Expanding Background Check Resources

Are you aware that only one-third of all states allow youth organizations, such as summer camps, daycares, and other non-profits for children, access to the FBI database to check if a job applicant or volunteer committed a crime in another state? As New York is one of the states that doesn’t have access to the FBI database, senators of the state are trying to pass national legislation to improve resources available to youth-related organizations conducting background checks on their potential employees or volunteers. In a recent article about this background check legislation, New York state only has access to state databases for information on job applicants at the moment and no access to the FBI database. Even for those states that can access the FBI database, the cost of the background check and time spent researching a candidate’s criminal history are both extensive.

The tentative law, now called the Child Protection Improvements Act of 2009, aims to create a permanent and nationally accessible background check database or solution so all non-profit organizations dedicated to serving children can see if a job candidate has a criminal past in another state. In addition, the cost of a background check in these instances would be $25 or less. Presently, most basic background checks can run from $70 to $150, depending upon what information is being checked.

Finding that non-profits geared toward children aren’t able to access federal criminal records for job candidates is appalling, especially as a basic background check that a company or large corporation has conducted on a candidate can access this information based upon past addresses. As any job application will show, a person can have many past residences that extend across several states, and a background check can find crimes committed in all of these locations – town, county, and state. In the present, as even New York state, as mentioned in a previous post, drug criminals can have clean records, this bill may not pass because of the financial expense and re-working of databases to access. In the future, however, once the recession has passed and background checks aren’t an expense being cut, passing this bill is a logical decision for the safety of all children using these non-profit organizations, be it for summer camp or neighborhood children’s groups.