About background checks
To be eligible for payment from the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS), providers and others in the household or facility who will have access to children in care must pass a background check.
Who needs a background check
Background checks are required for all of the following people who are
16 years old or older:
- You (the provider)
- All employees and staff who work in the child care facility
- Substitute caregivers who provide care when the primary caregivers are not available
- All members of the household where care is provided, including the parent, if the parent and provider live together
- All visitors who may have unsupervised access to children in care in the place where care is provided
Anyone who needs a background check must be listed on the
Child Care Provider Listing form.
- If you don't list everyone who is required, your application will be failed. That means you will not be eligible for payment. You may have to repay payments you have already received.
- Each person listed
must sign to authorize the background check or the form will be returned.
Anyone who has criminal arrests, convictions or Child Protective Services (CPS) involvement must mark "yes" to the appropriate questions on the listing form. CPS involvement is any contact with Child Welfare.
If you or any of the people listed on the form mark "yes" to that question, you must attach a separate sheet of letter-size paper and have each person explain the history, including each incident, date and location.
Examples of criminal history are:
- Any arrest (fingerprinted)
- Open cases
- Cases on diversion and convictions at any time (this includes criminal driving charges and juvenile adjudication)
How background checks are done
The ODHS Background Check Unit (BCU) uses criminal history, Child Protective Service records, an investigation of a complaint, or information provided by another agency in the background check process.
BCU makes a decision by weighing the content and source of the reports, how long it has been since the reported behavior, the number of reports and referrals, the person’s participation in rehabilitation, training or counseling, and the likelihood of the person’s abuse of drugs or alcohol.
- BCU may deny a provider based on the history of anyone required to complete a background check.
- A denial is based on prior conduct that indicates one or more of the people on the listing form is likely to engage in conduct that may jeopardize the safety of, or have a damaging effect on, a child while in the care of the provider.
- A single incident may be sufficient history for denial.
- A provider may be approved even if there is criminal history or a founded or valid report. That decision would be based on a fitness determination that repeated behavior is unlikely and that the presence of the person likely would not jeopardize the safety of children in the provider's care.
Visit the BCU Rules and Policies web page for a copy of the rules containing the list of crimes and potential disqualification periods.
How long do background checks take?
BCU can process most background checks quickly. However, the process can take longer if:
- Fingerprint cards are required
- Records from other states are needed
- There are criminal, abuse, or neglect records that require review and a fitness determination
When are fingerprint cards required?
Individuals are required to submit fingerprint cards for a national records check if any of the following apply to any person on the listing form:
- They have lived outside of Oregon in the last 18 months for 60 consecutive days or more
- They have convictions or arrests for crimes in other states
- They have an out-of-state driver’s license
- Their Oregon record does not indicate whether or not there is history outside of Oregon
- Verify identity
Notice of Fitness Determination
Once BCU has completed the background check, the provider will receive a Notice of Fitness Determination.
The notice will indicate one of the following:
This means you have been approved to receive payment to provide care for ODHS clients. You are required to report any changes in your status within five (5) days, including changes to your name, address, people who must be included on your listing form, or if you or people on your listing form become the subject of criminal charges or an investigation of abuse or neglect. You must also report if you no longer meet the
ODHS provider requirements.
This means that based on the information you provided, it is not possible to complete your background check at this time. This is due to missing or inaccurate information about someone on your listing form. For example, you could be failed for not providing a social security number or tax ID number, or not disclosing or providing explanation for an arrest or involvement with an abuse or neglect investigation. If you receive a notice you have been failed, you will need to reapply, being careful to provide all required information.
This means it has been determined you are not eligible for payment from ODHS. ODHS also sends the family a notice that listing was denied, and they must find another provider if they want to continue to receive child care assistance through ODHS. Providers are denied when the decision is that children would not be safe with one or more individuals on the listing form, due to the nature of their criminal history or history of abuse and neglect.
If I get denied, how do I request a hearing?
You can request a hearing if you disagree with a denial decision. The request must be received
within 45 days of denial date.
If the problem is the history of someone, other than the provider, who lives in or visits the household where care is provided, the provider can reapply if they change the location where care is provided, or if the person whose background check resulted in a denial is no longer living in or visiting that location. If there are no such changes to the circumstances that caused the denial, the provider can't reapply for 180 days from the date of denial.
To request a hearing, you can submit a written request to the ODHS Background Check Unit at the P.O. Box listed below.
You can get hearing request forms from your nearest ODHS office or at the links below:
Contact the Background Check Unit
P.O. Box 14870
Salem, OR 97309