Categories
APD Background Screening DCF Background Screening

The answers to questions frequently asked about DCF Level 2 Background Screening

Why does the State conduct background screening of prospective employees?

The law is intended to protect the safety of all vulnerable children and adults we serve.

 

As a current employee of DCF/ APD will I be re-screened?

Not right away. Current employees are not required to be re-screened due to changes in law until they are otherwise required to be re-screened.

 

Where can I find my ORI and OCA numbers?

You need to contact your regional coordinator to obtain those numbers. A list of regional contacts is located on the DCF background screening web site under quick links.

 

When do the new guidelines requiring “clearance” prior to filling a position take effect?

August 1, 2010

 

What is the major impact of the new fingerprinting and screening law?

The major difference is effective, August 1, 2010, individuals, may no longer begin work until they have been screened and have received clearance from the Department.

 

Who must be screened?

Staff and volunteers working in programs that provide services to the developmentally disabled, mental health programs, substance abuse programs, child care centers, residential child caring agency and child placing agency, summer camps and programs contracted to DCF that serve children.

 

Who Should be Screened?

 

Statute Regulatory Agency Group Subject to Screening
39 DCF Persons considered for placement of dependent children
39, 402, 409 DCF Employees that serve children, child care facility, family day care home, family foster home, residential child caring agency, child placing agency, summer day and 24 hour camp owners or operators, employees and volunteers that work over 10 hours a month.
393 DCF, APD Any direct care provider, 18 years of age or older who has direct face-to-face contact with a client while providing services to the client or has access to a client’s living areas or to a client’s funds or personal property.
394, 408 DCF Employees within mental health facilities and employees providing care for children and adults – directors, professional clinicians, staff members and volunteers
395 DCF, APD For unlicensed staff, such as dietary and custodial staff, who work in a licensed general hospital, pursuant to Ch. 395, F.S., whose duties require them to work within the psychiatric unit/ward of the hospital, these staff and volunteers are required to comply with Level 2 background screening requirements. These unlicensed staff would meet the definition of “Mental Health Personnel” according to s. 394.4572 (1) (a), F.S. and must comply with the background screening requirements in Ch. 435 and 408, F.S. They would also be required to comply with any other screening provisions applicable to Chapter 395, F.S.”
397 DCF All owners, directors, and chief financial officers of service providers. All service provider personnel who have direct contact with children receiving services or with adults who are developmentally disabled receiving services. Members of a foster family and persons residing with the foster family who are over the age of 18. A volunteer who assists on an intermittent basis that totals 40 or more hours per month.
984, 985, 435 DCF, DJJ Juvenile delinquency program employees providing care for children

 

What happens if a current employee who at the time of their original screening, did not have a disqualifying offense under Ch. 435, F.S., is re-screened and the rescreening discloses a disqualifying offense under Ch. 435 or 408 (if applicable)?

 

All employees should be re-screened at their regularly scheduled re-screening date. At that time, if the rescreening discloses a disqualifying offense the employee would be disqualified and would need to seek an exemption to be eligible to continue working in any position that requires background screening.

 

After selecting an applicant for a position when will they be able to report for duty?

 

Effective August 1, 2010, applicants cannot start to work until all results are back and cleared or have received an exemption from disqualification.

 

Will exemptions for disqualifying offenses still be allowed based on the new law?

 

Yes, there will still be an exemption process.

 

Do the background screening provisions of HB 7069 apply to substance abuse treatment providers licensed under Chapter 397?

 

Yes, the changes made to the general background screening statute ch. 435 apply to ch. 397 in the same way it does to the other authorizing statutes which require background screening. But it should be noted that HB 7079 made significant changes to the general background screening statute chapter 435 as well as certain other statutes which authorize and require background screening as a condition of employment or continued employment such as chapters 39; 393; 394; 402; 408; and 409. However, HB 7069 did not make any specific changes to ch. 397.

 

What steps should an employer take to ensure that current employees are aware of the new disqualifying offenses and the impact these offenses may have on their employment qualifications?

 

Employees should be reminded that the background screening laws have always required that employees inform their employer if the employee was convicted of any disqualifying offense while employed but now requires that the employee inform the employer of any arrest for any disqualifying offense and that there are some new disqualifying offenses.

 

Employers are not required to rescreen employees earlier than the employee’s regularly scheduled rescreening date unless the employer has reason to believe a particular employee is ineligible for employment. If an employer has reason to believe that a current employee is or maybe ineligible for employment due to having been arrested with disposition pending for; having been found guilty of, or entered a plea of nolo contendere or guilty to any disqualifying offense, the employer should immediately have the employee rescreened to confirm and determine the employee’s eligibility or ineligibility for employment. The employer should take the appropriate steps depending upon the results of the rescreening.

 

What are the screening requirements for persons between the ages of 12 and 18 who are members of the family or reside in a home which is either licensed as or has a license application pending for an APD Direct Service Provider (ch. 393); a Child Care facility (ch. 402); or, a Family Foster Home (ch. 409).

 

All three of the above statutes provide that the child is not to be fingerprinted but rather is to be screened for delinquency records. The results of screenings of persons between the ages of 12 and 18 in the home under chapters 393,402 and 409 are no longer to be utilized as an automatic disqualifier for the applicant for a license or license renewal. Since the child is not required to be licensed and is not providing any service for which the license is being issued, any information resulting from the screening of the child is to be used in the same way other information from employment checks or local law enforcement checks is utilized to assist in the decision making rather than as an automatic disqualification for the license applicant.

 

Recently the issue of screenings for children 12 to 18 years of age who are the family members or who reside with an individual who is seeking to be licensed or to have a license renewed for operating a family foster home under chapter 409 was raised. The specific question asked was “Does the “screening” requirement in chapter 409 for children (12 to 18 years of age) in the home of a foster family home licensee or applicant for such a license require the applicant or licensee be disqualified for licensure or license renewal if the results of the child’s screening indicate an offense listed in chapter 435?

 

Section 435.01, Florida Statutes applies broadly and provides that “Unless otherwise provided by law, whenever a background screening for employment or a background security check is required by law to be conducted pursuant to this chapter, the provisions of this chapter apply.”

 

The licensure statute for family foster homes, chapter 409, expressly provides for different “screening” of 12 to 18 year old family members. Subsection 409.175(2)(i) specifies that “ For purposes of screening, the term includes any member, over the age of 12 years, of the family of the owner or operator . . . residing with the owner or operator . . . Members of the family of the owner or operator . . . who are between the ages of 12 years and 18 years are not required to be fingerprinted, but must be screened for delinquency records….”

 

While Chapter 435 prescribes disqualifying offenses, exemption processes, etc., it does not provide any standards for application to the expressly different “screening” above. Accordingly, it would not be unreasonable to construe that the Legislature never intended that the Chapter 435 standards apply to 12 to 18 year old members of the family of the owner or operator.

 

After consulting with the legislative staff on the interpretation of this provision, DCF will no longer utilize the results of the screening of 12 to 18 year olds in the home as an automatic disqualifier for the license applicant. Since the child is not required to be licensed and is not providing any service for which the license is being issued, the information is to be used in the same way other information from employment checks or local law enforcement checks is utilized to assist in the decision making rather than as an automatic disqualification for the license applicant. Because the screenings for the children are not based upon the ch. 435 standards, there is no need to seek an exemption for any negative results of the child’s screening.

 

Although the question was raised regarding the 12 to 18 year old screenings under the family foster homes statute, the department conducts screenings under two other statutes which also expressly provide for the same different “screening” of 12 to 18 year old family members. The first is the licensing statute for the direct service providers under chapter 393 (APD) and child care licensees under chapter 402 (DCF). Both of these statutes require that when the facility in question is the residence or adjacent to the residence of the license applicant, that members of the household between the ages of 12 and 18 are to be screened but under the same limited manner of a search of the child’s delinquency records.

 

Section 393.0655, requires screening of persons 12 years of age or older, including family members, residing with a direct services provider who provides services to clients in his or her own place of residence but specifies that “those persons who are 12 to 18 years of age shall be screened for delinquency records only.”

 

Sections 402.302; 313; and 3131, all expressly provide for a different “screening” for persons in the home between the ages of 12 and 18. These section provide that “members of the operator’s family or persons residing with the operator who are between the ages of 12 years and 18 years are not required to be fingerprinted but must be screened for delinquency records.”

 

 

Categories
AHCA Background Screening

Background Screening Procedures as part of Health Care Licensing by AHCA

The Background Screening rules of Agency for Health care Administration are set according to Florida Administrative Code, Section 59-A35.090.

 

59A-35.090 Background Screening.

 

(1) Definitions:

(a) “Arrest Report” means the detailed narrative written by the arresting law enforcement officer explaining the circumstances of the arrest.

 

(b) “Disposition” means the sentencing or other final settlement of a criminal case which shall include, regardless of adjudication, a plea of nolo contendere or guilty, or a conviction by a judge or jury.

 

(c) “Disqualifying Offense” means any criminal offense prohibited in Section 435.03, 435.04 or 408.809(5), F.S.

 

(d) “Exemption from Disqualification” means an exemption granted by the Agency following a review of the Application for Exemption, AHCA Form 3010-0019, October 2009, hereby incorporated by reference, and an informal hearing, if appropriate, during which the individual must present clear and convincing evidence to support a reasonable belief that he or she has been rehabilitated and does not present a danger to the health, safety, and welfare of the patient or individual as described in Section 435.07, F.S.

 

(e) “FBI” means the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

 

(f) “FDLE” means the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

 

(g) “Level 1 Screening” means an assessment of the criminal history record obtained from the FDLE to determine whether screened individuals have any disqualifying offenses pursuant to Section 435.03 or 408.809(5), F.S. An analysis and review of court dispositions and arrest reports may be required to make a final determination.

 

(h) “Level 2 Screening” means an assessment of the criminal history record obtained through a fingerprint search through the FDLE and FBI to determine whether screened individuals have any disqualifying offenses pursuant to Section 435.04 or 408.809(5), F.S. An analysis and review of court dispositions and arrest reports may be required to make a final determination.

 

(2) Processing Screening Requests, Required Documents and Fees.

 

(a) A provider may conduct Level 1 background screening for employees either directly through the FDLE or through the Agency. Requests through the Agency must be submitted using the Agency’s background screening website at: http://www.ahca.myflorida.com/MCHQ/Long_Term_Care/Background_S creening/logon.shtml. A user code and password is required for use of this site. A request for a Level 1 screening through the Agency must be accompanied by the cost required by the FDLE to pay for the cost of processing the request.

 

(b) Persons required to undergo Level 2 background screening must submit an Applicant Fingerprint Card, incorporated herein by reference, and available from the appropriate Agency licensure unit or by submitting a request to: bgscreen@ahca.myflorida.com. A health care provider licensed pursuant to this chapter may submit a Level 2 request and make payment electronically or by mail. A request for a Level 2 screening through the Agency must be accompanied by the cost required by the FDLE and the FBI to pay for the cost of processing the request.

 

1. Electronic submissions must be made through the Agency’s background screening web site. The completed fingerprint card must be mailed to the Background Screening Unit at 2727 Mahan Drive, MS 40,Tallahassee, Florida 32308.

 

2. Mailed requests must be submitted to the Background Screening Unit at 2727 Mahan Drive, MS 40, Tallahassee, Florida 32308.

 

3. If a fingerprint card is rejected by the FBI due to illegible prints, the individual must submit a second fingerprint card in accordance with the guidelines established by the FBI. The second card must be submitted to the Agency within 21 days of the Agency’s request or the screening request will be considered withdrawn. If withdrawn, the individual must submit a new fingerprint card accompanied by the required fee.

 

(3) Screening of Administrators, Owners, Chief Financial Officers and Controlling Interests.

 

(a) Persons required to undergo Level 2 background screening in accordance with a licensure application, must submit the completed and signed fingerprint card and screening fee with an application for licensure to the appropriate Agency licensing unit.

 

(b) As an alternative to a new background screen, persons required to undergo Level 2 background screening in accordance with Section 408.809, F.S., that have been screened within the previous 5 years by the Agency, Department of Health, Department of Children and Family Services, Agency for Persons with Disabilities or Department of Financial Services, or if the applicant has a certificate of authority to operate a continuing care retirement community, may submit to the appropriate Agency licensing unit:

 

1. A copy of the background screening result, and

 

2. An Affidavit of Compliance with Background Screening Requirements, AHCA Form 3100-0008, October 2009, herein incorporated by reference, and available from the Agency for Health Care Administration at: http://www.ahca.myflorida.com/Publications/Forms/HQA.shtml.

 

(4) Results of Screening and Notification.

 

(a) Final results of background screening requests will be provided to the requesting provider through the Agency’s secure web site.

 

(b) When the dispositional information of a potentially disqualifying offense is unclear or not present in a criminal history from a Level I request, a notice will be sent to the requesting licensee or entity to obtain the arrest report and dispositional information from the individual being screened. The information must then be forwarded to the Agency for a final determination or show such information cannot be obtained. If a Level 2 criminal history is incomplete, a certified letter will be sent to the individual being screened requesting the arrest report and dispositional information. If the letter is returned unclaimed, a copy of the letter will be sent by regular mail. For Level 1 and Level 2, the missing information must be filed with the Agency within 30 days of the Agency’s request, or the individual is subject to automatic disqualification in accordance with Section 435.05(1)(d), F.S.

 

(c) When the Agency or the provider obtains information indicating an individual has a disqualifying offense pursuant to Chapter 435, F.S., the individual is prohibited from working in a position that requires background screening until such time as the individual has applied for and been determined to be exempt from such disqualification.

 

(d) An alleged offense is not disqualifying until such time as there has been a disposition.

 

(5) Exemption from Disqualification.

 

(a) Requests for an exemption from disqualification shall be submitted in writing to the Agency using the “Application for Exemption from Disqualification” AHCA Form 3010-0019, October 2009. This form may be obtained from the Agency for Health Care Administration, Background Screening Unit, 2727 Mahan Drive, MS #40, Tallahassee, Florida 32308 or through the Agency’s website at: http://www.ahca.myflorida.com/MCHQ/Long_Term_Care/Background_Screening/exemption.shtml.

 

(b) Individuals that are licensed or certified in a profession under the jurisdiction of the Department of Health must apply for an exemption to the appropriate licensing or certifying board at the Department of Health unless the individual will be working in a position other than for which they are licensed or certified.

 

(c) The individual shall bear the burden of setting forth clear and convincing evidence of rehabilitation which includes any information indicating the individual presents no danger to the safety or well being of others. The individual must present such evidence as arrest reports, court dispositions, parole/probation information, letters from employers, and personal references. Other documents that may be included are records of successful participation in a rehabilitation program, further education or training, community or church involvement, special awards or recognition or testimony by self or others.

 

(d) An “Application for Exemption” will not be reviewed until all required documents are obtained. If the application is deemed incomplete after 30 days of receipt by the Agency, the application will be withdrawn.

 

(e) In deciding whether to grant or deny an exemption request, the Agency shall consider factors such as the facts and circumstances surrounding the disqualifying offense(s), the nature of the harm to the victim, whether the individual is on probation or parole, whether restitution has been made, the length of time since the last offense, the history of the person since the disqualifying offense(s), work experience, personal references, performance evaluations, probation or parole violations, education, other evidence of rehabilitation, and the honesty and candor of the disqualified individual.

 

(f) Any exemption granted by the Agency is limited to the disqualifying offense or offenses committed prior to the date of the request for exemption.

 

(g) The Agency shall void any exemption granted to an individual when there is evidence that information which would adversely affect the decision was not made available at the time of the determination or there is a disposition of a new disqualifying offense since the date the exemption was granted.

 

(6) Unless otherwise specified, information requested pursuant to this section must be filed with the Agency within 21 days of the Agency’s request.

 

Rulemaking Authority 408.819 FS. Law Implemented 408.809, 408.810 FS. History–New 7-14-10.

 

All Level 2 screening requests to  AHCA must be submitted electronically. The Agency for Health Care Administration will no longer process Level 1 or Level 2 screening requests or fees after July 31, 2010. Any Level 1 or Level 2 screening request and fees submitted to the Agency’s Background Screening Section after July 31, 2010 will be returned to the sender unprocessed.

 

If the AHCA provider who you work for is located in Miami, Broward, Palm Beach or Martin counties, please call IDENTICO LLC today, for  office or mobile fingerprinting appointment. IDENTICO is FDLE approved Live Scan vendor, and we use electronic fingerprinting solutions in transmitting your fingerprints for FBI Level 2 Background Check and AHCA will get the results of screening in as less as 72 hours. The cost of screening is $80.00. Visit our official website www.myidentico.com or call us today (954) 239-8590.

 

We have an open door policy at our office located at 3948 Pembroke Road, Suite E, Pembroke Park, FL, 33021, however if you would like to schedule an appointment at certain time, please visit http://www.myidentico.com/hitappoint/ and we’ll serve you first regardless of any wait line.

 

Bring your state ID/DL, know your SSN, and we’ll help you with locating your AHCA Number if you don’t know it.

 

Sincerely,

 

The team of IDENTICO LLC.

Categories
AHCA Background Screening

AHCA Background Screening and Prohibited Offenses as stated in Florida Administrative Code 59A-35.090 Prev

59A-35.090 Background Screening

 

(1) Definitions:

 

(a) “Arrest Report” means the detailed narrative written by the arresting law enforcement officer explaining the circumstances of the arrest.

(b) “Disposition” means the sentencing or other final settlement of a criminal case which shall include, regardless of adjudication, a plea of nolo contendere or guilty, or a conviction by a judge or jury.

(c) “Disqualifying Offense” means any criminal offense prohibited in Section 435.03, 435.04 or 408.809(5), F.S.

(d) “Exemption from Disqualification” means an exemption granted by the Agency following a review of the Application for Exemption, AHCA Form 3010-0019, October 2009, hereby incorporated by reference, and an informal hearing, if appropriate, during which the individual must present clear and convincing evidence to support a reasonable belief that he or she has been rehabilitated and does not present a danger to the health, safety, and welfare of the patient or individual as described in Section 435.07, F.S.

(e) “FBI” means the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

(f) “FDLE” means the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

(g) “Level 1 Screening” means an assessment of the criminal history record obtained from the FDLE to determine whether screened individuals have any disqualifying offenses pursuant to Section 435.03 or 408.809(5), F.S. An analysis and review of court dispositions and arrest reports may be required to make a final determination.

(h) “Level 2 Screening” means an assessment of the criminal history record obtained through a fingerprint search through the FDLE and FBI to determine whether screened individuals have any disqualifying offenses pursuant to Section 435.04 or 408.809(5), F.S. An analysis and review of court dispositions and arrest reports may be required to make a final determination.

 

(2) Processing Screening Requests, Required Documents and Fees.

(a) A provider may conduct Level 1 background screening for employees either directly through the FDLE or through the Agency. Requests through the Agency must be submitted using the Agency’s background screening website at: http://www.ahca.myflorida.com/MCHQ/Long_Term_Care/Background_S creening/logon.shtml. A user code and password is required for use of this site. A request for a Level 1 screening through the Agency must be accompanied by the cost required by the FDLE to pay for the cost of processing the request.

(b) Persons required to undergo Level 2 background screening must submit an Applicant Fingerprint Card, incorporated herein by reference, and available from the appropriate Agency licensure unit or by submitting a request to: bgscreen@ahca.myflorida.com. A health care provider licensed pursuant to this chapter may submit a Level 2 request and make payment electronically or by mail. A request for a Level 2 screening through the Agency must be accompanied by the cost required by the FDLE and the FBI to pay for the cost of processing the request.

1. Electronic submissions must be made through the Agency’s background screening web site. The completed fingerprint card must be mailed to the Background Screening Unit at 2727 Mahan Drive, MS 40,Tallahassee, Florida 32308.

2. Mailed requests must be submitted to the Background Screening Unit at 2727 Mahan Drive, MS 40, Tallahassee, Florida 32308.

3. If a fingerprint card is rejected by the FBI due to illegible prints, the individual must submit a second fingerprint card in accordance with the guidelines established by the FBI. The second card must be submitted to the Agency within 21 days of the Agency’s request or the screening request will be considered withdrawn. If withdrawn, the individual must submit a new fingerprint card accompanied by the required fee.

 

(3) Screening of Administrators, Owners, Chief Financial Officers and Controlling Interests.

(a) Persons required to undergo Level 2 background screening in accordance with a licensure application, must submit the completed and signed fingerprint card and screening fee with an application for licensure to the appropriate Agency licensing unit.

(b) As an alternative to a new background screen, persons required to undergo Level 2 background screening in accordance with Section 408.809, F.S., that have been screened within the previous 5 years by the Agency, Department of Health, Department of Children and Family Services, Agency for Persons with Disabilities or Department of Financial Services, or if the applicant has a certificate of authority to operate a continuing care retirement community, may submit to the appropriate Agency licensing unit:

1. A copy of the background screening result, and

2. An Affidavit of Compliance with Background Screening Requirements, AHCA Form 3100-0008, October 2009, herein incorporated by reference, and available from the Agency for Health Care Administration at: http://www.ahca.myflorida.com/Publications/Forms/HQA.shtml.

 

(4) Results of Screening and Notification.

(a) Final results of background screening requests will be provided to the requesting provider through the Agency’s secure web site.

(b) When the dispositional information of a potentially disqualifying offense is unclear or not present in a criminal history from a Level I request, a notice will be sent to the requesting licensee or entity to obtain the arrest report and dispositional information from the individual being screened. The information must then be forwarded to the Agency for a final determination or show such information cannot be obtained. If a Level 2 criminal history is incomplete, a certified letter will be sent to the individual being screened requesting the arrest report and dispositional information. If the letter is returned unclaimed, a copy of the letter will be sent by regular mail. For Level 1 and Level 2, the missing information must be filed with the Agency within 30 days of the Agency’s request, or the individual is subject to automatic disqualification in accordance with Section 435.05(1)(d), F.S.

(c) When the Agency or the provider obtains information indicating an individual has a disqualifying offense pursuant to Chapter 435, F.S., the individual is prohibited from working in a position that requires background screening until such time as the individual has applied for and been determined to be exempt from such disqualification.

(d) An alleged offense is not disqualifying until such time as there has been a disposition.

 

(5) Exemption from Disqualification.

(a) Requests for an exemption from disqualification shall be submitted in writing to the Agency using the “Application for Exemption from Disqualification” AHCA Form 3010-0019, October 2009. This form may be obtained from the Agency for Health Care Administration, Background Screening Unit, 2727 Mahan Drive, MS #40, Tallahassee, Florida 32308 or through the Agency’s website at: http://www.ahca.myflorida.com/MCHQ/Long_Term_Care/Background_Screening/exemption.shtml.

(b) Individuals that are licensed or certified in a profession under the jurisdiction of the Department of Health must apply for an exemption to the appropriate licensing or certifying board at the Department of Health unless the individual will be working in a position other than for which they are licensed or certified.

(c) The individual shall bear the burden of setting forth clear and convincing evidence of rehabilitation which includes any information indicating the individual presents no danger to the safety or well being of others. The individual must present such evidence as arrest reports, court dispositions, parole/probation information, letters from employers, and personal references. Other documents that may be included are records of successful participation in a rehabilitation program, further education or training, community or church involvement, special awards or recognition or testimony by self or others.

(d) An “Application for Exemption” will not be reviewed until all required documents are obtained. If the application is deemed incomplete after 30 days of receipt by the Agency, the application will be withdrawn.

(e) In deciding whether to grant or deny an exemption request, the Agency shall consider factors such as the facts and circumstances surrounding the disqualifying offense(s), the nature of the harm to the victim, whether the individual is on probation or parole, whether restitution has been made, the length of time since the last offense, the history of the person since the disqualifying offense(s), work experience, personal references, performance evaluations, probation or parole violations, education, other evidence of rehabilitation, and the honesty and candor of the disqualified individual.

(f) Any exemption granted by the Agency is limited to the disqualifying offense or offenses committed prior to the date of the request for exemption.

(g) The Agency shall void any exemption granted to an individual when there is evidence that information which would adversely affect the decision was not made available at the time of the determination or there is a disposition of a new disqualifying offense since the date the exemption was granted.

 

(6) Unless otherwise specified, information requested pursuant to this section must be filed with the Agency within 21 days of the Agency’s request.

Rulemaking Authority 408.819 FS. Law Implemented 408.809, 408.810 FS. History–New 7-14-10.