to protect children from violent crime with a particular emphasis placed on preventing sex offenders’ access to children. To achieve these aims, P. L. 109-248 increases the capacity of an array of Federal, State, tribal, and local systems (particularly justice systems) to create, pool, and share resources (e.g., national registries of sex offenders and perpetrators of child abuse, neglect, and exploitation) to identify individuals who pose a threat of harm to children. P. L. 109-248 strengthens the ability of the courts to administer penalties to perpetrators of child sex offenses. In addition, P. L. 109-248 promotes and prescribes initiatives and programs (e.g., funds for online child safety and fingerprinting printing programs) aimed at preventing crimes against children.

Summary of Child Welfare Provisions (as it relates to DCF searches-only)

Increases Criminal Background Check Procedures Concerning Prospective Foster/Adoptive Parents and Other Adults in the Foster/Adoptive Home & Amends title IVE State Plan Requirements
(Effective on October 1, 2006)

Section 152 requires the States to have procedures in place to conduct criminal background checks on prospective foster and adoptive parents regardless of whether foster care maintenance payments or adoption assistance payments are to be made of behalf of the child under the State plan. In addition to the criminal background check procedures specified in the IVE State plan, P. L. 109-248 will require States to include fingerprint-based checks of prospective foster and adoptive parents through a national crime information database “before the prospective foster/adoptive parent may be finally approved for placement of a child.”

Section 152 adds a new subparagraph “C” to the title IVE State Plan requirements at section 471(a)(20) which requires the States to conduct a background check using its child abuse and neglect registry system with respect to prospective foster/adoptive parents and any other adult(s) living in the home of such prospective parent. “Before a prospective foster or adoptive parent may be finally approved for placement of a child,” the States will be required to check child abuse and neglect registries in each State the prospective foster/adoptive parents, and other adult(s) living in the home, have resided in the 3 preceding 5 years.

How to request an Adam Walsh check – Private Agencies

How to request an Adam Walsh check (commonly referred to as a Child Protective Service or a CPS check). The following information will serve as a guide to what information must be included in your request.

Such checks can be made upon the receipt of the following:

A signed and notarized release form from the individual to be checked.
(The individual’s information MUST be legible.)

  • First Name
  • Last name
  • Maiden/Alias Name(s) if applicable
  • DOB
  • SS#
  • Massachusetts address (if remembered and not a critical piece of information)

Language must be included in the release noting the agency to whom the results are to be sent and the address. Also included contact information for the requestor. There is no fee for the check at this time and turnaround time is usually less than 30 calendar days from receipt of the request/release. Unsigned and documents not notarized will not be process.

Forward the release, along with a preposted, pre-addressed return envelope needs to be forwarded to:

Department of Children and Families
Background Record Check (BRC) unit
600 Washington Street, Sixth Floor
Boston, MA  02111

Form

How to request an Adam Walsh check – for State/Public agencies

If you are with a state agency needing an Adam Walsh check/Central Registry check, please send a fax request on your agency letterhead with the person (s) name, DOB and SSN. Also include your contact information including your position, title, telephone number and return fax number of the requesting worker, providing the identifying information of the person(s) to be checked to (617) 748-2441.  In the event that a substantial history of involvement is found, a signed release or court order may be necessary for the provision of detailed information.

There is no fee for the check at this time and turnaround time is usually less than 30 calendar days from receipt of the request/release.


This information is provided by the Department of Children and Families.