Presentation on theme: "606 CMR 14.00: Background Record Checks What you need to know!"— Presentation transcript:
1606 CMR 14.00: Background Record Checks What you need to know! Welcome to the EEC electronic training in Background Record Checks.
2Continuous Quality Improvement “Paper” ProcessMore InformationE-Submission of RequestsBRC Manager:E-Response: “No findings / No Record”E-Response: Adverse FindingsSince the beginning of the Background Record Check process in 1987, EEC has worked continuously to improve the quality and the timeliness of the data we provide. Starting with a paper process that was limited to Criminal Offender Record Information, and that required all applications and responses to be transmitted by U.S. Mail, we have expanded our access to information and improved our processing speed. In 2006 EEC expanded the scope of the data we received to include individuals as young as 15 years old, and gained access to DSS information about perpetrators of child abuse or neglect. We implemented a system of electronic submission of requests for Background Record Checks, which saved several days in processing time as compared to the earlier paper application. In 2008 we implemented the BRC Manager system, which allows programs to more easily manage and track the status of their BRC requests, and which allows EEC to electronically transmit all “No finding” and “No record” responses. This results in another reduction in processing time of several days on most requests. In the future, EEC anticipates exchanging adverse findings electronically as well.
3Background Record Checks All staff with potential unsupervised contact with childrenReview of:Criminal convictions or chargesDCF* background recordsEEC regulations require background record checks of all staff with the potential for unsupervised contact with children in EEC licensed or funded programs. Background record checks are required for employees, interns and volunteers. The information reviewed is data provided by the Massachusetts Criminal History Systems Board, as well as any information recorded in the Registry of Alleged Perpetrators or the Central Registry of the Department of Children and Families (formerly known as the Department of Social Services).The purpose of these background record checks is to determine if an individual has engaged in any conduct that might impair his/her ability to care for children.* Formerly DSS
4Regulation Requirements Who must have a Background Record Check?Who can review the BRC results?What is the review process?What documentation is required?How often must BRCs be repeated?The BRC regulations specify who must have a background record check, who can review and approve the results, what is the process required to approve a person for hire, what documentation must the employer maintain, and how often Background Record Checks must be repeated.
5Types of Background Check Review EEC Review (Licensees & Reviewers)Employer Review (Employees, Volunteers and Interns)There are two types of Background Record Check Reviews: the EEC Review for licensees and reviewers, and the Employer Review for employees, volunteers and interns.
6EEC Review Licensees Reviewers Hiring AuthorityClerical / AdministrativeRepeat every three years (or at license renewal)With the EEC review, EEC maintains its authority to review and approve the background of license applicants and licensees. EEC also maintains its authority to approve the background of “Reviewers” for each licensee. Reviewers are program staff who have been designated by the licensee to have access to highly confidential background record information about other employees.Some reviewers are involved in making decisions about hiring new candidates, or continuing the employment of current staff if periodic background checks reveal issues of concern. Some Reviewers are not involved in hiring decisions. They are clerical or administrative staff who handle the confidential BRC reports in the course of their usual job responsibilities. Either way, EEC must approve the backgrounds of all reviewers before they can have access to information about the background record checks of others. In addition, EEC must repeat the Background Record Check for each Licensee and Reviewer at least every three years. EEC strongly suggests that Background Record Checks be completed every two years, at the time of license renewal.
7Why does EEC approve Reviewers? EEC RegulationsCHSB RequirementsEEC approves reviewers as a method of protecting the privacy of individuals.EEC’s Background Record Check regulations require EEC approval of anyone who will receive Background Record Check information. We want to make sure that there is no real or perceived bias or conflict by the person who has responsibility for making hiring decisions based on criminal records or DCF background histories.In addition the Criminal History Systems Board (who provides criminal history data to EEC) requires that EEC obtain an agreement of non-disclosure and a statement of CORI Certification and Compliance from anyone who will have access to CORI data. The EEC Background Record Check: Reviewer Request form specifically gives EEC permission to do a CORI check and a DCF Background Record Check. It includes an Agreement of Non-Disclosure (required by CHSB) that explains that CORI data is confidential and cannot be disseminated to anyone not approved by EEC. It explains the penalties for obtaining CORI data under false pretenses and for willfully disseminating CORI data to unauthorized persons.
8Background Histories are Private!!! Personal!Confidential!Background history information is private! Personal! Confidential! It cannot be requested without the consent of the person whose information is being obtained, and it cannot be shared with anyone whom EEC has not approved to be a Reviewer within the requesting agency.
9$$$ JAIL $$$ *formerly DSS Willful communication of CORI Unlawful access to CORIUnauthorized disclosure of DCF* history= < $5000 fine and/or up to one year in jail= < $5000 fine and/orup to one year in jail= < $1000 fine and/or up to two and one half years in jailThe penalty for willful communication of CORI data to an unauthorized person is a fine up to $5000 and/or up to one year in jail.The penalty for unlawful access to CORI data is a fine up to $5000 and/or up to one year in jailThe penalty for disclosing DCF Background Record Check information to an unauthorized person is a fine of $1000 and/or two and one half years in jail.This is why we require limits on access to data, and why we require locked storage of background record information, which we will discuss later in this presentation.*formerly DSS
10Protect your username and password Designate a Reviewer“Need to Know” basisProtect your username and passwordEach licensee must designate and seek EEC approval of one or more reviewers. If these reviewers are not approved, then they may not have access to background histories. As each licensee decides who will be involved in handling or reviewing background record check data for their licensed programs, he or she must consider that: The fewer people who have access to the information, the smaller the risk of improper dissemination. The more people who have access to the information, the greater the risk, and the less “private” the data. EEC requires that the number of Reviewers be limited to those absolutely necessary to the hiring process.A username and password will be required for each person who has access into the BRC Manager system. To insure that only approved reviewers gain access, it is important that everyone keeps his/her username and password confidential.limitlimitlimitlimitlimitlimitlimitlimitlimitlimitlimitlimitlim
11Who Should be a Reviewer? Considering program size and structure:The LicenseeThe Hiring AuthorityHuman Resources?The Board Chair?Administrative / Clerical Staff?Who should be a Background Record Check Reviewer? The Licensee is almost always approved as a Reviewer. (EEC will notify the licensee if he or she cannot be approved, for any reason.) The individuals with hiring authority must be reviewers, and depending on the program’s size and structure there are other possible reviewers as well. For instance, in large corporations with multiple sites, the Licensee may designate the Executive Director of Child Care to be the Reviewer. Or the Licensee may designate the Regional Director or Site Directors as Reviewers. If a representative of the Human Resource Department will receive Background Record Check information, that person must also be approved as a Reviewer. If the Chairman of the Board will review background record information, he or she must also be approved by EEC as a Reviewer, regardless of whether he is located outside of Massachusetts.In parent co-ops, where all parents are part of the Board, a subcommittee of one or two people should be assigned responsibility for reviewing Background Record information…NOT the whole board. Even in programs where the licensee is the program director, it is generally advisable to have a second person approved as a reviewer, so that Background Record Check results can be processed in the absence of the licensee.Just remember: anyone who will have access to background record check results must be approved by EEC as a Reviewer for your program, even if he or she is not involved in the hiring decision. Unless the people with the authority to hire are also the people opening the mail and maintaining the files, your program will need approval of more than one “Reviewer”.Because EEC records who is approved as a Reviewer, the licensee must notify EEC if an approved reviewer will no longer have access to background record information, or if the licensee wants to designate a new reviewer.limitlimitlimitlimitlimitlimitlimitlimitlimitlimitlimitlimitlim
12Types of Background Check Review EEC Review (Licensees & Reviewers)Employer Review (Employees, Volunteers and Interns)As we mentioned earlier, there are two types of background record check reviews. We have talked so far about the EEC Review. Next, we will talk about the Employer Review.
13Employer Review Current and Prospective: Employees Volunteers Interns The second type of Background Record Review is the Employer review. Employers are responsible for reviewing background record check information for all employees, volunteers or interns regularly providing child care or support services who have a reasonable likelihood of contact with children when no other Background Record Check cleared employee is present. This review must be conducted before an offer of employment is confirmed, and at least every three years thereafter. EEC strongly recommends that employee reviews be conducted every two years, at the time of license renewal.To be subject to a background record check, a person must be REGULARLY providing care and have a REASONABLE LIKELIHOOD of being alone with children.
14Employer Review of Candidate Verify IdentificationObtain signed consent formSubmit request via BRC Manager“No Findings / No Record” results returned via BRC ManagerAdverse findings returned by mailTo conduct a background record check of a potential employee, volunteer or intern, you will use a form developed by EEC that gives us permission to conduct both a criminal history record check and a DCF background record check. You MUST obtain the candidate’s consent before submitting your request for a background record check. First, verify the applicant’s identification with a photo ID. Then have the candidate complete and sign the consent form, which you can print from BRC Manager. Next enter the data into the BRC Manager system. File the original consent form and a copy of the photo ID in the employee’s personnel file, together with the BRC receipt page you will print out from the BRC Manager.Background Record Checks that result in “no findings” or “no record” will be transmitted electronically to the designated BRC program Reviewer via BRC Manager. Background Record checks that result in either CORI or DCF findings will be mailed to the program’s designated reviewer by U.S. Post. The program is responsible for ensuring it receives and reviews both the CORI and DCF findings before confirming an offer of employment.Note: If a program has chosen to implement EEC’s interim optional Background Record Check policy (EEC-BRC-08-01) for all applicants, the program may conditionally hire the employee after receiving a CORI report of “no finding” or completing a discretionary approval. However, in that case the program may not allow the employee unsupervised contact with children until completion of the DCF Background Record Check.By regulation, this process must be repeated (including obtaining a new, signed consent form) at least every three years after the candidate begins work in your program. However EEC strongly suggests that employee background record checks be repeated every two years, at the time of license renewal.
15Employer Review of Candidate Verify IdentificationObtain signed consent formSubmit signed original consent to EECAll results returned to designated reviewer by U.S. PostIf you choose not to process your Background Record Checks using BRC Manager, you must obtain a consent form from your EEC Regional Office. Verify the applicant’s identity by viewing a photo ID. Have the prospective employee sign the form, then submit the signed original consent form to EEC for processing. All results will be returned to the designated reviewer by mail. Once you have received the results and completed your review, you must include in the employee’s personnel file a statement of compliance with Background Record Check regulations and a copy of the photo ID used to verify identity.You should be aware that failure to use the BRC Manager system for employee background record checks will result in significant delays in processing. We strongly encourage you to use BRC Manager.
16Background Record Check: Adverse Findings Presumptive DisqualificationCORI Table A convictionsCORI Table A pending crimesDiscretionary DisqualificationCORI Table B convictionsCORI Table B pending crimesCORI Table A dismissals/ non-convictionsDCF historiesBRC regulations categorize CORI, or criminal record findings, as either Presumptive or Discretionary. Presumptive Disqualification is required by a criminal history that includes CORI Table A convictions or pending crimes. If a “no risk” letter is obtained, which we will discuss later, a Discretionary Review becomes possible.Discretionary Disqualification is required by a criminal history that includes CORI Table B convictions or pending crimes; or CORI Table A dismissed charges or non-convictions. DCF histories are also included in the Discretionary Disqualification category. Discretionary review is possible for this category.
17Adverse DCF Findings? Verify the report Notify the candidate Copy of reportCopy of program policiesProcess to correct errorsRequest the 51BIf a potential or current employee or volunteer’s background record check reveals adverse DCF findings, the reviewer must follow seven steps, unless the prospective employee withdraws his or her request for employment, or chooses to terminate employment. If a potential or current employee or volunteer’s background record check reveals adverse DCF findings, the first step is for the reviewer to verify that the report pertains to the person whose information you requested. Is the identifying information on the report the same as the identifying information of the person you are considering hiring? If there is any discrepancy in the information, please contact EEC’s BRC unit to discuss whether this is the correct report.Once you have determined that you have received the correct report, you must notify the candidate of the findings. You must give a copy of the DCF background report to the candidate, along with a copy of your written Background Record Check policies. You cannot have hiring or Background Record Check policies that eliminate everyone with a criminal background or DCF background history from consideration. You must offer each candidate with a criminal or DCF background history the opportunity for further review, and make individual decisions on a case by case basis. Explain to the candidate why these findings make him or her ineligible to work with children unless he or she is approved through the Discretionary Review process. Give the candidate information about how to correct the DCF background record, if the candidate believes it is in error. If the candidate wishes to pursue or continue employment with your program, then request a (redacted) copy of the 51B from EEC. If the candidate prefers to withdraw his/her application for employment or resign his/her position, you do not need to request the 51B. In that case the candidate is ineligible for hire or continued employment in a position with the potential for unsupervised contact with children.
18Discretionary Review Review the 51B and additional information Make a decisionDocument everythingNotify EEC – update BRC ManagerCandidates with adverse findings on the DCF Background Record Check may submit any information they feel will support their application for employment, such as a written explanation of the circumstances of the DCF incident, letters from a mental health professional, DCF social workers, or others. As a potential or current employer, you must consider the length of time since the incident, the age of the candidate at the time of the incident, the circumstances surrounding the act, the number of acts, any evidence of rehabilitation presented by the candidate, and the relevance of the DCF findings to the nature of the work to be performed.Once you have reviewed the 51B report and additional information submitted by the candidate and have made a decision whether or not to hire or continue employment of the candidate, you must document each step of the process in a locked, secure file. Document your notice to the candidate of the findings, and any information provided by the candidate that supported your decision to hire or not hire. If you choose to hire or continue employment of a candidate with a background that includes adverse findings, document your rationale for hire or continued employment.Finally you must notify EEC of your decision by updating the candidate’s status in the BRC manager.
19Adverse CORI Findings? Verify the report Notify the candidate If presumptive CORI, obtain “No Risk” LetterIf a potential or current employee or volunteer’s background record check reveals adverse CORI findings, the reviewer must verify that the report pertains to the person whose information you requested. Next, notify the candidate of the findings. If the CORI findings are presumptive, you must obtain a no risk letter, which qualifies the candidate for a Discretionary Review.
20Presumptive Disqualification CORI Table A crimes = Presumptive Disqualification“No risk” letterDiscretionary ReviewConvictions or pending charges on CORI Table A crimes require Presumptive Disqualification unless additional steps are completed. If the candidate wishes to pursue the position, the candidate must obtain a letter from his/her criminal justice official stating that he /she does not pose an unacceptable risk of harm to children. If the criminal justice official is unavailable or unable to provide a letter, the candidate may submit the letter from a qualified mental health professional. Without this letter, candidates with CORI Table A crimes cannot proceed to a Discretionary Review, and may not be hired or retained in a position with the potential for unsupervised contact with children.
21Adverse CORI Findings? Review additional information Make a decision Document everythingNotify EEC – update BRC ManagerIf the CORI background includes crimes that allow a Discretionary Review, (or if a candidate with Presumptive Disqualification obtains a “no risk” letter) you must review any additional information provided by the candidate, make your decision to hire or not hire or to continue employment of the candidate. Then document each of the required steps, and notify EEC of the outcome by updating the BRC Manager.
22Background Record Storage Personnel FileApplicationBRC Compliance FormSecure, locked fileStatements of “no findings”Criminal history printoutsDCF summaries51BsSupporting documentationRationale for hireDocumentation of all required stepsAll of the background record information you receive from EEC is strictly confidential, and cannot be shared with individuals whom EEC has not approved as background check reviewers for your program. Except for the signed Background Record Check application and the BRC compliance documentation (the BRC receipt page, if you use BRC Manager), everything pertaining to background record checks, including statements of no finding, criminal history record printouts, DCF summaries, copies of 51Bs (even when redacted), all supporting documentation provided by the candidate and your rationale for hire, if applicable, are confidential, and must be stored in a separate, locked file, which is accessible to EEC.
23How will EEC monitor compliance? Verify EEC approval of ReviewersReview program’s BRC policies and proceduresCheck personnel filesReview Discretionary Review filesDuring licensing studies or investigations of complaints involving staff misconduct, EEC licensing staff will ask administrators to identify staff who are involved in receiving, reviewing or discussing BRC data within the requesting agency. They will compare those names to the approved list of reviewers for that agency in the EEC data base; and compare the procedures described to the written procedures submitted by the program at the time of licensure. Licensors will check personnel files to determine whether Background Record Checks are documented, and will review Discretionary Review files to ensure that all of the required steps have been documented.
24How Do I Get Started?New license applicants: Submit Licensee and Reviewer consents to EEC Regional OfficeEEC will notify you, the License applicant, of resultsSubmit Consent for Background Record Check forms for prospective employeesIf you are a new license applicant and you have completed this training and understand the information presented, you can download the Licensee and Reviewer Background Record Check Consent forms. The License Applicant is the individual who signs the license application, and has ultimate authority to act on behalf of the program in all matters. The License Applicant does not need to complete a “Reviewer” consent form: EEC will routinely consider the license applicant as a reviewer. The “Reviewer” consent forms should be signed by those few people (other than the License Applicant) who are necessary participants in the hiring process. Both the License Applicant and the Reviewer consent forms must be submitted to your EEC Regional Office. The Regional Office will process Licensee and Reviewer signed consent forms and request criminal history information and DCF background information. You will be notified if there is a criminal history or DCF background that might prevent approval, and will be given an opportunity to respond. Once all of the necessary information has been reviewed, EEC will notify you of the results.Once the Licensee and Reviewers have been approved by EEC, you must submit signed Consent for Background Record Check forms in paper format to the EEC BRC Unit at 51 Sleeper Street, Boston, MA for all prospective employees. The BRC Unit will process these requests and notify the designated reviewer of the results. The results of the CORI checks and the DSS Background checks will be mailed to the licensee separately. The licensee must be sure that for each potential employee both the CORI and the DSS background records results have been received and approved. The designated reviewer will complete the process described earlier to approve candidates for hire.
25Next Steps: Establish a User Account in BRC Manager Request “Reviewer” PrivilegesSubmit future BRC requests electronicallyOnce a program receives its first license, background record check requests should be handled through the electronic BRC Manager, described earlier in this presentation. Employees who will be involved in handling Background Record Check requests will first establish a User Account by registering through the Single Sign In process. Background Record Checks must be requested for all potential employees with a reasonable likelihood of being alone with children, and must be conducted at least every three years for all continuing program staff EEC strongly suggests that Background Record Checks be done every two years, either at license renewal, or on another schedule approved by EEC.Anyone who will be involved in reviewing Background Record Check results must request and receive “Reviewer” privileges, by signing and submitting a paper copy of the Consent for Background Record Check / Reviewer Request. EEC will review the results as described earlier, and determine whether the individual may act as a Reviewer. Once a Reviewer is approved by EEC, future requests for Background Record Checks can be processed electronically. “No Record / No Finding” results will be transmitted electronically to the approved Reviewer. As of the time of this recording, Adverse Findings will still be sent by mail to the approved Reviewer. However, in an effort to continuously improve the timeliness and quality of data processed by EEC, EEC is working to establish a process that will allow all findings – both “No Record” and Adverse Findings – to be transmitted to the Reviewer electronically.
26Questions? Available on the EEC website (eec.state.ma.us): Regulations Technical AssistanceE-training PowerpointInstructions for BRC ManagerFrequently Asked QuestionsEEC has posted information on its website that you can access at any time. You will find:606 CMR 14.00: Background Record Check Regulations;A technical assistance paper that outlines your obligations for Background Record Check Reviews;A copy of this training in powerpoint format that you can download and print for future reference;Instructions for Single Sign In and User Accounts through BRC Manager;Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers) about background record check requirements and the BRC Manager system;And an box that you can use for questions or comments about Background Record Checks.