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Issue Alert - 08-04-05

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Date:

Apr 07, 2008

Program Area:

Child Day Care (CDC)

Issue Summary:

Proposed and Current CDC Providers will be disqualified if data match shows they have been charged with “listed” crimes.

Persons Affected:

Parents receiving CDC and childcare providers who receive or are seeking to receive CDC payments.

For More Information:

Center for Civil Justice 320 S. Washington, 2nd Floor Saginaw, MI 48607 (989) 755-3120, (800)724-7441 Fax: (989) 755-3558 E-mail: info@ccj-mi.org

Michigan Poverty Law Program 611 Church Street, Suite 4A Ann Arbor, MI 48104-3000 (734) 998-6100 (734) 998-9125 Fax


Background

DHS has long had a policy of doing background checks on proposed child day care providers, as well as renewed checks on current providers.  DHS checks to see if the provider has been convicted of a “disqualifying” crime.  A list of crimes can be found at  http://www.mfia.state.mi.us/olmweb/ex/CrimeCodesExhibit/CrimeCodesExhibit.pdf or by links from PAM 704.

What's Happening?

Effective April 1, 2008,  DHS will disqualify current  CDC providers and deny applications of providers who have an adult living in the home who has been charged with the one of the disqualifying crimes.   A conviction is not necessary.  In addition,  if a provider states on the CDC application that the provider has not been charged with a crime,  and it later turns out that the provider has been charged with any crime – not just a disqualifying crime – then the provider will be disqualified regardless of the nature of the crime.  If a worker thinks that a crime that is not included in the list could endanger the health or safety of a child, then the worker may bring that to the attention of the DHS central office.  The new policy is contained in PAM 703 and 704. 

The local office must run all required criminal history checks and central registry checks prior to enrollment/re-enrollment of the relative care provider. The effective date of enrollment cannot be before the date the verification related to these background checks is received. No care can be authorized for periods prior to the effective date of enrollment.

If approved, the effective date of enrollment for a day care aide or relative care provider is the most recent of the following:

• The date care began,

The client’s effective date of eligibility,

• The relative care provider’s or the day care aide’s 18th birthday, or

The date verification is received indicating an adult household member with a criminal conviction or pending criminal charge, no longer resides in the home of the relative care provider . 

Note that payments will only be authorized after DHS receives verification that the person with a conviction or charge has left the home. DHS will not go back to the actual date of departure if it is an earlier date.

If DHS finds that the provider has a disqualifying crime, DHS must deny the provider’s application or terminate the CDC.   DHS must send the provider a DHS-759, Request for Administrative Review of Criminal Conviction/Pending Charges notice. If the disqualification is a result of a ICHAT match (computer match), a Reconciliation and Recoupment Specialist will send the person applying to be a provider, or the adult household member with the criminal history, information on how to contest the criminal history hit. 

What Should Advocates Do?

1. Help clients request hearings if they feel they were denied, or disqualified from, enrollment as a child daycare provider incorrectly.

2.  Help clients contest the criminal history information if they believe it is incorrect.  

3.  Warn parents and kinship caregivers that they will not be eligible for child day care assistance to pay bills incurred while their Child Day Care application is pending until their provider is approved.  In addition, if the provider has a person with past or pending criminal charges in the home, the child day care will not be approved prior to the date that DHS receives proof this individual has left the provider’s home.

What Should Clients Do?

1.     If you are or want to be a provider, never lie about a past conviction or a pending criminal charge, no matter how small.  If DHS discovers the lie, you will be disqualified even if the crime itself is not disqualifying or the charges are dismissed later on.

2.     Parents and kinship caregivers should try to get proposed child day care providers approved as soon as possible after they know they will need child day care. 

3.     If you are a provider who is threatened with disqualification because of someone who lives with you, submit proof that the person with the record has left the home as soon as possible.  Payments cannot be made until DHS receives this proof. 

4.     If you are disqualified from being a provider based on your criminal record and you do not think the criminal record is really yours,  ask your child support specialist how to contest a criminal record.  Sometimes people give false identities when they are arrested and convicted, which can cause problems for innocent people whose identity was used. 

5.     Request a hearing with DHS if you feel the denial or termination of your enrollment as  a child day care provider was not consistent with policy on which crimes can disqualify a provider.

Finding Help

Most legal aid and legal services offices handle these types of cases, and they do not charge a fee.

You can locate various sources of legal and related services, including the free legal aid office that serves your county, at MichiganLegalAid.org.

You can also look in the yellow pages under "attorneys" or call the toll-free lawyer referral number, (800) 968-0738.