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2000 Background Checks for Purchased Client Services

Background Checks February 2018

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 and volunteers, if the person has direct contact 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 Residential Operations that HHS Child Care Licensing Regulates

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 Investigations Handbook.

2100 Division of Staff Responsibilities for Purchased Client Services

Background Checks February 2018

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:

  •  DFPS Background Checks (BC) ; and

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

2110 DFPS Background Checks (BC) Staff Responsibilities

Background Checks February 2018

BC staff are responsible for notifying the DFPS contract manager, contractor, or the requestor of the background check 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;

  •  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;

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

Other BC staff responsibilities are:

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

  •  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 decision based on 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 BC 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

Background Checks February 2018

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

Other PCS staff responsibilities are:

  •  answering contractors’ questions regarding this policy, or referring contractors to BC, 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 BC 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 Residential Operations that HHS Child Care Licensing Regulates.

2200 Types of Background Checks

2210 PCS Background Checks That Are Always Required

Background Checks February 2018

All PCS contractors and their staff are required to undergo:

  •  Texas name-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

Background Checks February 2018

In addition to obtaining a Texas 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

Background Checks February 2018

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

  •  BC’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, BC consults with DFPS legal staff.

2300 Overview of the Background Check Process

Background Checks February 2018

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

Background Checks February 2018

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

Background Checks February 2018

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

  •  no later than 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 the system through the external sunsetting process. Once made inactive, any authorized user of ABCS will no longer have access to that system.

2330 Options for Contractors With Multiple PCS Contracts

Background Checks February 2018

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 BC 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 Residential Operations that HHS Child Care Licensing Regulates

Background Checks August 2019

A residential operation that Health and Human Services (HHS) Child Care Licensing (CCL) regulates is required to do background checks on its staff members and volunteers, according to HHS licensing rules.

40 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 745, Subchapter F

A residential operation is a facility that provides 24-hour care for more than 12 children.

There are two types of background checks that a residential operation may be required to do, as follows:

  •   The background checks that PCS requires.

  •   The usual background checks that CCL requires.

A residential operation does both of these types of background checks if the entity that contracts with DFPS, or any staff member of the entity, meets any of the following criteria:

  •   Also works under a contract that provides services to clients of Adult Protective Services.

  •   Also works under a contract that provides supervised independent living services to clients of CPS.

  •   Is a principal on the contract and has access to the financial records of the entity that contracts with DFPS. A principal is a person (such as the chief operating officer, chief executive officer, or executive director) who has the authority to make financial decisions on behalf of the entity.

  •   Is a user or administrator of the Automated Background Check System.

2350 Reporting and Making Determinations for New Incidents

Background Checks February 2018

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 BC 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 BC 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 BC before allowing continued direct contact with DFPS clients.

To report a new incident, the contractor:

  •  completes a new Form 2970c Criminal or Abuse/Neglect History for Applicants, Employees, or Volunteers of DFPS Contractors and Subcontractors (superseding the original Form 2970c); and

  •  submits the form to the DFPS contract manager.

The contract manager:

  •  informs BC about the self-reported incident; and

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

BC:

  •  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, BC will track the investigation until a disposition is rendered. Once a disposition is rendered regarding the investigation, BC 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

Background Checks February 2018

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 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 BC.

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

Background Checks February 2018

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 Criminal or Abuse/Neglect History for Applicants, Employees, or Volunteers of DFPS Contractors and Subcontractors

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

Background Checks February 2021

When a fingerprint-based criminal history check is required, PCS contractors and 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 following actions are taken:

  • The request is closed.
  • 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 following are true:

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

Contractors who meet the criteria above notify BC 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 subject of the background check.
  • Information regarding prior fingerprinting, including a receipt (if available) or the date of the fingerprinting

Photo identification of the subject 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

Background Checks February 2018

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 BC 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.

BC 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, BC 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 BC receives proof of a cleared disposition.

2430 Retaining All Background Check-Related Correspondence From BC

Background Checks February 2018

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

The correspondence may include notification about decisions regarding:

  •  Texas 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

Background Checks February 2018

BC 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

Background Checks February 2018

BC 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

Background Checks February 2018

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

BC 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 BC determines that there is a risk of immediate harm because of the juvenile history, BC 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

Background Checks February 2018

BC 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 BC has identified as belonging to them.

BC 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 BC with documentation from the applicable Texas court, county attorney, district attorney, or arresting agency.

Inconclusive Records

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

To resolve inconclusive criminal history records, BC 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 Texas name-based criminal history 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 BC representative who sent notification about the results of the background check.

2450 Making a Determination

2451 Cleared

Background Checks February 2021

A background check is cleared when the results show the following:

  • No record of crimes that DFPS monitors.
  • No record of sex offender registration.
  • No DFPS history that contraindicates direct contact with DFPS clients.

DFPS does not notify the contractor about crimes that are not listed on the PCS Background Check Criminal History Chart or not monitored by DFPS.

When Background Checks staff determines that a background check is clear, they electronically notify the ABCS requestor or contractor.

2452 Absolute Bar

Background Checks February 2021

Background Checks staff notifies the contractor if he or she determines that any of the following is true about a PCS contractor or contractor’s employee:

  • He or she is a registered sex offender.
  • He or she as a criminal conviction or history of abuse, neglect, or exploitation that justifies an absolute bar on direct contact with DFPS clients.

2453 Eligible for a Risk Evaluation on DPS Criminal History

Background Checks February 2021

The contractor may request a risk evaluation for a person who has a DPS criminal conviction that is noted as eligible in Appendix 2000-1: PCS Background Check Criminal History Chart. Background Checks staff completes a risk evaluation for DPS Criminal History 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.

DFPS also reserves the right to determine that a risk evaluation for DPS Criminal History is required, if the subject has a history of either of the following:

If a DPS criminal conviction is eligible for a risk evaluation or Background Checks staff determines that a risk evaluation is required, Background Checks staff does the following:

If the PCS contractor decides to request a risk evaluation for a DPS criminal conviction, the PCS contractor does the following:

  • Completes Form 2973c.
  • Gathers the documentation required in the form.
  • Returns the form and documentation to Background Checks staff for review within 30 days of the date noted on notification letter from Background Checks.

Background Checks staff must approve the risk evaluation before the PCS contractor or contractor’s employee may have direct contact with DFPS clients.

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

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

Once Background Checks staff receives a request for a DPS risk evaluation, he or she uses the documentation submitted to assess the risk that the contractor or contractor’s employee poses to DFPS clients.

To assess the risk to clients, Background Checks staff considers such factors as the following:

  • 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 employee played in the crime.
  • The current or prospective position and responsibilities of the contractor or the contractor’s employee.
  • The contractor’s history of compliance with DFPS policies.
  • Whether any additional factors mitigate the risk to DFPS clients.

2454 Eligible for a Risk Evaluation on FBI Criminal History

Background Checks February 2021

Per a 2019 FBI Audit, DFPS does not release information to the PCS contractor regarding criminal history results returned in the FBI Criminal History check. DFPS works directly with the subject to obtain any required court documents or additional information regarding the FBI results.

The subject may request an FBI risk evaluation for himself or herself when the person’s FBI results include a criminal conviction that is noted as eligible in Appendix 2000-1: PCS Background Check Criminal History Chart. Background Checks staff conducts a risk evaluation for FBI Criminal History 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.

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

If an FBI criminal conviction listed on the on the person’s FBI Criminal History Results is either of the following:

If the subject decides to request an FBI risk evaluation, he or she does the following:

  • Completes Form 2973c.
  • Gathers the documentation required in the form.
  • Returns the form and documentation to Background Checks for review within 30 days of the date noted on Background Checks’s notification letter.

Background Checks staff must approve the FBI risk evaluation before the PCS contractor or contractor’s employee may have direct contact with DFPS clients.

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

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

Once Background Checks staff receives a complete request for an FBI risk evaluation, he or she uses the documentation submitted to assess the risk that the contractor or contractor’s employee poses to DFPS clients.

To assess the risk to clients, Background Checks staff considers such factors as the following:

  • 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 employee played in the crime.
  • The current or prospective position and responsibilities of the contractor or the contractor’s employee.
  • The contractor’s history of compliance with DFPS policies.
  • Whether any additional factors mitigate the risk to DFPS clients.

Once Background Checks staff has reached a determination regarding the FBI risk evaluation, he or she will notify the contractor via email whether the subject is cleared or barred.

If a subject is barred due to FBI criminal history, the contractor must contact the subject to obtain information regarding the criminal history returned on the FBI background check.

2455 Contraindication

Background Checks February 2021

Background Checks staff completes a risk assessment to determine whether the contractor or employee may have direct contact with DFPS clients if the following are true:

A PCS contractor or contractor’s employee has a finding of abuse, neglect, or exploitation that contraindicates direct contact with DFPS clients.

The finding does not justify an absolute bar (as defined in 2452 Absolute Bar).

To assess the risk to clients, Background Checks staff reviews the case documentation and consider such factors as the following:

  • 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 employee.
  • The contractor’s history of compliance with DFPS policies.
  • Whether any additional factors mitigate the risk to DFPS clients.

If necessary, Background Checks staff may seek additional information from any of the following:

  • The contractor.
  • The contractor’s employee (the subject of the background check).
  • A DFPS program employee 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, Background Checks staff notifies the contractor and the DFPS contract manager that the contractor or contractor’s employee is either of the following:

  • Cleared and may have direct contact with DFPS clients.
  • Barred and must not have direct contact with DFPS clients.

Background Checks staff does not share the details of a DFPS history check on abuse, neglect, or exploitation with the contractor. The contractor is informed that the contractor or contractor’s employee may not have direct contact with DFPS clients.

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

See:

Child Protective Services Handbook, 1290 Release Hearings When CPI Releases Investigation Findings

Child Care Investigations Handbook, 7727 Emergency Release

Adult Protective Services Handbook, 15300 Due-Process for Non-EMR (Employee Misconduct Registry) Cases

HHSC Provider Investigations Handbook

For information on conducting reviews of background check determinations, see 1320 Reviewing Background Check Decisions.

2456 Redeterminations (Renewals)

Background Checks February 2021

Routine background checks on a PCS contractor or contractor’s staff are required every 24 months. These checks do not require a new risk evaluation or an additional risk assessment if the following are true:

  • 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.
  • 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 or risk assessment on a case-by-case basis, when the following are true:

  • Contractor or contractor’s employee was previously subject to an earlier version of this background check policy.
  • A subsequent background check now indicates an absolute bar.

In this situation, Background Checks staff completes an assessment of whatever crime is found by looking at the relevant factors explained in 2453 Eligible for a Risk Evaluation on DPS Criminal History and 2454 Eligible for a Risk Evaluation on FBI Criminal History. 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.

 

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