Is the Texas DPS Background Check Required for Child Care?
Individuals undergoing a CPS background check in Texas will be required to undergo a state criminal history check performed by the Texas Department of Public Safety.10
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Individuals undergoing a CPS background check are often confused about what s considered a disqualifying offense. New laws that pertain to Child Protective Services impact how the report is used.
The good news is that the CPS background checks are fairly straightforward and each state follows certain federal guidelines concerning their use and frequency (in other words, how often someone is required to undergo a CPS check).
This complete guide explains what a CPS background check is, why it’s used, and the criminal history that could negatively impact it.
Many individuals will be familiar with pre-employment or tenant background checks but might be confused about what a CPS background check entails.
In most cases when individuals are referring to a CPS background check, they are actually referencing the background check practices required for child care in the United States.
This can be a cause for confusion, particularly in regard to when a CPS background check would be necessary.
Many individuals will think that a CPS background check happens when a CPS report is filed against an individual because they suspect the individual is neglecting or abusing their children, however this is not the case. A CPS background check is used when someone is applying for a position that would constitute child care.
This will include any position, even if it is a volunteer position, that requires the individual to have unsupervised access to children. The most notable of these positions are teachers, and basically all school administrators.
However, it also extends to daycare employees, substitute teachers, bus drivers, and those who work with children that are in foster care. The federal government has outlined specific and strict background check practices for anyone that meets this description.
The background check that is required by the federal government for childcare employees, is what many individuals often call a CPS background check.2 Basically, a CPS background check is the series of checks that an individual must pass in order to be eligible to work in child care or foster a child.
When it comes to how far back does a CPS background check go, the answer is extremely simple.
Although there are numerous databases checked, the single most important aspect of a CPS or child care background check is the identity history summary check that is performed by the FBI.4 This is a fingerprint-based check that is likely the most thorough and comprehensive background check available.
An FBI background check will uncover an individual’s entire criminal history, regardless of how old any of the information is. This extends to individuals living in 7-year-states and the FBI is also able to view records that have been sealed.
Related Reading: How To Get a Federal Background Check on Yourself (Full Guide)
The FBI fingerprint check will likely be the most tedious aspect of the background check. In most cases, when it comes to how long does a CPS background check take, the typical waiting time is less than two weeks.
However there are a few things that can extend this time, particularly if there is information that was entered incorrectly, which can lead to delays as the information is corrected.
Once individuals understand what exactly a CPS background check is and what it is used for, the next question they will likely have is, what does a CPS background check consist of, luckily the answer is fairly simple.
As mentioned, there are strict federal laws regarding what kind of checks must be performed at a bare minimum. These required federal checks and procedures are as followed:
Aside from the specific checks that are required by the federal government, there are several other requirements that individuals will need to consider as well. The two other major requirements deal with how often these checks must be performed as well as which individuals will need to undergo such checks.
Per federal law, the above daycare background check must be completed at least every 5 years. Many states have taken this a step further, and require that individuals working in child care undergo the required checks every 3 years.
This is one of the biggest reasons that it is important for individuals to check their state childcare laws and to be prepared to conduct a background check on themselves.5 How long does a federal background check take should not be a concern because it is a quick and simple procedure.
Finally, who must be checked is a common source for confusion. Federal law requires that any individual who will be unsupervised with children for any period of time must undergo and pass the above background check procedures.
This is especially important to understand when it comes to individuals considering foster care. Anyone who will ever be with the child unsupervised, such as other residents of the home where they will live, will need to pass the above checks.
This check is also not exclusive to adults, as anyone above the age of 16 is required by law to undergo these checks.
A common misconception regarding who is required to get a childcare background check is that it is only required of public employees, such as teachers, bus drivers, and social workers. However this is not the case.
Although the CPS background check is sometimes called a Childcare licensing background check, individuals working at a license-exempt childcare provider are still required by law to pass a CPS background check.6
When obtaining all the necessary documents and information to submit their CPS background check, many individuals will be confused as to where to obtain the CPS fingerprinting form 2022.
It is important to remember that CPS does not actually perform any of the background checks that their agency requires individuals to have. Instead the checks are all performed at the state level and by the FBI.
When getting a CPS background check, individuals will likely need to be fingerprinted twice to satisfy the requirement of a fingerprint-based background check in the state they currently reside in as well as to complete the fingerprint-based background check that is performed by the FBI.
When it comes to the state-level background check, the agency that is requiring the individual to undergo a CPS background check will likely give specific instructions on where to go and which agency to contact to complete this portion of the check.
In most cases, this will be the state police or an equivalent agency such as the state highway patrol. Individuals will typically visit the office of the state police to be fingerprinted and submit any necessary information to get the background check process started.
The FBI fingerprint check will be slightly different and where individuals go to submit their fingerprints will depend on a number of factors.7 When filling out the necessary forms on the FBI website to begin the FBI background check, individuals can use the FBI-provided list of fingerprinting service providers to ensure they are submitting their fingerprints through an official partner of the FBI.8
Some individuals might have heard that CPS background checks will need to be completed in person and will want to know where to find the nearest CPS background check locations. However, this is not entirely true.
Most of the information that individuals are required to submit to undergo a CPS background check will be completed online. One of the only exceptions to this is the fingerprinting process, which is outlined above and will require individuals to visit their local police station and an FBI fingerprinting service provider.
The CPS background check may sound intimidating but individuals should realize that although there are seemingly dozens of checks being performed many of them are somewhat redundant and are performed out of an abundance of caution to prevent individuals from slipping through the cracks.
Many individuals who have questions about the CPS background check will be those considering foster care and may have heard of the Foster parent background check. As mentioned, the background check required for any childcare-related service, including foster care will all involve the same background check.
It’s important to keep in mind that although federal laws regarding childcare background checks must be followed, many states have adopted additional laws to make these checks even more thorough to create the safest environment possible.
Related Reading: What Does Federal Background Check Consist Of? All 10 Things
Some individuals who are considering foster care may have a CPS case in their past and will be worried about how long does a CPS case stay on your record, unfortunately the answer is somewhat complicated.
When a CPS investigation takes place, even if the investigation is quickly deemed unnecessary, possibly due to the investigation being instigated by a false CPS complaint, CPS will keep a copy of the investigation record forever.
However, this investigation record is only kept in the CPS database and can not be searched as part of a background check.
However, CPS investigations that involve criminal charges being filed will appear on a criminal history check.
Even if the investigation eventually cleared the individuals of any wrongdoing and the charges were eventually dropped there will still be a record of the charges with the court where they were filed.
Some individuals might think that having these dropped charges sealed will make them disappear, but when it comes to a CPS background check this will not be effective.
Since CPS background checks are performed by the FBI, all records, even those that involve dropped or sealed charges will be available to the FBI during their criminal history check.
Individuals who are still unsure if CPS-related information will appear on their background check should first perform a background check on themselves. This will not only allow individuals to prepare for a background check by being aware of the exact information that law enforcement agencies will be accessing, but it also allows individuals to check for any mistakes.
Unfortunately, mistakes appearing on background checks do happen from time to time. Being able to fix your background check beforehand will allow individuals to prevent any potential delays when this incorrect information appears on an official background check.
There is no need for concern as how to fix your background check is a simple and quick process.
The easiest way to perform a background check on yourself is to simply use the search bar at the top of this page to perform a public records check. Besides the available method, individuals can search out a private background check provider, many of which offer a 7-day free trial background check to allow individuals to perform a single check at no cost.
When it comes to how to get a CPS background check, the process is fairly simple. Basically, there isn’t a single place that individuals can go to have all the necessary checks performed since there are several different state and federal agencies involved.
Those who are applying for positions that require they pass a CPS background check will likely be given specific instructions on where to have the checks performed. In some states, the state police will take care of most of the checks and will even submit the individual’s information to the FBI on their behalf.
Since the child care background checks are federal laws enforced by each state, each state will have specific instructions on where to go and how to submit all the necessary information to meet both federal and state child care requirements.
Individuals who have questions about the general process or their specific CPS background check might be looking for the CPS background check number to contact them directly. Individuals should first try to contact their state’s childcare office.
Individuals curious about their CPS background check status will be disappointed to hear that there is no dependable way to do so. Generally, individuals will be able to see if the FBI or state police received their check, and won’t get another update until the check is complete.
If the check is taking longer than two weeks, it may be necessary to contact the agency to ensure there are no major problems.
Some individuals might be confused about why they can’t find a CPS background check form. As mentioned, CPS does not actually perform any of the checks, so there is not one form that can be used.
Individuals applying for jobs that require CPS background check will provide detailed information on where to locate the specific forms that are needed.
A childcare background check is the background check required by the federal government for any individual that works with children without supervision.
Some background checks will seem far more scary than others and child abuse background checks are among the most intimidating checks there are. Luckily, by researching state and federal laws, individuals can know what to expect and be able to properly prepare for a CPS background check.
Individuals undergoing a CPS background check in Texas will be required to undergo a state criminal history check performed by the Texas Department of Public Safety.10
A Department of Family and Protective services is simply the state level child care background check that is required for individuals living in Texas.
Although a CPS background check is used to determine if someone meets the legal requirements to work with children, individuals applying for jobs with CPS will likely need to undergo the child care background check in addition to a federal employment background check.
CPS background checks are performed by the state police and the FBI.
A CPS background check involves criminal history checks at the state and federal level as well as checks of abuse registries and sex offender registries.
1Office of an Administration for Children and Families. (2022). Child Protective Services. Child Care. Retrieved December 02, 2022, from <https://childcare.gov/consumer-education/child-protective-services>
2Office of an Administration for Children and Families. (2022). Background Checks. Child Care. Retrieved December 02, 2022, from <https://childcare.gov/consumer-education/background-checks-what-you-need-to-know>
3U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. (2022). Criminal Background Checks. Child Care Technical Assistant Network. Retrieved December 02, 2022, from <https://childcareta.acf.hhs.gov/ccdf-fundamentals/disqualifying-crimes>
4Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2022). Identity History Summary Checks. FBI. Retrieved December 02, 2022, from <https://www.fbi.gov/how-we-can-help-you/need-an-fbi-service-or-more-information/identity-history-summary-checks>
5U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2019, September). Background Checks for Prospective Foster, Adoptive, and Kinship Caregivers. Child Welfare Information Gateway. Retrieved December 02, 2022, from <https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/laws-policies/statutes/background/>
6U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. (2022). Criminal Background Checks. Child Care Technical Assistant Network. Retrieved December 02, 2022, from <https://childcareta.acf.hhs.gov/ccdf-fundamentals/disqualifying-crimes>
7Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2014, November 14). National Fingerprint Based Background Checks Steps for Success. FBI. Retrieved December 02, 2022, from <https://www.fbi.gov/how-we-can-help-you/need-an-fbi-service-or-more-information/compact-council/national-fingerprint-based-background-checks-steps-for-success>
8Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2022). List of FBI-Approved Channelers for Departmental Order Submissions. FBI. Retrieved December 02, 2022, from <https://www.fbi.gov/how-we-can-help-you/need-an-fbi-service-or-more-information/identity-history-summary-checks/list-of-fbi-approved-channelers-for-departmental-order-submissions>
9Office of an Administration for Children and Families. (2022). Contact ChildCare. Child Care. Retrieved December 02, 2022, from <https://childcare.gov/contact>
10Texas Health & Human Services Commission. (2022). Child Care Regulation Background Checks. Texas Health and Human Services. Retrieved December 02, 2022, from <https://www.hhs.texas.gov/providers/protective-services-providers/child-care-regulation/child-care-regulation-background-checks>
11Texas Health & Human Services Commission. (2022). Login Information. Texas Health & Human Service. Retrieved December 02, 2022, from <https://www.dfps.state.tx.us/child_care/search_texas_child_care/ppfacilitylogininfo.asp>
12Texas Health & Human Services Commission. (2022). Form 2971, Child Care Licensing Request for Background Check. Texas Health & Human Services. Retrieved December 02, 2022, from <https://www.hhs.texas.gov/regulations/forms/2000-2999/form-2971-child-care-licensing-request-background-check>