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Definitions of Terms

BC September 2019

The definitions below serve as a glossary for this handbook.

ABCS (Automated Background Check System)

BC Definition September 2019

ABCS is the data-entry portal used to electronically submit background check requests for individuals who are not employed by DFPS but who have a business need to access DFPS information technology resources, clients, Case Connection, or facilities.

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 ABCS is used by the different populations that request background checks through BC, see:

2000 Background Checks for Purchased Client Services

3000 Background Checks for External User Access to Information Resources

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

ABCS Requestor

BC Definition September 2019

The ABCS requestor is the person authorized to enter background check requests in ABCS for a specific contract or entity. An ABCS account can have up to seven authorized requestors.

The ABCS requestor for purchased client services (PCS) contracts is usually the PCS contractor or the contractor’s designee, but may also be the DFPS contract manager or other DFPS staff.

The ABCS requestor for external users is a DFPS employee or an individual not employed by DFPS who is authorized to submit background checks for a particular entity.

A cleared background check from DFPS is required before becoming an ABCS requestor.

There are two types of requestors: users and administrators.

Users

BC Definition September 2019

Users have the ability to enter new background check requests and update their own information, such as updating a password or an email address.

Administrators

BC Definition September 2019

In addition to the permissions of a user, administrators can maintain all account information, which includes the ability to delete other users.

Barred

BC Definition September 2019

Barred (or absolute bar) means that a person is prohibited from accessing DFPS clients, resources, or case information, depending on the area of request.

For more information on how this term applies to the different populations that request background checks through BC, see:

2452 Absolute Bar (for purchased client services)

3462 Background Check Determinations: Absolute Bars (for external user access to information resources)

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

BC Staff

BC Definition September 2019

DFPS Background Checks (BC) is a program within Operations Support Services. BC staff perform background checks for the following populations:

  •   CPS staff attempting to facilitate a Parental Child Safety Placement by requesting exigent FBI checks.

  •   Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA).

  •   Potential DFPS employees.

  •   DFPS volunteers and interns.

  •   DFPS external stake holders.

  •   Purchased Client Services contractors.

  •   External users.

  •   Non-DFPS employees who have access to DFPS information technology and buildings.

General Public

BC Definition September 2019

The BC team also conducts Central Registry checks for the public upon individual request.

Case Connection

BC Definition September 2019

Case Connection is a web-based application on the HHSC public website that allows CASA employees, volunteers, and board members assigned to a case to access a child’s substitute care records and certain case information.

Central Registry Check

BC Definition September 2019

A name-based search in IMPACT (Information Management Protecting Adults and Children in Texas) of the DFPS Central Registry of reported child abuse and neglect investigation records in Texas. As required by the Texas Family Code §261.002, DFPS maintains the Central Registry. The Central Registry consists only of information gathered during Child Protective Services, Child Care Licensing, and Adult Protective Services Provider investigations of child abuse and neglect in cases which were given a disposition of Reason to Believe or Confirmed, and the person had a role of designated perpetrator or sustained perpetrator, or if the subject is listed as an alleged perpetrator in an open child abuse or neglect investigation conducted by DFPS.

CLASS (Child Care Licensing Automation Support System)

BC Definition September 2019

CLASS is a computer application used by Child Care Licensing staff for record management.

Cleared

BC Definition September 2019

Cleared means that there is no further action required regarding the results of a person’s background check or DFPS History Check.

For details on how this term is used by the different populations that request background checks through the BC, see:

2451 Cleared (for Purchased Client Services)

3461 Background Check Determinations: Cleared (for External User Access to Information Resources)

5410 Cleared (for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Employees, Volunteers, and Board Members)

Contractors

BC Definition September 2019

Contractors are the entities that contract with DFPS or HHSC and provide services to these agencies or their clients. The contractor may be the entity’s owner, sole proprietor, executive director, and so on. The term contractor includes both current and potential contractors.

For more information about contractors that request background checks through BC, see:

2000 Background Checks for Purchased Client Services

3000 Background Checks for External User Access to Information Resources

Contraindication

BC Definition September 2019

Contraindication refers to results of a criminal history check that do not constitute an absolute bar to access but do require review through a risk assessment.

  •  Likely contraindications are offenses that weigh more heavily against allowing the individual to access DFPS resources, due to the severity of the offenses and the risk that such past behavior may pose to DFPS resources.

  •  Possible contraindications are offenses that may adversely affect an individual’s eligibility to access DFPS resources, depending on the duties of the individual’s position and the level of access required.

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)

BC Definition September 2019

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. Volunteer advocates — empowered directly by the courts — offer judges the critical information they need to ensure that each child’s rights and needs are being attended to while in foster care.

CASA ABCS Representative

BC Definition September 2019

The CASA ABCS representative is a CASA employee designated by the CASA program liaison to collect and verify the personal information of CASA employees, volunteers, and board members for the purposes of completing a DFPS History Check.

The ABCS representative enters the personal information into the ABCS system so the background check can be completed. The ABCS representative must consent to the completion of his or her own background check before gaining access to ABCS.

CASA HHS Enterprise Portal Representative

BC Definition September 2019

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

BC Definition September 2019

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

Criminal Conviction

BC Definition September 2019

In general, criminal conviction refers to a criminal prosecution that results 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); or

  •   a judgment or order rendered for a crime.

Each BC program area may have additional stipulations or requirements regarding what is or is not considered a criminal conviction. For information on how this is defined in each policy area, see:

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

3460 Background Check Determinations (for external user access to information resources)

Data Integrity Specialists

BC Definition September 2019

Data integrity specialists are DFPS staff in each region who work under the Program Support Division processing requests for access to DFPS computer applications.

DFPS Facilities

BC Definition September 2019

DFPS facilities are any facilities that either house or support DFPS operations.

DFPS History Check

BC Definition September 2019

A DFPS History Check is a search in IMPACT of investigation records on child and adult abuse, neglect, and exploitation in Texas. The search is based on the subject’s name, date of birth, gender, address, Social Security number, and any other criteria provided. The search identifies all Child Protective Services, Adult Protective Services, and Child Care Licensing cases that reference the subject of the background check, regardless of the subject’s role or relationship.

DFPS Information Technology Resources

BC Definition September 2019

DFPS information technology resources is any information collected by DFPS, including information stored in electronic format, or the tools used to access and make use of that information (including computer programs and applications, databases, computer systems, and networks).

Direct Access

BC Definition September 2019

Direct access includes:

  •  access to records on DFPS clients and any information on DFPS clients that is exempt from disclosure under provisions of state and federal law, including a client’s:

  •  name,

  •  address,

  •  date of birth,

  •  Social Security number,

  •  educational records,

  •  medical records,

  •  financial records,

  •  case information, and

  •  school attendance information;

  •  access to DFPS information technology resources; and

  •  unescorted access (that is, access without a badge, key, or key card) to DFPS facilities.

Direct Contact

BC Definition September 2019

Direct contact includes:

  •  physical contact with a DFPS client, excluding casual or inadvertent contact;

  •  physical access to the home or living quarters of a DFPS client;

  •  communication with a DFPS client, excluding casual or inadvertent communication;

  •  access to confidential DFPS client records, including a client’s:

  •  name,

  •  address,

  •  date of birth,

  •  Social Security number,

  •  educational records,

  •  medical records,

  •  financial records,

  •  case information, and

  •  school attendance records; and

  •  access to DFPS information resources.

Direct contact does not include:

  •  casual or inadvertent physical contact with a DFPS client;

  •  casual or inadvertent communication with a DFPS client; or

  •  contact at an educational presentation or seminar for a group of DFPS clients by a presenter who does not have access to confidential information about the clients.

For providers of Supervised Independent Living (SIL) services, the direct contact definition above does not apply. These providers are only required to conduct background checks through ABCS for their employees, subcontractors, and volunteers who work directly under the SIL contract. However, these providers must take actions necessary to maintain the safety of any young adult to whom care is provided under the contract. If the contractor believes that additional background checks are warranted, the contractor requests these background checks through a source other than ABCS.

DPS RAP Back

BC Definition September 2019

Updates to the Texas criminal history information of subjects for whom DFPS obtained fingerprint-based check results from the DPS database. If a subject has a fingerprint-based check for DFPS purposes or policy, DPS automatically notifies DFPS every time there is a subsequent arrest of the subject in the state of Texas.

Due Diligence Checks

BC Definition September 2019

Due diligence checks are any of the background investigations or checks that may be requested or required to determine whether a prospective employee is eligible to work for DFPS. The DFPS History Check is one type of due diligence check. Examples of other due diligence checks are the criminal history checks and driving record checks that DFPS Talent Acquisition Group (TAG) staff request from the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Due Diligence Notice

BC Definition September 2019

A due diligence notice is the email sent by the TAG specialist to the BC team that provides detailed person information regarding the prospective employee. The due diligence notice is the method by which the BC team learns that a DFPS History Check needs to be completed on a prospective employee.

eMAC

BC Definition September 2019

An eMAC is an electronic request form used to move, add, change, or remove an individual’s access to DFPS information technology resources. The eMAC system is an online tool used for submitting, tracking, and processing eMAC requests.

Employer

BC Definition September 2019

Employer (as the term is used in 3000 Background Checks for External User Access to Information Resources) means the employer or manager of the individual who is the subject of the background check request. The employer is under contract to provide services to DFPS.

External Sunsetting

BC Definition September 2019

External sunsetting is an automated process in IMPACT. It ensures that all background checks submitted through ABCS (including background checks submitted to fulfill PCS, external user access, and CASA policy requirements) are moved to an inactive state in IMPACT when more than 24 months pass from the date of their last background check.

Automated emails are sent to:

  •  the main email address for the contractor (as identified in ABCS); and

  •  the contract manager.

The emails include a spreadsheet listing any persons with:

  •  background checks that will expire soon (those that are 23 months since the last request); and

  •  expired background checks (those that are 25 months or more since the last request).

If the person listed in the notification is no longer providing services to DFPS clients, no action is needed by the contractor.

At the same time that the email notification is sent, an automated process closes any overdue records in IMPACT and moves the person to an inactive status. If a person is made inactive and he or she has been previously identified as an authorized user of ABCS, the person will lose access to the ABCS system.

FBI Criminal History Check

BC Definition September 2019

An FBI Criminal History check is a fingerprint-based criminal history check requested through the FBI. It returns all offenses committed within the United States. An FBI check may be required if an individual is unable to obtain an out-of-state criminal history check.

FBI Exigent Check

BC Definition September 2019

A name-based search of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) database of crimes committed within the United States. Results consist of U.S.-based arrests and dispositions obtained from fingerprints, disposition reports, and other information submitted by agencies having criminal justice responsibilities. These checks are only performed for CPS staff to facilitate an emergency Parental Child Safety Placement if:

  •   the subject is known to have resided outside of Texas in the past 3 years or is currently residing in another state; and

  •   the subject is an adult or emancipated minor.

The subject must follow-up with an FBI Fingerprint Check within a short timeframe. See CPS Handbook 3211.22 FBI Exigent and Fingerprint Checks for more details.

FBI Name Check

BC Definition September 2019

A name-based search of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) database of crimes committed within the United States. Results consist of U.S.-based arrests and dispositions obtained from fingerprints, disposition reports, and other information submitted by agencies having criminal justice responsibilities. This type of check is only available after the subject’s fingerprint submissions have resulted in rejection at the FBI level twice. The FBI Name Check must be submitted within 90 days of the last rejection date. 

HHS Enterprise Portal

BC Definition September 2019

HHS Enterprise Portal, sometimes referred to as the Identity Access Management System (IAM), is owned and maintained by Health and Human Services (HHS). The portal allows users to:

  •   access applications such as the Automated Background Check System (ABCS);

  •   register for an account; and

  •   submit access requests for resources and applications.

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

Hiring Authority

BC Definition September 2019

A hiring authority is the DFPS employee who is responsible for hiring and onboarding DFPS applicants. The hiring authority may be a Talent Acquisition Group specialist or the direct supervisor of the job position to be filled. The hiring authority reviews (or assigns for review) the DFPS History Check information on prospective employees to determine:

  •  whether the candidate is eligible to be hired; and

  •  whether to designate the case or cases as sensitive.

Hiring Specialists

BC Definition September 2019

Hiring specialists are administrative DFPS employees who facilitate the hiring of staff for all DFPS programs. Hiring specialists:

  •  post, screen and hire for direct delivery workers and support staff;

  •  provide the status on the direct delivery hiring for vacant positions;

  •  provide the start date of new employees;

  •  provide hiring reports to regional management; and

  •  provide DFPS salary and policy interpretation.

Identity Access Management (IAM) System

BC Definition September 2019

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

IMPACT

BC Definition September 2019

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

Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR)

BC 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

BC Definition September 2019

An Out-of-State Abuse and Neglect History check is a search of records for abuse and neglect investigations that are maintained by another state.

Out-of-State Criminal History Check

BC Definition September 2019

An Out-of-State Criminal History check is requested through the statewide law enforcement repository for a particular state. The results prove that an individual has no criminal history in that state or provide a full report on the individual’s criminal history, including specific arrests. The results must include the individual’s full name and identifying information (such as date of birth and Social Security number), the state providing the results, and the date that the check was conducted.

Principal

BC Definition September 2019

A principal is any person who has the ability to make unilateral fiscal decisions on behalf of the contractor. Persons with the following titles or roles are automatically considered to be principals:

  •  Executive director

  •  Chief executive officer

  •  Comptroller

  •  Signature authority

  •  Chief financial officer

A principal may also be:

  •  an individual who fulfills these roles but who is a subcontractor; or

  •  an entity that manages financial or accounting operations.

Professional Capacity

BC Definition September 2019

Professional capacity is the reporter or collateral designation in an abuse or neglect case documented in IMPACT that identifies the person as someone who:

  •  is obligated to report abuse and neglect; or

  •  works with clients in addressing abuse and neglect issues.

Purchased Client Services (PCS)

BC 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

BC Definition September 2019

A PCS contractor’s staff includes the current and potential:

  •  staff of the contractor;

  •  volunteers of the contractor;

  •  subcontractors;

  •  staff of the subcontractors; and

  •  volunteers of the subcontractors.

Regional Positions

BC Definition September 2019

Regional positions are DFPS job positions that are housed in the various DFPS service regions and are under the direct supervision of the regional chain of command. These positions generally work for one particular DFPS program, such as CPS or APS.

Resources

BC Definition September 2019

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.

Risk Assessment

BC Definition September 2019

A risk assessment (as the term is used in 5000 Background Checks for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Employees, Volunteers, and Board Members and 7000 Background Checks for DFPS Volunteers and Interns) is an evaluation conducted by BC team to determine the level of risk that an individual poses based on his or her abuse and neglect history. See Appendix 4000-1: Tips for Reviewing DFPS Case History to Assess Hiring Eligibility.

A risk assessment involves a review by BC staff that includes consideration of:

  •   the nature of the individual’s access to DFPS clients and client information;

  •   the nature and seriousness of the abuse and neglect findings;

  •   the age of the person at the time of the incident;

  •   the length of time since the incident;

  •   the person’s efforts toward rehabilitation since the incident, if available in the records;

  •   any pattern of abuse and neglect history;

  •   the extent to which the individual cooperated with the efforts made by DFPS investigators to provide services; and

  •   any other mitigating or aggravating factors.

Sponsor

BC Definition September 2019

A sponsor is a DFPS program manager or higher-level employee who initiates a request to provide access to, and takes responsibility for the actions of, individuals who are not DFPS employees but require access to DFPS resources for business purposes. The individual is assigned to a unit within the sponsor’s unit structure in the IMPACT system. A sponsor is an employee of DFPS and is not someone from an external entity.

Staffing Specialist

BC Definition September 2019

A staffing specialist is an employee of the human resources contractor (Northgate Arinso) who processes requisitions for job postings using the CAPPS system, including the routing and tracking of due diligence requests.

State Office Positions

BC 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)

BC Definition September 2019

Statewide Intake (SWI) is the DFPS central point of contact for reports of child and adult abuse, neglect, and exploitation in Texas. SWI staff are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. SWI staff assess the information reported by applying state statutes and DFPS policy, enter the information in IMPACT, and ensure that the report is forwarded to the correct DFPS program and field office.

Talent Acquisition Group Specialists

BC Definition September 2019

Talent Acquisition Group specialists are DFPS employees in the Workforce Development division of the Operations division who:

  •  post, screen, and hire for direct delivery workers and support staff;

  •  provide the status on the direct delivery hiring for vacant positions;

  •  provide the start date of new employees;

  •  provide hiring reports to regional management; and

  •  provide DFPS salary and policy interpretation.

Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)

BC Definition September 2019

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

Texas Name-Based Criminal History Check

BC Definition September 2019

A Texas name-based Criminal History check is a name-based criminal history check requested through the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). The check returns all Texas-based arrests and dispositions, including both convictions and cases with unknown dispositions. In some cases, the search produces results on juvenile criminal history.

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