Who is required to have a background check?

Anyone working or volunteering under a Purchased Client Services (PCS) contract who currently has or will have direct contact with DFPS clients or DFPS client information is required to undergo a background check through DFPS.  Exceptions to this requirement are listed in Section 2220 of the Background Checks for Contracted Services and in the PCS Background Check Exemption Chart.

Are certain contractors and contractor staff exempt from the background check requirements?

Yes. A complete list of exemptions can be found in the PCS Background Check Exemption Chart. Further explanation of residential child care exemptions can be found in Section 2220 of the Background Checks for Contracted Services.

When are background check renewals due?

A new background check request must be submitted every 24 months, based on the original background check request date.

I have a cleared background check for someone under one contract number, but this person also plans to work or volunteer under another contract. Must the person submit to a background check under each contract number?

Duplicate background checks under each contract are not required as long as the following conditions are met:

  • Services are being provided under the auspices of the same legal entity;
  • The person is providing services in the same role under each contract; and
  • The background check on file is within the previous 24 months.

If all of the above conditions are met, the contractor has the option to either:

  • Provide the contract manager with a copy of the background check clearance or risk evaluation approval notification, or
  • Submit a new background check under each contract number in ABCS.
My operation is a Residential Services contractor that follows the background check requirements for Residential Child Care Licensing. Do we have to submit background checks in ABCS for our staff and volunteers?

If a residential operation is licensed to provide 24-hour residential child care and is also under contract with DFPS to provide other purchased client services, the operation is required to conduct a PCS background check in accordance with the Background Checks for Contracted Services in addition to a Licensing background check if:

  • The person meets the definition of a principal on the contract.
  • The client services contract is for services to APS clients.
  • The client services contract is for Supervised Independent Living (SIL) services to CPS clients.
  • The person is designated as an ABCS user or administrator.
Why is a new background check needed if a person changes roles under my contract?

Many of the background check assessments that DFPS makes are based on the role of the person who is the subject of the background check.  A person who's an administrative office assistant has very different job duties and a different level of client interaction than that of a counselor.  DFPS staff must consider the amount and type of client interaction when assessing the risk posed by certain background check results.

What is the definition of a Principal for a PCS Contract?

A principal is any person who has the ability to make ultimate 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:

  • A subcontractor who fills any of the above rolls.
  • An entity that manages financial or accounting operations.
Who is required to complete an FBI fingerprint-based background check?

Contractors and PCS contractor staff who have lived outside of Texas within the past five years. Fingerprint-based criminal history checks may also be required by DFPS for good cause, such as a reasonable belief that a contractor or PCS contractor staff may have out-of-state criminal history.

How do I submit my fingerprints for an FBI check?

DFPS utilizes an electronic fingerprint submission process for fingerprint-based criminal history checks.. See the BC Fingerprinting page for more information.

How much does an FBI fingerprint check cost?

Effective January 1, 2019, the total fingerprinting fee is $39.75 to apply for a paid position. The total fee is $37.75 to apply for an unpaid position - such as a volunteer. However, DFPS pays the DPS and FBI portion of this fee, and the contractor is only required to pay $11.50. See the FBI Fingerprinting Fees section on the BC Fingerprinting page for more information.

What if I request an FBI check in error or the FBI check is no longer needed?

If an FBI check was requested in error or is no longer needed, notify Background Check (BC) staff through the PCS Background Checks mailbox. BC staff are required to follow up regularly on FBI checks that are incomplete, so it’s important to cancel these checks when they are not required.

How do I submit a background check request?

Contractors complete and sign Form 2971c Request for Criminal History and DFPS History Check and Form 2970c Disclosure and Consent to Release of Information Regarding Criminal or Abuse/Neglect History for each contractor and PCS contractor staff for which a background check is requested. Contractors complete a written response to each question listed on Form 2970c. After obtaining the completed background forms, contractors submit background check requests through ABCS (Automated Background Check System).

I received background check results that indicate a person has a criminal charge with an unknown disposition. What do I need to do?

The contractor is required to provide court documentation that clarifies the final disposition for this individual’s criminal history. Copies of documentation already in the individual's possession are acceptable. If the individual does not have this documentation, the necessary documentation must be obtained from the County Clerk or District Attorney in the county where the offense occurred.

The contractor has thirty days from the date of the notice to submit the documentation to DFPS via email, fax, or regular mail, or uploading the documentation to ABCS. The person is not eligible to work or volunteer with DFPS clients under the contract until DFPS receives the needed documentation and notifies the contractor that the background check is resolved. Failure to provide the needed documentation in the specified timeframe will result in the person being barred from working or volunteering under the contract.

I received background check results that indicate a person is barred from working under my contract. What do I need to do?

It's your responsibility to make sure this person is not working with DFPS clients and has no access to clients or client records. You should also save the letter for your records.

I received background check results that indicate a person requires a Risk Evaluation to work under my contract. What do I need to do?

If you choose to move forward with hiring this person to work under your DFPS contract, you  must submit a Risk Evaluation within 30 days of the date of the letter. To submit the Risk Evaluation, carefully follow the checklist on Form 2973c. You can send the documents by regular mail, fax, or email, or upload the documents to ABCS. 

If you need more than 30 days to submit the Risk Evaluation, you may request an extension by contacting the Background Checks (BC) staff that sent you the letter offering the risk evaluation. You must submit your request prior to the deadline stated in the letter.

After I submit a Request for Risk Evaluation, how long before a determination will be made about the person’s ability to work under my contract?

Once all materials for the risk evaluation have been submitted to DFPS Background Checks (BC), the decision regarding the outcome of the risk evaluation generally takes about a week. You may follow up with the BC staff who has been assisting you with the risk evaluation process if you have further questions about timeframes regarding a risk evaluation decision.

Who will receive the results of a Request for Risk Evaluation?

The results of the Risk Evaluation (approval or denial) are sent to the email address listed in ABCS for the requestor. If the requestor does not have an email address listed in ABCS, the automated results are sent to the main provider email address listed in ABCS.

For additional questions not addressed here, e-mail PCS Background Checks.

Last updated: April 4, 2023