Delaware gov. creates task force to review child protection laws

Child Protection Image2Gov. Jack Markell has created a task force to review Delaware’s background check laws and policies, specifically as they pertain to children and their safety when with adult volunteers and employees whose job descriptions may not require a pre-employment background screening. The “Delaware Criminal Background and Child Protection Registry Checks” task force — led by Jennifer Ranji, the Secretary of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families — will work to review existing laws and provide their recommendations by the end of the year. Specifically, they want to review whether school volunteers, camp counselors, or summer workers that are not teachers should be required to undergo a criminal reference check and child protection registry checks, for both public and private, non-state-funded schools. They will review whether or not it’s possible to create a background check system that contains criminal, adult and child abuse, and sex offender information. The task force will also determine what types of background checks should be utilized for those who may come into contact with children during the course of their work, as well as ways to offset the costs of additional screening. “[Delaware laws are] sometimes inconsistent with respect to requiring background checks for employees, volunteers, and other individuals who come into contact with children and youth,” according to Markell’s executive order. While most childcare-specific jobs require candidates to undergo rigorous pre-employment background screening, others fall into a gray area, where some are screened and some are not. This review aims to protect children by ensuring consistency among those who are required to undergo screening and those who are not. For example, while teachers and daycare workers must undergo screening in order to be hired, in some circumstances, those who volunteer as classroom aides or substitutes may not be subject to the same screening process. By ensuring proper policies are followed, the Gov. Markell hopes to prevent incidents before they occur, instead of waiting to respond retroactively. To learn more about what information turns up in criminal and child protection registry checks, contact Mind Your Business.]]>

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