Applications

How do I apply for a license?
Submit all completed application materials with an application fee, and a background check fee as needed.

You can download the application materials from the Licensed Child Care Administrators and Licensed Child-Placing Agency Administrators page.

How do I apply for both licenses at once?

To apply for both licenses at once, you must submit:

  1. An application fee for each license;
  2. A background check fee, as needed; and
  3. All completed application materials, except that you must have two employer references, one verifying your supervisory experience in a qualifying residential child-care setting and the other verifying your supervisory experience in a child-placing agency.

You can download the application materials from the Licensed Child Care Administrators and Licensed Child-Placing Agency Administrators page.

How do I apply for one license if I already have the other license?

If you have a valid Administrator’s License and want to apply for the other license type, you must submit:

  1. An application fee;
  2. An updated complete application form; and
  3. An employer reference verifying your required supervisory experience.
What are the eligibility requirements?
Please click here for the eligibility requirements.
What qualifies as one year of management/ supervisory experience?
  1. To qualify for a Child-Care Administrator’s License, you must substantiate through an employer reference that:
    1. You have completed the one year of full-time experience in management or supervision of residential child-care personnel and programs within the past ten years;
    2. Your experience was at a general residential operation, residential treatment center, or a comparable residential institution in which you worked primarily with children;
    3. If you were not solely responsible for implementing the operation's child-care program, that you shared in that responsibility; and
    4. You supervised at least one member of the child-care staff and your supervision responsibilities included assigning duties, hiring, disciplining, rewarding, approving leave requests and conducting formal employee evaluations.
  2. To qualify for a Child-Placing Agency Administrator’s License, you must substantiate through an employer reference that:
    1. You have completed the one year of full-time experience in management or supervision of child-placing personnel and programs within the past ten years;
    2. Your experience was at a child-placing agency, as defined in Human Resources Code, §42.002(12) and Texas Administrative Code §745.37(3)(F);
    3. If you were not solely responsible for implementing the agency's child-placing program, that you shared in that responsibility; and
    4. You supervised at least one member of the child-placing agency staff and your supervision responsibilities included assigning duties, hiring, disciplining, rewarding, approving leave requests, and conducting formal employee evaluations. "Child-placing agency staff" are persons who, under theauspices of a child-placing agency,plan for the placement of or place a child in a child-careoperation, agency foster home, or adoptive home.
  3. Experience as a foster parent, adoptive parent, or any other type of caregiver or staff person in an agency home does not meet the requirements of subsections (a) or (b) of this section.
Is there a study guide for the exam?

The only study guide for either exam is the applicable minimum standards. For the child-placing agency exam, you can expect to answer questions related to both foster care and adoption. We do not intend to offer any other study materials for these exams.

The exam is multiple choice and includes questions covering the following topics:

  • Current minimum standards
  • Resource development and fiscal management
  • Professional ethics in administration
  • Personnel management
  • Child development
  • Child psychology (basics regarding abused and neglected children in residential care)
  • Program development
  • Client rights
  • Professional legal liabilities
  • Cultural competencies
How many times can I take the exam?

Once you have been approved to take an exam, you have three opportunities to pass that exam. If you fail the exam three times, you must wait one year from the date of your last failed exam before you can re-apply for that same license.

Why must all application materials be originals (not copies)?

We have found that requiring original documents decreases incidents of fraud and forgery. However, if you have an original transcript that you would like to keep, please submit the original to us with a note that you would like it back after we view it. We can make a copy and return it to you as requested.

Replace a lost or damaged Administrator License?

Write a request and make out a check for $5 made out to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Submit to:

Administrator Licensing
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services
P.O. Box 149030, MC-E550
Austin, TX 78714-9030

Renewals

When will Licensing send me my license renewal information?

Licensing currently mails all renewal reminders during the last week of the month prior to the month in which the license is due to expire. For example, if your license will expire in April, your renewal reminder will be mailed during the last week of March.

How much training is required to renew my license?

You must submit 15 hours of training for each year of your two-year renewal cycle. Training hours may not be carried over from one year to the next or from one renewal cycle to the next.

What types of training are appropriate to meet license renewal requirements?
Training must be directly relevant to residential child care and must be developed for professionals. Generally, the following are not acceptable as training hours: meetings, policy/procedure review, CPR, First Aid, and/or training developed primarily for direct care staff.
Will training count toward both administrator license types?

The same training hours may be counted toward both licenses only if the training appropriately applies to both license types. For example, training on adoption law would count toward renewal of a Child-Placing Agency Administrator’s License but not a Child Care Administrator’s License. However, training on federal equal employment opportunity hiring requirements and guidelines would count toward renewal of both licenses.

What are the renewal fees?

For renewing your license as active:

If we receive the renewal fee: Then your renewal fee amount will be:
(1) On or before the expiration date, $50
(2) Within 90 days after the expiration date, $75
(3) More than 90 days but less than one year after the expiration date, $100

For renewing your license as inactive:

If we receive the renewal fee: Then your renewal fee amount will be:
(1) On or before the expiration date, $25
(2) Within 90 days after the expiration date, $37.50
(3) More than 90 days but less than one year after the expiration date, $50

Your license is no longer eligible for renewal once it has been expired for one year.

What is inactive status?

Inactive status allows you to maintain your Administrator’s License when you are not employed as the Licensed Administrator for a facility or agency. You may voluntarily request to put your license on inactive status at any time. You are not required to obtain training hours for your license renewal while your license is on inactive status. However, you are still required to renew your license every two years.

How do I put my license on inactive status?

Notify us in writing that you would like your license placed on inactive status.

How do I take my license off of inactive status?

To renew your inactive Administrator’s License as active, you must submit to us a:

  1. Completed renewal form;
  2. $50 renewal fee; and
  3. Completed background check form and fee.

To change your status from inactive to active in the middle of a renewal period, you must submit to us a:

  1. Written request to change your status;
  2. $25 fee; and
  3. Completed background check form and fee.

Background Checks

Are background checks required for Licensed Administrators?

Licensed Administrator applicants must submit a background check request with their application. Also, if a general residential operation or child-placing agency intends to hire the applicant, the operation must submit a background check.

Child Care Licensing will submit a renewal background checks once the Administrator License - Renewal or Status Change - 1019 form is received. Also if the If the License Administrator is employed at a general residential operation or child-placing agency, the operation must submit a renewal background check.

How must background check requests be submitted for a Licensed Administrator or applicant?

There are two possible ways to request a background check on behalf of a Licensed Administrator or applicant:

If a current staff member applies to become a Licensed Administrator, is a new background check required?

If a Licensed Administrator applicant is employed in a different position at an operation, the operation must submit a new background check request with the role of "Licensed Administrator" selected and the results of the background check must be processed before the individual can fill the role of a Licensed Administrator.

Are Licensed Administrators required to have a fingerprint-based FBI check and within what timeframe?

Beginning September 1, 2013 (the effective date of SB 427), you must submit a fingerprint check if you do not already have a valid FBI check on file in accordance with the following timeframes listed below:

Persons Requiring an FBI Fingerprint Check

When an FBI Fingerprint Check Is Due

Applicant for an administrator’s license

Prior to licensure

Licensed administrator for the renewal of his or her active license

By his or her renewal date

Licensed administrator who desires to change his or her license status from inactive to active

Before the license status can change from inactive to active

Anyone for whom:

  • a risk evaluation has been requested; and
  • a risk evaluation decision is pending

Before the risk evaluation decision will be issued

Once a Licensed Administrator has submitted his/her fingerprints for an FBI criminal history check, will that person 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 a Licensed Administrator. The fingerprinting fee (see FAQ directly below) is not associated with selecting the "FBI Check Required" checkbox; the fingerprinting fee applies to each time a person 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.)

Persons 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. However, if a name-based check is not requested every 24 months as required by rule, new fingerprints will be required.

Question: How much does it cost for an FBI background check and where does that money go?

It will cost $41.25at the time fingerprints are submitted. 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 $14.75 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 $11.50 processing and administrative support fee, (this is a fee set in the contract between the vendor and DPS

How and when may I pay the fingerprinting fee?

The fee is paid directly to the fingerprinting vendor by:

  • credit card or billing account number* at the time the appointment is scheduled; or by
  • check (personal or business) or money order at the time of the appointment.

A billing account number is set up directly with the fingerprinting vendor and is strictly for the payment of fingerprinting fees.

After a background check request has been submitted, what is the process for fingerprinting?

After the background check request has been submitted, the following steps are taken:

  1. Each person who is required to submit fingerprints must obtain a copy of the appropriate Fingerprint Application Services of Texas (FAST) Fingerprint Pass. (Refer to the Forms page on the DFPS website to locate links to these FAST Pass forms and other documents). Licensed Administrators and applicants select one of the FAST Pass forms linked below, according to state of residency:
  2. The person requiring the check schedules an appointment with the DPS fingerprint vendor by:
    • Visiting the vendor's website at www.identogo.comExternal Link; or
    • Calling toll-free at 1-888-467-2080 (8am-5pm CST). Please note that it is necessary to wait at least 2-3 hours after the provider submits the background check request electronically in order for the fingerprint vendor system to update so an appointment can be scheduled.
  3. At the time of the appointment, the person being fingerprinted must bring the following documents to the fingerprinting center:
    • A completed FAST Pass with the correct DFPS ORI number preprinted on the form.
    • A driver license or other valid form of identificationPDF DocumentExternal Link, per the Texas Department of Public Safety's website (TxDPS - Identification RequirementsExternal Link); and
    • A check (personal or business) or money order made payable to MorphoTrust, unless the fee was prepaid with a credit card or billing account at the time of scheduling the appointment.
  4. The fingerprint vendor scans and sends the fingerprints electronically to DPS, who then sends the fingerprints to the FBI. After the fingerprints are used to process the background checks, DPS returns both the DPS and FBI check results to DFPS.
  5. DFPS uses the background check results as a factor in determining whether the license will be approved and notifies the applicant of the final decision.

General

Can I be the Licensed Administrator for more than one operation?

A Licensed Administrator can be an administrator for two operations if:

    1. The operations are in good standing with Licensing;
    2. The size and scope of the operations are manageable by one person, which is clarified in the written professional staffing plan for each operation;
    3. The child-placing agency, if applicable, is not managing more than 25 foster homes; and
    4. The operations, if neither is a child-placing agency, are contiguous.
How often are the directories of Licensed Administrators updated?

The directories are updated at least quarterly.