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2000 Background Checks for Purchased Client Services

CBCU January 2016

DFPS conducts background checks on all DFPS contractors who provide purchased client services (PCS), including those services provided through the Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) programs. Background checks are also required on the contractor’s staff, if the staff have direct contact (as defined in 1300 Definitions of Terms) with DFPS clients. See:

2210 PCS Background Checks That Are Always Required

2220 PCS Background Checks That May Be Required

Certain PCS contractors are exempted from this policy. For details on exemptions, see:

2340 Background Checks for Residential Operations Regulated by Child Care Licensing

Appendix 2000-3: PCS Background Check Exemption Chart

Background check requirements for residential operations are outlined in 40 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 745, Subchapter F and in the Child Care Licensing Policy and Procedure Handbook.

2100 Division of CBCU and PCS Staff Responsibilities for Purchased Client Services

CBCU January 2016

All staff affected by this policy, as defined in 1100 Responsibilities for Background Check Policy, are responsible for understanding the policy and maintaining open communication about issues that relate to background checks.

Specific background check responsibilities are shared within DFPS by the:

  •  Centralized Background Check Unit (CBCU); and

  •  Purchased Client Services area of DFPS (including contract managers, contract technicians, and contract program directors).

2110 CBCU Staff Responsibilities

CBCU January 2016

CBCU staff are responsible for notifying the DFPS contract manager when a background check result contains:

  •  a conviction that requires a risk evaluation in order for the person to work under the contract,

  •  a conviction or a DFPS history that bars a person from working under the contract, or

  •  an arrest with an unknown disposition for a charge that could bar the person from contact with clients or that may require a risk evaluation;

  •  a risk evaluation is approved or denied; or

  •  a contractor does not provide the documentation required by this policy

  •  answering questions posed by PCS contractors and their staff about background checks, including questions about the process for obtaining a fingerprint check;

Other CBCU staff responsibilities are:

  •  notifying contractors in writing about background check decisions and handling all associated follow-up;

  •  providing technical assistance for entering background checks online;

  •  responding to reported issues with IdentoGo, the provider of the Texas Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) fingerprinting service;

  •  responding to inquiries about when a risk evaluation is required;

  •  assessing the results of background checks conducted on contractors;

  •  responding to inquiries received through the DFPS PCS Background Checks mailbox;

  •  processing risk evaluations, including gathering all required documentation and forwarding it to the appropriate staff for a final decision;

  •  reviewing the Child Abuse / Neglect Central Registry Check Detail Report generated from IMPACT to search for possible DFPS history matches on contractors and their staff, and providing the contractors with the results;

  •  researching possible matches found in the results of a DFPS history check;

  •  ensuring that the results of the background check are handled according to the requirements in this policy;

  •  informing DFPS contract managers about urgent background check issues that involve serious risk to DFPS clients;

  •  providing written documentation to the DFPS contract manager any time that CBCU staff determine during the course of their duties that a contractor or a contractor’s staff person is not meeting the PCS requirements for background checks; and

  •  escalating to DFPS legal staff and PCS program management any policy issues that need clarification or resolution.

2120 PCS Staff

CBCU January 2016

PCS staff are responsible for evaluating compliance with this policy, including:

  •  verifying that background checks (including FBI checks, when applicable) are completed within the timeframes required by this policy;

  •  taking appropriate action on any background check matches that require follow-up; and

  •  ensuring that CBCU staff are informed about actions taken with the contractor that may affect pending background checks that the CBCU is processing

Other PCS staff responsibilities are:

  •  answering contractors’ questions regarding this policy, or referring contractors to the CBCU, or both;

  •  responding to inquiries about when a background check is required;

  •  ensuring that pending background checks are completed by contractors according to this policy;

  •  entering background check requests in the ABCS for contractors, when applicable;

  •  assisting the CBCU as needed when questions arise about background checks processed for contractors; and

  •  ensuring that contractors are knowledgeable about reporting new arrests and investigations. See 2350 Reporting and Making Determinations for New Incidents.

DFPS residential contract managers (RCMs) have only minimal involvement in the background check process. PCS background check policy does not require checks for the majority of the residential contractors that RCMs oversee. For information about background checks for residential contractors, see 2340 Background Checks for Residential Operations Regulated by Child Care Licensing.

2200 Types of Background Checks

2210 PCS Background Checks That Are Always Required

CBCU January 2016

All PCS contractors and their staff are required to undergo:

  •  DPS named-based criminal history checks; and

  •  DFPS abuse, neglect, or exploitation history checks.

2220 PCS Background Checks That May Be Required

2221 Fingerprint-Based Criminal History Checks

CBCU January 2016

In addition to obtaining a DPS name-based criminal history check, fingerprint-based criminal history checks are required for any PCS contractor and individuals on their staff who, at the time of his or her initial background check request:

  •  currently lives or has lived outside of Texas within the past five years; or

  •  currently lives or has lived outside of Texas in the 24 months since his or her last fingerprint-based criminal history check was completed.

Fingerprint-based criminal history checks may also be required by DFPS for good cause, such as when DFPS has a reasonable belief that a PCS contractor or the contractor’s staff person may have a criminal history in another state.

For more information, see 2420 Fingerprint-Based Criminal History Checks.

2222 Out-of-State Abuse and Neglect History Checks

CBCU January 2016

Checks for abuse and neglect history in other states may be required by DFPS for good cause, such as a reasonable belief that a PCS contractor or a contractor’s staff person may have such a history.

If DFPS has good cause to request a check for an abuse and neglect history from another state, but the contractor or contractor’s staff refuses to provide the information needed to facilitate the check, DFPS bars the person from direct contact with DFPS clients.

A bar imposed because of a refusal to provide information may be reversed, if:

  •  DFPS receives the requested information; and

  •  the CBCU’s risk assessment determines that the history on the contractor or contractor’s staff does not justify a bar under this background check policy.

If the person’s previous state or country of residence does not release the findings of abuse or neglect, the CBCU consults with DFPS legal staff.

2300 Overview of the Background Check Process

CBCU January 2016

Background check requests are intended only for PCS contractors and their staff who provide or are anticipated to provide contracted services to DFPS clients. Contractors may not use DFPS background check resources, and specifically the ABCS, to request background checks on other persons. Using the DFPS background check system in ways that violate DFPS policy may result in penalties to the contractor.

2310 Making the Initial Request for a Background Check

CBCU January 2016

PCS contractors have a variety of responsibilities related to requesting initial background checks.

These responsibilities include:

  •  submitting a background check request for the contractor and his or her staff, and receiving the results before allowing direct contact with DFPS clients;

  •  ensuring that a background check request contains accurate information and is submitted in a timely manner;

  •  retaining background check-related documentation for the purposes of contract monitoring; and

  •  disclosing to DFPS:

  •  criminal convictions,

  •  pending crimes or arrests,

  •  validated findings of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of children, the elderly, or persons with disabilities, or

  •  pending investigations of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.

Failure to disclose a criminal history, or history of abuse or neglect, when the background check is submitted may result in DFPS notifying the contractor or the contractor’s staff that direct contact with DFPS clients is prohibited.

PCS contractors and their staff may have direct contact with DFPS clients before the initial background check has been cleared by DFPS, if there are documented extenuating circumstances.

Examples of extenuating circumstances include situations in which the direct contact:

  •  relates to a court order; or

  •  is needed to facilitate a placement.

2320 Renewing a Background Check

CBCU January 2016

For persons continuing to work under a contract, the PCS contractor submits renewal background checks:

  •  every 24 months, based on the request date of the previous background check; or

  •  sooner, if the person’s role or responsibilities under the contract changes.

After the new request is submitted, the contractor or contractor’s staff may have direct access to DFPS clients and client information while the results are being reviewed, unless informed otherwise by DFPS.

If a person’s employment or volunteer placement under a PCS contract is discontinued, a new background check is required before the person returns to work or to volunteer under any PCS contract, even if the previous background check was completed within the preceding 24 months.

If a person’s background check renewal is not completed within the required timeframe, the person will be moved to an inactive state in IMPACT through the external sunsetting process. (See the definition of external sunsetting in 1300 Definitions of Terms.) Once made inactive, any authorized user of ABCS will no longer have access to that system.

2330 Options for Contractors With Multiple PCS Contracts

CBCU October 2017

If a PCS contractor or a contractor’s staff person provides services under multiple PCS contracts, the contractor or staff person is not required to undergo background checks for each contract, as long as:

  •   services are provided under the auspices of the same legal entity;

  •   the contractor or staff person provides the services in the same role under each contract; and

  •   the background check on file was conducted within the previous 24 months.

Background check requirements provided under multiple contracts are met when the PCS contractor or contractor’s staff person either:

  •   obtains a copy of the CBCU notice confirming that the most recent background check was cleared or a risk evaluation was approved; or

  •   submits a new background check under each agency account ID numbering the ABCS.

ABCS User or Administrator

If a PCS contractor or contractor’s staff person is an ABCS user or administrator under multiple contracts, that individual must clear a background check for each account to which he or she has access.

2340 Background Checks for Residential Operations Regulated by Child Care Licensing

CBCU August 2016

A residential operation regulated by Child Care Licensing is required to conduct background checks on its staff and volunteers, according to Licensing rules.

See:

40 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 745, Subchapter F

5300 Central Registry and Criminal History Searches, Licensing Policy and Procedures Handbook

A residential operation that is licensed to provide 24-hour residential care must conduct the background checks required by PCS, in addition to conducting the usual background checks required by Licensing, if the contractor or contractor’s staff person:

  •  also works under a contract that provides services to APS clients;

  •  also works under a contract that provides SIL services to CPS clients; or

  •  is a principal on the contract (such as the COO, CEO, or executive director) and has access to the financial operations of the contracted entity; or

  •  is designated as an ABCS user or administrator.

For those persons who are required to complete both a Licensing check and a PCS background check, clearance under a Licensing background check does not guarantee clearance under a PCS background check. A cleared Licensing check that is current, however (that is, conducted within the last 24 months), does allow a person to provide direct client services if the PCS check has been submitted but the results are still pending.

If a PCS check results in a person being barred from having direct contact with clients, the bar takes effect immediately.

If the PCS check results in the need for a risk evaluation, the person may continue to provide direct client services pending the outcome of the risk evaluation. If the contractor does not want to request a risk evaluation, a bar to providing direct client services takes effect immediately.

2350 Reporting and Making Determinations for New Incidents

CBCU January 2016

PCS contractors and their staff are required to report within 10 business days any new arrest or any investigation of abuse or neglect conducted by any federal, state, or local agency or board. This is referred to as self-reporting. The contractor ensures that the contractor’s staff are aware of the requirement to self-report. There are internal DFPS processes by which the CBCU may become aware of new arrests (see 2422 Receiving Notification From DPS About New Arrests) and abuse or neglect investigations; however, it remains the responsibility of the contractor to notify the CBCU of these situations.

Contractors report new incidents for both themselves and their staff. When a new incident occurs, any prior background check clearance issued for the person is no longer valid. The contractor must receive the updated background check results from CBCU before allowing continued direct contact with DFPS clients.

To report a new incident, the contractor:

  •  completes a new Form 2970c Disclosure and Consent to Release of Information Regarding Criminal or Abuse/Neglect History (superseding the original Form 2970c); and

  •  submits the form to the DFPS contract manager.

The contract manager:

  •  informs the CBCU about the self-reported incident; and

  •  ensures that a new background check request is launched in the ABCS.

The CBCU:

  •  assesses the nature and seriousness of the alleged crime or investigation and the circumstances surrounding the crime or investigation;

  •  may request additional information from the contractor, such as the duties of the person in question, if needed; and

  •  determines whether the contractor or contractor’s staff person may continue to have direct contact with DFPS clients while the disposition is pending, or whether the person must be temporarily barred from direct contact with DFPS clients pending a final disposition regarding the incident.

The bar from direct contact with DFPS clients remains in effect until the contractor is notified otherwise by DFPS.

For abuse or neglect allegations, CBCU will track the investigation until a disposition is rendered. Once a disposition is rendered regarding the investigation, CBCU will make a final determination regarding the person’s background check and notify the contractor if the person is cleared or barred.

If the contractor fails to notify DFPS about any new arrests or abuse and neglect investigations, DFPS may revoke the previous clearance of a background check or the previous approval of a risk evaluation.

2400 Procedures

2410 Requesting a Background Check

2411 Requesting a Background Check During Contract Execution

CBCU October 2017

Prospective PCS contractors are required to submit background check requests for key personnel during the procurement or application process.

The HHS procurement officer provides DFPS contract staff with the appropriate contract documents, which include:

Form 2970c Disclosure and Consent to Release of Information Regarding Criminal or Abuse/Neglect History for Applicants, Employees or Volunteers of DFPS Contractors and Subcontractors; and

Form 2971c Request for Criminal History and DFPS History Check.

DFPS contract staff registers the contract and submits a background check request through the ABCS for the key personnel which must include the contractor’s staff who will be set up as the administrator as they would routinely enter background check requests into the ABCS for that contract.

Clear Determination

For contractor managed ABCS accounts, if the initial background check on a potential ABCS user results in a cleared result, then the DFPS contract manager:

  •   establishes this person as a user or administrator; and

  •   provides the cleared contractor with the ABCS User Guide.

At this point, the user or administrator may proceed with completing the background checks for contractor staff, volunteers, and subcontractors who will have access to DFPS clients or client records.

For DFPS-managed ABCS accounts, no further action is needed if the initial background check is cleared.

Bar Determination

If DFPS contract staff are notified that the background check has resulted in a bar that precludes the execution of a contract, the contract manager:

  •   notifies the applicant or prospective contractor of the contract denial;

  •   notifies procurement of the decision to deny the contract; and

  •   refers any inquires to the CBCU.

After submitting the check, result notifications are sent to the background check requestor and/or the email address listed for the account in ABCS based on notification type. Auto-clearance notifications will be sent to the background check requestor and the email address listed for the account. Result notifications generated manually from IMPACT will be sent to the email address listed for the account.

2412 Requesting a Background Check at a Time Other Than Procurement

CBCU January 2016

To request a background check at a time other than during the procurement process, PCS contractors take the following steps.

Step 1:

Complete and sign the following forms for each background check that is requested for a PCS contractor or contractor’s staff person:

Form 2971c Request for Criminal History and DFPS History Check

Form 2970c Disclosure and Consent to Release of Information Regarding Criminal or Abuse/Neglect History

Failure to disclose the information requested on Form 2970c may result in DFPS barring the contractor or contractor’s staff person from having direct contact with DFPS clients.

Step 2:

After completing Form 2971c, as explained in Step 1, contractors submit the background check requests through the ABCS.

Contractors ensure that the requests are:

  •  completed accurately; and

  •  submitted in a timely manner.

Contractors retain:

  •  the signed originals of Form 2970c and Form 2971c; and

  •  the notice confirming that the background check requests were submitted through the ABCS.

2420 Fingerprint-Based Criminal History Checks

2421 Completing a Fingerprint-Based Check

CBCU October 2017

When a fingerprint-based criminal history check is required, PCS contractors and their staff use the instructions on the Fingerprinting page of the DFPS website to schedule a fingerprint appointment:

If a fingerprint-based criminal history check is not completed within 30 days of the date that it is requested:

  •   the request is closed; and

  •   the results are recorded as a bar for failure to comply.

To request an extension to the 30-day deadline, the contractor provides proof that reasonable steps have been taken to meet the requirement.

After the initial background check is complete, a new fingerprint-based criminal history check is not required, if:

  •   the contractor or contractor’s staff person has a fingerprint-based criminal history check on record with DFPS;

  •   it has been no more than 24 months since a name-based criminal history check was resubmitted; and

  •   the contractor or contractor’s staff person has not lived outside of Texas since the last fingerprint-based criminal history check was completed.

DFPS accepts fingerprint-based criminal history checks that are completed to satisfy the requirements of DFPS Child Care Licensing or the Texas Education Agency (TEA), if:

  •   the check was conducted within the past 24 months; and

  •   the contractor or contractor’s staff person lived in Texas continuously since the fingerprint-based check was conducted.

Contractors who meet the criteria above notify the CBCU by email through the DFPS PCS Background Checks mailbox, so that the results can be obtained from the TXDPS Crime Records Service Secure Website.

In the email, the contractor provides the following:

  •   the DFPS-issued agency account identification number with which the background check is associated;

  •   the name, Social Security number, and date of birth of the person who is the subject of the background check;

  •   information regarding prior fingerprinting, including a receipt (if available) or the date of the fingerprinting; and

  •   a copy of a valid driver’s license or photo identification card (if the prior fingerprinting was conducted for the TEA).

Photo identification of the person who was fingerprinted is required in order to search the DPS fingerprint database known as FACT (Fingerprint-Based Applicant Clearinghouse of Texas).

2422 Receiving Notification From DPS About New Arrests

CBCU January 2016

If a PCS contractor or the contractor’s staff person is arrested in Texas and has a fingerprint-based background check on file, DPS notifies the CBCU that a new arrest has occurred, usually within 48 hours. Contractors and their staff are also required to self-report any new arrest. See 2350 Reporting and Making Determinations for New Incidents.

CBCU assesses the new arrest information provided by DPS and determines what action to take.

If a conviction for the crime would result in the person being barred from direct contact with clients, according to DFPS policy, the CBCU notifies the contractor about the new arrest and that the person is barred from direct contact with DFPS clients. The bar remains in effect until the CBCU receives proof of a cleared disposition.

2430 Retaining All Background Check-Related Correspondence From the CBCU

CBCU January 2016

PCS contractors retain all of the correspondence that they receive from the CBCU regarding the results of background checks.

The correspondence may include notification about decisions regarding:

  •  DPS name-based criminal history checks;

  •  risk evaluations, when applicable;

  •  checks on abuse, neglect, and exploitation; and

  •  fingerprint-based criminal history checks, when applicable.

The same correspondence is retained for requests to renew background checks.

See:

2320 Renewing a Background Check (24-Month Requirement)

2455 Redeterminations (Renewals)

2440 Assessing the Results of Background Checks

2441 Assessing DFPS and Criminal History Records

CBCU January 2016

The CBCU makes its initial determination about whether to allow direct contact with DFPS clients based on the following determination charts:

Appendix 2000-1: PCS Background Check Criminal History Chart

Appendix 2000-2: PCS Background Check DFPS History Chart

The charts indicate:

  •  the criminal convictions that are absolute bars to direct contact with DFPS clients;

  •  the criminal convictions that are eligible for a risk evaluation;

  •  the DFPS findings on abuse, neglect, or exploitation that are absolute bars to direct contact with DFPS clients;

  •  the DFPS findings on abuse, neglect, or exploitation that are contraindications to direct contact with DFPS clients; and

  •  the DFPS findings on abuse, neglect, or exploitation that are cleared.

Although DFPS background checks determine whether a PCS contractor’s staff person may or may not have direct contact with DFPS clients, the determination does not prohibit the contractor’s staff person from remaining employed or volunteering with the contractor. The decision to hire, terminate employment, or remove a volunteer is made at the discretion of the contractor; however, the contractor ensures that staff who are not cleared by DFPS have no direct contact with DFPS clients.

2442 Assessing Sex Offender Registry Records

CBCU January 2016

The CBCU receives information regarding sex offender registration as part of the criminal history background check process. If the subject of a PCS background check is currently a registered sex offender in Texas or any other state, this person will be barred from direct contact with DFPS clients or client information.

2443 Assessing Juvenile History Records

CBCU January 2016

DFPS receives certain juvenile history records from DPS and the FBI in the course of conducting a criminal background check.

The CBCU reviews juvenile history records and assesses the risk to clients based on the following factors:

  •  the age of the victim, if applicable;

  •  the age of the juvenile at the time of the incident noted in the juvenile history;

  •  the length of time since the incident occurred;

  •  the severity of the incident in the juvenile history;

  •  whether the incident would justify a bar according to this background check policy, if the incident is similar to an adult crime;

  •  a pattern of any type of juvenile history or adult criminal history;

  •  the role that the PCS contractor or contractor’s staff person played in the incident;

  •  the current position and responsibilities of the contractor or the contractor’s staff person;

  •  the contractor’s history of compliance with DFPS policies;

  •  whether the contractor or contractor’s staff person has taken any measures toward rehabilitation; and

  •  whether any additional factors mitigate the risk to DFPS clients.

If the CBCU determines that there is a risk of immediate harm because of the juvenile history, the CBCU consults with DFPS legal staff to seek approval to take action; that is to:

  •  require the contractor to submit a risk evaluation on the person who is the subject of the juvenile history; or

  •  inform the contactor that the subject of the juvenile history cannot have direct contact with DFPS clients.

2444 Assessing Incomplete, Inconclusive, or Contested Criminal History Records

CBCU January 2016

The CBCU notifies PCS contractors about incomplete or inconclusive criminal history records that require further action. Subjects of a background check have the opportunity to contest the results of a check that the CBCU has identified as belonging to them.

The CBCU makes a final determination about a background check only after issues related to incomplete, inconclusive, or contested criminal history records have been resolved.

Incomplete Records

To resolve incomplete criminal history records, contractors must provide the CBCU with documentation from the applicable Texas court, county attorney, district attorney, or arresting agency.

Inconclusive Records

An inconclusive criminal history record is one that the CBCU is unable to confirm as belonging to the subject of the background check, based on the information available.

To resolve inconclusive criminal history records, the CBCU may require a PCS contractor or contractor’s staff person to submit to a fingerprint-based criminal history check.

Contested Records

If the subject of a background check indicates that the criminal history provided from either the DPS or the FBI does not belong to him or her, DFPS staff explain to the person that he or she may formally contest the information.

For information on reviewing and contesting DPS results, see:

Criminal History Error Resolution

Crime Records Service

For information on reviewing and contesting FBI results, see:

Identification Record Request / Criminal Background Check

Challenge of a Criminal Record

The subject of the background check may also direct questions to the CBCU representative who sent notification about the results of the background check.

2450 Making a Determination

2451 Cleared

CBCU January 2016

A background check is cleared when the results show:

  •  no record of crimes that DFPS monitors;

  •  no record of sex offender registration; and

  •  no DFPS history that contraindicates direct contact with DFPS clients.

DFPS does not notify the contractor about crimes that are not monitored by DFPS.

When CBCU staff determine that a background check is clear, they electronically notify:

  •  the ABCS requestor (if the requestor is different from the contract manager (see the definition of ABCS requestor in 1300 Definitions of Terms); and

  •  the DFPS contract manager.

2452 Absolute Bar

CBCU January 2016

If the CBCU determines that a PCS contractor or contractor’s staff person is a registered sex offender or has a criminal conviction or history of abuse, neglect, or exploitation that justifies an absolute bar on direct contact with DFPS clients, the CBCU electronically notifies:

  •  the contractor; and

  •  the DFPS contract manager.

2453 Eligible for a Risk Evaluation

CBCU January 2016

A person that the CBCU has identified as having a criminal conviction may request a risk evaluation if the crime committed is noted as eligible in Appendix 2000-1: PCS Background Check Criminal History Chart. The risk evaluations are conducted to determine whether the crime poses a risk to the health or safety of children and therefore justifies a bar to direct contact with DFPS clients.

If a crime is eligible for a risk evaluation, the CBCU:

  •  sends a notification letter electronically to the contractor or contractor’s staff person; and

  •  includes Form 2973c Request for Risk Evaluation Based on Criminal History Results.

If the contractor requests a risk evaluation, the risk evaluation must be approved by the CBCU before the PCS contractor or contractor’s staff person may have direct contact with DFPS clients.

To request a risk evaluation, the PCS contractor:

  •  completes Form 2973c;

  •  gathers the documentation required in the form; and

  •  returns the form and documentation to the CBCU for review within 30 days of the date noted on the CBCU’s notification letter.

If additional time is needed to complete the request for a risk evaluation, the contractor may request an extension before the 30-day deadline.

If the contractor does not complete the request for a risk evaluation within the 30-day deadline (or 60-day deadline, if a 30-day extension is approved), then the contractor or contractor’s staff person is barred from having direct contact with DFPS clients.

Once the CBCU receives a complete request for a risk evaluation, the CBCU uses the documentation submitted to assess the risk that the contractor or contractor’s staff person poses to DFPS clients.

To assess the risk to clients, the CBCU considers such factors as:

  •  whether the person has taken any measures toward rehabilitation;

  •  the length of time since the crime occurred;

  •  the severity of the crime;

  •  whether there is a pattern of any type of crime;

  •  the role that the contractor or the contractor’s staff person played in the crime;

  •  the current position and responsibilities of the contractor or the contractor’s staff person;

  •  the contractor’s history of compliance with DFPS policies; and

  •  whether any additional factors mitigate the risk to DFPS clients.

DFPS also reserves the right to determine that a risk evaluation is required, if the subject has a history of:

  •  certain juvenile incidents or crimes; or

  •  adult crimes not included in Appendix 2000-1: PCS Background Check Criminal History Chart.

2454 Contraindication

CBCU January 2016

If a PCS contractor or contractor’s staff person has a finding of abuse, neglect, or exploitation that contraindicates direct contact with DFPS clients, but the finding does not justify an absolute bar (as defined in 2452 Absolute Bar) then the CBCU completes a risk assessment to determine whether the contractor or staff person may have direct contact.

To assess the risk to clients, CBCU staff review the case documentation and consider such factors as:

  •  the length of time since the abuse, neglect, or exploitation occurred;

  •  the severity of the abuse, neglect, or exploitation;

  •  a pattern of any type of abuse, neglect, or exploitation;

  •  the role that the contractor or contractor’s staff played in the case;

  •  the current position and responsibilities of the contractor or the contractor’s staff person;

  •  the contractor’s history of compliance with DFPS policies; and

  •  whether any additional factors mitigate the risk to DFPS clients.

If necessary, the CBCU reviewer may seek additional information from:

  •  the contractor;

  •  the contractor’s staff person (the subject of the background check); or

  •  a DFPS program staff person who has either direct knowledge about the investigation or specific knowledge about the contractor or contractor’s staff.

Based on the results of the assessment, the CBCU notifies the contractor and the DFPS contract manager that the contractor or contractor’s staff person is:

  •  cleared and may have direct contact with DFPS clients; or

  •  barred and must not have direct contact with DFPS clients.

The CBCU does not share the details of a DFPS history check on abuse, neglect, or exploitation with the contractor. The contractor is told only that the contractor or contractor’s staff person may not have direct contact with DFPS clients. Disclosure of any findings of abuse, neglect, or exploitation requires approval from the relevant DFPS program or legal staff.

When a finding raises concern for the health and safety of others, including immediate concerns, CBCU staff refer to the procedures for emergency and nonemergency disclosure in the policy handbook of the DFPS program that conducted the investigation.

See:

2870 Release Hearings, CPS Handbook

7726 Emergency Release, Licensing Policy and Procedure Handbook

5420 Due Process for Non-EMR Cases, APS In-Home Investigations Handbook

7270 Release to Other Employers, APS Provider Investigations Handbook

For information on conducting reviews of background check determinations, see 2500 Requesting a Review of a Determination.

2455 Redeterminations (Renewals)

CBCU January 2016

The routine background checks on a PCS contractor or contractor’s staff that are required every 24 months do not require a new risk evaluation or an additional risk assessment, if:

  •  DFPS previously approved a risk evaluation for the same criminal conviction or approved a risk assessment for the same finding of abuse, neglect, or exploitation;

  •  the more recent check does not reveal a new crime or investigation of abuse, neglect, or exploitation; and

  •  the current position and responsibilities of the contractor or contractor’s staff are the same as when DFPS approved the risk evaluation or risk assessment.

DFPS considers the need for a risk evaluation on a case-by-case basis, when:

  •  a contractor or contractor’s staff person was previously subject to an earlier version of this background check policy; and

  •  a subsequent background check now indicates an absolute bar.

In this situation, the CBCU completes an assessment of whatever crime is found by looking at the relevant factors explained in 2453 Eligible for a Risk Evaluation, above. Relevant factors include the length of time that the contractor or contractor’s staff person has had direct contact with DFPS clients without concerns raised or incidents reported.

2500 Requesting a Review of a Determination

2510 Requesting a Review of a Determination Based on Criminal History

CBCU January 2016

If a PCS contractor or a contractor’s staff person is barred from direct contact with DFPS clients because of a criminal history, the contractor may ask the CBCU to review the background check determination if:

  •  the person has been previously approved under a different DFPS background check policy with the same background check results;

  •  new information is now available that was not previously considered at the time of the determination that may alter the outcome of the determination; or

  •  the contractor believes that the PCS Background Check Policy has not been followed.

To make the request, the contractor:

  •  submits the request in writing within 30 days of the date that appears on the letter notifying the contractor that the contractor or the contractor’s staff person cannot have direct contact with DFPS clients;

  •  includes in the request:

  •  the name of the person on whom the background check was conducted,

  •  the date that the CBCU issued the determination, and

  •  details regarding the basis of the request, including:

  •  previous DFPS background check policies under which the person has been approved to work and dates of those background checks,

  •  any new information that was not previously considered and which the contractor believes may alter the outcome of the determination, and/or

  •  information about which portion(s) of this policy the contractor believes may not have been followed during the determination;

  •  addresses the request to the CBCU staff member who issued the determination; and

  •  sends the request by e-mail, regular mail, or fax.

Upon receipt of the request, the CBCU:

  •  considers any new information to determine whether it alters the outcome of the determination; and

  •  reviews the background check to ensure that all policies and procedures were followed.

If the request for review is based on previous clearance under a different DFPS background check policy, the CBCU:

  •  reviews the results to assess what level of risk the person poses to DFPS clients or DFPS client information, despite the fact that one or more convictions are currently identified in Appendix 2000-1: PCS Background Check Criminal History Chart as a bar,

  •  follows the same guidelines for assessing risk identified in 2453 Eligible for a Risk Evaluation earlier in this policy, and

  •  requests, if necessary, additional information from the contractor to complete a thorough review.

The CBCU may request that DFPS Legal staff participate in the review before issuing a decision.

The CBCU provides the contractor with a written response to the request.

If the PCS contractor disagrees with the CBCU’s review decision, he or she may request that the DFPS chief operating officer review the propriety of CBCU's determination. The PCS contractor makes this request directly to the chief operating officer or through the CBCU, following the steps for requesting a review that are explained directly above, in this item.

The chief operating officer’s decision regarding the review is final.

2520 Review of a Determination That Is Based on a History of Abuse, Neglect, or Exploitation

CBCU January 2016

If a PCS contractor or the contractor’s staff person is barred from direct contact with DFPS clients because of a history of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, the person barred may ask the CBCU to review the background check determination if:

  •  the person has been previously approved under a different DFPS background check policy with the same background check results,

  •  new information is now available that was not previously considered at the time of the determination and which may alter the outcome of the determination,

  •  the person denies that the abuse, neglect, or exploitation  history belongs to him or her, or

  •  the person believes that the PCS Background Check Policy has not been followed.

When a bar is based on a history of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, a contractor does not have the authority to request a review on behalf of his or her staff person. Information about abuse, neglect, or exploitation is confidential and cannot be released to the contractor. The specific details related to the review are discussed only with the person who was barred from direct contact and only that person may request a review.

2521 Requesting the Review

CBCU January 2016

To request a review, the person barred:

  •  submits a request in writing within 30 days of the date on the notification barring the person from direct contact;

  •  includes in the request:

  •  the name of the person barred (that is, the person on whom the background check was conducted),

  •  the date that the decision was issued,

  •  details regarding the basis of the request, including the following as applicable:

  •  previous DFPS background check policies under which the barred person has been approved to work and dates of those background checks;

  •  any new information that was not previously considered and which the barred person believes may alter the outcome of the determination;

  •  a detailed statement from the barred person explaining the circumstances surrounding the investigation and why he or she does not pose a threat to DFPS clients;

  •  information about which portion(s) of this policy the barred person believes may not have been followed during the determination; and/or

  •  proof that the history does not belong to the barred person

  •  addresses the request to the CBCU staff member who issued the determination; and

  •  sends the request by email, regular mail, or fax.

2522 Conducting the Review

CBCU October 2017

Upon receipt of the request, the CBCU:

  •   considers any new information to determine if it alters the outcome of the determination or validates the assertion that the history does not belong to the person on whom CBCU conducted the background check; and

  •   reviews the background check to ensure that all policies and procedures were followed.

If the request for review is based on previous clearance under a different DFPS background check policy, the CBCU:

  •   reviews the results to assess what level of risk the person poses to DFPS clients or DFPS client information;

  •   follows the same guidelines for assessing risk identified in 2454 Contraindication earlier in this policy; and

  •   requests, if necessary, additional information from the barred person to complete a thorough review.

The CBCU may request that DFPS Legal staff participate in the review before issuing a decision. In cases where new information was obtained during the review, the CBCU may notify the program area that made the finding of abuse, neglect, or exploitation to determine whether an internal review by the program is warranted.

If the decision to bar is changed as a result of the review process, both the previously barred person and the contractor are notified in writing that the background check is cleared and the bar from direct contact with DFPS clients is lifted.

If the decision to bar is upheld during the review, only the person barred (the person on whom the background check was conducted) is notified in writing about the results of the review.

If the person barred disagrees with the CBCU’s review decision, he or she may request that the DFPS chief operating officer review the propriety of CBCU’s determination. The person barred makes this request directly to the chief operating officer or through the CBCU, following the steps for requesting a review in 2521 Requesting the Review.

The chief operating officer’s decision regarding the review is final.

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