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Mike Jennings
Lead Investigator

JTAC Investigations - Private Investigation in VT
9340 Scotch Hollow Road - South Ryegate, VT 05069
Phone:  (
802) 279-6815 


Background Checks: Caregiver Background Checks

Is the basic background check enough to thoroughly screen a caregiver?

What about sex offender records?

Our caregiver will be driving. Can you check her/her driving record?

What else can we do to verify the credentials of a caregiver candidate?

Are you hiring a fulltime Caregiver?  Do you think itís wise to invite a stranger into your home and give them access to your children or loved ones without a background check?  I think not. Letís face it you owe it to your family to insure their safety by checking this stranger out!

Do at least a basic background check.

TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. Don't worry that your spouse or coworker might think you are paranoid. If your gut says there is something wrong, move on to other candidates.

DO NOT...

  • Employ a caregiver without checking references and employment history.
  • Ignore unexplained gaps or discrepancies in work and education history - always check them out until you are completely satisfied.

Is the basic background check enough to thoroughly screen a caregiver?

The basic single county criminal check is a good starting point for caregiver screening. Most families find, however, that the history of the individual applicant and the nature of the job necessitates adding different searches to be thorough.

At a minimum, criminal records should be checked at both the state and  county levels. Criminal records can be missed if only the state level check is done.

It is very common for the more mature candidates to have the possibility of records under different names as a result of marriage and/or divorce. Families often learn information in the basic check that causes them to expand the initial search.

What about sex offender records?

We strongly encourage families to order the national sex offender search. This option has been considerably improved in recent years as a result of legislation. The economical National Sexual Offender Registry (NSOR) search is recommended as part of any childcare or eldercare background screening to reduce the risk of hiring someone with a prior history of sex offenses. The NSOR accesses public information from each state, using real-time access to each state registry. The NSOR search provides a comprehensive, nationwide alternative to a single state sex offender search.

The national sex offender registry search relies on records aggregated by the U.S. Department of Justice. It provides a comprehensive search that includes offenders in all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam. The NSOR accesses real-time records from each jurisdiction's public registries. Offenses requiring registration are governed by state law. Information reported includes available records for the maximum period allowed under applicable law. The link below details the information included by state.

Information reported varies by state, but typically includes:

  • The full name of the offender
  • A classification of the offense
  • The last know address of the offender.

All information found during the course of the search is reported.

Our caregiver will be driving. Can you check her/her driving record?

Driving records are very important, and they reveal more than just how well the applicant drives. A driving record can speak to the candidate's judgment, attention to detail, and conformity to rules. DUI's and speeding tickets will generally give a family pause

Many states have moved to protect the confidentiality of these records in recent years. As a consequence, driving records are not available in all states and some states limit the detail provided. JTAC Investigations advises as an alternative that you ask the applicant to obtain an official copy of her driving record directly from her local DMV. He/She can request that at any DMV office and costs, when applied, are very nominal. They can then forward this information directly to you.

ADDITIONAL DETAILS: CO, DE, GA, MD, MI, NH, OH all require an additional signed state specific compliance statement, affidavit or "Privacy Protection Policy" statement . This list is subject to change.

PA, WI and WY prohibit the transmission of completed MVR report details via the internet. Washington State (WA) will only confirm the validity of a Driver's License. Full detail such as violations and accidents is not available from the Washington (WA) Department of Licensing to anyone except the job applicant, unless the job applicant will be operating a commercial vehicle or school bus. 

What else can we do to verify the credentials of a caregiver candidate?

The following are some suggestions if you decide not to use JTAC Investigations.

  • Have the candidate complete a formal job application and either fax or mail it to you.
  • Require that the applicant show you original documents confirming her identity: drivers license, passport, college ID card, etc. At least one document should have a photo. Do not accept photocopies as these can disguise alterations.
  • Establish chronology of work and education history. Look for unexplained gaps. If significant gaps exist, ask the candidate to help 'fill in the blanks.' Make sure the candidate's history is in month/year format. Ask probing questions - often gaps indicate a prior poor employment experience, but they can signal a myriad of other problems.
  • Personally contact all references and verify all prior employment. References from teachers and clergy are encouraged, and are often the only real references the younger candidate may have. Follow up on all written references with a telephone call if possible, or better yet try to meet the person informally for coffee to chat. People may be reluctant to admit to concerns on paper, but will sometimes share them 'off the record'. Experts suggest that you attempt to get an additional reference for your candidate from their chosen references. A question like "Do you know anyone else who might be able to give me a character reference on Sandy?" will often elicit a name and number of someone who has not been briefed by the candidate ahead of time. Check DMV records, even if the applicant will not be driving. Either require that the applicant provide you an original, current DMV record or order this search independently as part of the criminal background check.
  • Verify education. Candidate can send you copies of transcripts or diploma. If you can, talk to a teacher or administrator that knows her.

TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. Don't worry that your spouse or coworker might think you are paranoid. If your gut says there is something wrong, move on to other candidates.

DO NOT...

  • Employ a caregiver without checking references and employment history.
  • Ignore unexplained gaps or discrepancies in work and education history - always check them out until you are completely satisfied.

 JTAC Investigations can help you breath a little easier next time to hire someone as important as a caregiver.

Talk to a JTAC Investigator and we will tailor a background check to your special needs.

 

How Background Checks Work

 
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