Background Checks - Private Home Care Agencies (HCA)

Who is the information intended for?

HCAs that do not have a contract to serve Medicaid clients. This information relates to prospective Long-Term Care Workers working for a private HCA.

Acronyms or other definitions

Applicant: The long term care (LTC) worker you are considering hiring.  For home care agencies, this would be your home care agency worker.

BAF: Background Check Authorization form.

BCCU: The Background Check Central Unit processes background checks for DSHS programs.

BCS: The automated Background Check System used by the HCA to submit checks and receive results.

Employer: The private home care agency submitting and receiving the background check.

Requirements

LTC workers employed by a private HCA are required to complete a Washington State check and an FBI fingerprint background check.

Online Background Check Authorization form (BAF)

Instruct the applicant to complete the online BAF using Google Chrome:  https://fortress.wa.gov/dshs/bcs/

  • For applicants who cannot access the online BAF or need the BAF in another language they may complete a paper BAF. The applicant will complete and sign the paper form and give it back to the HCA to enter the applicant’s information into the BCS.

Resource: BCS Online Authorization Form Guide - Instructions for applicants using the online Background Check Authorization form.  Applicants do not need a SAW account to complete the online form.

Obtain the applicant’s Confirmation Code

Instruct the applicant to obtain their confirmation code after completing the online BAF, before closing the system. Remind the applicant to WRITE DOWN HIS/HER CONFIRMATION CODE! He/she may also save/print the confirmation code, email it to the HCA, and email it to themselves. These options will be presented to the applicant in the online system before he/she exits.

The applicant may provide his/her Confirmation Code to the HCA by: phone, email, or in person. This is the only way the HCA can retrieve the completed form to submit it to BCCU. The applicant cannot obtain his/her Confirmation Code after exiting from the online form.

Resource:

Submit the BAF

The HCA will retrieve the applicant’s BAF by entering the applicant’s date of birth and confirmation code into BCS. Once retrieved, review the BAF and submit it to BCCU using BCS. Select fingerprint check (this includes both the WA State check and the fingerprint check).

Obtain the results of the check in the BCS. The status of the submitted check will be available to the HCA in the working grid in BCS. Once the check is completed the HCA can access the results.

Get his/her results

After the HCA has submitted the applicant’s BAF to BCCU and received the applicant’s interim fingerprint notification and WA state RAP sheet (if applicable), review the results.

Based on the information in the Result Letter you receive for the applicant, you must determine whether they are qualified, disqualified, or require a Character, Competence and Suitability Review.

To understand what kinds of Result Letter(s) you will receive*, what each type of letter means, and what action(s) you must take, please refer to the Notification of Background Check Result Letter page.

*Important Note about Notification Letters for Private Home Care Agencies

Because Private Home Care Agencies are not subject to DSHS rule, they will never receive a Disqualify letter, they will only receive a:

  • No Record
  • Review Required; or
  • Additional Information Needed

Send the applicant a copy of his/her results. The applicant may also receive a copy of his/her results from BCCU. The applicant should KEEP THESE RESULTS IN A SAFE PLACE FOR FUTURE REFERENCE.

The applicant should review his/her results and verify the information is correct.

If the applicant believes any information is incorrect, he/she may contact BCCU at (360) 902-0299 or the agency that reported the information directly.

  • WA State Patrol (360)534-2000
  • Department of Corrections (360)725-8888
  • Department of Health (360)236-4700
  • WA Courts- Contact the court that made the decision.

Sometimes the applicant will be able to provide written information to BCCU via an affidavit to clarify a self-disclosure or to send information from the courts or another entity to clarify or correct results. BCCU fax is: (360) 902- 0292.

If BCCU receives updated or corrected information, they may issue a corrected or updated Result Letter. That result letter will be sent to the HCA who submitted the background check.

The HCA will review the applicant’s results and determine if the applicant can have unsupervised access to vulnerable adults. If the HCA decides to hire the applicant, he/she can be hired for a 120-day provisional hire period pending fingerprint results.

Fingerprint information

After completing the WA State check, the HCA will determine if the applicant is able to move forward with the fingerprinting process and will provide the applicant with the fingerprint appointment and fingerprint notification forms printed out of BCS.

The applicant or the HCA should make a fingerprint appointment RIGHT AWAY. The applicant must bring his/her fingerprint appointment form and picture ID to the nearest IdentoGO site for fingerprinting.

Applicants have the option of using law enforcement to complete fingerprints instead of using DSHS's contractor IdentoGO. Instructions on Submitting Fingerprint Hard Cards to BCCU. There may be a cost associated with this option.

Once the applicant’s fingerprints have been taken they are sent to the Washington State Patrol and the FBI. The HCA will receive a copy of the results in BCS when the process is completed. Check the status in the working grid in BCS for the status of the results.

Based on the information in the Result Letter you receive for the applicant, you must determine whether they are qualified, disqualified, or require a Character, Competence and Suitability Review.

To understand what kinds of Result Letter(s) you will receive*, what each type of letter means, and what action(s) you must take, please refer to the Notification of Background Check Result Letter page.

*Important Note about Notification Letters for Private Home Care Agencies

Because Private Home Care Agencies are not subject to DSHS rule, they will never receive a Disqualify letter, they will only receive a:

  • No Record
  • Review Required; or
  • Additional Information Needed

If there are conviction, pending charges, and/or negative actions, the Final Result letter will tell you that the results are based on the fingerprint-based check and provide the results to you if you are a governmental agency or sub-contracted governmental agency.

The law prohibits BCCU from including FBI criminal history results to non-governmental agencies or clients. To see any FBI result records, a non-governmental agency or client must have the LTC worker request those records from BCCU and provide them to you if they choose. If an applicant does not wish to share results, you may not have enough information to hire him or her.

Send the applicant a copy of his/her results. The applicant may also receive a copy of his/her results from BCCU. The applicant should KEEP THESE RESULTS IN A SAFE PLACE FOR FUTURE REFERENCE.

The applicant’s fingerprint results MUST be received by the HCA within 120-days of hire- no exceptions. If they are not, the applicant will not be able to work unsupervised past that 120-day deadline.

Fingerprint Rejects

The Washington State Patrol (WSP) may reject fingerprints for a number of reasons. They will notify BCCU and BCCU will notify the HCA (via BCS) when they reject prints.

If an applicant’s prints are rejected, he/she should schedule an appointment for reprinting at IdentoGO RIGHT AWAY.

Note: WSP may reject fingerprints multiple times before they determine that they have the best prints they can get.

Once prints are accepted by WSP, they will submit the best fingerprints to the FBI.

The FBI may reject fingerprints two times before they decide that they can only do a national name and date of birth check.

Resources

Visit the Background Check Central Unit Website for any of the following information:

  • Access to BCS
  • Link to online Background Check Authorization form
  • Training materials for BCS
  • Turnaround times
  • Request a copy of your background check
  • FAQs

List of Disqualifying Convictions and Pending Charges WAC 388-113-0020