Santa Cruz County Foster Care and Adoption

Live Scan Fingerprinting

To have a child in the foster care system placed in your care, every adult living in your home must participate in the Live Scan fingerprinting process. This holds true if you are applying to be a foster parent, if you hope to adopt, or if you are a relative trying to have a family member come live with you.

Live Scan fingerprinting refers to both the technique and the technology used to capture fingerprints electronically, rather than the more traditional method of ink and paper. The applicant’s fingerprints are electronically transmitted to the Department of Justice for completion of a criminal record check. Results are typically sent back to the Licensing Unit within 24 to 72 hours.

Adults who do not live with you but will have regular, ongoing contact with children in your home also will be required to participate in the Live Scan fingerprinting process. In addition, if you use county respite services, your respite provider must also be Live Scan fingerprinted.

Get a Live Scan

  • A request form has to be completed. Please check with your licensing social worker of the foster care recruiter to obtain the form.
  • There are several Live Scan locations as well as a mobile Live Scanner, which can come directly to your home. You will need to call to make an appointment.
  • Present your photo ID and the form to the Live Scan office of your choice.
  • There is a fee of approximately $25 for each set of fingerprints done. There may be funds available to cover the Live Scan costs for relatives hoping to have family members placed with them.
  • If you are hoping to adopt, you will need to Live Scan twice.