When Can I Expect to Provide my Social Security Number for a Background Check?

When DFPS has to do a background check on someone, we will ask for that person's social security number to verify identity. Some examples of when a background check may be required are:

  • You are a foster parent or want to become a foster parent (including in-state and out-of-state requests).
  • You want to adopt a child (including in-state and out-of-state requests).
  • You are a relative of a child in DFPS conservatorship, or are someone that is not related to the child but have a longstanding and significant relationship with the child or the child's family and would like the child to be placed in your home (including in-state and out-of-state requests).
  • You are 14 years or older, not a client in DFPS care, and meet one of the following criteria:
    • You live with a relative that is seeking placement of a child in DFPS conservatorship.
    • You live with someone that is not related to the child in DFPS conservatorship but has a longstanding and significant relationship with the child or the child's family and is seeking placement of the child.
    • Live with someone that is seeking to foster or adopt a child.
  • You are looking for a job or a volunteer position with DFPS.
  • You will be providing volunteer services to DFPS.
  • You are going to work as a contractor with DFPS.
  • You are being investigated for abuse, neglect, or exploitation in an investigation.
  • You are the parent or guardian of a child who is in DFPS conservatorship.
  • You are the permit holder, an employee or a volunteer, or are otherwise present on a regular basis at a childcare operation.   

By law, (Texas Human Resources Code § 42.056(a), Title 40, Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 745, Subchapter F) you are required to provide your social security number for a background check if you are:

  • 14 years or older, not being provided care in a childcare operation, and meet one of the following criteria:
    • Live in a prospective adoptive or foster home or childcare operation.
    • Have unsupervised access to children in care at a childcare operation or foster home.
    • Will regularly or frequently be staying or working at a childcare operation, foster home, or prospective adoptive home while children are being provided care.
    • Are counted in the child-to-caregiver ratio (as defined in Texas Administrative Code § 746.1501) for a childcare operation.
  • A director, owner, operator, employee, or prospective employee of a childcare or residential childcare center.
  • A director, owner, operator, employee, or prospective employee of a child-placing agency.
  • A current or prospective foster parent taking care of a child through a child-placing agency.
  • A current or prospective adoptive parent seeking to adopt a child through a child-placing agency.

For anyone else who submits to a background check, providing your social security number is voluntary. No law requires you to give your social security number for the purpose of a background check. But if you do not provide your social security number during a background check, for example for a volunteer position or for a job with DFPS, or when requesting that a child be placed in your home, your application or request may be denied.

Further disclosure of your social security number is governed by the Public Information Act (Chapter 552 of the Texas Government Code) and other applicable law.