Conducting Criminal Record Checks in Arkansas

Criminal record checks are required for employment in counseling, psychology, social work, care for the elderly and individuals with disabilities, employment with a state agency involving contact with children, child welfare agencies and employment of criminal offenders.

All employees or conditional employees in licensed child care facilities or facilities operating with a church-operated exemption will be matched against records maintained by the Arkansas child abuse central registry for reports of child maltreatment. The background checks must occur prior to hire and every two years after hire. The child care facility review board may deny a license or church-operated exemption to any applicant found to have any record of child maltreatment. In the event that a legible set of fingerprints cannot be obtained after a minimum of three attempts, the review board will determine eligibility based on a name check.

In addition, without proof of rehabilitation, no person is eligible to be a child care facility owner, operator or employee in a licensed or church-operated exempt facility if that person has been found guilty of any of a list of felonies or misdemeanors involving violence or sexual misconduct.

Mandatory criminal background checks are required for ElderChoice providers--individuals and entities that provide services in the homes of individuals and that are designated by the state Division of Aging and Adult Services as ElderChoice providers.

In addition, criminal background checks are mandated for persons who provide care to the elderly or to individuals with disabilities, when the workers are placed by a private placement agency or contract staffing agency. The private placement or contracting agency is responsible for initiating the criminal background check.