Colorado law, as with many states, requires daycare centers to conduct background checks on their employees, but no contractors. Kinder worked for a cleaning company that was contracted to clean facilities at night, no concerns...right? The cleaning company has stated they conduct background checks, no concerns...right? Well, as the story headline notes, his working at the daycare center was a problem and as reported in the story, so was the background check that the company self-conducted.
First, the cleaning company is part of a franchise and leaves the responsibility of day to day operations, including hiring and background checks, to the franchisee. It is not necessary for franchisees to be micromanaged; but, they should be advised and trained on such important issues as background checks. More realistic, they should not be doing their own background checks - these should be left to professional investigators.
Here's why: the cleaning company owner (franchisee) "...said a background check performed on the Internet showed no criminal history for Kinder. Kinder worked for the company for three months. "I didn't know he was a sex offender, though...our background checks don't go that extensive."
Do you see something wrong with this? First, sex offender registrations should be checked on all potential employees, and even regular interval background checks on current employees, just like drug testing. Second, sex offender registrations are one of the easiest public records to check and they are usually free, including online. From local to national - simply checking with your local jurisdiction. But, as a professional investigator knows, that is not enough - although it would have been in this story. Sex offenders are required to register to where they move, at least in Colorado. But, being required to does not mean they do. Law enforcement agencies spend a great deal of resources verifying addresses and the compliance rate can be alarming in some jurisdictions. A professional investigator will know to, and how to, check and verify address history and all relevant records in that history. In some jurisdictions urinating in public, because a person was considered to have exposed themselves, is a sex offense, so it is important to know how to determine the nature of the sex offense and registration. In some jurisdictions this registration is for life, in others it is not.
The franchisee really dropped the ball on this one. Our agency is often called to conduct background checks and investigations (there is a difference), often by potential nursing students and similar. It is not very expensive, but it seems that when they are told they need a background check done, or when a potential employer calls us, they expect $50-$75. That is not going to cover a professional investigator's time, let alone expenses. For routine backgrounds and minimal address history - and for females one or two name changes (marriage, divorce), expect $200-$400 depending on the records and jurisdiction. You should get a complete and comprehensive report (yes, there is a difference) with all documents and records included. Up front you should be advised of what is, can and will be checked; and conversely what is not, cannot and will not be checked.
For a complete article on the value and methodology of background checks and investigations, read this article by Dean A. Beers, CLI, CCDI published in the journal of the World Association of Detectives. Dean has conducted comprehensive background investigations for over 24 years, and has written book chapters, published articles and lectured on the topic.
< WAD - Concepts of Comprehensive Background Investigations >
Dean was recently appointed as a WAD Ambassador - North America (west) and can be contacted for any questions about WAD.