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5000 Background Checks for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Employees, Volunteers, and Board Members

5100 CASA Background Check Policy

Background Checks February 2018

DFPS Background Checks (BC) staff complete background checks on CASA employees, volunteers and board members who have a business need for direct access to DFPS clients and client information.

This policy applies only to CASA volunteers, board members, or employees. DFPS employees, volunteers, and other external users must follow the procedures listed in the associated DFPS policy for that population. Current DFPS employees are prohibited from acting as CASA volunteers, board members, or employees.

CASA conducts FBI fingerprint checks on all of its own employees, volunteers and board members. A Texas name-based criminal history check is not required.

A FBI fingerprint check must be completed before CASA requests a DFPS History Check for a CASA employee, volunteer, or board member.

5110 Background Check Renewals

Background Checks February 2018

CASA background check renewals are not required and the DFPS staff record in IMPACT stays active until the employee leaves the CASA program or until DFPS receives notification the employee no longer requires access to case connection or no longer provides services at CASA.

5120 DFPS Background Checks and Employment with CASA

Background Checks February 2018

If BC issues a decision to deny access to a CASA employee, volunteer or board member, that denial only prohibits the individual from accessing DFPS clients and client information.

The decision to hire or terminate a CASA employee, volunteer or board member is made at the discretion of the CASA organization. In addition, the CASA organization must ensure that CASA employees, volunteers or board members who are not cleared by BC do not have access to DFPS clients or client information.

5130 Improper Use of DFPS Background Check Resources

Background Checks February 2018

A CASA employee, volunteer, or board member may not ask for a DFPS background check on another CASA employee, volunteer or board member, unless that person will have access to DFPS clients or Case Connection.

Such a request would violate DFPS policy. The person who made the request could lose access to DFPS clients and resources including, but not limited to, the Automated Background Check System (ABCS) and IMPACT.

5200 Roles and Responsibilities

5210 CASA Employees, Volunteers, and Board Members

Background Checks February 2018

CASA employees, volunteers, and board members:

  •   provide personal information to the CASA ABCS representative for the purpose of submitting a background check request; and

  •   will receive and maintain a personal identification (PID) number from DFPS to access the HHS Enterprise Portal and Case Connection.

5220 CASA Automated Background Check System (ABCS) Representative

Background Checks February 2018

The CASA ABCS representative:

  •  obtains consent from the CASA employee, volunteer, or board member to submit a background check request;

  •  ensures the accuracy of the vital information obtained on each CASA employee, volunteer, or board member seeking access to DFPS clients or client information for the purpose of maintaining accurate background check-related documentation;

  •  submits background check requests through ABCS; and

  •  receives and maintains notification from BC of the background check results for CASA employees, volunteers and board members.

5230 CASA HHS Enterprise Portal Representative

Background Checks February 2018

The CASA HHS Enterprise Portal representative:

  •   communicates with all CASA employees, volunteers and board members to ensure compliance with background check policy;

  •   takes appropriate actions to address issues of noncompliance;

  •   ensures that background checks are submitted only in accordance with the requirements of this policy; and

  •   notifies DFPS when a CASA employee, volunteer, or board member is no longer employed with a CASA entity or no longer requires access to Case Connection.

5240 BC Staff

Background Checks February 2018

BC staff:

  •  process and complete background checks accurately and in a timely manner;

  •  provide the results of the background checks to the CASA ABCS representative and CASA employee, volunteer, or board member; and

  •  conduct a risk assessment, if appropriate (see 5430 Risk Assessment).

5300 Procedures for Requesting a Background Check

Background Checks February 2018

The CASA ABCS representative:

  •   obtains written consent and the necessary information from the CASA employee, volunteer, or board member to perform a background check;

  •   verifies all required information is complete and accurate; and

  •   enters the background check and submits it for processing through ABCS.

BC staff:

  •   conduct the DFPS History Check; and

  •   provides the results to the CASA ABCS representative and the CASA employee, volunteer or board member.

The CASA HHS Enterprise Portal representative approves the request for the HHS Enterprise Portal account and access to Case Connection.

When a CASA Employee, Volunteer, or Board Member Leaves CASA

The CASA HHS Enterprise Portal representative:

  •   terminates access to Case Connection through the HHS Enterprise Portal for any CASA employee, volunteer, or board member that is no longer associated with the CASA Program; and

  •   notifies DFPS when a CASA employee, volunteer, or board member is no longer associated with CASA.

The CASA ABCS Representative:

  •   terminates access to the HHS Enterprise Portal for any CASA employee, volunteer, or board member that is no longer associated with the CASA program; and

  •   notifies DFPS when a CASA employee, volunteer, or board member loses access to HHS Enterprise Portal and/or is no longer associated with CASA.

DFPS Program Support staff manually closes the individual’s personal identification (PID) record in IMPACT.

5400 Background Check Determinations

Background Checks October 2020

Background Checks notifies the CASA Automated Background Check System (ABCS) representative, and the CASA employee, volunteer, or board member when the request for access to DFPS resources is approved or denied.

The initial determination is based on the criteria in Appendix 3000-2: DFPS History Chart for External Users, DFPS Prospective Employees, Volunteers, and Interns, and CASA Employees, Volunteers, and Board Members.

The chart indicates when a person’s DFPS history of abuse, neglect, or exploitation is determined to be any of the following:

  • Cleared to have access to Case Connection and DFPS clients.
  • An absolute bar to access to Case Connections and DFPS clients.
  • Requires further review and a risk assessment to determine whether the person should be permitted access to Case Connection and DFPS clients.

Note: If a CASA employee, volunteer, or board member has any involvement in an open investigation, this information can be used to make a determination to approve or deny access to DFPS resources.

5410 Cleared

Background Checks February 2018

This determination indicates that the CASA employee, volunteer or board member has no history of abuse, neglect, or exploitation that is identified as requiring further action based on the criteria in Appendix 3000-2: DFPS History Chart for External Users, DFPS Prospective Employees, Volunteers, and Interns, and CASA Employees, Volunteers, and Board Members.

BC sends the CASA employee, volunteer, or board member an email that contains the individual’s PID number.

BC sends the CASA ABCS representative an email stating that the CASA employee, volunteer, or board member has been cleared and access to DFPS clients and Case Connection is approved for the individual. This email also contains the PID for the CASA employee, volunteer, or board member, and must be maintained by the CASA ABCS Representative.

5420 Denied

Background Checks February 2018

This determination indicates that the CASA employee, volunteer or board member has a history of abuse, neglect, or exploitation that is identified as Barred, based on the criteria in Appendix 3000-2: DFPS History Chart for External Users, DFPS Prospective Employees, Volunteers, and Interns, and CASA Employees, Volunteers, and Board Members.

BC notifies the CASA ABCS Representative and the CASA employee, volunteer, or board member that access to DFPS clients and client information is not granted to the individual.

5430 Risk Assessment

Background Checks February 2018

This determination indicates that the CASA employee, volunteer or board member has a history of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, and the history is eligible for a risk assessment.

BC conducts a risk assessment before rendering a decision. Anything identified as a Review in Appendix 3000-2: DFPS History Chart for External Users, DFPS Prospective Employees, Volunteers, and Interns, and CASA Employees, Volunteers, and Board Members indicates that the person is eligible for a risk assessment.

The CASA employee, volunteer, or board member is not granted access until the risk assessment is complete and the individual is cleared.

BC does not disclose any DFPS history of abuse, neglect, or exploitation outside of DFPS. Procedures for emergency disclosure when an individual’s DFPS history presents immediate health and safety concerns for others are outlined by, and may be addressed through, the DFPS program that conducted the investigation.

Based on the risk assessment outlined above, BC notifies the CASA ABCS representative and the CASA employee, volunteer, or board member that the individual is cleared and may have access to DFPS clients and client information, or that the individual is not cleared and access to DFPS clients and client information is denied.

The history of abuse, neglect, or exploitation is not included in the notice approving or denying clearance.

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