Background Study Information - Adult Foster Care

The background study is a check of all criminal arrest records, court records, and adult and child protection records.

  • Applicants, license holders, all others living in the home 13 years and older, current, and potential caregivers, employees, and volunteers must have a background study.
  • The person being studied must complete a data collection form, have their identity confirmed by the county, enter their information online via the state operated background study system called NETStudy2, and have their photograph and fingerprints taken. You'll receive instructions from the licensor.
  • Most minors will not have to be fingerprinted.
  • Studies must be submitted for all people aged 13 and over living in the home when a person first applies for a license.

Other times when a provider must make sure a background study is completed include:

  • when a household members turns 13 years old
  • before a person (not a resident) moves into the home 
  • when a new caregiver (paid or volunteer) starts
    • the study must be submitted before they have contact with residents
  • when a person is absent from the program for 120 days (talk with your licensor)
    • this does not apply for individuals attending college away from home

If the agency has reasonable cause, studies can be done on:

  • 10- to 12-year-olds and
  • individuals who may have unsupervised contact with individuals receiving services

Reasonable cause is when the agency has information about the person possibly having a criminal or other record.

Providers must notify their licensor when:

  • someone is going to move into the house
  • when they have a new caregiver starting

Providers must track:

  • when studies are submitted,
  • when the person first has unsupervised access,
  • the clearance (or other) notices from DHS, and
  • when they have unsupervised contact

The county has a tracking form which can be used for tracking.

Failure to make sure a background study is completed when required can result in a fine of $200 per occurrence and/or other negative licensing actions.