Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) requires background studies for people who work in certain health and human services programs, and in child care settings if they provide care or have direct contact with vulnerable populations being served. DHS also completes background studies on others, such as people who are planning to provide foster care or adopt. 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. A summary of the background study process can be found in the Background Studies Overview (PDF). DHS conducts background studies for more than 60 provider types, including more than 35,000 entities, with many having unique study requirements. In calendar year 2022, DHS received 504,423 background study application requests.
DHS temporarily modified background studies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those modifications ended Jan. 1, 2023. Learn more about the return to fully compliant studies.