An overhaul of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s background check system has left kids in limbo as agencies wait for the results of background checks.
The issue was raised at Tuesday’s Scioto County Children Services Board meeting by a concerned great-grandmother attempting to get approved for kinship care. Her great-grandchild was removed from its mother back in May and placed in another living situation.
The great-grandma immediately submitted to a drug screen and began the process to be approved as a kinship caregiver. Unfortunately, she’s still waiting for the results of her background check. “I was told they were backed up and I can’t get a callback. I can’t find out, no one will tell me.”
She says the child was moved to a placement in Marietta and she has concerns about the living situation. “The investigator has responded a couple of times saying they are not back.”
We Don’t Have Them For Anybody
Officials from SCCS confirmed the delay in background check results. “We don’t have them for anybody, unfortunately. I’ve got multiple teachers through the county who are trying to renew their licenses that have come up against this. You don’t have the results because they are not available. Since the BCI overhaul has taken place we don’t have any of them back.”
The great-grandmother raised the concern that if her results aren’t back, that the background checks for where her grandchild is placed might be incomplete as well. She said she’s worked with another government agency for 23 years and realizes there are rules that must be followed. “You think you’re going by the rules, you think you’re doing everything right. But you’re hurting this child or these children. I don’t want it to be drawn out longer. “
Scioto County Children Services Director Jason Mantell said he would look into the matter to make sure that the background check was the only hold-up. He said there are sometimes other factors at play that caseworkers are not at liberty to share.
The concerned great-grandma had one last plea. “It is my understanding children should be reunited with their family, not cut off.”
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