Illinois Department of Human Services
Division of Developmental Disabilities
The purpose of this Information Bulletin is to describe the process for seeking a waiver for an individual listed on the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS)' State Central Register. Public Act 097-0441 (HB0653 Enrolled) Sec. 13. (b) directed that the Illinois Department of Human Services establish a waiver process from the prohibition of employment or termination of employment for any applicant or employee listed on the DCFS' State Central Register seeking to be hired or maintain his or her employment with a community developmental services agency under Public Act 097-0441.
The listing of any applicant or employee on the DCFS' State Central Register is commonly referred to by terms such as, but not limited to, a "Child Abuse and Neglect Tracking System (CANTS) finding", "hit" and/or "indication" and is documented on the DCFS' CANTS Background Check Information Form upon inquiry.
Developmental Disabilities CSA Attachment A, Section VIII. A. 2. DCFS State Central Register/Child Abuse and Neglect Tracking System (CANTS) states:
"Providers shall not employ an individual in any capacity until the Provider has inquired of the Department of Children and Family Services as to information in the DCFS State Central Register concerning the individual. If the Register reflects the existence of or contains information that indicates a disqualifying conviction or disqualifying substantiated case of abuse or neglect for which there is no waiver by the Department of Human Services, the Provider shall not employ him or her in any capacity. Disqualifying convictions or disqualifying substantiated cases of abuse or neglect are defined for the DCFS Central Register by the Department of Children and Family Services' standards for background checks in Part 385 of Title 89 of the Illinois Administrative Code. For each employee, the Provider shall, in addition, inquire of the Register annually thereafter during employment. At the time of the annual check, if a current employee's name has been placed on the Register, the employee must be terminated unless there is a waiver by the Illinois Department of Human Services. For purposes of annual checks, Providers must establish a schedule that results in completion of checks annually (approximately every 365 days). That may be accomplished by: 1) repeating the check on the anniversary of the employee's hire; 2) repeating the check at the time of the employee's annual performance evaluation; or 3) creating a specific schedule of checks that results in timely completion."
Process and Procedure:
- WAIVER REQUEST
- Each waiver request must be submitted in writing on this form, CANTS Waiver Application (pdf).
- Waiver requests with all required and any supplemental materials should be submitted to the Department of Human Services' Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD). The mailing address, email, and fax numbers are included on the form. Requests should be submitted only once. It is not necessary to mail requests that were previously emailed or faxed.
- Incomplete requests will not be processed, the Division will request the missing information/documentation and if no response is received then the waiver will be denied.
- Upon receipt of the completed application and any additional requested material, the DDD will request copies of relevant investigative reports from DCFS.
- Upon receipt of investigative reports, the DDD will render a decision to approve or deny the waiver. Written notice of the decision will be mailed to the individual requesting the waiver and to the employer within 2 weeks of receipt of the DCFS investigative reports.
- If a waiver request is approved, it will be specific to a position and provider. Such waivers are not recorded within DCFS records. The annual CANTS check for such employees will continue to show a DCFS indication of abuse or neglect. It is not necessary to re-submit a waiver request if the case number on the CANTS results matches the case number on the waiver approval letter. The employer will be required to retain a copy of the approval letter with the employee's personnel files to verify that a waiver has been issued.
- If a waiver request is approved, it will be automatically revoked if an annual CANTS clearance check results in a new indication against the waivered individual on the DCFS State Central Register.
- All decisions by the DDD regarding waiver requests will be final. No appeals of decisions may be requested. However, the employee may resubmit the waiver request in 6 months if they have any new/additional information.
The Division will review all the materials submitted. In determining whether to approve or deny a waiver request, the factors considered include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Circumstances surrounding the event (including the likelihood that similar circumstances may arise in the course of employment)
- Type and severity of incident,
- Length of time the incident is to be maintained on the registry,
- Action taken by the applicant to address concerns and recommendations made by DCFS at the time of the investigation and follow up,
- Whether or not criminal charges were filed in relation to the event,
- Number of concurrent listings on the registry,
- The age of the employee at the time of the incident,
- Work history of the employee requesting the waiver,
- Recommendation of employer or potential employer,
- The provider's or potential provider's quality review and licensure survey results,
- The length of time since the incident, and
- The results of a cross check in the adult registry.
The Division began accepting and processing requests for waivers when Public Act 097-0441 became law. The above guidance, reflecting the Division's practices, has been available to individuals and providers since the Spring of 2013, being posted in draft form. The revision to the information bulletin and the use of the provided form as a means to submit an application will begin immediately upon posting.