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State and Agency Employees Who Work with Children Required to Submit Background Check

  March 19, 2012

There has been a recent trend among government legislatures and agencies to enact laws and regulations requiring their employees, contractors, and volunteers to pass criminal background checks.  The goal is to ensure that no person who comes into contact with children or other vulnerable populations has a criminal history that could place others in danger.

The use of criminal history reports has become more mainstream across public and private sectors. Many organizations that did not have standardized procedures in place have begun to realize risks greatly outweigh the reasons to not have a criminal background requirement in place. 

Two recent examples of state legislatures attempting to fill gaps in criminal background check requirements are Alabama Senate Bill 60 and Oregon House Bill 4024.

Alabama Senate Bill 60 requires the use of criminal background checks for employees of licensed child placing agencies and adult care facilities.  The bill also allows prosecution or denial as a foster or adoptive parent as a result of providing false information.

Oregon House Bill 4024 requires contractors, employees, or volunteers who may have unsupervised contact with children to be enrolled in the Central Background Registry.

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