Background studies

2014 Background Study Changes

Important Notice Regarding Background Study Changes Effective May 2014

2013 Background Study Changes

Important Notice Regarding Background Study Changes Effective July 1, 2013

2012 Background Study Changes

Important Notice Regarding Background Study Changes Effective August 1, 2012

2011 Changes to Background Study Fees

As a result of the First Special Session of the 2011 Legislature that ended on July 20, 2011, Minnesota Statutes, section 245C.10, was amended to require a fee for background studies conducted by DHS for all programs licensed by the Commissioner of Human Services, with the exception of child foster care and family child care.

Background studies submitted in connection with any DHS-licensed program (other than child foster care, family child care, and adoptions) will be subject to a $20 fee. When initiating those background studies, NETStudy will automatically route you through the Electronic Payment System managed by US Bank. Payment must be made by credit or debit card.

Fee Schedule (June 2014)

Adult Foster Care and Family Adult Day Services Background Studies

The authority for conducting adult foster care (AFC) and family adult day services (FADS) background studies transfers from County agencies to the Department of Human Services (DHS) effective July 1, 2009. A fee of $20 per AFC and FADS background study also becomes effective July 1, 2009.

New background study forms

  • NETStudy ™

    General

    A background study involves a review of specific records of the person being studied by the Department of Human Services. Routine background studies include a review of criminal history information maintained by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and records of substantiated maltreatment of vulnerable adults and minors from investigations completed by counties’ adult protection and child protection staff and by the Minnesota Department of Human Services and the Minnesota Department of Health. Additional records are also reviewed in some cases.

    A background study must be initiated by the facility BEFORE a person begins providing direct contact services, or for nursing homes and boarding care homes, BEFORE a person has access to clients or residents or their belongings.

    The background study subject may not provide direct contact services (or have access, when applicable) to people receiving services prior to receiving one of the notices referenced below or the equivalent electronic notification from NETStudy, unless s/he is under continuous direct supervision.

  • • A notice (blue form or electronic notification) stating that the background study on the individual has been completed and the individual may provide direct contact services for the agency for which the background study was completed.
  • • A notice (yellow form or electronic notification) stating that more time is needed to complete the background study for the individual and the individual may provide direct contact services while the background study is being completed.
  • The subject and the program may also receive a notice (pink form or electronic notification) stating that the individual is disqualified from any position allowing direct contact with, or access to, persons receiving services, and must be immediately removed from any position allowing direct contact with or access to persons receiving services while the background study is being completed.

    Who must have a background study

  • • People applying for a license.
  • • Employees and contractors providing “direct contact services” in facilities licensed by DHS, MDH, programs serving youth and children licensed by the Department of Corrections and non-licensed Personal Care Provider Organizations."Direct contact" means providing face-to-face care, training, supervision, counseling, consultation or medication assistance to the people being served by the facility.
  • • Employees and contractors must be studied at the time of hire. A study should not be repeated UNLESS there is a break in the person's affiliation with the facility.
  • • All employees of MDH-licensed nursing homes and boarding care homes. If the employee is disqualified, s/he may not provide direct contact services or have access to residents or patients, or their personal belongings.
  • • Volunteers in licensed facilities IF they are providing direct contact services AND they will not always be within sight or hearing of a staff person.
  • • People who are placed in licensed facilities to provide direct contact services by educational programs, temporary personnel agencies, professional service agencies and supplemental nursing services agencies.
  • • Owners and managerial officials of home care agencies and PCPOs.
  • Submitting requests for background studies

    Background study requests may be submitted online using NETStudy, the Web-based application used to submit requests for background studies and receive results online.

    For more information about NETStudy, click here

    Fees for background studies

    For those organizations required to pay a fee for a background study, the fee is $20 per study.

    Results of background studies

    After the commissioner's receipt of the background study form, the commissioner shall notify the individual who is the subject of the study in writing or by electronic transmission of the results of the study. One of three notices could be provided:

  • • A notice stating that the background study on the individual has been completed and the individual may provide direct contact services for the agency for which the background study was completed.
  • • A notice stating that more time is needed to complete the background study for the individual and the individual may provide direct contact services while the background study is being completed.
  • • A notice stating that the individual is disqualified from any position allowing direct contact with, or access to, people receiving services.
  • Disqualification

    If an individual who is the subject of a background study has a disqualification, the program will be notified that the individual is disqualified, and whether the program must immediately remove the individual from any position allowing direct contact with, or access to, people receiving services from the program.

    Request for reconsideration

    If an individual is disqualified and the program is not ordered to immediately remove the individual, the program may choose whether to allow the person to continue providing direct contact services pending a possible reconsideration decision by the commissioner. If the program chooses not to allow the person to continue working, the individual must be immediately removed from any position allowing direct contact with, or access to, people receiving services from the program. If the program chooses to allow the individual to continue in a position allowing direct contact services, the program must first do the following:

  • • Obtain from the individual a copy of his/her notice of disqualification, which explains the reason for the disqualification.
  • • Ensure that the individual requests reconsideration within the stated timeline.
  • • When indicated, ensure that the individual is under continuous, direct supervision when providing direct contact services pending reconsideration of the disqualification.
  • Data regarding individuals and disqualifications that are set aside or for whom a variance is granted

    If a subject of a background study is disqualified, and s/he requests reconsideration and the disqualification is set aside or a variance is granted, the license holder or program will be informed of the reasons why the person was disqualified. In addition, the license holder or program will be informed that, upon request and without the individual’s consent, information about which factors were the basis of a decision to set aside the disqualification is available to them.

    Data becomes public

    The identity of the disqualified individual who receives a set aside or for whom a variance is granted and his/her disqualifying characteristic(s) are public data as provided below:

  • • When the set aside or variance relates to a child care center or family child care for an individual who has any disqualifying characteristic
  • • When the set aside or variance relates to any other program and the individual has a disqualifying characteristic under Minnesota Statutes, section 245C.15, subdivision 2 (15-year disqualifications).
  • • Effective August 1, 2006, Laws of Minnesota 2006, chapter 264 [SF2833] modifies the classification of certain data and makes the identity of household members who are the subject of a disqualification related set-aside or variance not public data if: (1) household member resides in the residence where the family child care is provided; (2) the subject of the set-aside or variance is under the age of 18 and (3) the set-aside or variance only relate to a disqualification under section 245C.15, subdivision 4, for a misdemeanor level theft crime.
  • Notification to parents required

    Licensed family child care providers and child care centers must provide a written notification to parents considering enrollment of a child or parents of a child attending the family child care or child care center if the program employs (or has living in the home, if family child care) any individual who is the subject of either a set-aside or a variance.

    Effective August 1, 2006, Laws of Minnesota 2006, chapter 264 [SF2833] permits family child care providers to not disclose the identity of a household minor who is the subject of a set-aside or variance for a misdemeanor level theft crime.

    Bar to set aside of disqualification

    If an individual is disqualified for a crime or conduct listed in Minnesota Statutes, section 245C.15, subdivision 1, the commissioner is prohibited from setting aside the disqualification and prohibited from granting a variance to the disqualification regardless of how much time has passed. However, if the individual believes that the information used to disqualify him/her is incorrect, s/he may ask for reconsideration of the disqualification.

    Effective August 1, 2006, Laws of Minnesota 2006, chapter 264 [SF2833] modifies the bar to set aside requirements for individuals in the chemical dependency field who have been disqualified for a crime or conduct under Minnesota Statutes, section 245C.15, subdivision 1, and whose disqualification was set aside prior to July 1, 2005. The change requires the Commissioner of Human Services to consider granting a variance for the license holder for a program dealing primarily with adults. A request for reconsideration must include a letter of recommendation from the license holder that was subject to the prior set-aside decision addressing the individual’s quality of care to children or vulnerable adults and the circumstances of the individual’s departure from that service.

    Background study law

    Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 245C (Human Services Background Studies Act)

    Minnesota Statutes, section 144.057 (Department of Health)

    Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 144A (Department of Health)

    Minnesota Statutes, section 241.021 (Department of Corrections)

    Minnesota Statutes, section 256B.0627 (Personal Care Provider Organizations)


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