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Guidelines for the Screening of Persons Working With Children, the Elderly, and Individuals With Disabilities in Need of Support

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 1998
61 pages
These guidelines present a logical decision model for the screening decisions of individuals and organizations who hire employees or recruit volunteers to work with and provide care to children, the elderly, and the disabled.
The guidelines do not mandate criminal record checks for all care providers but do present advice in establishing policies that encourage an appropriate level of screening based on specific situations. Suggested screening mechanisms include the Federal Bureau of Investigation's fingerprint-based criminal records check. The first step in the decision model involves an assessment of "triggers" that pertain to the setting in which care is provided, the level of employee or volunteer contact with the individual receiving care, and the vulnerability of the care receiver. The next step concerns weighing the availability of information, screening costs, and human resources needed to carry out the screening process. The third step involves the analysis and selection of appropriate screening practices to be used in addition to basic screening which includes reference checks, interviews, and written applications. The guidelines are intended to reduce the incidence of abuse by care providers, but they will not eliminate the problem. An example is provided that applies the decision model to the analysis and selection of screening practices. Appendixes contain additional information on child protection, criminal justice information services, the implementation of screening practices, and posthiring practices, as well as sample forms.

Date Published: April 1, 1998