Fingerprinting for Childcare & Adoption

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Didn't pass fingerprinting due to unfair CPS report

June 2010

I was wondering if anyone out there might know about Trustline fingerprinting. I was recently fingerprinted for a job working with preschoolers and infants for the ''Trustline'' database. I have worked with kids of all ages in the public school system for ten years and was fingerprinted and cleared many times over because I have never been arrested or convicted of abusing a child. Today, in the mail I recieved something saying I was a suspect in a report that took place eleven years ago.

At first I thought it was a mistake, but, then I remembered when my daughter was a baby, I was having panic attacks and saw a doctor about some anti anxiety meds that I had taken years before. He said he thought I shouldn't breastfeed while I took them. At the follow up appt. I reported that I still breastfed her. A second opinion doctor said I could. He reported me to child protective services for medical neglect of my daughter. Usually medical neglect means your child is sick and needs a doctor and you don't take her. This was an unusual interpretation of medical neglect. Two women came out from cps and stayed for two hours. I thought that they were satisfied that my daughter was not in any way neglected I didn't even follow up because I was so busy and was not charged or arrested for anything.

Can they even legally call me a suspect when I was not charged with anything? And is this accusation going to follow me around for the rest of my life? It already looks like it has cost me the job I was hoping to start in a couple of weeks. This seems so unfair because anyone can accuse you of something and get it on your record for the rest of your life. It especially bothers me to me named as a suspect when all I really am is an accusee. Shouldn't it be taken off the record if it is investigated and you are not found to be guilty of a crime? I am extremely gentle and kind with children and feel that this is very unfair. Help.

Branded for life

Many years ago, I worked for the non-profit that administers the public information and outreach portion of TrustLine. So, a big caveat is that my knowledge is outdated, and my memory may be fuzzy. That said, here's what I can tell you.

The TrustLine background check is conducted by the state department of social services, and is identical to the check that employees of state-licensed child cares must undergo. I think it checks California DOJ records (fingerprint records), FBI (fingerprint) records, and the Child Abuse Central Index (CACI), which is a name check. Sounds as though your name may have come up on CACI as a result of the CPS investigation? I'm pretty sure only a SUBSTANTIATED case of child abuse or neglect would lead to a TrustLine denial.

A few questions that were unclear to me in your post. Did you receive a denial letter from TrustLine? Otherwise, was this a request for more information or just them notifying you that your name had come up through one of the background checks? Who sent you the notification? I would highly recommend calling TrustLine and asking what your status is. If they tell you you've been denied, ask if there is a process for appeal. If the letter you received didn't clearly state you've been denied a TrustLine clearance it's quite possible things may still be in-process and no decision has been made about your clearance.

Your posting seemed to address two different issues. The first issue: is your name on a list of suspected child abusers (possibly CACI) and how can can you get your name off that list? I think you can fill out a form to see if your name is on CACI ( You can also learn a lot about CACI at that site. The second issue is how to get TrustLine cleared, which would be done directly through the TrustLine program.

The TrustLine number is 1-800-822-8490. If you give them your CDL number they should be able to immediately tell you whether you've been denied clearance or if your TrustLine clearance is still in process. If you have more in-depth questions about your case or need to file an appeal you will be directed to speak with someone at the state department of social services. -Good Luck!

Fingerprints rejected twice for FBI check

Dec 2008

We are trying to adopt from Ethiopia and my fingerprints have been rejected twice because they are too light. Our adoption agency is telling us that it is taking 7 months for the FBI to do a ''name only'' check. AHH! Does anyone have any ideas?

Are you fingerprints being taken with a machine or with ink and paper? The machine will immediately kick back prints that won't pass, including (my problem) prints that aren't deep enough to match your given age! This means you can try again and again until they pass. I'm not sure how you could get this done but I think the FBI can specifically take your prints for this with the 'machine'. Who knew you could have young fingerprints!

Change fingerprint agency, it happened to me twice, I am a teacher and it took them months to get back to the school saying that my fingerprints were rejected. Then, I found out that if the agent that is doing the fingerprint job didnt know how to do the job right, that she/he needs to clean very well the glass in these machines, the way that she/he needs to press your fingers on the machine, etc....I tried a new agency and my fingerprints went through no problem and we got the response in less than a month. Elena

You didn't say where you were getting your fingerprints done, when I was adopting I was advised to have it done at a police station, because they were the best at getting good prints. anon

I had a similar problem when I was trying to adopt. After the second failed attempt (computer could not 'read' my fingerprints), the adoption agency had me sign a document certifying that I had no criminal record, had a clean background, etc. Maybe your agency can offer something like that? I now work at my child's preschool; in order to work there I had to be fingerprinted and had the same problem again. I was told the same thing about the manual FBI check - that it would take months. It actually only took about 6 weeks, if that. So if you can't sign a statement with the agency and have to go the 'manual check' route, just start it ASAP and hope for the best. Good luck to you! anon

As an HR Manager I have extensive experience with fingerprinting and submissions to the FBI and DOJ. Many people including myself have difficult to read fingerprints due to low ridges. In our office we use a digital system for fingerprints, which allows us to ''see'' the fingerprints on a computer prior to submission. The El Cerrito Police Department uses this type of system as well and you can make an appointment to have your fingerprints scanned there and the results sent to any authorized DOJ registered entity, agency or employer. Final suggestion, there is a lotion, the police station actually has it there, that is used in autopsies to raise the ridges of the fingerprints. Grim, but it works and will get you the results you need. Good Luck! East Bay Mom


I'm required to use childcare provider who's been fingerprinted

Feb 2002


I will soon be placed with a baby through a foster/adopt program. The program demands that anyone who cares for the child (including daycare, nannies, etc.) must be fingerprinted and have a child-abuse screen. This seems like an important thing to do, but in the listings I read on the Network for nannies, there is never any mention of it. Does this commonly get done? Will it be hard to find a nanny if this is a requirement? It can take a couple of months for the fingerprint screens to come back, so it would be hard to get a nanny at short notice if they are not commonly getting screened for a child abuse history. I prefer a nanny or a nanny share rather than daycare for a baby. Any feedback would be welcome. A soon to be Mom

Licensed daycares and preschools are required by the State of California to have fingerprinting done for all staff. Most local daycares and preschools are licensed. So as long as you don't stumble into an unlicensed daycare (and you should always make sure they are licensed), you are fine. As for nannies, there is no State licensing for them. Some nannies do get fingerprinted through the state-run Trustline system. You can look them up - see their website So just stick to nannies that have registered with Trustline.

When I became a nanny 7 years ago, the 2 nanny agencies I got my jobs through required I be fingerprinted through a place called trustline(?). It cost around $100 and they did the fingerprinting at the police station so I would imagine all the agencies still do it today.

there is a company called Trustline which you can go to online and find out more info...they do fingerprints and background checks for about $130 I does take several months...the nanny agencies automatically get it done for their nannies but the cost of a nanny out of an agency is about $500-1000 aside from whatever hourly rate you pay depending on how much time you are using. Sharon

Anyone who works with children (from daycare to mentorship programs) are usually now required to be fingerprinted. I believe it might be a state requirement at this time. Don't be alarmed, although I didn't like the idea of it, they are just trying to make sure they keep our children safe!!! anonymous

I'd suggest that you find someone that worked for a preschool, or someone who is registered with Trustline (I'm not sure how to contact them these days, try a google serach?). It is a fairly typical requirement, especially for good daycares. Feel free to contact me! Rachel

It was my impression that fingerprinting for day care providers was mandatory in this country. Unless you are just a neighbor or a relative in a non-licensed care facility, you must be fingerprinted and undergo a background check. This is to prevent child molestors from coming into contact with children. This screening should be included in any resume presented to you from prospective nannies. They should all be licensed with a number you can check on. You need to be very careful about this. You can also go to your local police department and check on individuals. marianne