We always recommend that families do a criminal record check before they hire anyone for their family.
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A criminal record check is a record of a person's criminal history, usually used by families to determine if a caregiver has integrity and is suitable to be left in charge of the home or children. The police service will conduct an electronic search of the CPIC Investigative, Intelligence, and Identification data service banks on the individual to check for a criminal record. The information produced will provide a list of criminal offences ranging from traffic violations to more serious convictions, if any. If the caregiver will be caring for children or the elderly, additional screening can be done for what is called the "vulnerable sector". The will indicate if the individual has had any service under the Mental Health Act; specifically if the individual has had a police office take him/her to a hospital for an assessment form a medical professional.
It's a good idea to contact your local police department to determine how your jurisdiction does checks. Some regions allow a signed consent to disclosure so someone can obtain a check on another individual. Other regions require the individual to come in and provide identification and/or fingerprints to allow the information to be disclosed. In most situations there is a cost for this service, ranging from $30-85; we recommend that the family reimburse the caregiver for this cost. Depending on demand and available resources in your region, the wait time could be 24-hours to a few weeks. Your local police department can provide you with all of the information you need to know on this.
It is very common for families to ask potential caregivers for this. Families should not feel awkward or bad about making this request. If a jobseeker is not willing to provide the results of this check to you, there is likely something he/she is hiding and it is not advisable to hire them. The majority of caregivers are aware that this is typical procedure and are prepared for it; they may have a valid check available, or will be ready to get one upon request.
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