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Background Check Failure

Some students may have something in their record that will be flagged by a background check. Examples include driving under the influence (DUI) convictions or minor drug offenses. Depending on your criminal record history, one of the following will occur:

  • You will pass the background check and will be able to take CHAD 496 and remain a CHAD major.
    • Students with minor traffic violations and no other charges on their record should be able to pass the background check.
    • Students who have had charges successfully expunged from their record should be able to pass the background check.


  • You will fail the background check and will not be able to take CHAD 496 and cannot remain a CHAD major.


  • Your background check will be flagged and the exemption approval process can be initiated with your permission.
    • This process can take up to 6 months; the CCF and the CHAD Program Director will not be able to tell you how long the process will take.
    • You will not be permitted to take CHAD 496 until the exemption approval has been granted. Therefore, we recommend starting the background check process 6-12 months in advance of taking CHAD 496 to ensure they can try to take CHAD 496 in the desired semester.
    • If you do not receive exemption approval, this counts as failure of the background check and you cannot take CHAD 496 or remain a CHAD major.
    • If you do receive exemption approval, note that this status and your name will be disclosed if a CCF staff member or parent request this information as it is not confidential. However, the nature of the offense would not be disclosed. 

 If a student does not pass a background check or receive exemption approval, no exceptions can be made and the student cannot take CHAD 496 (and therefore must select another major). In addition, we cannot guarantee that passing a background check for another course or center means you will pass for CHAD 496. 

If you have questions about something in your background:

  • Contact California Community Care Licensing directly or 1-888-422-5669 to speak with a representative.  
  • For more information on offenses that may require that the student clear his/her record, see the information on criminal record exemptions on the website.
  • To check your record in advance, see this website.
  • The CHAD Program Director or the CCF will not be able to help you with this process – it is a California Community Care Licensing Decision.

In order to take the CHAD 496 Observation and Assessment Lab course at the Center for Children and Families, students must clear the background check or receive exemption approval. If a student does not pass the background check, they must contact Dr. Sara Bufferd, CHAD Program Director, to discuss declaring another major. Please also contact the CHAD Program Director if you know in advance that you cannot pass the background check for any reason to discuss your options.