When Should You Not Trust a Background Check?

March 17th, 2018

Do you use sites like care.com when looking for a babysitter or caregiver?

If you are like most people, when it comes to hiring a caregiver, nanny or babysitter, you jump online and are drawn to sites like care.com.  Sites like Care offer people who are experienced in child and senior care, pet care, housekeeping and other services.  The site boasts “Trusted by families, Loved by caregivers” and puts you at ease with the promise of a background check.  That is where things get misleading according to the Massachusetts Attorney General.  According to Fox25 Boston, Care.com has agreed to settle with the MA Attorney General following allegations it misled Massachusetts families about background checks.  Care.com will pay $480,000 in restitution.  The AG’s investigation said that even though Care.com stated the background check of caregivers would include criminal record checks from where the caregiver had been residing for the past seven years, Care.com only reviewed Massachusetts Superior Court records.  In Massachusetts, most misdemeanors and many felony records are kept at the District Court level, not in Superior Court.

This is a bigger issue than just care.com.  There are many sites that match you with all types of people, whether it is a babysitter, a landscaper or an online date, and promise to have done background checks on them all. YOU CAN’T TRUST SOMEONE ELSE TO DO THE BACKGROUND CHECK FOR YOU. There is no such thing as a standard background check and I guarantee you that most of these sites are utilizing the cheapest, quickest background check in order to be able to advertise that they do some sort of vetting.  Would you want to leave your kids with someone that had a very minimal background check done?  You are probably thinking that you can’t afford to hire a private investigator to check the background of your baby sitter, but there are many professional investigation companies out there that can do a thorough, quality background check without breaking the bank.  Know It All Intelligence Group specializes in background investigations for all types of reasons and we are affordable.

What to look for in a background check of your caregiver

  • SSN Trace – First, every background check should start by doing a SSN Trace, also called an address history trace.  This will provide you with any other names that the subject may have used (such as maiden or prior married names), as well as their address history for at least the past 10 years.
  • Criminal History Check – Make sure that you are checking every jurisdiction that the applicant has lived for at least the past seven years.  This should be criminal records at the county level, as well as the Federal level.  Depending upon the state, you may be able to get good information at the state level, however in some states, it is not mandatory that counties report their crimes to the state police in a timely manner.
  • Driving History – If your caregiver will be driving your loved ones around, this is a must.  Just showing a driver’s license doesn’t mean that the applicant is good to go.  Make sure you are pulling a current driving record to reveal any serious infractions or suspensions.  You will also want to ask the applicant for a copy of their insurance and registration for you files as well.
  • Professional License Search – If your caregiver is required to be licensed, such as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) or Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), then you want to check their licensing against the state occupational board.  Usually, this can be found online to see current status and if there were any sanctions or reprimands.
  • Employment Verification – Call your potential caregiver’s prior employers to verify the information that the applicant gave you.
  • Civil Records Search – You may also want to do a civil records search on your caregiver to see if they have been involved in any lawsuits, such as wrongful death, negligence, etc.

When you consult with a professional investigation company to conduct your background check on the potential caregiver or nanny, they will customize the background investigation specifically geared toward the position that you are looking for.  If you are looking for a caregiver, nanny or other in home professional, give us a call for a free consultation on checking their background.

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