Waiver Request Process for Individual Listed on DCFS’ State Central Register (CANTS)

Department of Human Services
Division of Developmental Disabilities
Information Bulletin

Waiver Request Process for Individual Listed on DCFS' State Central Register (CANTS)
October 1, 2013


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

  1. Waiver requests with all required and any supplemental materials should be submitted via email at DHS.CANTSDDWaiver@illinois.gov to the Department of Human Services' Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD). 

    Note: It is preferred that waiver requests and supporting materials be submitted electronically.  Waiver requests submitted by telephone will not be considered.  If necessary, requests can be faxed to (217) 782-9444, or mailed to Division of Developmental Disabilities, Bureau of Quality Management, 600 East Ash, Building 400, Mail Stop 2 North, Springfield, IL  62703.  Faxed and mailed waiver requests must be clearly marked as "DCFS CANTS Waiver Request".

  2. The provider or the individual listed on the DCFS' State Central Register (or their authorized representative) may submit waiver requests to the DDD.
  3. If a provider submits a waiver request for more than one employee or prospective employee at the same time, each request must be a separate submission.
  4. Upon receipt, the DDD will review submitted materials and advise the waiver applicant, authorized representative or provider, in writing, if any additional information is required.
  5. The DDD will provide a response in writing to each waiver request within 30 calendar days after receipt and review of all applicable materials and responses from waiver applicant and/or provider.

    Note: DDD's review will include, but is not limited to, DCFS' investigative reports and Department of Human Services' Office of the Inspector General intake and investigative reports.

  6. Delays, without good cause, in receiving requested materials from the waiver applicant or provider that exceed 30 calendar days will result in the DDD issuing a denial of the waiver request. Waiver requests denied for waiver applicant or provider delays may be resubmitted for consideration.
  7. If a waiver request is approved, it will be specific to a position and provider.
  8. If a waiver request is approved, it will be automatically revoked upon notice to provider of another listing of the waivered individual on the DCFS' State Central Register.
  9. All decisions by the DDD regarding waiver requests will be final.
    1. Required Materials for Submission

      • First, full middle and last name of waiver applicant
      • Address (street and mailing, if different) of waiver applicant
      • City, state and zip code of waiver applicant
      • Maiden name, if applicable, and other names used by waiver applicant
      • Telephone numbers of waiver applicant
      • Date of birth of waiver applicant
      • Social Security Number of waiver applicant
      • CANTS finding(s)- the DCFS' C.A.N.T.S. Background Check Information Form(s)
      • Name, address, phone, email and contact for provider where position is sought or sought to be continued
      • Position held or sought
      • Work history, including current position
      • Correspondence from provider where position is sought or sought to be continued on provider's letterhead which includes:
        • A signed statement of support for the waiver request from the provider's chief executive officer.
        • The length of time the individual has been employed by the provider.
        • Information regarding previous employment by the provider in residential and day programs for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities.
        • Applicable information regarding the individual's work history with the provider organization, e.g., evaluations, any past disciplinary action (or lack thereof), positive recognition for work well done, etc.
      • Any additional information the individual would like to provide regarding the waiver request.
    2. Review

      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,
      • Type of incident,
      • Length of time the incident is to be maintained on the registry,
      • More than one concurrent listing 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.

Effective Date

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 Division continues to work with the Department of Children and Family Services and the Department of Public Health on this process and is open to continued dialogue with stakeholders. In the meantime, however, we are posting this bulletin as final to avoid confusion regarding current practice.