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Background Checks

The Department of Children & Families has a dedicated Unit, located within the Careline, assigned to process the background checks. Upon request,  the Background Check Unit will perform a search of the departments Central Registry and Child Abuse & Neglect history on an individual who will be working or providing a service directly or indirectly to children and/or families.

There are three types of background checks:

Child Abuse
Central Registry



Criminal Records Checks are handled by the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, 860-685-8480,  You must use form DPS-0846-C to request a check and pay the applicable fee.  DCF does NOT process criminal checks.


     Who Can Request a background check?
     How do I  Request a background check?
     Which form do I use?
     Guidelines for Completing Forms
     How to Submit a Background Check Form
     What Kind of Results to expect
     Who will receive the Results
     Exceptions and Timeframes
     What to do if a background check is a "fail"?
     Who can I contact with questions?



Employment  - Use form DCF-3031 (Child Protective Services Background Check)

The Department of Children & Families Background Checks Unit will perform a search of the departments Central Registry and Child Abuse & Neglect history on an individual who will be working or proving some kind of service directly or indirectly to children and families.


Adoption and Foster Care  - Use form DCF-3033 (Adoption and Foster Care Background Check)

This includes, but not limited to; prospective foster or adoptive parents, individuals who will be working in a DCF licensed congregated care facility or a DCF licensed community-based or credentialed services.


Adam Walsh - Use Company Letterhead  (NOTE:  Individuals cannot request an Adam Walsh background check.)

The BGC Unit is also responsible to process checks for national and international agencies, due to the passage of the Adam Walsh Act in 2006. For instance, out of state Child Protective Service Agencies. 

Directions for Adam Walsh requests:

  • Must be on the Agencies' Letterhead;
  • Must contain the individuals demographic information. (e.g. date of birth, names of children, etc…);
  • Completed letters should be faxed to: 860-560-7071, or emailed: DCF.BackgroundCheck@ct.gov



Who can Request a background check?

  • Anyone seeking to find their own status on the Central Registry / history.
  • State Agencies (i.e., The Office of Early Childhood, State Department of Education, Department of Developmental Services, Department of Motor Vehicles, etc.)
  • DCF (Interdepartmental Units)
  • Prospective Employers (All)
  • Licensing Authorities (In & Out of State Residential & Congregate Care Settings)
  • Daycare Settings (Out of state, where permitted by law)
  • Adoption/Foster Care Agencies (In & Out of State)
  • Schools
  • Churches


How do I  Request a background check?

An Authorization for Release of Information must be submitted.  The proper form must be signed & dated by the applicant (see "which form do I use?" below)descriptions.


Which form do I use?

Use  DCF-3031 (CPS Background Check) for:

  • Day Care
  • Employment
  • Internship
  • Mentor
  • Other
  • Volunteer

Use DCF-3033 (Adoption and Foster Care Background Check) for:

  • Adoption
  • Foster Care


Guidelines for Completing Forms

In order to ensure the quality of the unit's search and to process the checks in a timely manner, please follow these guidelines:

  • Agency information must be clearly entered at the top of the forms;
  • Form must contain applicant signature and be dated;
  • Forms must be legible (printed/filled in on computer or typed);
  • Forms cannot be altered. (e.g. write-out, cross out, form design changed without DCF approval, etc..);
  • Reason for requesting a BGC must be selected, (employment, volunteer, etc..);
  • No blank spaces (if there is a section that does not apply, "N/A"  must be entered.);
  • If applying to more than one employment agency that requires a DCF check , the applicant must submit a separate form for each agency.  The applicant only grants authorization to share information with one agency per form.
  • Any forms that do not meet these guidelines, will be returned to the requestor and or agency without processing.


How to Submit a Background Check Form

Please be advised that due to the large volume of forms received, we are unable to provide confirmation of receipt or status updates during the background check process. If, after 4 weeks, you do not receive the results of any form(s) you sent in or if you have any questions, please e-mail the BGC Unit:  Email: DCF.BackgroundCheck@ct.gov



What kind of Results to Expect from the background Check?

When using the DCF-3031 (CPS Background Check) form:

  • the information disclosed is whether the applicant is or is not on the Central Child Abuse Registry
  • the results of the central child abuse registry status are entered in the designated box on the top of the form, dated and initialed by the background check unit processor.
  • What Information may not be disclosed?:
         - The existence of an unsubstantiated allegation of abuse and neglect
         - A substantiated allegation that has been appealed or pending an appeal
         - A substantiated allegation, if timeframe for requesting an appeal has not yet expired
         - A pending open investigation

When using the DCF-3033  (Adoption and Foster Care Background Check) form:

  • all substantiated and unsubstantiated information is disclosed
  • If the applicant is cleared the form is labeled as “NO Record Found”, dated and initialed by the processor in the designated box at the top of the form
  • If there is any information to be disclosed, a letter will be sent with such information.

For Adam Walsh:

  • All applicable history is disclosed
  • If there is no history for the individual ,a statement of “No Record Found’ is stamped, dated and initialed onto the letter
  • When there is history, a letter is sent to the requesting agency with detailed information about the findings.


Who will Receive the Results of the Background Check?

All results are sent to the requesting agency entered on the form or the individual.

  • If the form is received from the agency the results are sent only to the agency and it would be up to such agency to provide the individual a copy of the results
  • If the form is received by the individual, the results are sent to the agency on the form and a copy is also sent to the individual


Exceptions and Timeframes


DCF may disclose that a person is on the Central Registry before the time for requesting an appeal has expired or while an appeal is pending if the child abuse or neglect resulted in or involved:

  • The death of a child;
  • The risk of serious physical injury or emotional harm of a child;
  • The serious physical harm of a child;
  • The arrest of the person due to abuse or neglect of a child;
  • A neglect or termination of a parental rights petition has been filed by the Commissioner;
  • Sexual abuse of a child.


There is No statutory timeframe established to process a BGC.

  • Average timeframe 1-2 weeks
    • Time frame varies on each individual search
    • During peak seasons, it can take up to 4 weeks.

Adam Walsh background checks are usually completed within 48 hrs.


What to do if a background check is a "fail"?

The failed individual can send an appeal request in writing to: DCF-Legal Division, 505 Hudson Street, Hartford, CT 06106; or email to: DCF.APPEALS@ct.gov

A DCF-2210B  (Request for Appeal of Substantiation Finding(s)/Recommendation for Placement on Central Registry) form must be completed by the applicant and included with their request.

NOTE:  the DCF-2210B form is also available in several different languages:


Who can I contact with questions?

To contact the Background Check Unit, call 1-800-842-2288 and press option #6

Email: DCF.BackgroundCheck@ct.gov