Background Check Process

The Background Check is required for all individuals living or working in a licensed childcare facility who may have unrestricted or unsupervised access to children in care. Fingerprinting and background checks are free to applicants, household members, and employees of licensed facilities. The background check process cannot be used employees of non-licensed programs operated by the licensee or it’s umbrella agency.

There are two types of background checks, dependent upon the age of the individual.

  • Employees, volunteers, and household members age 13 through 17 years of age should complete a CFS 718 Authorization for Background Check and a partial check will be conducted by DCFS. This form should be submitted to the licensing representative assigned to the home or center. The background check for teens will consist of a check of the Illinois Child Abuse and Neglect Tracking System (CANTS) and Illinois Sex Offender Registry (SOR) and those of any state in which the individual has lived in the past.

  • Individuals age 18 and over are subject not only to a full background check, which includes CANTS and SOR, but will also receive a fingerprint-based criminal history check of through the Illinois State Police (ISP) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

If the individual’s background check indicates a past history, depending upon the nature of the conviction(s), the information may either be found to be:

  • An absolute bar to licensure or employment in a childcare facility
  • A history which requires a waiver from the Director of the DCFS

Since criminal history information cannot be shared with an employer, if there are bars or waivable bars, the individual will be provided information as to the results and the options, and how to request a waiver. The employer will only be provided general information as to the denial or approval of the clearance, not specific information regarding the number or types of convictions.

The information provided will also outline steps to appeal a denial, if one was given, based on errors and misinformation. The appeal process involves submission of supporting documentation to an unbiased, three-person panel that will review the history and the documentation and determine if the denial is to be upheld or overturned.

For home applicants and family members, the background check approval process is the same; however, the licensing representative will be the individual to request the waiver. In this case also, any individual denied a clearance will be eligible to appeal the decision through the three-person review panel.