Overview. When conducting records checks on applicants, employees, interns, and volunteers, DFPS conducts
· the criminal records checks in accordance with the law and policy in Item 1811, Criminal Records Checks Legal Requirements; and
· the records checks of the Child Abuse and Neglect Central Registry in accordance with policy in Item 1181, Child Abuse and Neglect Central Registry.
Pursuant to §411.114 of the Government Code, DFPS "may not use the authority granted under this section to harass an employee or volunteer."
No DFPS officer or employee shall harass any employee or volunteer through the request and use of criminal records.
Definition. As used in this section, harassment means unduly annoying, badgering, bothering, or torturing an employee or volunteer.
If DFPS denies a person employment or a volunteer or intern position, or terminates a person's employment or position as a result of the central registry check, the person has a right to a release hearing as defined in 1280 Reviews by the Office of Consumer Relations (OCR) and 1290 Release Hearings.
Cross-reference: See Item 1144, Criminal Records Checks for Authorized Volunteer Organizations, and the Human Resources Handbook, Chapter 2, How Jobs are Filled.
Criminal records checks. If you apply for a DFPS job, internship, or volunteer position that would require you to provide direct services to clients or have direct access to clients, you must complete
· Form 2971, Child Care Criminal History Check; and
· Form 4054, Staff With Client Contact and Foster Parent Information.
You will not be considered for employment, internship, or a volunteer position until these forms are completed. DFPS staff will check your background for any criminal history if you are a finalist for any of the following positions:
· regional director,
· program director,
· social service technician,
· community service aide,
· clerical staff who has direct client contact,
· intern, or
The criminal record check includes, but is not limited to the following offenses in Texas and similar offenses in other states and countries:
· offenses against the person;
· offenses against the family;
· public indecency; and
· illegal distribution or use of controlled substances.
DFPS staff make every effort to obtain criminal background information on the person selected for a position before an offer of employment is made, but this may not be feasible due to time constraints and the need to fill a vacancy. If you are hired for a job and your criminal background check later reveals that you have a criminal record, or management staff obtain information from any other source at any time that you have a criminal record, you may be dismissed under DFPS's at-will employment policy.
Central registry check and case review. If you apply for one of the positions listed above and you are selected for the position, a central registry check will be conducted on your name to see if there have been any validated referrals of abuse or neglect against you. If the check reveals that you are named as a designated perpetrator, designated victim/perpetrator, or sustained perpetrator, the appropriate program director, regional director, or his designee will review the case record. The appropriate regional director or section manager will make a final decision on your application.
Driving records check. If you are selected for a job, volunteer, or intern position that requires, as part of your duties, that you drive a motor vehicle, you must have
· a reliable motor vehicle,
· an acceptable driving record for the past five years, and
· a current valid driver's license appropriate for the vehicle and passenger or cargo load.
DFPS will obtain a copy of your official Texas driving record and license for the past five years. If you have not lived in Texas for the last five years, you must obtain these records from the appropriate state at your own expense. If you fail to provide this information with 10 workdays from the time you are offered the job, you could be disqualified.
Copies of your driving records are kept in your master personnel or volunteer/intern file.
Cross-reference: See Chapter 2, How Jobs are Filled, in the Human Resources Handbook.
Criminal records check. If you work for DFPS in a direct service delivery position or have direct access to clients as a volunteer/intern, you will have a criminal record check done every year in conjunction with your annual performance evaluation or anniversary of becoming a volunteer/intern. Results of the background check will be kept in your master personnel file or volunteer/intern file.
Central registry check and case review. A central registry check will be conducted on you (current employees, volunteers, and interns) on an annual basis to see if you are named as a designated perpetrator, designated victim/perpetrator, or sustained perpetrator of child abuse/neglect. These checks will be done before the date of the annual performance evaluation or anniversary of becoming a volunteer/intern. If the check reveals that you have one of these roles, the appropriate regional director or section manager may review the case record and will make a final decision on the appropriate action to be taken.
Driving records check. If your job duties include driving or transporting clients, you must show your supervisor proof of a current, valid, Texas driver's license annually, on or near the date of your performance evaluation or anniversary of becoming a volunteer/intern. At least 20 days before your annual evaluation conference or anniversary of becoming a volunteer/intern, your driving record will be requested from the Department of Public Safety to discuss at the conference. Your supervisor will indicate on your annual evaluation, or in other documentation for volunteers/interns, the date the supervisor saw your driving records and your license and whether your license appeared to be current and valid.
New criminal charges. If you are charged or arrested for criminal misconduct, you must notify your supervisor within five workdays. Your supervisor will give you an opportunity to explain the circumstances and make a reasonable effort to determine the credibility of your explanation. If the charges against you are substantiated, your supervisor may reassign you or take disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, against you.
New child abuse or neglect case. If you are named in a new child abuse/neglect case as an alleged perpetrator or alleged victim/perpetrator, you must notify your supervisor within five workdays. Your supervisor will reassign you to duties not involving contact with children until the investigation is completed, at which time your supervisor will review the case record. The appropriate regional director or section manager will make a final decision on the appropriate action to be taken, which could include disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, against you.
New driving violation. You must report within five work days any of the following traffic violations:
· driving while intoxicated, under the influence of drugs, or while impaired;
· aggravated assault with a motor vehicle; murder without malice with a motor vehicle; homicide by a motor vehicle; and
· failure to stop and render aid.
If you fail to report the above violations, DFPS can take adverse action, up to and including dismissal, against you.