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Background studies

Background studies are required for people in certain health and human services programs, and for people who work in child care settings, if they provide care or have direct contact with people being served. DHS also completes background studies on others, such as people who are guardians or are planning to adopt a child. These Minnesota statutes direct the background study process for entities required to initiate background studies.  

A study determines whether a person has committed an act that would disqualify them from providing care. Requirements for completing a background study vary according to the type of work or services the individual will be providing and the person's history. 

DHS conducts background studies for more than 50 provider types, including more than 3,000 entities, with many having unique study requirements. In 2020, DHS received more than 464,000 background study applications.

Emergency background studies continue

DHS continues to conduct emergency background studies and has until July 2, 2022 to transition to fingerprint-based studies. Find ongoing updates about the transition from emergency studies to full compliance.  


Learn more about who needs a background study, what the process includes, where to get fingerprinted, photographed and more.


Links to helpful forms, training, instructions and other information for entities initiating background studies.

What's new

News and updates about background studies and legislative changes.


Learn why some study subjects might be restricted from direct contact or access to people receiving services.


Learn more about how study subjects who are disqualified can appeal for a reconsideration.


Answers to questions on a range of topics for study subjects and entities, including child care providers.

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