Background Check Central Unit

Latest News

BCCU is currently experiencing a delay in processing some background checks. Primary cause of delay is staff shortage. We are trying to complete our work through overtime and staff training.

We apologize for the inconveniences caused by this delay and will keep you informed of our progress through ListServ notifications. For our current turnaround times, please visit our Turnaround Times page

What We Do

Background Check Central Unit (BCCU) conducts over 330,000 background checks annually, including approximately 100,000 fingerprint based checks for Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) programs and authorized service providers who serve vulnerable adults, juveniles, and children.  Our 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

Background checks conducted through BCCU are run through a centralized database, which enables BCCU to provide accurate and consistent background check information to all of our customers. Depending on the type of background check and the program requirements, BCCU’s central data system searches, stores, and send background check information from several sources that include:

  • Applicant self-disclosure
  • Department of Corrections
    • Incarceration history
    • Parole & probation status and history
    • Conviction information
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
    • National conviction information and arrest & pending charges
    • National sex offender registry
  • Negative actions from
    • Aging and Long-Term Support Administration (ALTSA)/Resident and Client Protection Program
    • ALTSA/Adult Protective Services
    • Children’s Administration/Child Protective Services
    • Department of Health
      • Out-of-state service provider and professional license status
  • Washington and other state court systems
  • Washington State Patrol
    • WA State conviction information and arrest & pending charges of less than 12 months
    • Department of Corrections activity
    • Registered sex offender status
  • Western Identification Network (WIN)
    • State Police records of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming

BCCU uses the information that is gathered to determine the type of result letter based on the criteria set by the DSHS program that oversees the background check activities; each program has a different criteria.   The results are provided to the authorized service providers and DSHS programs that requested the check.  BCCU does not make hiring or contracting decisions; BCCU collects and reports the information reported to us.   Hiring decisions are made by the authorized service provider 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 procedures.

DSHS created BCCU in August 2000 with the consolidation of five smaller background check units that were operating in DSHS. Today BCCU is located within the Financial Services Administration, Operations Support and Services Division.

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