1. What is a Child Abuse/Neglect Central Registry Background Check?

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) maintains a central registry of reported cases of child abuse and neglect as required by Texas Family Code §261.002External Link.  The DFPS Central Registry includes information gathered during Child Protective Services (CPS), Child Care Licensing (CCL), and Adult Protective Services (APS) facility investigations of child abuse and neglect that resulted in a disposition of "reason to believe" for CPS and CCL cases or "confirmed and validated" for APS cases. Findings of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of an adult victim are not included in the Central Registry.   If there are no findings, you will clear the Central Registry check.

You will not clear the Central Registry check if you:

  • Have the role of designated perpetrator or sustained perpetrator in an investigation included in the registry; or
  • Are involved as an alleged perpetrator in an open child abuse or neglect investigation being conducted by DFPS. A new Central Registry check may be requested at the conclusion of the investigation to determine if you were designated as a perpetrator of child abuse or neglect.

The Central Registry results will not include any child abuse or neglect case information if there was an investigation but abuse/neglect was ruled out or if it was unable to be determined.

2. Who conducts the Child Abuse/Neglect Central registry Background Check?

The checks are conducted by DFPS' Centralized Background Check Unit (CBCU).  The CBCU consists of DFPS employees who are responsible for processing background checks for a variety of populations. The CBCU is part of the Operations division of DFPS.

3. How do I request a Texas Child Abuse/Neglect Central Registry background check?

The subject of the background check must read and complete Sections 1-5 of Form 2970 Request for Child Abuse/Neglect Central Registry Check.  The form must be notarized.  Please type or print clearly in ink.  Incomplete or illegible forms will not be processed.  Please do not send duplicate requests.  Requests are processed in the order in which they are received.

The form can be submitted to CBCU using any of the following methods:

If you have questions, you may contact CBCU by email: TXAbuseNeglectBGC@dfps.state.tx.us

The form can be found by clicking this link: Form 2970 Request for Child Abuse/Neglect Central Registry Check 

4. What is the usual turnaround time for a Central Registry Background Check?

It typically takes 3-4 weeks to process a central registry check.   During periods of peak volume, requests may take longer than 30 days.

5. Is there a fee?

There is not a fee.

6. Who is allowed to request a Central Registry Background Check?

DFPS only allows the individual who is the subject of the background check to request a Child Abuse/Neglect Central Registry Check.  The subject of the request has the right to receive the results of this check and to share them with any third party in certain circumstances.   A third party may submit the form on the subject's behalf but the form must be completed by the subject.

For background check request related to employment or volunteering, DFPS cannot release the cleared results to any person other than the subject.

If the check results in a match, DFPS will only send the results directly to the subject.  No other person can be designated to receive a match results except for a Texas court ordered child custody or adoption evaluator as defined in Texas Family Code § 107.101 or 107.151

7. I am an out-of-state child welfare agency representative and I need a check related to ongoing/open investigations/assessments.

Central Registry requests from an out of state protective service/child welfare agency needed to assist an open investigation or other case action must be faxed on your state agency's letterhead to Statewide Intake: 800-647-7410 or 512-339-5900.

8. Can I request a criminal history check?

DFPS is unable to provide any criminal history information, as DFPS does not have the statutory authority to access this information. Contact the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) for this information.

9. I need a background check for adult abuse/neglect.

Findings of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of an adult victim are not included in the Central Registry check DFPS conduct. You may want to utilize the Employee Misconduct Registry (EMR) as a resource.

10. I received notification of a match on my record, how can I get a copy of my record?

Contact DFPS Records Management for instructions related to requesting a copy of your record:

11. I am having a problem down loading Form 2970 Request for Child Abuse/Neglect Central Registry Check , what can I do?

Here are some suggested steps that may assist with opening the form:

  • Try opening the form using a different browser. (For example instead of using Explorer 11, try using Mozilla or Firefox.)
  • If you receive a message stating the form could not be downloaded, and the message has an option to "Retry", the please click the "Retry" button.
  • If you continue to experience this problem in Internet Explorer even after clicking "Retry", consider applying an IE patch.  The IE patch can be found on this page - https://technet.microsoft.com/library/security/ms14-010.
  • Email: TXAbuseNeglectBGC@dfps.state.tx.us to request a form be sent to you.