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Definitions of Terms

Background Checks September 2019

The definitions below serve as a glossary for this handbook.

ABCS Requestor

Background Checks Definition July 2020

An ABCS requestor is the person authorized to enter background check requests in ABCS for a specific contractor or entity.

A cleared background check from DFPS Background Checks is required before a contractor or entity may designate a person as an ABCS requestor.

For information on who can be a requestor for the contractor or entity, see:

2000 Background Checks for Purchased Client Services

3000 Background Checks for Non-DFPS Staff

There are two types of requestors: users and administrators.

Users

Users can do the following:

  • Enter new background check requests.
  • Update their own information, such as a password or an email address.

Administrators

Administrators can do the following:

  • Do everything users can do.
  • Maintain all account information, including deleting other users and determining whether users can receive results.

Application Security Administrator (ASA)

Background Checks Definition July 2020

ASAs are DFPS staff members in each region who work in the Program Support division. ASAs process requests for access to DFPS computer applications.

Automated Background Check System (ABCS)

Background Checks Definition July 2020

ABCS is an electronic system for entering data to request background checks for the following:

  • Persons who are not DFPS employees but who have a business need to access DFPS clients or resources, including facilities or the Case Connection system.
  • Entities for which the Legislature authorizes DFPS to process background checks on the entity’s employees, volunteers, and board members. These entities include the following:
    • Children’s Advocacy Centers (CAC).
    • Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA).
    • The Texas Juvenile Justice Department.

ABCS feeds the background check requests into IMPACT for processing. The ABCS User Guide explains how to access and use the system. For details on how different groups who request background checks use ABCS, see:

2000 Background Checks for Purchased Client Services

3000 Background Checks for Non-DFPS Staff

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

7000 Background Checks for DFPS Volunteers and Interns

8000 Background Checks for State and Federal Audit Staff

Background Checks Staff

Background Checks Definition July 2020

DFPS Background Checks is a program in the Operations division. The Background Checks staff processes background checks on the following people:

Barred

Background Checks Definition July 2020

Barred (or absolute bar) means that a person is prohibited from accessing DFPS clients or resources.

For more information on how this term applies to the different groups that request background checks through Background Checks, see:

2452 Absolute Bar (for purchased client services)

3520 Background Check Determinations: Absolute Bars (for non-DFPS staff)

5420 Denied (for CASA employees, volunteers, and board members)

7420 Absolute Bars (for DFPS volunteers and interns)

8420 Absolute Bars (for state and federal audit staff)

CASA ABCS Representative

Background Checks Definition July 2020

The CASA ABCS representative is a CASA employee whom the CASA program liaison designates to collect and verify the personal information of CASA employees, volunteers, and board members for the purpose of completing a DFPS history check.

CASA HHS Enterprise Portal Representative

Background Checks Definition July 2020

The CASA HHS Enterprise Portal representative is the person in each local CASA program who approves requests for new HHS Enterprise Portal and Case Connection accounts for CASA employees, volunteers, and board members.

CASA Program Liaison

Background Checks Definition July 2020

The CASA program liaison is the person in each local CASA program who designates a person for the role of CASA ABCS representative for that local program.

Case Connection

Background Checks Definition July 2020

Case Connection is a web-based application on the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) public website. It allows CASA employees, volunteers, and board members assigned to an open case in IMPACT to access certain case information, including a child’s substitute care records.

Central Registry Check

Background Checks Definition July 2020

A Central Registry check is a name-based search in IMPACT of the DFPS Central Registry. The DFPS Central Registry contains all records of child abuse and neglect investigations in Texas. The Texas Family Code §261.002 requires DFPS to maintain the Central Registry.

The Central Registry contains only information that meets both of the following criteria:

  • Child Protective Investigations, Child Care Investigations, or Adult Protective Services Provider Investigations gathered the information during an investigation of child abuse or neglect.
  • Either of the following applies:
    • The subject has a role of designated perpetrator or sustained perpetrator in a case that received a disposition of Reason to Believe or Confirmed.
    • The subject is an alleged perpetrator in an open child abuse or neglect investigation.

Child Care Licensing Automation Support System (CLASS)

Background Checks Definition July 2020

CLASS is a computer application that the Health and Human Services (HHS) Child Care Licensing (CCL) staff uses to manage records.

Cleared

Background Checks Definition July 2020

Cleared means that no information was found during the background check that would prohibit the subject from acting in the role for which the check was requested.

For details on how this term applies to the different groups that request background checks through Background Checks, see:

2451 Cleared (for purchased client services)

3510 Background Check Determinations: Cleared (for non-DFPS staff)

5410 Cleared (for court appointed special advocates (CASA) employees, volunteers, and board members)

7410 Cleared Background Checks (for DFPS volunteers and interns)

8410 Cleared Background Checks (for state and federal audit staff)

Contractor

Background Checks Definition July 2020

A contractor is a person who is associated with a vendor that is under contract with DFPS, or in some cases with the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), to provide services for DFPS or its clients.

The term contractor includes both current and potential contractors.

Contraindication

Background Checks Definition July 2020

A contraindication refers to background check results that are not an absolute bar to accessing DFPS resources or clients but require a review through a risk assessment or risk evaluation.

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)

Background Checks Definition July 2020

Texas CASA is a network of 72 community-based programs that recruit, train, and support citizen volunteers to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in courtrooms and communities. A judge may appoint a CASA volunteer to advocate for a child to make sure each child’s rights are protected and needs are met while in foster care.

Criminal Conviction

Background Checks Definition July 2020

In general, a criminal conviction is the outcome of a criminal prosecution that resulted in a judgment that the defendant is guilty of the crime. Criminal convictions can include:

  • A guilty plea.
  • A plea of nolo contendere (no contest).
  • A judgment or order rendered for a crime.

The Background Checks staff reviews all criminal history for the subject of a background check and determines what is or is not considered a criminal conviction. For information on how this determination is made, see:

2441 Assessing DFPS and Criminal History Records (for purchased client services)

3500 Background Check Determinations (for non-DFPS staff)

7320 Criminal History (for DFPS volunteers and interns)

8400 Making a Determination (for state and federal audit staff)

DFPS Facilities

Background Checks Definition July 2020

DFPS facilities are any buildings that house or support DFPS operations. DFPS may share these facilities with other state agencies.

DFPS History Check

Background Checks Definition July 2020

A DFPS history check is a search in IMPACT of records of investigations of child and adult abuse, neglect, and exploitation in Texas. The search identifies all Child Protective Investigations, Adult Protective Services Provider Investigations, and Child Care Licensing investigations that mention the subject of the background check, regardless of the subject’s role or relationship.

DFPS Information Technology Resources

Background Checks Definition July 2020

DFPS information technology resources include the following:

  • Any information that DFPS collects, including information stored electronically.
  • The tools to access and use that information. These tools include computer programs and applications, databases, computer systems, and networks.

DFPS Resources

Background Checks Definition July 2020

DFPS resources include the following items that belong to DFPS or are in the care of DFPS:

  • Property.
  • Electronic systems.
  • Paper files.
  • Information, including client information.
  • Facilities where DFPS staff or any of the above are housed.

Direct Access

Background Checks Definition July 2020

Direct access includes:

  • Access to DFPS resources.
  • Access to records about DFPS clients or to any information on DFPS clients that is exempt from disclosure under state and federal law, including a client’s:
    • Name
    • Address
    • Date of birth
    • Social Security number
    • Educational records
    • School attendance information
    • Medical records
    • Financial records
    • Case information
  • Physical access to the home or living quarters of a DFPS client.
  • Access to DFPS information technology resources.
  • Unescorted access (that is, access with a badge, key, or key card, instead of a human escort) to DFPS facilities.

Direct Contact

Background Checks Definition July 2020

Direct contact includes:

  • Physical contact with a DFPS client (except casual or accidental contact).
  • Communication with a DFPS client (except casual or accidental communication).

Exception for Presenters

A person does not have direct contact if the person presents at an educational presentation or seminar for a group of DFPS clients but does not have access to confidential information about the clients.

Exception for Supervised Independent Living (SIL)

The direct contact definition above does not apply to providers of Supervised Independent Living (SIL) services.

DPS RAP Back

Background Checks Definition July 2020

A DPS RAP back is an update to a person’s Texas criminal history Record of Arrests and Prosecutions (RAP) from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). DFPS automatically receives a DPS RAP back notification every time DPS arrests a person who has completed a name-based background check through DFPS.

Due Diligence Checks

Background Checks Definition July 2020

Due diligence checks are any of the background checks that may be requested or required to determine whether a prospective employee is eligible to work for DFPS. A due diligence check can include a DFPS history check, a criminal history check, and a driving record check.

Due Diligence Notice

Background Checks Definition July 2020

A due diligence notice is a notice that the TAG hiring specialist submits to the staffing specialist. The staffing specialist then uploads the notice into ABCS when Northgate Arinso (NGA) enters the background check for the prospective employee.

The due diligence notice gives detailed information about a prospective employee that Background Checks may use to process the background check.

eMAC

Background Checks Definition July 2020

An eMAC is an electronic request form used to move, add, change, or remove a person’s access to DFPS information technology resources.

External Sunsetting

Background Checks Definition July 2020

External sunsetting is the process of making background checks on external subjects (people outside DFPS) inactive if a renewal background check is not submitted in a timely manner according to applicable policy. External sunsetting occurs on background checks submitted for PCS, non-DFPS staff, DFPS volunteers and interns, and CASA.

FBI Criminal History Check

Background Checks Definition July 2020

An FBI criminal history check is a fingerprint-based criminal history check requested through the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Its results include all offenses committed in the United States that are on the subject’s criminal history record.

FBI Exigent Check

Background Checks Definition July 2020

An FBI exigent check is a name-based search of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) database of crimes committed in the United States. Results consist of arrests and dispositions from fingerprint records, disposition reports, and other information that agencies with criminal justice responsibilities submit to the FBI.

See the Child Protective Services Handbook, 3211.22 FBI Exigent and Fingerprint Checks for more details.

FBI Name Check

Background Checks Definition July 2020

An FBI name check is a name-based search of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) database of crimes committed in the United States. Results consist of arrests and dispositions from fingerprint records, disposition reports, and other information that agencies with criminal justice responsibilities submit to the FBI.

This type of check is only available after the subject has had two fingerprint-based FBI criminal history checks and both checks were unable to be processed because of poor fingerprint quality.

HHS Enterprise Portal

Background Checks Definition July 2020

Health and Human Services (HHS) owns and maintains the HHS Enterprise Portal, sometimes referred to as the Identity Access Management (IAM) System.

The portal allows users to do the following:

The portal also allows approvers to approve or deny requests for access to computer applications.

Hiring Authority

Background Checks Definition July 2020

A hiring authority is the DFPS employee who is responsible for hiring a DFPS applicant and onboarding the new DFPS employee. The hiring authority may be a TAG specialist or the new employee’s direct supervisor.

Identity Access Management (IAM) System

Background Checks Definition September 2019

The Identity Access Management (IAM) System is an alternate term for the HHS Enterprise Portal.

IMPACT

Background Checks Definition July 2020

IMPACT (Information Management Protecting Adults and Children in Texas) is the automated case management system for DFPS investigations and services in cases of abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR)

Background Checks Definition September 2019

The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) is a federal agency that provides resources to new refugees and helps them integrate into American society.

Out-of-State Abuse and Neglect History Check

Background Checks Definition July 2020

An out-of-state abuse and neglect history check is a search of other US states’ records of investigations and cases of abuse and neglect.

Information about getting out-of-state abuse and neglect background information is available in the Child Care Subsidy Criminal Background Check Contact List provided by the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI)

Background Checks Definition July 2020

PEI is a DFPS program that focuses on stopping bad outcomes before they happen. This program helps families and communities prevent:

  • Child abuse and neglect.
  • Juvenile delinquency.
  • Runaway youth.
  • Truancy.

Principal

Background Checks Definition July 2020

A principal (as the term is used in 2000 Background Checks for Purchased Client Services) is any person who can make financial decisions on behalf of a vendor without needing approval from anyone else. DFPS automatically considers people with the following titles or roles to be principals:

  • Executive director
  • Chief executive officer
  • Chief financial officer
  • Comptroller
  • Signature authority

A principal may also be either of the following:

  • An individual who fulfills one of these roles but who is a subcontractor.
  • An entity that manages financial or accounting operations.

Professional Capacity

Background Checks Definition July 2020

Professional capacity is a designation that DFPS may apply to a reporter or collateral in an abuse or neglect case in IMPACT.

A reporter or collateral who is acting in a professional capacity is someone who meets either of the following criteria:

  • Is obligated to report abuse and neglect as part of his or her professional duties.
  • Works with clients in addressing issues related to abuse and neglect.

Purchased Client Services (PCS)

Background Checks Definition September 2019

Purchased client services (PCS) are the services DFPS provides to clients through contracts with local businesses.

Purchased Client Services (PCS) Contractor’s Staff

Background Checks Definition July 2020

A PCS contractor’s staff includes the following people (both current and potential):

  • Employees of the contractor.
  • Volunteers of the contractor.
  • Subcontractors.
  • Employees and other staff members of the subcontractors.
  • Volunteers of the subcontractors.

Regional Positions

Background Checks Definition July 2020

Regional positions are DFPS job positions that are housed in the various DFPS regions and are under the direct supervision of the regional chain of command.

Risk Assessment

Background Checks Definition July 2020

A risk assessment is a type of assessment that Background Checks conducts to determine the level of risk a person poses to DFPS resources and clients based on his or her criminal history or abuse and neglect history. See Appendix 4000-1: Tips for Reviewing DFPS Case History to Assess Hiring Eligibility.

For details on how this term applies to the different groups that request background checks through Background Checks, see:

3000 Background Checks for Non-DFPS Staff

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

7000 Background Checks for DFPS Volunteers and Interns

8000 Background Checks for State and Federal Audit Staff

Risk Evaluation

Background Checks Definition July 2020

A risk evaluation is a type of evaluation that Background Checks conducts to determine whether a person’s criminal history poses a risk to the health or safety of DFPS clients and therefore justifies a bar to direct contact with DFPS clients. Background Checks conducts a risk evaluation at the request of the contract manager.

See 2453 Eligible for a Risk Evaluation for details.

Sponsor

Background Checks Definition July 2020

A sponsor is a DFPS program manager or higher-level DFPS employee who does both of the following:

  • Begins a request to provide access to DFPS resources to people who are not DFPS employees but need access for business purposes.
  • Takes responsibility for these people’s actions in their use of DFPS resources.

Staffing Specialist

Background Checks Definition July 2020

A staffing specialist is an employee of the human resources vendor, Northgate Arinso (NGA), who processes requests for job postings using the Centralized Accounting and Payroll/Personnel System (CAPPS). This includes initiating due diligence checks in ABCS.

State Office Positions

Background Checks Definition September 2019

State office positions are DFPS job positions that are under the direct supervision of the state office chain of command. These positions may be housed in state office or in a regional office, depending on their role.

Statewide Intake (SWI)

Background Checks Definition July 2020

Statewide Intake (SWI) is the DFPS central point of contact for reports of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of children and adults in Texas. SWI is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. SWI staff members do the following:

  • Assess the information in the report by applying state laws and DFPS policies.
  • Enter the information in IMPACT.
  • Notify the correct DFPS program and field office of the reported abuse, neglect, or exploitation.

Subject

Background Checks Definition July 2020

The subject of a background check is the person whose background is being checked.

Talent Acquisition Group (TAG)

Background Checks Definition July 2020

The Talent Acquisition Group (TAG) consists of hiring specialists who are DFPS employees in the Human Resources division. They manage the hiring process for DFPS employees.

Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)

Background Checks Definition July 2020

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) enforces laws protecting public safety and providing for the prevention and detection of crime. It is a central holding place for criminal history records in Texas. If a case goes to court, the clerk of the court reports the disposition (outcome) of the case to DPS.

Texas Name-Based Criminal History Check

Background Checks Definition July 2020

A Texas name-based criminal history check is a criminal history check requested through the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). The results of this check include all Texas-based arrests and dispositions (outcomes), including convictions and cases with unknown dispositions. The search sometimes produces results on juvenile criminal history.

Vendor

Background Checks Definition July 2020

A vendor is an entity that has an approved business need to contract with DFPS. A vendor has contractors who provide services to DFPS staff, clients, facilities, or information technology resources.

For more information about vendors that request background checks through Background Checks, see:

2000 Background Checks for Purchased Client Services

3000 Background Checks for Non-DFPS Staff

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