Tulsa Foster Care Worker Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

By Michael Klazema on 9/11/2015
A man from Tulsa, Oklahoma who previously worked with foster parents and foster children through a nationwide nonprofit organization was recently arrested and hit with child pornography charges. The suspect apparently passed all necessary background checks prior to starting his position in fall 2013, but the checks raised no red flags.

From September 2013 to May 2014, the suspect worked with the Bair Foundation Child & Family Ministries. The Bair Foundation is a nationwide nonprofit organization that works to "ensure the safety and well-being of foster youth while working with their families of origin in their reunification efforts." When screening foster parents and other individuals set to have close contact with foster children, Tulsa branch of the Bair Foundation runs extensive background checks through the local government's Department of Health and Human Services. DHS rules require that anyone hoping to work in the foster care system be completely clean of any criminal history, including sex crimes. The suspect evidently passed his background checks without issue back in 2013.

Though he was only with the Bair Foundation for a short period of time, the suspect did have frequent contact with kids. According to local Tulsa news outlets, he served as a "respite foster parent", essentially a babysitter for kids whose full-time foster parents need a short break. In other words, when a Bair Foundation foster parent in Tulsa needed a night or two to themselves, a respite foster parent would take over and watch the kids. In most cases, respite foster parents are left alone and unsupervised with the kids put in their charge.

So far, no one in the press is sure why the suspect had such a short stint with the Bair Foundation, or whether or not his truncated period of time in the job had anything to do with his later child pornography charges. As of yet, though, there have been no accusations of sexual abuse or assault levied against him. Police arrested the suspect after flagging his IP address on a network known for the trading of child pornography.

Unfortunately, there isn't much that employers can do to be sure that their workers aren't trading or possessing child pornography. Background checks that look for criminal records, presence on sex offender registries, or child abuse history have historically been a good way of keeping predators outside of schools and away from youth-serving organizations. But beyond device or hard drive scans for this kind of material, it's tough for employers to flag people who possess child pornography, but haven't been caught yet. It's a reason why so many youth-serving organizations or child-care facilities won't ever leave a single adult alone and unsupervised with kids: there's just too much of a risk without enough of a guarantee that the kids are being left in a safe situation.

Industry News

Tag Cloud
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • March 22 Countrywide, states and local municipalities have committed to ban the box legislation, seeking to equalize opportunities in the job market for those with criminal histories.
  • March 22

    Thinking about becoming a firefighter? Here are some of the background check requirements you might face.

  • March 20

    Four Department of Commerce employees are out after their background checks resulted in security clearance denials. All four had worked high-ranking positions for months despite incomplete background checks.

  • March 15 As more states legalize the recreational use of cannabis, they contend with the emergence of new industries surrounding marijuana cultivation and production. 
  • March 14 In most cases, it is easy to determine where an issue might show up on a pre-employment background check. Citations for traffic violations or reckless driving charges will appear on a motor vehicle record check. Verdicts in a civil court case will show on a civil court background check. And criminal convictions—from petty theft to violent felonies—show up on criminal background checks.
  • March 13 How many years back do employment background checks go? This question can have multiple different answers depending on the situation.
  • March 13 A new bill in Florida would require landlords of apartment complexes to present tenants with verifications of employee background checks to give them peace of mind the people working in and around their homes are trustworthy.
  • March 08 Police officers working with the University of Texas at Arlington recently arrested a man who had avoided police capture on a warrant out of Oregon for nearly two decades. The man, whose real name is Daniel Charles Ray Hanson, spent those 17 years using a variety of fake names and identification documents to move around the country, often engaging with educational institutions under false pretenses. Police say Hanson regularly went by at least three different aliases. He sports a rap sheet that stretches back to an arson conviction in 1995. 
  • March 07

    The Future of EEOC Guidance in Texas Is Up in the Air

    The EEOC issued guidance in 2012 warning employers about the dangers of enforcing categorical policies to bar candidates with criminal histories. That guidance is not enforceable in Texas thanks to a recent court ruling.

  • March 05 Vermont is the latest state to restrict employers’ access to and use of social media accounts of employees and applicants.