Strongly Recommends Thorough Background Screening for All Volunteers and Caregivers

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Recent headlines strongly suggest stringent background screening should be an integral part of the pre-employment process for caregivers and paid/unpaid volunteers. recommends thorough initial background screening and continuous background checks as proactive tools in protecting at-risk populations.

Criminal Background Records

Criminal Background Records

Often times a solid background screening program, one that includes pre-employment screening and post-hire screening, can act as a barrier to potential malfeasants and criminals from seeking work as caregivers or as volunteers.

Recent headlines highlight the need for stringent, initial background screening practices as well as a vigorous post-hire background screening program.

A report out of Texas, as published at (Nov. 25, 13) suggests that many caregivers may be law abiding and conduct background checks, however the frequency and thoroughness of these criminal background checks may be lacking.

A federal report released at the beginning of November looked at requirements in Texas, California, Florida, Illinois and Ohio. It found daycares in all five states had problems with background checks. Texas was the worst.

The report found one in five daycares failed to renew background checks or didn’t do them at all.

But the state's own annual report found a lack of required background checks is the number one violation inspectors have found in each of the last two years. see also

Caregiver organizations and businesses can claim to have solid background screening practices but the reality and actual application of policy may be a different story.

The Minnesota StarTribune reported on November 8, 2013 that 107 nurses will no longer be allowed to provide “direct care to patients after the state Department of Human Services learned that they had criminal records…”

The agency acted after the Star Tribune presented it with the names of 294 actively licensed nurses who have convictions, ranging from criminal sexual conduct to assault to fraud that by law would appear to disqualify them from working with patients. The agency agreed to review the cases, and found that about a third had not been disqualified.

Companies and organizations can continue to claim to have background screening practices and policies in place, but if these programs are not fulfilled a 100% of the time or have significant gaps or failure in implementation a serious situation may exist.

Pre-employment or pre-volunteer screening is an important tool; an on-going and continuous screening program may become an equally important part of a background screening program.

Adam Almeida, President and CEO of suggests: “A post-hire background screening policy may act as an additional deterrent. Individuals may be hesitant to engage in illegal activities, even if they have no previous criminal record, if they know there is a continuous screening policy in place.”

A youth volunteer in Minnesota has been charged with sexual abuse. As reported in the StarTribune on November 27, 2013:

A 44-year-old youth program volunteer from Ramsey has been charged with sexually abusing four boys age 13 or younger in numerous incidents dating from within the past year to as far back as 1995.

The suspect met one of his alleged victims through his 1989-1993 association with the Big Brothers organization and another while mentoring a boy about aviation, according to documents filed in Anoka County District Court.

The article further states that no records exist in regards to the accused being a part of Big Brother but states: “the absence of a record doesn’t mean he was not a Big Brother….”

In the end it is critical that all businesses and organizations that work with at-risk populations take every step to protect clientele and dissuade potentially malfeasant individuals.

Almeida states: “Often times a solid background screening program, one that includes pre-employment screening and post-hire screening, can act as a barrier to potential malfeasants and criminals from seeking work as caregivers or as volunteers.” is a third-party background screening agency that can assist any organization or business, large or small, in setting up a thorough background screening policy. Specializing in pre-employment and post-hire background screening, has the experience and knowledge to greatly assist any organization with volunteer and/or caregiver background screening needs.

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Dan Adams
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