A background study is a screening to determine whether a person being studied has committed a disqualifying act. A Department of Human Services (DHS) background study includes a review of criminal history information maintained by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) and records of substantiated maltreatment of a child or vulnerable adult and other applicable records. In some cases, fingerprints of the study subject are required to conduct a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) record check. Requirements for completing the background study vary, depending on the type of work or services the study subject will be providing and the person's history.
Information about what is needed to complete each type of study
Background studies conducted by DHS are required for staff, volunteers, and contractors who provide direct contact services in certain programs and settings. "Direct contact" means providing face-to-face care, training, supervision, counseling, consultation, or medication assistance to people served in health and human service programs. DHS also completes background studies on guardians and those planning to adopt a child. State law defines who is required to have a DHS background study and the related processes.
If the person is going to work or volunteer in a program, the program will provide information on what is needed and will submit the background study request. For other types of background studies, such as those for in-home licensed child foster care, adoption, or guardianship, the study is submitted by the county, agency, or court.
Who is required to have a background study and the process
An FBI record check is required for some background studies. In these cases, the background study subject receives written instructions on how to be fingerprinted and how the fingerprints are submitted to DHS. Note: This process is different for people whose background study is initiated in NETStudy 2.0.