Article updated on June 1, 2023.
State agencies that regulate child care, foster care and related services have one overriding responsibility: Keep vulnerable people safe. For that reason, people who work for service providers must undergo background checks. But compliance can be difficult to ensure, and failure can place vulnerable people in danger.
Take Kansas’ foster care system. A July 2020 federal audit of group homes reported that 29 of the 31 facilities visited either didn’t comply with background check requirements or couldn’t document that they had.
This result is alarming, but not unusual. In many states, the audit noted, “the majority of child care providers had instances of potentially hazardous conditions and noncompliance with State health and safety requirements, including employee background record check requirements.”
Background check requirements even trip up agencies when hiring their own staff. In 2019, the Hawaii Department of Human Services’ Child Welfare Services division hired a convicted murderer to serve in a role that gave him direct contact with foster children. Hawaii did conduct a background check on Justin Boulay, who strangled an ex-girlfriend 23 years ago in Illinois. But the check went back only 10 years and involved local databases, according to Hawaii News Now.
Software can help your agency manage background checks efficiently, reducing data entry while ensuring that providers comply with state and federal requirements. Software can automate your agency’s workflow and increase efficiency whether you process paper fingerprint cards or electronic fingerprint scans. For agencies with the proper authorization, instant criminal background checks can be run.
Using online portals, the providers you license can request background checks for employees and submit payment. Software will manage workflow, send electronic notifications and retain information for compliance purposes. It can interface easily with third-party service providers. The system also can manage the appeals process following an adverse background check.
Learn more about GL Solutions’ Childcare Licensing Solutions.