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Components of Comprehensive Background Check

 

These five checks must be performed for all individuals:  1) National FBI Criminal History check with fingerprint, (2) NCIC National Sex Offender Registry (NSOR) check, (3) In-state criminal history check with fingerprint, (4) In-state sex offender registry check, (5) In-state child abuse and neglect registry check.  These following three checks must also be performed for each additional state where the individual has resided within five years: (6) Inter-state criminal history check, (7) Inter-state sex offender registry check, (8) Inter-state child abuse and  neglect registry check. All checks must meet a 45 day or less turnaround time.

Under the law, a comprehensive background check must include the following:

  • A Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) fingerprint check using Next Generation Identification (which replaced the former Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System). Note: The in-state and the interstate criminal history check must be completed in addition to the FBI fingerprint check because there could be state crimes that do not appear in the national repository. Also note that an FBI fingerprint check satisfies the requirement to perform an interstate check of another state’s criminal history records repository if the responding state (where the child care staff member has resided within the past 5 years) participates in the National Fingerprint File program.
  • A search of the National Crime Information Center National Sex Offender Registry. Note: This is a name-based search. Searching general public-facing sex offender registries does not satisfy this requirement. This national check must be required in addition to the in-state or interstate sex offender registry check requirements. This check must be performed by law enforcement.
Caution: The National Sex Offender Public Website connects all U.S. state, tribal, and territory websites so that citizens can search for the identities and locations of known sex offenders. The National Sex Offender Registry is a database available only to law enforcement that is maintained by the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division
  • A search of the following registries, repositories, or databases in the state where the child care staff member resides and each state where the staff member resided during the preceding 5 years:
    1. State criminal registry or repository, with the use of fingerprints required in the state where the staff member resides and optional in other states. Note: A search of a general public-facing judicial website does not satisfy this requirement. This check is required in addition to the national FBI criminal history check to mitigate any gaps that may exist between the two sources.
    2. State sex offender registry or repository. Note: This check must be completed in addition to the National Crime Information Center sex offender registry check to mitigate any gaps that may exist between the two sources. Use of fingerprints is optional to conduct this check.
    3. State child abuse and neglect registry and database. Note: This is a name-based search.

FBI’s National Fingerprint File (NFF). For states participating in the FBI’s National Fingerprint File (NFF) program, an FBI fingerprint check is duplicative of the interstate search of the state’s criminal history record repository.

OCC has established that an FBI fingerprint check also satisfies the requirement to perform an interstate check of another state’s criminal history record repository if the responding state (where the child care staff member has resided within the past five years) participates in the NFF program. It is unnecessary to conduct both the FBI fingerprint check and the search of an NFF state’s criminal history record repository.

However, if a state does not participate in the NFF program, separate searches of both the FBI database and the state’s criminal history record repository are required. For these non-NFF states, there is no measurement for the percent of duplication between the state and FBI databases, and therefore both are required. Additionally, searches of non-NFF state criminal history repositories are required if the individual has resided in a non-NFF state within the past five years.

For further information see the August 11, 2017, Policy Interpretation Questions about Background Check Requirements (CCDF-ACF-PIQ-2017-01).

More information on the NFF, including the list of participating states, can be found online.

Interstate background check. Checking a potential employee’s history in any state other than that in which the provider’s services are provided qualifies as an interstate check, per the definition of required criminal background checks. For example, an interstate check would include situations when child care staff members work in one state and live in another state. The statute and regulations require background checks in the state where the staff member resides and each state where the staff member resided during the previous 5 years. Background checks in the state where the staff member is employed may be advisable but are not strictly required.

  • Interstate criminal registry or repository check requirement. It is optional to use a fingerprint to conduct this check. Searching a general public-facing judicial website does not satisfy this requirement. This check must be completed in addition to the national FBI history check to mitigate any gaps that may exist between the two sources (unless the responding state participates in the National Fingerprint File program).
  • Interstate sex offender registry or repository check requirement. It is optional to use a fingerprint to conduct this check. This check must be completed in addition to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) National Sex Offender Registry (NSOR) to mitigate any gaps that may exist between the two sources.
  • Interstate child abuse and neglect check registry requirement. This is a name-based search.

 

[1] Child Care and Development Fund, 45 C.F.R. § 98.43(a)(2)(ii) (2016).