The purpose of conducting background checks is to determine whether a person has any criminal history or abuse and neglect history that may pose a risk to the health and safety of children. There are six types of background checks that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission is authorized to perform:
- Texas Criminal History check: A name-based search of the Texas Department of Public Safety database of crimes committed in Texas.
- National Criminal History check: A fingerprint-based search of both the DPS database of crimes committed in Texas and the FBI database of crimes committed within the United States.
- Central Registry check: A search of the Central Registry of reported cases of child abuse and neglect in Texas. The Central Registry is maintained by Texas Department of Family and Protective Services and identifies people who have been found by Child Protective Services, Adult Protective Services or Child Care Licensing to have abused, neglected or exploited victims under age 18.
- Out-of-State Abuse/Neglect History check: A search of another state’s or territory’s records of reported child abuse and neglect cases that identifies people who have been found to have abused or neglected a child.
- Out-of-State Criminal History check: A search of another state’s or territory’s database of crimes committed in the other state or territory and dispositions.
- Out-of-State Sex Offender Registry: A search of another’s state or territory’s sex offender registry.
The HHS Centralized Background Check Unit is required to do background checks to see if a person has a criminal history or an abuse and neglect history that might be a risk to the health and safety of children. Background checks are required for:
- Child Care providers
- Residential Child Care providers
- Foster and adoptive homes
When Can I Expect to Provide my Social Security Number for a Background Check?
When CCL completes a background check on someone, we will ask for that person's social security number to verify identity. Some examples of when a background check may be required are:
- You are a foster parent or want to become a foster parent (including in-state and out-of-state requests).
- You want to adopt a child (including in-state and out-of-state requests).
- You are 14 years or older, not a client in Texas Department of Family and Protective Services care, and live with someone that is seeking to foster or adopt a child.
- You are the permit holder, an employee or a volunteer, or are otherwise present on a regular basis at a childcare operation.
By law, (Texas Human Resources Code § 42.056(a), Title 26, Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 745, Subchapter F) you are required to provide your Social Security number for a background check if you are:
- 14 years or older, not being provided care in a child care operation, and meet one of the following criteria:
- Live in a prospective adoptive or foster home or childcare operation.
- Have unsupervised access to children in care at a child care operation or foster home.
- Will regularly or frequently be staying or working at a child care operation, foster home, or prospective adoptive home while children are being provided care.
- Are counted in the child-to-caregiver ratio (as defined in Texas Administrative Code § 746.1501) for a childcare operation.
- A director, owner, operator, employee, or prospective employee of a child care or residential child care center.
- A director, owner, operator, employee, or prospective employee of a child-placing agency.
- A current or prospective foster parent taking care of a child through a child-placing agency.
- A current or prospective adoptive parent seeking to adopt a child through a child-placing agency.
Further disclosure of your Social Security number is governed by the Public Information Act (Chapter 552 of the Texas Government Code) and other applicable law.
- For information on obtaining criminal history or abuse and neglect background checks in other states, please see Out-Of-State Guide for Child Care Employees and Adoptive Parents (PDF)
- I live in another state and require a Texas Child Abuse/Neglect Central Registry background check. How do I request one? Please see the frequently asked questions on the In-State and Out-of-State Child Abuse Central Registry webpage for information.
- For questions regarding the background check process, please see Child Care Licensing’s Guide to Understanding Your Background Check (PDF).