Individual and Family Fact Sheet
Pre-Employment Background Check
Updated Oct. 2023
Making good hiring decisions...
What are pre-employment background checks and why are they needed?
It is the policy of the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) to have all employees hired to support individuals with disabilities funded by DDS to complete background checks prior to employment.  These pre-employment background checks include a criminal background check, an abuse and neglect registry check and a driver’s license check.  This fact sheet provides information on the criminal background check.  The DDS abuse and neglect registry check fact sheet and the DDS driver’s record fact sheet provide information on other pre-employment checks required by DDS.  The purpose of all of the DDS pre-employment checks is to help ensure that individuals and their families have the information needed to make good hiring decisions.
What is a Criminal History Background Check?
A criminal history background check provides a review of police records in Connecticut.  DDS policy requires all employers receiving DDS funding to conduct criminal background checks on persons who will work directly with individuals with intellectual disability.  If you receive money from DDS to hire staff, you must get completed criminal background checks on all people you want to hire before they can start working for you.  If you hire your supports through a private provider agency, that agency is required to complete criminal background checks for its employees before they start working.
How do I check to find out if someone has a criminal record?
Step #1:  A standard job application must be completed by the potential employees you want to hire.  All potential employees are required to fill out a standard application for employment.  You can obtain this standard application through your fiscal intermediary, or through your case manager.  You can let all possible candidates know that, once all the background checks are completed, you will make a hiring decision.  If a potential employee fails to disclose a prior conviction on the application, they are disqualified from employment.  This statement is included in the application.
Step #2:  Decide how you want to get the criminal background check done.  There are a few different options you can consider to conduct criminal background checks.  State of Connecticut criminal background checks can be done using name and date of birth only or they can include a fingerprint check as well.  DDS policy does not require that the background check include a fingerprint check.  You can choose which type of criminal background check to complete.  You can also choose from the options listed below on how to get the criminal background check completed.
  • Criminal background checks using name and date of birth can be completed by your fiscal intermediary in one to two days.

The background check is usually completed in approximately five to 10 business days.  Fingerprint-based checks may take longer to complete than background checks that use only the person’s name and date of birth.  Fingerprints must be taken by trained, qualified individuals, usually the police.  It is important to remember that an employee cannot begin working for you until the criminal background check has been completed.  Your fiscal intermediary cannot authorize payment of an employee’s timesheet without a completed criminal background check on file.  If you have an emergency hiring situation, you should notify your case manager/broker and he or she will help you get high priority treatment for completing the criminal background check of the person you would like to hire.

Step #3:  Review the criminal background check information you receive and determine whether to hire the person.  If someone you want to hire has a criminal background, you should carefully consider the type of crime he or she has been convicted of, when it happened and what the sentence was.  The offenses listed below represent felonies that indicate potential for serious harm to others. 
 Arson  Homicide
 Assault and Related Offenses  Kidnapping and Related Offenses
 Burglary and Related Offenses    Larceny, Robbery and Related Offenses
 Child Pornography  Manslaughter
 Conspiracy  Perjury and Subordination
 Cruelty to Persons  Sexual Offense
 Domestic Violence  Stalking
 Felony Drug Offenses  Threatening
 Forgery or Related Offenses  Unlawful Restraint
 Fraud  Weapons Violations

If a job candidate does not have any of the offenses listed above on their record, the employer can offer employment to the person. Before offering the candidate a position, consider their offenses and assess the following employability factors listed below:
  • Applicant’s age at the time the offense was committed
  • Mitigating factors at the time the offense was committed
  • Number of offenses for which the individual was convicted
  • Efforts and success at rehabilitation
  • The amount of time since the offense was committed
  • The likelihood the offense will be repeated
  • Individual’s employment related references (history) since committing the offense
  • The relationship between the job and the offense committed
  • The training, structure and supervision available on the job. 
  • If an employer (individual or family member) wants to employ an individual with a conviction history the employer must sign the Acknowledgement form documenting that they are aware of the conviction and accept the potential liability of employing someone with a history of conviction. The employee cannot begin working until the fiscal intermediary has received this acknowledgement.  This review is only applicable for the specific employer requesting the review.
  • Any criminal background check that results in an employee’s name on the DDS abuse and neglect registry or OIG cannot be hired and the use of DDS funds are prohibited.
If You Have Any Questions About
Call Your Case Manager for Help.