Background Check Central Unit

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Frequently Asked Questions - BCCU Operations during COVID-19 

12/02/2020 - BCCU staff are working remotely due to COVID-19.  We will continue to process background checks and post our turnaround times daily.  Please email us at bccuinquiry@dshs.wa.gov if you have any questions and we will respond within two (2) business days.

11/05/2020 - Updated (online and paper) Background Check Authorization form now available. This update includes an option for applicants to authorize BCCU to email them their background check information (Review Required, Disqualify and Additional Information Needed).

11/02/2020 - Updated BCCU Applicant Affidavit now available.  BCCU will continue accepting the previous BCCU Applicant Affidavit (REV. 04/2018) through the end of year, December 31, 2020.

BACKGROUND CHECK SYSTEM (BCS) Authorized Users - DSHS programs and authorized entities and service providers.

APPLICANTS

What We Do


The Background Check Central Unit (BCCU) uses a centralized database to conduct approximately 310,000 background checks annually, including approximately 140,000 fingerprint based checks for  Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) programs and authorized service providers who serve vulnerable adults, juveniles, and children.  Our DSHS authorized service providers include, but are not limited to:

  • Adult in-home care providers

  • Long-term residential care for adults

  • Services for people with developmental disabilities

  • Residential programs for children and youth

What information sources does BCCU search when completing a background check?


Depending on the type of background check and the program requirements, BCCU reports background check information from the following sources:

  • Applicant Self-Disclosure - Current and previous background check self-disclosures

  • Department of Corrections (DOC) - Conviction information

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) - National conviction information, arrest and pending charges, and national sex offender registry

  • Negative Actions - Aging and Long-Term Support Administration (ALTSA)/Adult Protective Services, Children’s Administration/Child Protective Services, and Department of Health (DOH) including, out-of-state service provider and professional license status

  • Washington State Courts and other state court systems

  • Washington State Patrol (WSP) - WA State conviction information, arrest and pending charges of less than 12 months, DOC activity, and Registered sex offender status

  • Western Identification Network (WIN) - State police records from Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming

How does BCCU use the reported information?


BCCU uses the reported information to determine the type of result notification based on the criteria set by the DSHS program that oversees the background check activities; each program has different criteria.   The results are provided to the authorized service providers and DSHS programs that requested the background check.

Does BCCU make hiring decisions?


BCCU does not make hiring or contracting decisions; BCCU collects and reports the information reported.   Decisions to hire or contract an applicant are made by the hiring entity or DSHS program.  The rules or protocols entities are expected to follow are based on the laws and rules of the DSHS oversight program and on their own internal policies and procedures.

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If you have questions about program requirements, please call your program representative, licenser, contractor, or social worker.