Background Checks.. do you need it?

Background check on kids- Parenting resources by ZenParent

As we witness an increase in the crimes committed around us, the word “Background check” is being tossed around a lot. Parents are asking schools if they have conducted background checks for all their teachers and sub staff. Parents who hire care givers for their children, or even maids from agencies want to know if their record is clear. Background check has become a part of hiring for a company – small, medium or big, or you are hiring for domestic purpose, or renting/leasing/selling/buying anything, fixing a marriage alliance or even choosing a doctor.

Background check could include:

  • Identity verification ensures that the candidates are actually who they claim to be. Driver’s licence, Ration card, Adhaar card, PAN card can serve this purpose
  • Address and other contact details verification makes sure that the person is reachable
  • Police verification reveals criminal background if any
  • Court records inspection
  • Employment reference check reports any negative incidents in the previous employment

Background screening is still evolving among schools in India. The schools should know how to do these screening, how often it needs to be done, and who should do it. As of today, police verification is compulsory while hiring anyone at school.

On the other hand, parents can ask the school to give them all the information of their staff and necessary background check details. This will ensure that the schools conduct the screening more seriously. While hiring anyone for domestic purposes, parents should ensure that they have good references before hiring someone especially as a caregiver.

For hiring employees into companies, third party agents are the available. But for verification of candidates for school, home, smaller business, police verification is the only avenue. There are many private agents who will do these kinds of checks but will obviously be at a price.

Doing a background check does not prevent child abuse. However it can minimize the chances of your child being around unsavoury elements. Schools and parents should take all possible measures for safeguarding their children. Actively making an effort to check the background information of key people who will be around in your child’s life is critical in this endeavour. So ASK your school about the background check of their staff. Let them know that you are aware. Bring it up at the PTA!

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