The Department of Human Services (DHS) will issue checks to family adult foster care entities that were not able to receive emergency background study credits in NETStudy 2.0. Checks will be made payable and sent directly to the family adult foster care license holders. The message memo of the check will indicate study credit.
To be eligible for the credit, a per transaction fee in NETStudy 2.0 must have been paid for emergency background studies beginning on April 6, 2020. While many types of entities successfully received and used their credit directly in NETStudy 2.0, DHS was made aware that some adult foster care entities were unable to access the credit in the NETStudy 2.0 system. Entities that were unable to access the credit will be receiving a lump sum payment from DHS for all eligible study transactions that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic and peacetime emergency.
Background studies completed in the original NETStudy system are no longer valid. Effective immediately, any individual who is required to have a background study and is not currently on an entity’s active NETStudy 2.0 roster(s), must have a new background study submitted.
Roster import process is closed.
The deadline to complete the NETStudy 2.0 roster import process has expired. DHS will not be reopening the process for any entities. DHS implemented the NETStudy 2.0 roster import process in 2018 so that entities could transfer background study determinations for individuals who completed a study in the original NETStudy system to their NETStudy 2.0 rosters. The two-year effort concluded in December 2020.
State law requires entities to use NETStudy 2.0 to maintain current and accurate rosters. All applicable fees apply to new background study requests, including the costs for fingerprinting.
This change will potentially impact the following entities:
To assist providers and study subjects with completing background study and fingerprinting requirements, the Department of Human Services (DHS) is continuing the temporarily extended timeline for background study subjects to be fingerprinted and photographed. For background studies submitted on or after Oct. 1, study subjects will have 21 days to complete the fingerprint and photo requirement. This temporary extension will remain in effect through Dec. 31. No action is required by entities. The updated fingerprinting requirement deadline displays in the “Determination in Process” queue in NETStudy 2.0.
Please encourage study subjects to schedule their fingerprint and photo appointment with IDEMIA immediately after they receive the pre-enrollment email from IDEMIA.14-day consent and disclosure requirement continues
The deadline for study subjects to complete the consent and disclosure process remains at 14 days. When the consent and disclosure is not completed, the study subject’s application will close. Study subjects and providers receive reminder emails to complete this requirement. Providers may view whether study subjects have completed the consent and disclosure process by going to the “Consent and Disclosure Status” column in the “Determination In Process” queue within the NETStudy 2.0 system.
Providers should ensure they are reviewing their roster(s) in NETStudy 2.0 regularly and removing individuals from their roster that are no longer affiliated. For further information:
As the end of the year is quickly approaching, so too is the end of the extension of emergency studies. Entities are strongly encouraged to submit fully compliant, fingerprint-based studies for individuals currently providing services under an emergency study as soon as possible. Effective Jan. 1, 2023, emergency studies will no longer be valid. For the most updated information about resubmitting emergency studies, see transition from emergency studies to full compliance.
The Department of Human Services is extending the temporary direct contact supervision waiver for certain newly affiliated individuals while their background studies are being processed. The waiver was scheduled to expire on June 30, and is now extended through Dec. 31, 2022. The authority is granted under Laws of Minnesota 2022, chapter 98, article 12, section 18, as permitted under federal law and regulation. DHS retains the authority to order supervision when required, based on case-by-case decisions.
The temporary waiver will assist most health and human service providers to continue to quickly respond to worker shortages and address critical workforce needs.
NETStudy 2.0 instructions
For individuals eligible for the supervision waiver, NETStudy 2.0 may show “yes” under the supervision required status column. Entities may disregard this status for newly affiliated individuals who do not have a clearance and follow instructions given in the notice from DHS, which indicates more time is needed to complete the study.
Entities not eligible for the waiver
Entities that have federal requirements related to supervision for specific programs or programs where state law prohibits working while a study is in process, are ineligible for this waiver. The waiver does not apply to newly affiliated individuals for the following entities:
Emergency background studies expiration date extension
The transition period for emergency studies is extended until Jan.1, 2023. Individuals who are currently working under a valid emergency study can continue to do so until Jan.1, 2023.
Temporary waiver of direct contact supervision requirement
The temporary waiver that permits certain entities to allow a newly affiliated individual to work without direct contact supervision while their background study is being processed is effective until Jan.1, 2023.
Minnesota Sex Offender Program emergency background studies extension
The Department of Human Services (DHS) is allowed to continue emergency backgrounds studies for the Minnesota Sex Offender Program (MSOP) until federal approval is obtained for fingerprint-based studies and any system changes to NETStudy 2.0 are completed. When federal approval is obtained and necessary system changes are made, MSOP will have three months to transition existing emergency studies to fingerprint-based studies.
Deduplication of healthcare background studies:
DHS will no longer conduct a background study for most individuals affiliated with a Minnesota Department of Health licensed facility if they are licensed by a health-related licensing board and have completed a criminal background check as part of licensure. DHS will enter into a data sharing agreement with each health-related licensing board, receive daily rosters of individuals with an active license, conduct maltreatment checks for individuals on those rosters and report findings of substantiated maltreatment to the appropriate health-related licensing board. The licensing board will be responsible for determining whether to impose disciplinary or corrective action.
The federal compliance change has two parts.
The first part is for compliance with FBI requirements and has the following main components:
The second set of changes is for Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) compliance:
The fees for employment background studies have increased from $20 to $42. In the future, if the FBI increases its fees, DHS may raise study fees by that amount. If DHS raises fees in response to a FBI increase, the Legislature will consider adopting that increase into statute the following legislative session.
Transition from emergency background studies
The transition period from emergency studies is increased from 60 days to 365 days. Providers that paid for emergency background studies in NETStudy 2.0 will receive a credit. In addition, DHS is able to contract with more than one authorized fingerprint vendor and may collect fingerprinting fees in the NETStudy 2.0 system and pass them through to the fingerprinting vendor.
New business partners
DHS will conduct background studies for MNsure navigators, in-person assisters, and certified application counselors; first-time applicants for teacher licensure from the Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB); and first-time applicants for administrator licensure from the Board of School Administrators (BOSA).
Early intensive developmental and behavioral intervention (EIDBI) studies
DHS will conduct background studies for early intensive developmental and behavioral intervention providers for autism services.
Child foster care
Background study requirements for child foster care licensure have been changed to more closely align with what is required for adoption. Child foster care has a new disqualification structure, including permanent and five-year disqualifications. DHS is required to transmit foster care background studies information obtained under sections 245C.05 and 245C.08 to private agencies as well as counties. DHS is not prohibited from sharing national criminal history check information with county agencies. Effective July 1, 2022.
Background studies eligibility task force
A 26-member task force will be convened to review and make recommendations about background study eligibility and disqualifications. Members will represent study subjects, providers, stakeholder groups and the Legislature. The task force will issue an interim report by March 1, 2022, a final report by Dec. 16, 2022, and will be managed by the Legislative Coordinating Commission.
Minnesota Statutes, 245C.05, subd. 4 no longer has a reference to sharing background study results with private agencies. This change was necessary to comply with requirements from the FBI. The Department of Human Services still has authority to electronically share foster care background study results with counties and private agencies under the Adam Walsh Act. Effective Aug. 1, 2020 (Minnesota Session Laws - 2020, 1st Special Session, Chapter 2)
Housing support services
Providers of housing stabilization services are required to have background studies. The fee for each study is $20. Effective Aug. 1, 2020 (Minnesota Session Laws - 2020, 1st Special Session, Chapter 2)
Title IV-E: Children's residential facilities and foster residence settings
A study subject affiliated with a children's residential facility or foster residence setting may not work —regardless of supervision — until receiving either a clearance notice or notice that more time is needed to complete the study. If someone is affiliated with a Title IV-E-eligible facility or setting receives a more time is needed notice, they may not work until they receive a set aside or a variance. If a person affiliated with a non-Title IV-E-eligible facility or setting receives a more time is needed notice, their notice will indicate if they may work with or without supervision until they either receive a clearance notice or a set aside or variance. DHS must order the immediate removal of an individual from any position allowing direct contact with or access to people receiving services and from working in a Title IV-E-eligible children's residential facility or foster residence setting pending completion of the background study if a prior background study on that individual resulted in an order for immediate removal. Effective Aug. 1, 2020 (Minnesota Session Laws - 2020, 1st Special Session, Chapter 2)
Guardian and conservator background studies
Guardian and conservator studies require a national criminal history check and the study renewal period is now five years instead of two years. The fee for each study is $110. Each study subject will receive a privacy notice from the court and must acknowledge receiving it. DHS will provide the court with information from a review of state licensing agency or board affiliations provided by the study subject. DHS is required to use the NETStudy 2.0 system to conduct the background studies. Effective Jan. 1, 2021 (Minnesota Session Laws - 2020, 1st Special Session, Chapter 2)
Assisted living licensure
Assisted living facilities (those with and without dementia care) will be required to have background studies under a contract between the commissioner of health and the commissioner of human services. A controlling individual or managerial official of an assisted living facility must have a background study prior to the commissioner of health issuing a provisional license, issuing a license resulting from an ownership change or renewing a license. Employees, contractors and volunteers also will be required to have background studies. Classifies data collected as private data. Effective Aug. 1, 2021
Child care federal compliance
The law clarifies who needs a study for child care programs and details exclusions for individuals providing services that are not part of the child care program. All adults and individuals 17 and younger who are employed by a child care program (or when there is reasonable cause) must submit non-fingerprint-based data for a search of a national sex offender registry and the out-of-state criminal and sex offender registries in any state where the subject has lived in the last five years.
A study subject affiliated with a licensed child care center or a certified license-exempt child care center must be under continuous direct supervision prior to completion of the background study. The commissioner may issue a clearance notice for a study subject if 1) another state has not responded to a request for criminal, sex offender or maltreatment information after 10 days, and 2) this is the only reason that the study could not be cleared. Effective July 1, 2019
Family First Prevention Services Act
The law requires new background studies for individuals connected with licensed children's residential facilities. Individuals employed by a licensed children’s residential facility that serves children eligible to receive federal Title IV-E funding must complete the new background study by March 1, 2020. Individuals connected with a licensed children's residential facility that serves children not receiving federal Title IV-E funding must complete the new background study by March 1, 2021.
Studies related to children's residential facilities require fingerprints and photographs. The FBI does not retain the fingerprints. The fee for children's residential facilities studies may not exceed $51 per study. Effective July 1, 2019
If the commissioner of human services makes a disqualification determination using information from a national criminal history record check:
Effective Oct. 1, 2019
Head Start background studies
Head Start programs receiving chapter 119A.52 funding may contract with the commissioner to conduct background studies on individuals affiliated with the program. The law requires a national criminal history record check. Programs that do not contract with the commissioner, are not licensed, and are not registered to receive payments under chapter 119B are exempt from chapter 245C requirements. Nothing in this section supersedes background study requirements in chapters 119B or 245H or programs registered to receive Chapter 119B payments. Transferable background studies must include all components of studies for a certified license-exempt child care center under chapter 245C. Effective July 1, 2019
Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB) background studies
PELSB must contract with DHS to conduct background studies for first-time teaching license applicants. Effective July 1, 2019
Permanent bar set aside
The law allows for the set aside of a permanent bar for an individual employed in the nonemergency medical transportation services field if more than 40 years have passed since sentence discharge. Effective Jan. 1, 2020
Substance use disorder set aside
The commissioners of health and of human services must set aside a disqualification for an individual in the substance use disorder field who requests reconsideration and who meets the following criteria: The individual may not have been disqualified for specified crimes. The individual must have documentation of successful treatment completed at least one year prior the request for reconsideration with no disqualifying crimes during that time and have documentation of abstinence from controlled substances for at least one year. Effective Jan. 1, 2020
Tribal organization background studies
Tribal organizations may contract with the commissioner to conduct background studies on individuals affiliated with a child care program sponsored, managed or licensed by a tribal organization. The law requires a national criminal history record check on those individuals. A tribally affiliated child care program that does not contract with the commissioner is exempt from requirements of chapter 245C. Transferable background studies must include all components of studies for a certified license-exempt child care center under chapter 245C. Effective July 1, 2019