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:
- Child Safety Training More Important Than Ever Thanks to New Laws – (information about Pennsylvania from Protect My Ministry, an Active Screening company)
- Hot Headlines – Two States Make Major Screening Moves (information about New York and Oregon)
- The Top 5 Things We Can Learn From Washington State’s Universal Background Checks For Gun Owners
Just this week, three more states made impressive moves to beef up background check requirements. Here’s the rundown:
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.
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.
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.