No Records Found for Babysitters with Criminal Records

Nick Fishman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imagine you want a job as a babysitter. You love kids, so you sign up on a free online service that connects babysitters, or caregivers, to jobs. The only problem is that you have a criminal record that you don’t want a potential parent/employer to know about…and if that’s the case, you may be in luck on some caregiver websites. While EmployeeScreenIQ is in the business of background screening for companies and not individuals, this is a perfect example of what happens when inaccurate information is received from background checks that are completed through certain online services. NBC Chicago reported on two caregiver websites, both of which could be a parent’s dream to finding a caregiver, anywhere from a full-time nanny to a babysitter for date night. The two sites in this article are Sittercity.com and Care.com,  and both allow potential sitters to sign up for free.

NBC Chicago created a profile and conducted background checks on four applicants through these two websites. Each site promises accuracy in their background screening, however they can be rather expensive, with a price tag of up to $85 on Sittercity.com. While you’re hoping the price is worth it,  you might get what you paid for, and you might not.

Based on the four applicants that were tested, it seems these websites have a hit or miss accuracy, and even if a record is found, it seems to be an incomplete report of the applicant’s record. One of the applicants, “Dominic” passed the criminal background check on both of the websites and received a “badge” on his profile, seemingly proving to potential employers that he has a clean record. However, when investigated by NBC, there were many records not found by these sites both for Dominic as well as the other applicants they researched. For Dominic they found “four separate arrests on his record ranging from charges of criminal damage to property, possession of marijuana, battery with intent to cause bodily harm, and domestic battery. That same database shows that Dominic has received two traffic citations.” There are multiple reasons that a criminal record might not be found; the background screening company might not search the right database for the records, or they use a broad database that might lack records from counties. You can read about the other three applicant’s results in the article, “Caregiver Sites Found Approving Sitters with Arrest Records.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although not every background check completed on these websites or others like them is unreliable, those looking to hire through these websites should be wary of the results received. To the credit of these websites, they state the limitations of their background checks (See below for links), however this information might be a lot to go through when it’s easier to submit the request for the background check and hope for the best. Another credit to these websites is that when they do find any record more serious than a traffic offense, they send a letter to the applicant and remove them from the website. It would be a comfort to simply have the assurance that these services are providing thorough results, however, it’s always better to ask additional questions about the records these websites claim to cover when conducting a background check for a caregiver.

 

Background Check Guides:

Care.com

Sittercity.com

 

 

 

 

Nick Fishman
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Nick Fishman

Nick Fishman is the co-founder of EmployeeScreenIQ, a leading, global employment background screening provider, and serves as the company’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer. He pioneered the creation of EmployeeScreen University, the #1 educational resource on employment background checks for human resources, security and risk management professionals. A recognized industry expert, Nick is a frequent author, presenter and contributor to the news media. Nick is also a licensed private investigator in the states of Ohio and Texas.
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  • In the “Dominic” example you cite, I would have thought that arrests should NOT be listed unless they resulted in convictions (as per the EEOC guidelines we have all seen). I would also venture to say that the traffic citations are not always listed under “criminal”. In my reports, I tend to let my client know that traffic citations exist and will provide the details if they are relevant to the position.

  • Lauren Conners

    I think what they meant by arrests was that those arrests resulted in the convictions they listed as only charge, “criminal damage to property, possession of marijuana, battery with intent to cause bodily harm, and domestic battery”. They stated that they were only charges, but I’m guessing they ended up being convictions if they were on Dominic’s record. With the traffic citation, I assume that the company NBC used for the background check also searched for those and I agree that those would probably not be listed under criminal.

  • I’m glad there is a site like this where I could find any descrepancy with my babysitter. With the world goes now, I cannot be sure how safe my chilld is with a complete stranger. I hope this is so reliable as this will be a relief to all parents.