Background Check Central Unit

BCS logo




BCCU launched a quarterly newsletter in 2022.  Our newsletter keeps our users informed about Background Check System (BCS) updates and topics.  You can subscribe to our ListServ to receive the newsletter. 

Subscribe to BCCU ListServ

You will find past editions of The BCCU Buzz below:

2023 Editions

Background Check System (BCS) Authorized Users - DSHS programs and authorized entities and service providers.

Applicants- A potential or existing employee completing a Background Check Authorization Form

  • Applicant Resources
    • Our tri-fold applicant brochure covers instructions on completing the online Background Check Authorization Form, scheduling a fingerprint appointment, and getting your results by email.
    • Consumer Direct Care Network Washington (CDWA) is the Consumer Directed Employer (CDE) for DSHS and employs Individual Providers who provide in-home personal care.  Our CDWA Individual Provider/Caregiver Background Check Flyer covers the background check process for CDWA Individual Providers. 

    • Our Fingerprinting Fact Sheet reviews common causes of low-qualify fingerprints and tips for improving fingerprint quality. 

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, Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF)/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.

You may also want to visit:

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