Oregon Department of Human Services statement regarding Secretary of State audit on background checks for childcare providers

Salem, OR – Yesterday the Oregon Secretary of State released an audit report of the statewide childcare background check practices. The Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS), Background Check Unit (BCU) and the Office of Child Care (OCC) screen the backgrounds of thousands of childcare providers who participate in the Employment-Related Day Care subsidy program.

DHS agrees with and is moving forward on implementing most of the audit’s recommendations.

“DHS thanks the Audits Division for the opportunity to rigorously explore its background check systems, and for the advocacy in improving those systems and cross-agency communication,” said Director Fariborz Pakseresht. “Our background check system is critical to ensuring the safety and well-being of children in care, and there are many opportunities for improvement, as identified in the audit.”

The BCU and OCC screening process includes a thorough fitness determination of potential childcare providers that fully complies with federal and state statutes and is directly supported by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidance. This fitness determination includes a consideration of all factors that could have an impact on child safety, as well as the employment rights of applicants and the value of lived experience. Among the many factors that are considered are evidence of rehabilitation and the passage of time since the crime or area of concern.