According to the Federal Government Accounting Office background checks are not required of school volunteers in 32 states; 12 states do not require background checks for contractors who have unsupervised contact with children, and 5 states have exemptions for some employee categories such as bus drivers and coaches.
Failure to conduct background checks on any adult who spends time in your building leaves you open to serious liability.
According to Patrick V. Fiel Sr., Campus Safety, there are 4 things that a background check can uncover:
- Cover-ups and lies on applications or resumes
- Employment eligibility/legal residency
- Sexual offender history
- Theft or other financial issues, especially important for individuals working with cash or fundraising
- I would like to add a 5th: It’s important to be aware of other types of past criminal involvement such as fraud, disorderly conduct, assault, battery, and drug charges, even if they were dismissed.
The knowledge gained by checking will give you the information you need to make much safer decisions.