Foster Parents and Background Checks

We are looking at another example of the wide-ranging impact of background checks. This time it involves Native American children who are waiting for foster parents.

The pool of eligible parents will be subject to background checks. It’s the result of the Native American Children’s Safety Act passed through Congress in June.

The bill requires criminal background checks for prospective foster parents. Following background checks, tribal courts assign foster parents to children in need.

This is important and that importance is underlined by some staggering numbers. According to the National Indian Child Welfare Association, Native American children end up in foster care at a rate of more than two times the rate of the general population. Two to four times the expected level are awaiting adoption.

The bill also means background checks will be required to those working in the foster care facilities and any people living in the household where the children are to be placed.

There are more disturbing numbers. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, Native American populations experience violent crimes at a rate of more than twice that of the rest of the nation. They also experience much greater rates of poverty and unemployment.

Background checks are very important and that importance reaches beyond the pre-employment screening process.