States Beef Up Background Checks to Protect Vulnerable Populations

Protecting and caring for our most vulnerable populations is everyone’s business. Children, the elderly and people with disabilities are too often targeted by predators who want to hurt them in some way. From identity theft and fraud, to sexual and physical abuse, the crimes these predators commit are abhorrent, sick, and detrimental to society on so many levels.   

As conversations about, and knowledge of, the screening industry have taken hold thanks to high profile topics like mass shootings, the hiring of ex-offenders, and abusive clergy and sports coaches, more states are moving to increase measures to protect vulnerable populations.

We’ve mentioned a trio of them before:

Just this week, three more states made impressive moves to beef up background check requirements. Here’s the rundown:

New Delaware law, named after Beau Biden, streamlines background check requirements

Delaware’s governor is signing legislation that should strengthen the state’s commitment to screening people who want to work or volunteer for organizations that serve children. Backers of the bill says the new language better outlines who is required to undergo a background check, which type of background check should be authorized, and eliminates inconsistencies in the criteria that would prevent someone from working with children. The bill also addresses background check regulations for private schools and youth camps, two entities often overlooked by state law.

Protecting the elderly: Background check program welcomed (West Virginia)

Over the next six months, sweeping changes will be coming to West Virginia’s background check requirements for people wishing to work with the elderly. The state is launching the West Virginia Clearance for Access: Registry and Employment Screening, or WV CARES, program after the governor signed it into law earlier this year.

The new initiative mandates fingerprint-based state and national background checks for people who apply for jobs with access to residents or beneficiaries of long-term care services. Long-term care facilities include nursing facilities, home health agencies, hospice care providers and adult day care.

Background checks are widely considered to the primary offense in reducing the potential for abuse, neglect and exploitation of the elderly and other vulnerable adults.

Background Check System for School Vendors, Contractors (Nebraska)

In an alarming investigative report, a television news station in Omaha is shedding light on the number of violent offenders seeking work with construction companies contracted to work in and around public schools. The TV station partnered with a private screening company and public school district to screen 822 people who were slated to work for the construction company.

Here’s what they uncovered:

  • 68 had a criminal history serious enough to deny them access
  • 19 showed more than one offense on their record
  • 3 were sex offenders

The screening company helped flag or eliminate a candidate if they had been charged or convicted of sex offenses, theft, drugs, violence or on weapons charges. It doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t be employed by the contractor. It just means they were denied a badge that is required to work on school property.

What’s happening in your state, city or town in relation to background checks? We love to stay on top of trends and news so leave a comment below or shoot us an email. The more we all know, the more we can work together to protect our most vulnerable populations.

This entry was posted in Background Screening, Criminal Records, General, Human Resources, News and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , by Patricia Carlson. Bookmark the permalink.

Patricia Carlson is a content writer who specializes in B2C and B2B inbound marketing. She blogs regularly for clients about the background screening and finance industries, and generates newsletters, white papers and email campaigns for a variety of businesses. Patricia also produces a heavy rotation of editorial material for home design, law enforcement, and family magazines. She’s been writing professionally for more than a dozen years, and for Active Screening for more than two of those. Check out LinkedIn for a roster of Patricia’s clients and links to published works. When she’s not interviewing sources or researching trends, she’s living a fast-paced Florida life questioning the antics of her two young children, partner and mischievous cat. Patricia loves to talk tennis and TV on Twitter – give her a shout @pattycfreelance.

 
        
Active ScreeningBarbara S.
Healthcare Industry

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Active ScreeningCraig H. Staffing Industry

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Active Screening

With over 20 years of law enforcement experience I can attest to the fact that the strongest predictor of future criminal behavior is a person’s criminal history. As the manager of campus safety at my church, I depend on Active Screening to provide a thorough assessment of every criminal history background check we request. For more than 3 years, Active Screening has been faithful to this task with timely, accurate and reliable service.

Active Screening

We have benefited from knowing that we are not exposing the communities we work with or ourselves to unnecessary risk. We continue to have a perfect record in that we have never had a serious incident with a trip participant causing harm or acting inappropriately with any community member or fellow team member- thank goodness!

Active Screening

I would highly recommend any association or organization who conducts background checks to use Active Screening. In addition to my involvement with WAHA, I am an officer in a corporation with over 500 employees who provide treatment, mental health, and correctional services for children and adolescents. Our company is mandated by law to do comprehensive background searches and I can say with the utmost sincerity that Active Screening product rivals that of any government or other private sector process.

Active Screening

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