Just in the last 2 years, FCRA lawsuits have tripled in the last 2 years for not following strict guidelines based on FCRA compliancy law.
So what are your biggest issues? Read the 4 main solutions we came up with below.
In 2011, the American Camp Association (ACA) updated its accreditation criteria to include Standard HR4-B. In a nutshell, this standard mandates compulsory background checks for all camp staff and volunteers who are 18 years and above. At a minimum, the standard requires criminal background checks and sex offender list searches. We are sure you know this. But….
To date, Standard HR4-B is mandatory for any summer camp which intends to gain ACA Accreditation. Basically, any camp which desires to attain the prestigious ACA accreditation needs to institute background checks as a matter of course.
However, background checks shouldn’t just be viewed as a quick path to accreditation. An even more important reason to conduct them is guaranteeing the safety of the kids. The simple fact is that when parents bring their kids to summer camp, they entrust them with the summer camp staff.
Therefore, every camp director needs to ensure that the people handling the kids are honest, trustworthy, and ethically upright. There have been horror stories of camp attendants treating children poorly. To avoid such scenarios, an exhaustive background check needs to be carried out on every prospective camp employee or volunteer.
Having a background checking policy can also make a summer camp more competitive in the market. The undeniable fact is that the first criterion which parents use when selecting camps is safety. One of the criteria which they use to assess safety is if the camp staff undergo background checks.
If a camp doesn’t conduct background checks, parents will consider it non-committed towards their children’s safety. As a result, they will take their children elsewhere. And the options are numerous. According to the ACA, there are over 2,400 ACA-Accredited camps all over the US. Therefore, any parent looking for summer camp with a background checks policy cannot fail to find one.
The bottom line is that conducting background checks is no longer optional. Any camp which desires to remain competitive must run checks on all their staff. After all, it only takes a single negative incident for a summer camp to face a slew of lawsuits, and suffer an irreparable damage to its reputation.
The ultimate question is: how can a summer camp select the right company to conduct its background checks? The answer to this question is simple; find a company which has the following attributes:
1. ACA Affiliation
The simplest criterion for selecting a background check company for a summer camp is ACA Affiliation. Of over 700 background check vendors operating in the US, only 9 are affiliated to the ACA.
The ACA affiliated companies are selected on the basis of the relevance of their services to the camping industry. As such, the background check companies affiliated are those whose services are best suited for the needs of camps. Therefore, any camp which chooses such a company is guaranteed to get the best background check services possible.
To see the affiliated companies, simply visit the ACA Buyers Guide for Products and Services, and select “Background Checks and Screening” from the drop-down menu labelled “Category”. You can find the ACA Buyers Guide on this page, we prefer you use Crimcheck, LOL. But the main goal is use one of these companies. (http://www.acacamps.org/marketplace/camps/browse-buyers-guide)
2. NAPBS Accreditation
NAPBS Accreditation is the most foolproof way of selecting a background check company. This is because NAPBS Accreditation sets the standards for the background check industry. To become accredited, a company must pass rigorous tests of accuracy, legal compliance, customer service and data protection.
The NAPBS Accreditation standards are so high that only 15% of US background check companies have managed to attain it. Therefore, hiring an accredited company will guarantee that a summer camp will access the highest quality background checks possible. Crimcheck is NAPBS accredited.
3. Summer Camp Packages
The best background check company is one which has specialized packages for summer camps, like Crimcheck. This is because summer camps typically require a number of screening options. The most critical ones may include:
- Criminal Background Checks
- Drug Testing
- Sexual Offender Searches
- Driving Record Searches
When selecting a background check company, it is better to opt for one which has specialized packages for summer camps. Such packages usually contain all the relevant checks. This makes ordering for background checks convenient since it eliminates the need for placing multiple orders. In most cases, the packages also tend to be cheaper than when the services are ordered individually.
Conducting background checks is a delicate, complex and potentially risky process. There are two major reasons for this. First of all, the laws which govern background checks are quite tricky. A simple mistake during the process can get an employer sued for legal violations and force them to pay millions in settlements.
Secondly, people have become quite adept at hiding their background check information. A sloppily conducted background check can fail to unearth ethical or legal violations. This can make an employer to hire an ex-con or sex offender, and potentially place other staff and clients at risk.
To avoid running such risks, a summer camp needs to hire a company with vast experience conducting background checks. The best kind of experience is one accrued in conducting background checks for the camps, charities and similar organizations. Such a company can be well placed to provide the best services possible.
In a nutshell, conducting background checks is no longer a luxury for summer camps. It is a necessity. Any camp which desires to remain competitive, improve child safety or earn ACA Accreditation needs to conduct background checks. The four qualities given above can provide the perfect criteria for selecting the correct background check company.