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7000 Background Check Procedures

FBCE August 2022

Procedures for submitting a volunteer’s background check are as follows:

  • The volunteer authorizes the background check by completing and signing Form 0250 Volunteer Application.
  • The volunteer must include all alias names on the volunteer application for a complete and thorough background check.
  • Failure to properly complete Form 0250 Volunteer Application delays the results of the volunteer’s background check.
  • The faith-based and community engagement employee enters the applicant’s information through the Automated Background Check System.

Allow adequate time (two weeks) for the background check to be completed.

Background check results are returned directly to the FBCE employee. This ensures the confidentiality of each volunteer’s results.

A volunteer, including an intern, who requires a background check may not begin working with DFPS until the background check has been completed and satisfactory results are returned. There are no exceptions to this requirement.

7100 Required Background Checks

FBCE August 2022

All volunteers must complete the following required background checks:

  • A DFPS History Check
  • A DPS Name-Based Criminal History Check

An FBI fingerprint check is also required for a DFPS volunteer or intern under any of the following conditions:

  • The person has lived outside Texas in the past two years.
  • The person will have access to another person’s Criminal History Record Information (CHRI).
  • The person will have access to IMPACT.
  • There is reason to believe the person has criminal history in another state.

7200 Background Check Results

FBCE August 2022

DFPS volunteer policy prohibits placing people with certain criminal convictions or abuse or neglect history in contact with clients or giving him or her access to confidential information. Background Checks employees evaluate criminal, abuse and neglect history for a potential volunteer and determines whether he or she is or is not cleared to volunteer with DFPS. See Background Checks Handbook, 7000 Background Checks for DFPS Volunteers and Interns.

A Background Checks employee sends results of the background check to the appropriate FBCE employee who communicates the decision to the volunteer.

7210 Volunteers with Cleared DFPS Case History

FBCE August 2022

If a volunteer has previous DFPS case history, but his or her role in the case does prevent him or her from volunteering, the FBCE employee does the following:

  • Receives this information from Background Checks.
  • Submits an eMAC requesting the volunteer’s DFPS case history be marked as sensitive in IMPACT.

7220 Volunteers with an Active DFPS Case

FBCE August 2022

A volunteer applicant who has an open case with DFPS will not be considered for placement until the investigation is complete.

If a DFPS intake is received while a volunteer is active, the FBCE employee notifies the volunteer and submits an eMAC to withdraw the person from any DFPS activity and volunteer service until the investigation is complete.

Until the allegation is ruled out, the volunteer may not return as a DFPS volunteer. If the FBCE employee chooses to use the volunteer or intern, and the investigation closes with a Ruled Out, Unable to Determine, or Incomplete disposition, the FBCE employee must submit a new background check in the Automated Background Check System (ABCS).

7230 Barred Background Checks

FBCE August 2022

The FBCE employee must never forward the background check results directly to the applicant. The FBCE employee explains to the volunteer applicant why he or she was barred. The employee does this through personal contact rather than in writing if possible. In certain circumstances, the regional or district director may want to handle the conversation.

The same procedure applies for a volunteer applicant applying as part of a group (such as a board member or church group). The group coordinator may be notified only of who has or has not cleared a check. This coordinator does not have privilege to the confidential information surrounding the decision.

7240 Contesting Criminal History Results

FBCE August 2022

If a volunteer or intern notifies the Office of FBCE that the criminal history provided from either the DPS or the FBI does not belong to him or her, the volunteer or intern may email the AskBC mailbox and request information for formally contesting the criminal history information.

7300 Background Check Restrictions and Exceptions

FBCE August 2022

A Social Security number (SSN) and Texas residency of at least two years are required for a DFPS background check with reliable results. The following general rules apply:

  • A volunteer or intern without an SSN may not be considered for placements requiring a background check. In some cases, an alternative form of identification may be sufficient. Contact the Office of FBCE to discuss.
  • A volunteer or intern who resides in a state other than Texas must complete an FBI fingerprint check. The FBCE employee submits the background check request and includes an FBI fingerprint check through the Automated Background Check System. Background Checks employees process the results of the background check.
  • A volunteer or intern who resides outside the country generally is not placed as a DFPS volunteer. However, in some instances, a volunteer may submit a background clearance from his or her country of citizenship. Consult with FBCE first for evaluation.

7310 Background Checks for Employees of Donating Vendors

FBCE August 2022

Local wholesalers or retailers often donate a service or product to a client-attended activity that requires the attendance of one of their employees. For example, a beverage distributor may agree to supply a party for foster children with soft drinks, a vending station, and an operator. Policy requires that background checks be performed on anyone in attendance in order to protect DFPS clients.

In these instances, the vendor employee does not intend to become a DFPS volunteer. To facilitate donor participation and conserve employee resources while protecting DFPS clients, the following procedures must be used when clearing a donating vendor’s employee for event participation:

  • The assigned employee and one alternative employee complete the basic Form 0250 Volunteer Application.
  • Each employee must attach a copy of his or her current driver license to the completed Form 0250 Volunteer Application.
  • The FBCE employee notes on the front of Form 0250 Volunteer Application that this background check is being processed under policy for donating vendors, and indicates the event and date for which the check is valid. This information is critical to the process.
  • The FBCE employee enters the information through the Automated Background Check System (ABCS).
  • This process must be repeated for the donating vendor’s employees for each subsequent event.
  • The FBCE employee marks the donating vendor’s employees as “inactive” in the ABCS once the event has ended.

7320 Background Checks for County-Appointed Child Welfare Boards (CWBs)

FBCE August 2022

Child Welfare Board (CWB) members are appointed by the Commissioners Court and are not considered DFPS volunteers when acting in an official capacity.

However, on some occasions, a CWB member is privy to confidential information about a particular case. Therefore, the FBCE employee asks each new member to complete a volunteer packet and authorize a volunteer background check.

A member choosing not to authorize a background check is not allowed to participate in any DFPS volunteer activities or have access to confidential and sensitive information.

Direct any additional questions regarding partnerships with CWBs to the Office of FBCE.

7330 Background Checks for Adult Protective Services Boards

FBCE August 2022

Adult Protective Services (APS) volunteer community boards provide additional assistance to APS employees and clients in the community. The nature of the boards’ work provides opportunities for members to come in contact with specific information about sensitive cases or have indirect contact with an APS client. To protect the confidentiality of APS clients, potential board members must complete Form 0250 Volunteer Application check before joining a community board.

7400 Confidential and Sensitive Information

FBCE August 2022

All volunteers must sign Form 0251 Volunteer Confidentiality Agreement.

A volunteer who has completed and cleared a background check may have access to confidential and sensitive information. A volunteer must understand that certain information contained in DFPS files is considered confidential under the law and much of the information is personal in nature. A volunteer’s job responsibilities include the protection of the confidential information and the use of discretion when dealing with that information.

Under no circumstances may a volunteer access confidential information for any purpose other than to perform his or her assigned tasks.

A volunteer may discuss confidential information only with DFPS employees or other people when it is both of the following:

  • Relevant to the performance of his or her assigned tasks.
  • Specifically authorized by DFPS.

If at any time a question or problem arises with regard to the release of any information, the volunteer must consult with the Office of FBCE or his or her volunteer supervisor.

7500 Self Reporting Requirements for Volunteers and Interns

FBCE August 2022

A current volunteer or intern who has had a background check completed under this policy is required to report any new arrest by any federal, state, or local agency or board. See the Background Checks Handbook, 1310 Reporting New Criminal Incidents and DFPS Investigations.

A volunteer or intern is required to notify the Office of FBCE , within five business days, of any new arrest by any federal, state, or local agency or board.

7600 Requesting a Review of Background Checks’ Decision

FBCE August 2022

The subject of a background check and the FBCE employee may request a review of Background Checks’ decision to bar a volunteer or intern. See the Background Checks Handbook, 1320 Reviewing Background Check Decisions.

7700 Driver Record Checks for Transportation Volunteers

FBCE August 2022

A volunteer assisting with transportation must receive a driver record check clearance before being allowed to do so. See 5820 Driver Record Checks for how to request a driver record check and the driver record requirements.

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