Question #23 – 9/4/2008 – Criminal Records and Driver’s Licenses?

My husband and I are interested in ministering to hurting children. There are a few obstacles we must and will overcome. My husband has a criminal record. He is a convicted felon with an armed robbery charge. He has no record of violence, nor sexual or child abuse. He also does not have his drivers license, but I do and could be the one who is responsible for driving. Please advise us if we would be considered for any of the many positions that are available.

In Christ

Mike’s Response

I am a firm believer in redemption and turning a person’s life around, however I am not sure that state regulations will view it the same way.  Most states and facilities require a criminal background investigation, and though I am sure there are exceptions, I think an “armed robbery conviction” would disqualify you in most cases.

The lack of a driver’s license poses an additional problem.  In the vast majority of facilities, both houseparents have to be able to drive.  There are many times when both my wife and I have to be in different places with different children.  Every single day we have to drive kids to different schools at the same time.  I think your only hope of finding a place where you both don’t have to drive would be in a very urban facility or one that was totally self-contained. 

I think it is going to be very difficult for you to find employment as a houseparent couple.  One option you may consider is a facility where only you (the wife) would work at the facility and your husband had a job outside the home. Many maternity homes operate this way as well as some smaller facilities.  Your husband may still need a background check to live in the home with you, but they may make an exception if he is not working with the residents of the home.

I hope you are able to find a facility where you can serve but I am afraid that your options are going to be very limited.  

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