Why do I have to complete a background check?
In order to ensure a safe environment for children, Missouri law requires all licensed and license-exempt residential care facilities and child placing agencies ensure background checks are completed on anyone in the facility who has access to children. This includes officers, managers, contractors, volunteers, employees, and any other support staff. For more details read 210.493 and proposed 13 CSR 35-71.015.
Agencies and facilities which were in operation on July 14, 2021, must complete the background check process by December 31, 2021. Failure to provide the required background checks by the deadline will put the agency at risk for legal action.
DSS will send a notice to both the applicant and the facility indicating whether the applicant is eligible or ineligible for presence at the property. It is the responsibility of the facility to either disqualify the applicant or terminate employment of current employees. Applicants are considered to be ineligible for work if certain offenses are discovered in the background check.
How do I complete a background check?
NOTE: You must have Adobe Reader on your computer to open the application. If you do not have it, you can download it for free. If you have any issues, you can email email@example.com and ask that an application be mailed to you.
To apply for a background check, follow these steps carefully:
- Download the background check application
- Open your downloads folder on your computer and find the file to open
- Right click on the file and select ‘open with’ from the menu and select Adobe Reader
- Follow the instructions on page one carefully to complete your application
- Once you submit your background check application, we will send you a fingerprinting letter
- If you have not received your letter within 5 business days, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Follow the directions in this letter to submit your fingerprints
NOTE: You will receive a notice from the Department of Social Services letting you know if you are eligible or ineligible. Please save these results for your records.
Do I have to pay for my background check?
Any fees related to background checks are the responsibility of the applicant or employer. Please talk to your employer to find out who is responsible for payment before you do your background check.
What if I disagree with the results?
If your notice states that you are ineligible and you disagree, you may file for an administrative review within 14 days of the mailing of the notice.
How long are background checks good for?
Background checks will stay valid for five years from the date the fingerprints were taken, or until there is any change in the circumstances of the applicant which would make them ineligible, whichever occurs first. After five years, anyone who has access to children must complete the background check process again to make sure there has been no new offenses.
What if I commit an offense after my background check?
Once you get a background check, you are legally required to notify the Department of Social Services if you commit any of the offenses included in proposed 13 CSR 35-71.015. Failure to report this could disqualify you from employment or presence at the facility.