AmeriCorps Manual Main Page


The AmeriCorps Provisions read as follows:

Programs with members (18 and over) or grant-funded employees who, on a recurring basis, have access to children (usually defined under state or local law as un-emancipated minors under the age of 18) or to individuals considered vulnerable by the program (i.e. the elderly or individuals who are either physically or mentally disabled), shall, to the extent permitted by state and local law, conduct criminal background checks on these members or employees as part of the overall screening process.

The Commission enforces the requirement for background checks and defines "access" and "vulnerable individuals" in the strictest possible sense.

The AmeriCorps Provisions further state:

The grantee must ensure, to the extent permitted by state or local law, that it maintains background check documentation for members and employees covered by this provision in the member or employee's file or other appropriate file. The documentation must demonstrate that, in selecting or placing an individual, the grantee or the grantee's designee (such as a site sponsor) reviewed and considered the background check's results.

It often takes a long time to get the results of a background check, so complete this task as soon as possible.

There are numerous vendors who can perform background checks in Illinois. To obtain information on how to conduct the required background check in your area, contact the Illinois State Police at (815) 740-5160.

Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) also performs a background check for child abuse and neglect for individuals not licensed by DCFS. The DCFS background check alone will not fulfill the AmeriCorps Provisions, however it is recommended by SIC and can be obtained free of charge. Form CFS 689 is attached to this policy and can also be obtained from the DCFS website.

* See attached file: