Background Check Requirements for Foster and Adoptive Homes
Last updated: June 5, 2015
Find the Fingerprint Application Services of Texas (FAST Pass), 2963 on the CCL Forms page. Note: Form 2965 should be used for 24-Hour Residential Child Care Staff.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Question: Who is required to have a fingerprint-based FBI check in a foster or adoptive home and by when must it be completed?
For homes verified or approved on or after September 1, 2013, you must have completed fingerprint-based checks on the following persons prior to verification or approval of the home:
- Prospective foster or adoptive parents
- Persons 14 years or older who reside in a prospective foster or adoptive home
For foster or adoptive homes verified prior to September 1, 2013, you must submit FBI checks for all persons who do not already have a valid fingerprint check record on file, in accordance with the timeframes listed below:
Persons Requiring an FBI Fingerprint Check
When an FBI Fingerprint Check Is Due
Person who will be turning 14 years of age and resides in a foster home or adoptive home
At the time of the person’s 14th birthday
Any of the following persons who are affiliated with an active agency foster home or adoptive home, as applicable:
• current foster or adoptive parent,
• person already 14 years or older who resides in the home
By June 1, 2014
Any of the following persons who are affiliated with an inactive foster home:
• current foster parent; or
• person already 14 years or older who resides in the home.
Before the home’s status may change from inactive to active
Question: Will my biological child who is between 14-17 years old have to have an FBI check?
Yes, persons aged 14-17 living in a foster/adoptive home are required to have an FBI fingerprint check.
Question: The brother of one of our foster mothers is moving into her home. Does he need a fingerprint check?
Yes, household members aged 14 years old and older in a foster or adoptive home require an FBI fingerprint check.
Question: Once a person at my operation has submitted his/her fingerprints for an FBI criminal history check, will that individual be required to submit his/her fingerprints again in the future?
When submitting background checks to DFPS, operations should select the "FBI Check Required" checkbox every time a background check is submitted for an individual who is required by statute to have a fingerprint check. The fingerprinting fee (see FAQ #9) is not associated with selecting the "FBI Check Required" checkbox; the fingerprinting fee applies to each time an individual requires a new set of fingerprints. (For more information regarding who is required to have a fingerprint check, refer to Texas Administrative Code §745.615.)However, individuals who have previously submitted their fingerprints for an FBI check and have completed a name-based background check (DPS criminal history and Central Registry) at least every 24 months thereafter generally do not need to be fingerprinted again. If there has been a break in verification or approval to a foster or adoptive home, new fingerprint check results will be required for the foster/adoptive parents.
Question: Can I complete the fingerprint check at the end of the verification or approval process?
As long as the check is complete before you verify the home, you can require them at any time during the verification process.
Question: If one of my foster or adoptive applicants had an FBI fingerprint check processed when they were certified as a teacher (or nurse, police officer, etc.) does this person need a new FBI fingerprint check as part of the verification or approval process?Yes, prospective foster or adoptive parents must be fingerprinted for DFPS as part of the verification or approval process. Fingerprint check results provided to other state or local entities may not be utilized for foster or adoptive parent verification or approval.
Question: How can I help a foster or adoptive applicant obtain a central registry check in their former state of residence?You may begin by giving them these contact numbers and forms.
Question: Who does a State notify when another State is not complying with requests for central registry information, as required by section 471(a)(20)(B)(ii) of the Social Security Act?
This answer to the following question was provided by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (ACF):
If a state that maintains a child abuse and neglect registry does not comply with requests for information from another State, the requesting state should bring this to the attention of the ACF regional office.For Child-Placing Agencies in Texas:
A licensed child-placing agency having problems obtaining central registry checks from another state should notify its Licensing representative, so that state office can bring it to the attention of the ACF regional office for Texas.
Question: How much does it cost for a background check and where does that money go?
When an individual submits his or her fingerprints for a background check, it will cost $41.45 for foster or adoptive household members or visitors. Foster or adoptive parents or prospective foster or adoptive parents will pay a reduced fee of $39.95. The fee is paid to the fingerprinting vendor at the time of scheduling the appointment or when the applicant is fingerprinted.
The fingerprint fee is not a fee to DFPS, but a collection of several fees to other entities:
- The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) charges $16.50 ($15.00 for foster or adoptive parents or prospective foster or adoptive parents) to conduct a fingerprint-based check.
- The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) charges $15.00 to conduct a fingerprint-based check (the FBI will not conduct a fingerprint-based check until the requesting state conducts one).
- The DPS fingerprint check vendor, charges a $9.95 processing fee. (This is a fee set in the contract between the vendor and DPS.)
Question: Why is MorphoTrust being used to submit fingerprints electronically?
MorphoTrust is the sole company the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) contracts with to accept electronic fingerprints for the purpose of criminal history checks. DFPS decided to require the electronic submission of fingerprints in order to automate and expedite the processing of fingerprint checks.
Question: Where can I find a list of the DPS approved fingerprinting centers where the fingerprint imaging is conducted?
The list of the current locations is available on the fingerprinting vendor's website at www.identogo.com
Question: Why can’t I use a local law enforcement agency for fingerprinting?
DFPS requires the electronic submission of fingerprints in order to automate and expedite the processing of fingerprint checks and to take advantage of The Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) fingerprint retention program.
Electronic fingerprinting allows DFPS to:
(a) Receive electronic results which can be automatically processed very quickly; and
(b) Receive notification from DPS if a person has additional criminal activity in the future, based on retained electronic fingerprints.
Ink prints on a card must pass through many hands and suffer a high rejection rate from the FBI, which can result in weeks or months waiting for results. Occasionally, local law enforcement and some private companies can take fingerprints; however, DFPS accepts these fingerprint cards only under very rare circumstances, such as an out-of-state person who cannot access a DPS fingerprinting vendor in Texas.
Question: I’ve been approached by a business that says they can process my fingerprints faster and cheaper. Can I use them?
No, the fingerprinting vendor is under exclusive contract with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to take electronic fingerprints for the purpose of criminal history checks.
Question: How will I receive the results of the search?The results will be e-mailed to the contact identified through the child-placing agency’s Public and Provider account on the DFPS web site.
Question: Will the fingerprint vendor return the FAST Pass document to the foster or adoptive applicant after their fingerprints are taken?
Yes, the FAST Enrollment Officer will complete section four of the FAST pass at the time of the appointment, and return the form to the applicant. The applicant should retain the FAST form until their fingerprint results have been processed by DFPS and the results have been received by the child-placing agency.
Question: Who can I contact with questions?
Contact CBCU if you need background check related assistance. See CBCU Contact Information table below:
CBCU Contact Information
CCL providers are advised to first attempt to contact the CBCU inspector for assistance. If unable to make contact in a timely manner, refer to the other CBCU resources below
CBCU Inspector assigned to the operation
CBCU Inspector's direct number. You may contact the CBCU Support Line if you do not have this information.
CBCU FBI Mailbox
CBCU Support Line