People who have direct contact or access to vulnerable adults and children are required to have a background study. Direct contact means providing face-to-face care, training, supervision, counseling, or medication assistance to the people being served by an entity. The background study involves checking an individual’s name, and/or fingerprints against criminal, government, and social services databases. These Minnesota statutes direct the background study process, including what different entities are required to initiate background studies.
In most cases, background studies are initiated and submitted for the study subject by the affiliated entity.
If the study subject is required to start the application for their background study, they will receive an Applicant Background Study Instruction Form from the entity and must use the Applicant Portal. The Applicant Portal is the secure portal for background study subjects to complete the data entry of personal information.
Study subjects may also access background study documents in the Applicant Portal.
To start the application for the study, follow the steps on the Applicant Background Study Instruction Form that you received from the entity.
Create an account (if you have previously created an account, you do not need to create another one).
Login to the Applicant Portal.
Follow the instructions on the form mailed to you by your employer.
State law requires background study subjects to be fingerprinted and photographed.
Study subjects will need to complete an online pre-enrollment process and schedule an appointment for a fingerprinting and photo session.
Fingerprint and photo sites are located throughout the state.
The cost for fingerprinting and photography is $9.50.
An acceptable form of identification is required.
The fingerprint and photo process should take about five-to-10 minutes and is completed by a trained technician.
Fingerprint images are transmitted through a secure system to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) and in some cases when required by law, the fingerprints are also transmitted securely to the FBI for a criminal record search.
A check of the Child Abuse Neglect Registry (CANR) is required for certain study types when an individual has lived outside of the state in the last five years or currently lives outside of the state.
Every state has a different set of rules as to how DHS is allowed to request the CANR checks. Any forms authorizing a CANR check must be returned to DHS. Fees required by another state for a CANR check will be covered by DHS.
Most background study determinations are made within 24 to 48 hours from the time when information is submitted. In some cases, more time is needed to complete the study. For example, staff must determine whether the information belonging to the study subject will result in the subject's disqualification. Additional information might be required from a court, law enforcement or other agency.
Study subjects have the option to receive background study notifications by U.S. Postal Service mail or online. The Applicant Access to Electronic Documents feature provides access to most background study documents online through the Applicant Portal. This paperless option securely stores documents electronically so study subjects can access them any time. Study subjects are informed of the option to access their documents online by receiving an email notification when a new background study application is submitted.
Important details for enrolled study subjects:
It is important that a study subject’s email address remains the same from the time their background study application is submitted until they receive a determination. If their email address changes, it may require the study subject to be fingerprinted again.
Certain documents, such as disqualification notices, are not available online at this time. These documents are expected to be added in the future. Until then, study subjects will be mailed these documents.
Social Security numbers (SSNs) are not required to set up an Applicant Portal account but including the SSN may link background study determinations and possibly eliminate the need to be fingerprinted again.
Entities receive electronic notices of background study determinations.
People with cleared background studies may begin providing direct contact services immediately. People who are disqualified will be sent a notice informing them of their status and their right to appeal.