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3000 Background Checks for Non-DFPS Staff

BC January 2020

DFPS Background Checks (BC) completes background checks on individuals who are not employed by DFPS, but who have a business need for direct access to DFPS information technology resources or facilities. This includes:

  •  IT contractors

  •  Auditors

  •  Janitorial staff

  •  Health passport users

  •  Security guards

  •  Shred vendors

  •  Contracted case management services staff (DFPS contracts with non-profit or other governmental entities to oversee case management services)

  •  Additional populations with an approved business need.

Access may be granted to DFPS information technology resources or facilities only after the individuals are assessed for risk based on the background check results. The criteria used for assessing risk are explained in 3000 Background Checks for Non-DFPS Staff.

Types of Background Checks Required for Non-DFPS Staff

A background check always includes the following:

  •  A Texas name-based criminal history check requested through the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).

  •  A DFPS history check of the IMPACT system.

DFPS may also require the following additional types of background checks:

  •  An FBI criminal history check is required by DFPS when a person currently resides out-of-state or resided out-of-state in the last two years. It may also be required if there is good cause, such as when DFPS has a reasonable belief that an individual may have a criminal history in another state.

  •  An out-of-state abuse or neglect history check may be required by DFPS if there is good cause, such as when DFPS has a reasonable belief that an individual may have a history of abuse or neglect in another state.

3100 Populations Exempted From Background Checks for Non-DFPS Staff

BC January 2020

The following populations are not subject to the requirements in 3000 Background Checks for Non-DFPS Staff. Instead, they require a background check under the DFPS policies listed below:

  •  For DFPS employees (including paid interns and students who receive a stipend), see 4000 DFPS History Checks for Prospective Employees.

  •  For DFPS volunteers (including unpaid interns), see 7000 Background Checks for DFPS Volunteers and Interns.

  •  For Texas CASA, see 5000 Background Checks for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Employees, Volunteers, and Board Members.

  •  For State and Federal Audit Staff, see 8000 Background Checks for State and Federal Audit Staff.

3200 Division of Responsibilities for Background Checks on Non-DFPS Staff

3210 DFPS Sponsor Responsibilities

BC January 2020

DFPS sponsors:

  •  Communicate with employers to ensure compliance with background check policy.

  •  Take appropriate actions to address issues of noncompliance.

  •  Ensure that background checks and required forms are submitted only in accordance with the requirements of 3000 Background Checks for Non-DFPS Staff.

  •  Ensure that the individual’s employer has verified the accuracy of the vital information obtained on each individual seeking access, including documentation used for background check renewals.

  •  Obtain and provide any missing or additional information required by Background Checks.

  •  Confirm background checks are completed and approved by Background Checks before allowing an individual to access DFPS information technology resources or facilities.

  •  Ensure required renewal background checks and required forms are submitted prior to expiration date to avoid interruption of system access.

  •  Ensure new background checks and required forms are submitted to reinstate access if an account has been deleted due to inactivity.

  •  Notify Background Checks if an individual discloses any criminal history or abuse or neglect history.

  •  Notify Background Checks and Program Support staff when an individual is no longer employed with his or her original DFPS contractor or no longer requires access to DFPS information technology resources or facilities.

3220 Program Support Responsibilities

BC January 2020

Program Support staff:

  •  Initiate background check requests for Non-DFPS staff who require access to DFPS information technology resources or facilities, if the background checks have not already been requested by the DFPS contractor.

  •  Verify that all background checks show cleared results before approving and assigning access to DFPS information technology resources or facilities.

  •  Terminate Non-DFPS staff access to DFPS information technology resources or facilities when notified that the individual did not clear the required, annual renewal background check.

  •  Terminate Non-DFPS staff access to DFPS information technology resources or facilities when notified that the individual is no longer employed with his or her original DFPS contractor or no longer requires access to DFPS information technology resources or facilities.

3230 Background Checks Staff Responsibilities

BC January 2020

Background Checks staff:

  •  Complete background checks accurately and in a timely manner.

  •  Notify DFPS sponsors about the results of the background checks, in accordance with this policy.

3300 FBI Fingerprint Checks

BC January 2020

An individuals who lives outside of Texas, or has lived outside of Texas in the last two years, must undergo an FBI Fingerprint Check.

The individual will not be allowed to access DFPS information technology resources or facilities until all required background checks have been completed and cleared by Background Checks staff. See 3540 Incomplete Background Checks.

3400 Background Check Renewals

BC January 2020

The sponsor must initiate a renewal background check for each individual every 12 months from the date of the original request for as long as the individual is authorized to access DFPS information technology resources or facilities. The individual is allowed to have continued access to DFPS information technology resources and facilities pending the outcome of a renewal background check.

If the results of the renewal check reveal criminal, abuse, or neglect history that would bar the individual from access, the individual is no longer allowed access to DFPS information technology resources and facilities.

3500 Background Check Determinations

BC January 2020

Background Checks staff make a determination to clear or bar an individual based on the background check results.

The initial determination is based on:

Appendix 3000-1: Criminal History Chart for DFPS Applicants and Employees

Appendix 3000-2: DFPS History Chart for External Users, DFPS Prospective Employees, and CASA Employees, Volunteers, and Board Members.

References to DFPS employment in the charts also apply to individuals who are not DFPS employees but are subject to this background check policy.

The charts indicate:

  •  Criminal convictions that are absolute bars to DFPS employment.

  •  Criminal convictions that are a likely or possible contraindication to DFPS employment.

  •  DFPS history of abuse, neglect, or exploitation that is an absolute bar to DFPS employment.

  •  DFPS history of abuse, neglect, or exploitation that requires further review to determine the person’s eligibility for DFPS employment.

Background Checks staff will not disclose criminal history or DFPS history of abuse, neglect, or exploitation found on non-DFPS staff to anyone outside of DFPS.

3510 Background Check Determinations: Cleared

BC January 2020

If an individual has no history of any criminal convictions listed on the Appendix 3000-1: Criminal History Chart for DFPS Applicants and Employees and no history of abuse, neglect, or exploitation that is identified as requiring further action on the Appendix 3000-2: DFPS History Chart for External Users, DFPS Prospective Employees, and CASA Employees, Volunteers, and Board Members, Background Check staff notify the ASA who then notify the DFPS sponsor that the background checks have cleared for the individual.

3520 Background Check Determinations: Absolute Bars

BC January 2020

If an individual has a history of criminal convictions or of abuse, neglect, or exploitation that is identified as an Absolute Bar (or Barred) on Appendix 3000-1: Criminal History Chart for DFPS Applicants and Employees or Appendix 3000-2: DFPS History Chart for External Users, DFPS Prospective Employees, and CASA Employees, Volunteers, and Board Members, Background Checks staff notify the ASA who then notify the DFPS sponsor that background check results bar the individual from having access.

3530 Background Check Determinations: Risk Assessment

BC January 2020

If an individual has a history of criminal convictions or abuse, neglect, or exploitation and the history is identified as a Contraindication on Appendix 3000-1: Criminal History Chart for DFPS Applicants and Employees or as a Review on Appendix 3000-2: DFPS History Chart for External Users, DFPS Prospective Employees, and CASA Employees, Volunteers, and Board Members, Background Checks staff conduct a risk assessment before rendering a decision.

An individual is not granted access until the risk assessment is complete and the individual is cleared. Background Checks staff also conduct a risk assessment on juvenile criminal history obtained from DPS or the FBI. If Background Checks staff assess that there is risk of immediate harm if access is allowed, Background Checks staff consult with the DFPS Office of General Counsel (Legal Division) to make a final determination.

Certain criminal convictions not specifically noted in the Appendix 3000-1: Criminal History Chart for DFPS Applicants and Employees may require a risk assessment, if there is concern that the criminal offense poses a risk of harm or loss to DFPS or its clients.

Based on the risk assessment outlined above, Background Checks staff notify the ASA who notifies the DFPS sponsor either that the individual is cleared and may have access to DFPS information technology resources or facilities, or the individual is not cleared and access is denied. Background Checks staff does not include the specific criminal, abuse, neglect, or exploitation history in the notice approving or denying clearance.

3540 Incomplete Background Checks

BC January 2020

A background check is considered incomplete for one of two reasons:

  •  The individual does not communicate with Background Checks staff or provide needed information and documents within 10 calendar days.

  •  Background Checks staff are unable to obtain all required information to complete the background check within 30 calendar days of the request date.

If a background check is not successfully completed, it is closed and recorded as a bar for failure to comply and the person may not be granted access to DFPS information technology resources or facilities.

The DFPS sponsor may contact Background Checks to request an extension to the 30 day deadline. The contractor must provide proof that reasonable steps have been taken to meet the requirement.

If a background check was closed and the individual barred under these circumstances, the DFPS sponsor must submit new background check request forms to restart the process once the required documentation is available.

3600 New Incidents and Investigations

3610 New Criminal Incidents (Self-Reporting Requirement)

BC January 2020

Individuals who have a background check performed under this policy are required to report to the contractor or DFPS sponsor, within five business days, any new arrest by any federal, state, or local agency or board. This is referred to as self-reporting. The DFPS sponsor or contractor ensures that individuals are aware of the requirement to self-report.

The DFPS sponsor must ensure new incidents are reported to DFPS Background Checks. To report a new incident, the contractor completes and submits the required forms to the DFPS Sponsor. The DFPS sponsor submits the completed forms to the ASA, who informs Background Checks about the self-reported incident and ensures that a new background check request is launched.

The individual is denied access to DFPS information technology resources or facilities until the contractor is notified otherwise by Background Checks.

If the individual or contractor fails to notify Background Checks about any new arrests, Background Checks may revoke the clearance that was provided based on the previous background check or the approval that was given based on the previous risk assessment.

3620 New DFPS Abuse and Neglect Investigations

BC January 2020

If a non-DFPS individual was previously cleared and assigned access to DFPS information technology resources or facilities and later is involved in a new DFPS abuse and neglect investigation, the DFPS sponsor must request a new background check.

Statewide Intake notifies Background Checks when a new report of abuse, neglect, or exploitation is received that involves an individual who has had a background check conducted under this policy.

Background Checks staff works with the individual’s DFPS sponsor to conduct a risk assessment on a case-by-case basis, according to the individual’s level of involvement in the investigation and the circumstances surrounding the investigation.

Background Checks and the DFPS sponsor assess risk and determine whether the individual:

  •  May continue to have access DFPS information technology resources or facilities while the investigation is pending.

  •  Must temporarily be denied access to DFPS information technology resources or facilities while the investigation is ongoing.

If Background Checks and the DFPS sponsor determine that the allegations of abuse, neglect, or exploitation reach the threshold of risk, the DFPS sponsor notifies the contractor that the individual is temporarily denied access to DFPS Information Technology Resources and/or Facilities. Background Checks staff track the DFPS investigation until it closes and a final disposition is rendered.

Once the investigation closes, Background Checks determines if a new background check needs to be submitted and notifies the DFPS sponsor about the final disposition.

The DFPS sponsor then does as follows, depending on the circumstances:

  •  If Background Checks staff and the DFPS sponsor determine that the individual must be permanently barred, the DFPS sponsor communicates the decision to the individual. In addition, the DFPS sponsor submits required documentation to the ASA advising that the individual has been barred and should no longer have access to DFPS information technology resources or facilities.

  •  If Background Checks staff and the DFPS sponsor determine that an individual who had been temporarily denied access is now cleared, the DFPS sponsor communicates the decision to the individual and reinstates the individual’s access to DFPS information technology resources or facilities.

3630 Reviewing Background Check Decisions

BC January 2020

The subject of a background check under this policy or the DFPS sponsor may request, on behalf of the subject, a review of the decision made by Background Checks to deny access to DFPS information technology resources or facilities.

3631 Requesting a Review

BC January 2020

The request for review must be submitted to Background Checks in writing within 30 days of the date that Background Checks issued a decision, and the request must include the following:

  •  The name of the subject of the background check.

  •  The date 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 portions of this policy the barred person believes may not have been followed during the determination.

  •  Proof that the history does not belong to the barred person.

3632 Conducting the Review

BC January 2020

The review is conducted by Background Checks management to ensure that all policies and procedures were followed. If necessary, Background Checks management reviews the decision with the Background Checks program administrator and the DFPS Office of General Counsel (Legal Division) before issuing a response.

Background Checks management takes into consideration the following circumstances when conducting the review:

  •  Additional information provided proving that the person in the abuse, neglect, or exploitation case in question, or the subject of the arrest or conviction, is not the subject of the background check that Background Checks conducted. This is considered to be a mismatch.

  •  New information provided regarding the investigation of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.

If the DFPS sponsor or subject of the background check request disagrees with the decision made by Background Checks, he or she may request a second review by of the DFPS Deputy to the Chief Operating Officer (COO). The DFPS sponsor or the subject of the background check makes this request directly to the Deputy COO or through Background Checks, following the steps for requesting a review that are explained in 3631 Requesting a Review.

The decision regarding the second review is final.

3700 Use of DFPS Background Check Resources

BC January 2020

DFPS background check resources may not be used to request background checks on persons who are not subject to this policy or another DFPS background check policy.

Using DFPS background check resources to obtain background check information on persons who are not subject to this policy violates DFPS policy and may result in adverse action.

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