A background study is required before an individual begins providing direct contact services for entities licensed by the Department of Human Services (DHS), Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), or the Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC). The individual can begin work once the background study has been submitted. However, until the entity receives a notice from DHS regarding the study, usually within 48 hours, the person must be under continuous, direct supervision.
Unless a background study for a Personal Care Attendant (PCA) or Qualified Professional (QP) is completed, cleared, or a set-aside is granted in the case of a disqualification:
Yes, refer to the fee schedule.
All background studies include a name and date of birth check of:
When it is reasonable to conclude that there is additional information, the study may be expanded to include records from law enforcement, courts, and other agencies in Minnesota and other states.
A check of records maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will also be required if:
If an FBI check is necessary, DHS will notify the subject in writing that fingerprints are needed. The notice will explain why, next steps and what happens if the person does not provide fingerprints.
The results obtained show that more review is needed. Staff must match the criminal or maltreatment information to the background study subject.
If the information belongs to the study subject, staff must determine whether it will result in the subject's disqualification. In some cases, additional information is required from a court, law enforcement or other agency, including those in other states. Some agencies require specific forms or consents from the study subject before the information can be provided to DHS.
A disqualification is an act or offense that prevents someone from providing direct contact with people receiving services. Disqualifications can also apply to owners and managers, regardless whether they provide direct contact services.
People who are disqualified will be sent a notice informing them of their status and their right to appeal. The entity will not be informed of the reason for the disqualification unless it is due to a substantiated finding of maltreatment that is determined to be serious and/or recurring.
If a set-aside or variance is requested and granted, the person may provide direct contact services.
An individual may be disqualified based on information from Minnesota or any other state showing:
That depends on the act or offense for which the individual is disqualified. The period of disqualification begins once the person's sentence, if any, has been discharged.
The disqualification periods are:
Yes, by requesting reconsideration.
The subject can request reconsideration based on the fact that:
Along with the notice of disqualification, DHS will send a form and instructions to begin a reconsideration request.
In some cases, DHS will require that the subject be immediately removed if found to pose an imminent risk of harm to people receiving services.
If an entity is not ordered to remove the subject, the entity may choose to allow the person to continue providing direct contact services pending a reconsideration decision. To allow the individual to work, the agency must:
The disqualification letter specifics what agency will review your request.
DHS conducts the review and makes a determination about the disqualification if the background request comes from a DHS licensed entity or a Personal Care Provider Organization.
MDH or DOC conducts the review and makes a determination about the disqualification if the background study request comes from an MDH or DOC licensed entity.
If the disqualification is set aside, or a variance is granted, the license holder or entity will be informed of the factors for why the disqualification was set aside.
Set-Aside: If the request for reconsideration gives enough information to demonstrate that the individual does not pose a risk of harm to anyone served by the program, then the commissioner may "set-aside" the disqualification. The subject remains disqualified, but may have direct contact with or access to persons receiving services. A disqualified person with a set-aside may also hold a license. The set-aside of a disqualification is limited to the license specified in the set-aside notice.
Not set-aside: If the request for reconsideration shows that the subject may pose a risk of harm to anyone served by the program, then the disqualification will not be set aside. The subject will either have to be immediately removed from his/her position, or, if already removed, will not be allowed to return.
Not set-aside, variance granted: Under certain circumstances, DHS may grant a variance to an entity to permit someone who was not granted a set-aside to remain affiliated with the program. The request must come from the license holder of the entity.
If a disqualification is set-aside or a variance is granted, the subject's identity and disqualifying characteristic(s) are public data when the set-aside or variance relates to:
Employees and volunteers must have a background study completed at the time of hire. The study does not have to be repeated for the same entity UNLESS the person:
Please see the legal references for more information.