Child foster care
Beginning June 18, all newly initiated background studies for minors (17 years of age and younger) affiliated with family child foster care programs will have a name and date of birth state study instead of one that uses fingerprints. (Minnesota Laws 2018, Chapter 166)
Adult foster care
Beginning June 18, all newly initiated background studies for minors (17 years of age and younger) affiliated with family adult foster care programs will have a name and date of birth state study instead of one that uses fingerprints. (Minnesota Laws 2018, Chapter 166)
Family child care
Historically, children (ages 13 – 17) living in the household with a family child care program were required to have a state background study based on their name and date of birth. In 2017, a law change would have required these children to have a state background study based upon their fingerprints. The 2017 law never went into effect because DHS had not finished updating its computer system and did not require providers to meet the enhanced requirements.
After much conversation among providers, legislators, and DHS staff, the 2017 law was changed in 2018. Under the new law, most children (ages of 13 to 17) living in the household with a family child care program will continue to be required to have a state background study based on their name and date of birth. There are a number of circumstances in which a child living in the household would be required to have a fingerprint-based FBI background study.
A fingerprint-based FBI check will be required for children living in the household if they meet any of these requirements:
The new law also capped the cost of background studies for children at $20, unless a fingerprint-based FBI background study is required (in which case an additional fingerprinting fee is also required).
The background studies conducted by DHS are not available right now while DHS finishes updating its computer system. Providers will be given more information before they need to take any action and will continue to complete county studies until they receive further notice from DHS. (Minnesota Laws 2018, Chapter 166)
General changes for background studies
The 2018 law requires individuals affiliated with a DHS-licensed program to have a fingerprint-based FBI check if the individual:
This change is effective starting in August 2018. More information will be posted on the DHS website and in NETStudy 2.0.
Laws of Minnesota 2017, Chapter 90
Effective the day following final enactment
Child foster care background study streamlining (Sections 2-9)
This amends state law to differentiate between the background study processes for family foster care and corporate foster care. The change specifies that county and private agencies must submit the background study request to DHS only when the child foster care applicant or license holder resides in the home where foster care services are provided. The applicant or license holder is responsible for submitting background study requests to DHS in settings where the license holder does not reside in the home where services are provided.
Laws of Minnesota 2017, 1st Special Session, Chapter 6
Various effective dates
Child Care and Development Block Grant Conformity (Article 16, Sections 3, 5, 18-42)
These changes require a new fingerprint-based background study for all child care providers. The new background study, which will be valid for five years, will include a review of Minnesota criminal records, checks against Minnesota’s predatory offender registry and child abuse and neglect registry. It will also include a review of FBI criminal records, the National Sex Offender public website, and child abuse and neglect registries in any state where the subject has resided in the previous five years. All individuals whose activities involve the care or supervision of a child or include unsupervised access to children will be required to undergo the new enhanced background study. The department will be working with county social service agencies and providers to review the amendments to the law, develop more detailed materials and meet with affected parties to review these changes.
The department will contact providers and counties with more details about when the new enhanced background studies will be required.
The new study requirements apply to licensed family child care, licensed child care centers, legal nonlicensed child care, and license-exempt centers that receive Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) payments. The new law requires all “child care staff” and controlling individuals to have a compliant study. “Child care staff” is defined as anyone who meets at least one of these definitions:
Content of new studies
All studies will be conducted using the study subject’s fingerprints. The state does not retain fingerprints, but the FBI may keep them. All new studies will require the department to review the following databases:
Changes in disqualifications
The law adds new permanent disqualifications that prohibit licensure, certification, CCAP registration, residing in the licensed or registered household of a child care provider, or working for a child care provider. This list only includes the new changes to disqualifications in state law – all others are listed in Chapter 245C:
If you have questions about any of these changes, please see our frequently asked questions about child care background studies.
Background Study Enhancements effective July 1, 2015:
Several significant provisions were enacted that will improve the accuracy of DHS background studies and increase protections for vulnerable adults and children who receive services from those who have a background study. The changes include:
Group Residential Housing Providers (Article 1, sections 3, 6, and 28)
Non-emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) Providers (Article 11, sections 7, 8 and 9)
Several significant provisions were enacted that will help clarify and streamline background studies conducted by DHS. The changes include: