Background Checks Guide: What Is A Background Check?

Why run one and what's included

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Not sure what's included in a background check? You've come to the right place!

The background on background checks

Background checks are searches through databases, registries and other public and private sources.   While they aren't always 100% accurate or complete, they can be very helpful when making a hiring decision, because they can uncover potential warning signs about candidates. Whether you're looking for a babysitter, senior care provider or a dog walker, a background check can help reveal things like criminal conduct or driving infractions.

The importance of background checks

Requesting background checks is a key step in finding quality care. In fact, almost 50% of our Premium Members request a background check because it can reveal information that wouldn't come up during in-depth interviews or reference checking. When you're close to making a hiring decision - or even before you invite someone to your home for an interview - you should request a background check.

Individual states and counties decide what information is included in a background check. For instance, Massachusetts only reports registered sex offender information. Click here to see what records your state and county reports.

Criminal Records Check

Criminal Records CheckCriminal records check are more comprehensive. They involve verifying county and federal courthouse records of all addresses on record of the perspective hire, either in-person or via an online database (depending on local requirements). There is a $59 fee to run these more thorough checks. Then we make the results available to you promptly once the caregiver gives us permission to do so. 

Here's what you get with a Criminal Records Check:

  • Social Security Number verification
  • National criminal database search
  • State sex offender registries search (all 50 states)
  • In-person or online search of federal courthouse arrest and conviction records
  • In-person or online search of county (or state) courthouse arrest and conviction records

Because of the additional searches included in criminal records check, these checks can uncover criminal records in jurisdictions that do not provide information to the national criminal records database.

Tip: You're only charged for a Criminal Records Check once you have access to the results. If a caregiver does not accept your request or allow you to access the check after it is run, you do not have to pay the fee.

Comprehensive Background Checks: Side by Side

Background Check Comparison

Want simple step-by-step instructions on how to request a background check? Continue reading!


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