Background Search

The state maintains a computer system, the Centralized Confidential Database, that contains information related to child abuse and neglect investigations conducted by local departments of social services. Searches of the database are done when:

  • An individual completes a notarized form (Child Protective Services Background Clearance Form) and requests that the department complete a search. This request is most often done for verification of the absence of any history that would preclude a person from working with or caring for children.
  • If the court requests a search by providing a court order requiring the department to release information.
  • If an individual wants to be considered by another state’s department of social services to become a foster or adoptive parent in their state and that person has lived in Maryland in the past. This is often referred to as an Adam Walsh check.

Any individual requiring a Child Protective Services Background Search must complete a Child Protective Services Background Clearance Form (DHR/SSA 1279A) by following these instructions. The instruction sheet explains where the form should be sent based on the applicant’s current address.