Categories
VECHS Program

Fingerprinting and Background Checks on Athletic Coaches in Florida

We have been fingerprinting the staff in several recreation centers and municipalities throughout the South Florida. Employed and Volunteering athletic coaches were among the individuals we screened for Level II clearance. For general view and considerations we elected to post the law on required screening for athletic coaches in Florida.

Florida Statute 943.0438 Athletic coaches for independent sanctioning authorities.—

 

(1) As used in this section, the term:

(a) “Athletic coach” means a person who:

 

1. Is authorized by an independent sanctioning authority to work for 20 or more hours within a calendar year, whether for compensation or as a volunteer, for a youth athletic team based in this state; and

2. Has direct contact with one or more minors on the youth athletic team.

 

(b) “Independent sanctioning authority” means a private, nongovernmental entity that organizes, operates, or coordinates a youth athletic team in this state if the team includes one or more minors and is not affiliated with a private school as defined in s. 1002.01.

(2) An independent sanctioning authority shall:

 

(a)1. Conduct a background screening of each current and prospective athletic coach. No person shall be authorized by the independent sanctioning authority to act as an athletic coach after July 1, 2010, unless a background screening has been conducted and did not result in disqualification under paragraph (b). background screenings shall be conducted annually for each athletic coach. For purposes of this section, a background screening shall be conducted with a search of the athletic coach’s name or other identifying information against state and federal registries of sexual predators and sexual offenders, which are available to the public on Internet sites provided by:

 

a. The Department of Law Enforcement under s. 943.043; and

b. The Attorney General of the United States under 42 U.S.C. s. 16920.

 

2. For purposes of this section, a background screening conducted by a commercial consumer reporting agency in compliance with the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act using the identifying information referenced in subparagraph 1. and that includes searching that information against the sexual predator and sexual offender Internet sites listed in sub-subparagraphs 1.a. and b. shall be deemed in compliance with the requirements of this section.

 

(b) Disqualify any person from acting as an athletic coach if he or she is identified on a registry described in paragraph (a).

(c) Provide, within 7 business days following the background screening under paragraph (a), written notice to a person disqualified under this section advising the person of the results and of his or her disqualification.

(d) Maintain documentation of:

 

1. The results for each person screened under paragraph (a); and

2. The written notice of disqualification provided to each person under paragraph (c).

 

(3) In a civil action for the death of, or injury or damage to, a third person caused by the intentional tort of an athletic coach that relates to alleged sexual misconduct by the athletic coach, there is a rebuttable presumption that the independent sanctioning authority was not negligent in authorizing the athletic coach if the authority complied with the background screening and disqualification requirements of subsection (2) prior to such authorization.

(4) The Legislature encourages independent sanctioning authorities for youth athletic teams to participate in the Volunteer and Employee Criminal History System, as authorized by the National Child Protection Act of 1993 and s. 943.0542.

Most commonly athletic coaches are screened through FDLE’s VECHS program, and in few cases cities had used own ORI numbers. If the community or recreational organization where you work or volunteer needs the proper background screening for coaches and volunteers, please contact IDENTICO today with all livescan fingerprinting or drug screening needs.

 

IDENTICO LLC is FDLE authorized Live Scan vendor serving South Florida.  With any question related to Level 2 background screening please call us at (954) 239-8590 or visit us online at www.myidentico.com for more information. We provide mobile fingerprinting services and would come to your facility to fingerprint any size groups. Visit our office located at 3948 Pembroke Road, Suite E, Pembroke Park, FL, 33021 for all fingerprinting, background screening or drug testing needs.

Categories
VECHS Program

FDLE VECHS program for private schools. Background screening on teachers and school volunteers

If your organization is a private school in need for criminal history search on staff and volunteers, or maybe background checks are required for your school in order to participate in scholarship programs, then VECHS program run by Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) is exactly what you need.

 

VECHS (Volunteer and Employee Criminal History System) program had been established by FDLE to assist with checking the background of persons who work or volunteer with children, the elderly, or the disabled under the National Child Protection Act (1993), as amended, and section 943.0542, Florida Statutes (1999). VECHS program is created for entities not required to obtain Level 2 background screening clearance according to statutory provision.

 

First of all contact The Florida Department of Education (DOE) Office of Independent Education and Parental Choice and verify who exactly in your organization is required to be fingerprinted. Next step is the enrollment into VECHS program and this is how you do it. Private schools are authorized to participate in FDLE’s Volunteer and Employee Criminal History System (VECHS) because of the service they offer to Children. VECHS is a voluntary program — however; under the provisions of Section 1002.421, F.S., private schools participating in scholarship programs must conduct criminal history record checks on employees and contracted personnel. Those criminal history checks will be conducted through the FDLE VECHS program.

 

Enrollment materials include the VECHS Application and User Agreement. Both of these documents must be submitted to FDLE via mail as they must be signed by the appropriate school authority. The forms may be printed from the internet, completed, signed and mailed to FDLE.FDLE will mail these forms to private schools upon request.

 

Here is the description of what is involved in screening process after your entity is signed up. You will be provided with a packet of information from the VECHS program. It will include:

A cover letter giving your account numbers to use. These are your Qualified Entity Numbers. One is for employees and contracted personnel and the other is for volunteers. While s. 1002.421, F.S. indicates that, in order to receive scholarship money, employees and contracted personnel must submit fingerprints, some schools may want to check volunteers as well. Using the volunteer entity number for checking volunteers will result in a reduced fee.

 

Forms and information for submitting fingerprints electronically. These forms are required regardless of whether your private school purchases a livescan device or if the employees and contracted personnel go to a “service provider” or another livescan device owner and have the fingerprints taken and submitted by this company.

 

Fingerprint cards and instructions on how to complete them. As of July 1, 2007, submissions for employees and contracted personnel must be made electronically. You have the choice of continuing to submit your volunteers via hard card fingerprint card or you can submit them electronically.

 

A Private Schools Waiver Agreement and Statement to be signed by each employee, contracted person or volunteer that you submit.

Contacts for criminal record repositories in other states which are useful in obtaining additional criminal history information.

Florida Clerks of Court and their contact information. This contact information may be needed when there is an arrest in Florida but the criminal record does not indicate whether the offender was convicted.

Instructions as to how a person can obtain his or her own criminal record for review and possible correction, which may be given to an employee, contracted person or volunteer.

 

A sample dissemination log which must be used if a private school shares criminal history information with another private school. Private schools may NOT share criminal history information with any VECHS entities except other private schools registered with VECHS. Private schools are the only VECHS entities authorized to receive sealed information and expunge notifications.

 

Similarly, private schools may not use criminal history results obtained for employees or contracted personnel for volunteers or vice versa. If a volunteer becomes an employee, that person’s fingerprints should be submitted again under the Employee Qualified Entity Number; the volunteer results should NOT be used to screen the candidate as an employee. Likewise, employee results should not be used to screen a person for a volunteer position. The rules for criminal history information sharing are included in the User Agreement, signed by all private schools participating in the VECHS program.

 

∗ Reminders of important provisions regarding the VECHS program.

∗ Fingerprint card submission checklist.

∗ Results definitions.

∗Instructions for procedures for “name‐based” searches from the FBI to be used when the subject’s fingerprints are rejected twice based on poor fingerprint quality.

 

Another question, what does the law mean when it says that fingerprints must be submitted electronically?

As of July 1, 2007, s. 1002.421, F.S. requires all fingerprint submissions for employees and contracted personnel be made electronically. Fingerprints submitted “electronically” are fingerprints taken on a “livescan” device and submitted electronically to FDLE. It can also include fingerprints taken with ink on a hard copy fingerprint card that are subsequently scanned and submitted electronically to FDLE. These electronic submissions are processed through FDLE’s Civil Workflow Control System.

 

Go ahead and ask, what is the Civil Workflow Control System (CWCS)?

The Civil Workflow Control System (CWCS), pronounced “QUICKS”, is an automated system used to receive process and respond to electronic applicant submissions. Processing that once took several weeks with fingerprint cards now takes 24 – 72 hours with electronic submissions. CWCS allows different types of applicants to be scanned on a single device and allows input from a variety of livescan devices that adhere to FDLE and FBI standards and requirements.

 

Very natural question you may have, so what do I need to do to start submitting electronically?

 

∗ First, you must already be a registered VECHS entity.

∗ Second, you must complete the CWCS VECHS Customer Registration Form and return it to FDLE. Once the information is registered in our systems, you will receive an e‐mail notification that you can start submitting electronically.

∗ Third, you must make arrangement to be fingerprinted on a livescan device

 

You may ask where can I get fingerprinted on a livescan device and submit electronically.

 

Private schools have the following options in submitting fingerprints electronically:

∗ Purchase own livescan device. While the cost may be prohibitive it can be cost effective depending on the number of submissions necessary for your school.

∗ Use “service providers” like IDENTICO LLC to submit fingerprints electronically on your behalf.

∗ Inquire to other livescan device owners, such as local school boards, if they are willing to assist with your electronic submissions.

 

We know the biggest question you have, what are the costs associated with criminal history record checks for private school employees and contracted personnel?

The fee may vary from vendor to vendor, but certainly consider IDENTICO LLC as the most competitive livescan vendor with aggressive pricing. Our standard individual VECHS Employee screening rate is $54.25 and  VECHS Volunteer screening rate is only $47.25. There are some discounts available for larger groups, and it worth to consider since there is no traveling fee for groups of 10 or more employees at single location. We’ll come to you and fingerprint all teachers and volunteers with convenience and efficiency you haven’t seen before.

 

So you paid for the screening and fingerprinting, and you want to know how would you receive and view the criminal history results after submitting electronically?

Criminal history results for electronic submissions are posted to FDLE’s secure mail application called “CertifiedMail”. Once the criminal history results are ready, the private school will receive an e‐mail notification, containing the link to the application. The viewing of criminal history results will occur within this secure application.

 

There are several more frequently asked questions on fingerprinting for private schools in Florida; therefore our further questions will be in FAQ format.

 

What is meant by “retention of applicant fingerprints for reverse searches” and “arrest hit notifications”?

Section 1002.421, F.S. instructs FDLE to retain fingerprints submitted by the private school on or after July 1, 2007. Incoming Florida arrest fingerprints are searched against these retained private school fingerprints. If a fingerprint match is made on an individual, FDLE notifies the private school that the employee or contracted person was arrested, and provides the name of the county where the arrest occurred as well as contact information for the arresting agency. It is important to note fingerprints submitted prior to July 1, 2007, were not retained

 

What are the fees associated with the retention of prints?

The fee for the retention of applicant fingerprints is $6 per year per applicant. The retention of the fingerprints eliminates the necessity to have a future state criminal history record recheck at a cost of $24, since all incoming Florida arrest information is continuously compared to the retained applicant database. If a recheck is required, it would only need to be for a national criminal history record check.

 

To whom may my private school release criminal history information?

With the permission of the applicant, the criminal history information may be shared with other private schools registered with VECHS. Each VECHS private school agrees to only release criminal history information after confirming with FDLE the private school to which they are releasing the information is a current, registered VECHS entity. Such dissemination of criminal history information must be logged by noting what record was released, to whom it was released, and on what date it was released. Also, private schools are required to release the criminal history information to the Department of Education personnel consistent with the applicant’s approval on the waiver form.

 

Are owners under the same requirements as private school employees and contracted personnel?

The provisions in s.1002.42(2)(c)1, F.S., were not changed. Private school owners must have fingerprints taken and sent to FDLE for a state‐level criminal history record check upon taking ownership. FDLE will return the state criminal record or an indication that there is not a state record to the school so that it can be made available for public inspection and sent by the school to DOE. The owner fingerprint submissions must be on a fingerprint card that clearly indicates, “State check only”.

 

The owner’s fingerprint submission may not be submitted with the VECHS account information. If state and national criminal record checks are required as a part of scholarship funding, the owner will have to submit under VECHS in addition to the State Level check defined in s.1002.42 (2)(c) 1 F.S.

 

Now let us explain the definition of the word Criminal History Background Check: The term “background check” has been used interchangeably with “criminal history check” or “criminal history background check” which has caused some confusion. From the FDLE perspective, a background check is a criminal history record check to determine if a person has been arrested and/or convicted of a crime. Although some companies use the phrase background check to include drivers record checks, credit checks, or interviews with neighbors and employers, for purposes of this paper, it includes the search of following databases:

∗ The Florida Computerized Criminal History Central Repository for Florida Arrests (STATE CHECK);

∗ The Florida Computerized Criminal History Central Repository for Florida arrests AND the national criminal history database at the FBI for federal arrests and arrests from other states (STATE AND NATIONAL CHECK)

∗ The Florida Crime Information Center for warrants and domestic violence injunctions (HOT FILES CHECK)

 

The national check is based on the submission of fingerprints. For State checks, submissions maybe based on a name (or descriptors) or fingerprints.

Level 1 and Level 2 Background checks: Level 1 and Level 2 Background Checks are terms used in Florida Statutes to convey the method of the criminal record check and the extent of the data searched, however, the terms may also refer to certain disqualifying offenses if certain statutes are used as reference. Level 1 and Level 2 are terms that pertain only to Florida and are not used by the FBI or other states. They are defined in Chapter 435, F.S., but are used elsewhere in statute without definition and appear not to be associated with all of the provisions in chapter 435.

 

∗ Level 1 generally refers to state only name based check AND an employment history check

∗ Level 2 generally refers to a state and national fingerprint based check and consideration of disqualifying offenses, and applies to those employees designated by law as holding positions of responsibility or trust. Section 435.04, mandates that Level 2 background security investigations be conducted on employees, defined as individuals required by law to be fingerprinted pursuant to Chapter 435

 

It should be noted that both the state and national criminal history databases can be searched for arrests, warrants, and other information pertaining to an individual, however neither database has the capability of searching for specific offenses on an individual records

 

What is the difference between the National Child Protection Act and Volunteers for Children Act?

Names you may hear that refer to the same federal law and its amendment are as follows: the National Child Protection Act, the Foley Act, and the Volunteers for Children Act. These laws are sometimes named for sponsors or persons who supported the new laws or amendments. For the purposes of the available criminal history information, these different names refer to the same basic law. Section 943.0542 of the 1999 Florida Statutes was enacted to implement this Federal legislation.

 

On what legislation the VECHS program based?

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement initiated the VECHS program in 1999, after the Florida Legislature enacted section 943.0542 of the Florida Statutes (1999). This statute is based upon the National Child Protection Act (NCPA), as amended. The federal guidelines for the NCPA offer further interpretations of the NCPA, along with mandates for states that chose to implement corresponding legislation and programs.

The federal guidelines apply to the interpretation of our legislation in Florida, and therefore, to the implementation of the VECHS program. Although FDLE desires to offer the broadest services and protection available under the authorizing legislation, we are not permitted to expand the coverage of the governing laws.

 

Please visit http://www.myidentico.com/answers-to-all-frequently-asked-questions-about-vechs-program/ for more details on VECHS program.

As FDLE authorized live scan vendor IDENTICO LLC does everything possible to support children and student safety in the communities and schools. If you are the entity approved to use VECHS screening, please contact us with any questions or quote requests. We’ll do everything possible to keep the cost of services affordable and the quality above standards. Please call (954) 239-8590/ toll-free (888) 988-8969 or visit our official webpage for more information on all background screening and fingerprinting needs.

 

Sincerely,

 

IDENTICO LLC.

Categories
VECHS Program

Jessica Lunsford Act. Level 2 Backgroud Screening for School Districts and Private Schools.

The Jessica Lunsford Act was passed by the 2005 Florida Legislature and signed into law by Governor Bush following the assault and murder of Jessica Lunsford in Homosassa Springs, Florida. This crime was allegedly committed by an individual who had at one time worked as a subcontracted mason at Jessica Lunsford’s school. The Act focused primarily on increasing the measures used to monitor sexual offenders or predators. However, part of the Act specifically related to individuals with access to school district campuses. This Technical Assistance Paper (TAP) is to provide assistance to districts and contractual personnel to implement s. 1012.465, Florida Statutes, as amended by the 2005 Legislature.

 

Section 1012.465, Florida Statutes, now states:


(1) Non-instructional school district employees or contractual personnel who are permitted access on school grounds when students are present, who have direct contact with students or who have access to or control of school funds must meet Level 2 screening requirements as described in s. 1012.32, F.S. Contractual personnel shall include any vendor, individual, or entity under contract with the school board.
The statute, as amended, applies to three categories of either non-instructional or contractual personnel, all of whom must meet Level 2 background screening requirements, including those:


1. Who are permitted access on school grounds when students are present,
2. Who have direct contact with students, or
3. Who have access to or control of school funds.
The statute applies to such persons employed or contracted with any Florida public school district in any Florida public school, including:
-Traditional Public Schools
-Charter Schools
-Alternative Schools

District Responsibilities

 

1. Background Screening:
School districts must conduct the fingerprinting/background screening of noninstructional or contractual personnel at a location designated by the district using the code (ORI – Originating Agency Identifier) issued to the district by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), and determine whether the individual has been convicted of a crime of moral turpitude.

 

2. Verification of Personnel on School Campuses:
For affected persons, each district must establish policies and procedures to ensure that only individuals who have undergone a background screening and have been approved to come on campus are allowed access on school grounds when students are present, or to have direct contact with students, or to have access or control over school funds.
In addition, each district must establish communication policies and procedures to ensure that all pertinent parties are notified when an individual terminates service with the district.

 

3. Sharing of Records:
Districts may share background screening results with other public school districts and are encouraged to do so to reduce the time and fiscal impact on certain service providers who may be providing contractual services in multiple districts.
Such persons may include:
– Vendors, including soda/milk/snack vendors under contract with the district
-Sports officials
-Construction contractors and subcontractors
-Senior ring, photography, or yearbook vendors

 

Should districts choose to share records, it is recommended that the cooperating districts execute a Memorandum of Understanding which clearly spells out the role to be played by each district. Any employee provided access to criminal history records should be cautioned as to the confidentiality of the information contained within the record, and should not discuss such information outside of those also legally allowed access to such record.

 

4. Maintenance of Records:
After receiving the initial background check results from the FDLE, the original submitting district will thereafter be electronically notified by FDLE, in writing, of any new arrests. The original submitting district should forward the arrest information to any districts with which they have shared the criminal record. In addition, s. 1012.32(3), F.S., requires each school district to inform the FDLE of any change in the affiliation, employment, or contractual status of an individual previously fingerprinted.

 

The prints of an individual who terminates service with a district and is later reengaged to provide additional services must be re-submitted to the FDLE. Those individuals who provide services on a periodic basis pursuant to an on-going contract and who do not effectively break service should continue to have their arrest record results transmitted to the district by the FDLE.

 

The requirements applicable to those entities receiving fingerprint background check results are set forth in Rule 11C-6.010, promulgated by the FDLE pursuant to authority in s. 1012.32(3), F.S.

 

IDENTICO LLC provides background screening services to several private schools, whose background screening policies are based on National Child Protection Act (NCPA) as well as on Jessica Lunsford Act. Such private educational entities are qualified to obtain Level II background screening through VECHS program. Volunteer and Employee Criminal History System (VECHS) program allows for qualified entities to obtain state and national criminal history record checks on individuals working with children, the elderly or the disabled.Under the NCPA and Florida statute, a “qualified entity” is a business or organization, whether public, private, for profit, not-for-profit, or voluntary, that provides care or care placement services, including a business or organization that licenses or certifies others to provide care or care placement services. “Care” means the provision of care, treatment, education, training, instruction, supervision, or recreation to children, the elderly, or individuals with disabilities.

 

If you work or volunteer for “qualified entity” and VECHS screening is required as part of your employment or volunteerism, please contact us today.  IDENTICO is FDLE authorized Live Scan vendor serving South Florida.  With any question related to Level 2 background checks please call us at (954) 239-8590 or visit us online at www.myidentico.com for more information. We provide Mobile Fingerprinting Services and would come to your facility to fingerprint any size groups. Visit our office located at 3948 Pembroke Road, Suite E, Pembroke Park, FL, 33021 for all fingerprinting, background screening or drug testing needs.

 

Categories
APD Background Screening DCF Background Screening VECHS Program

DCF Level 2 Background Screening and Fingerprinting for Summer Camps in Florida

Here are some important facts on background screening for Summer Camps in FAQ format:

 

What constitutes a summer camp?

 

Summer day camps” and “Summer 24-hour camps” are defined in Section 409.175 F.S. “Summer day camps” are recreational, educational, and other enrichment programs operated during summer vacations for children who are 5 years of age on or before September 1 and older. “Summer 24-hour camps” are recreational, educational, and other enrichment programs operated on a 24-hour basis during summer vacations for children who are 5 years of age on or before September 1 and older, that are not exclusively educational.

 

Requirements for athletic coaches are found in Section 943.0438 F.S. Background screening for paid or volunteer athletic coaches are not screened through the Department of Children and Families, they are screened using the Volunteer and Employee Criminal History System (VECHS) through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). Enforcement of requirements for athletic coaches would be the independent sanctioning authority.

 

Who has to be screened?

Personnel for the purposes of screening for summer day camps and summer 24-hour camps includes owners, operators, employees, and volunteers working in summer day camps and summer 24-hour camps providing care for children. Volunteers who assist on an intermittent basis for less than 10 hours per month do not need to be screened if a person who meets the screening requirement is always present and has the volunteer in his or her line of sight.

 

When do employees or volunteers have to be screened?

An employer may not hire, select, or otherwise allow an employee to have contact with any vulnerable person that would place the employee in a role that requires the background screening.

 

How are international counselors background screened?

They must complete a Level 2 Background Screening upon arriving in Florida. Although not required by law, a background check from their home country should be requested. Most organizations that assist with identifying international counselors do provide a background check.

 

Are employees or volunteers under the age of 18 required to be fingerprinted?

Yes. There are no exclusions under the statute for those under age 18 from being fingerprinted. However, if the employee or volunteer under 18 is not providing direct care for children, they would not have to be fingerprinted.

 

What are the differences between Level 1 and Level 2 Background Screening for employment and where are the lists of offenses that will preclude potential employees from working? What are local law enforcement checks? What are the cost differences? Do we need to do a local sheriff’s check?

The requirements for Level 1 and Level 2 Employment Background Screening are found in Chapter 435 Florida Statutes. Level 1 Background Screening requires an employment history check, statewide criminal correspondence checks through FDLE (name-based check), and a check of the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website and may include local law enforcement checks.

 

Level 2 Background Screening requires fingerprinting for statewide criminal history checks through FDLE and national criminal history checks through the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and may include local law enforcement checks.

The list of disqualifications from employment is found in Section 435.04 F.S.

 

They include:

 

  • Anyone arrested for and awaiting final disposition of prohibited offense, regardless of adjudication
  • Anyone who has entered a plea of nolo contendere or guilty to a prohibited offense
  • Any case where the applicant was adjudicated delinquent and the record of committing a prohibited offense has not been sealed or expunged

 

Local law enforcement checks are completed by local sheriff and police departments. They are recommended because occasionally there may be information related to arrests or calls to the applicant’s address that are not included in the FDLE record.

 

The costs can vary and depend upon the Live Scan vendor selected. Most costs are listed on our website under the section Live Scan Location and Interactive Map.

 

Are volunteer athletic coach screened under this law?

No. Background screening for volunteer athletic coaches is authorized under s. 943.0438 F.S. through the Volunteer and Employee Criminal History System.

 

What are the differences between this law and the Jessica Lunsford Act?

The Jessica Lunsford Act found in Section 1012.465 F.S. requires non-instructional school district employees or contract personnel who are permitted access on school grounds when students are presents meet Level 2 Background Screening requirements as described in s. 1012.32 F.S.

 

Is there any limit on how far in advance you can screen?

No earlier than 60 days before beginning employment.

 

How often do they have to be screened?

Section 409.1757 F.S. outlines when persons are not required to be refingerprinted or rescreened. If an employee or applicant has been fingerprinted or screened as required in chapter 393, 394, 397, 402, and 409, or teachers pursuant to chapter 1012, who have not been unemployed for more than 90 days and attest to the completion of the fingerprinting and compliance with the standards related to good moral character.

 

What are ORI and OCA numbers? What is the process to get an agency ORI Code and OCA Code and how long does that take?

The ORI number (Originating Agency Identifier). This number is provided by FDLE and identifies the agency requesting the criminal history check and for what purpose.

The OCA (Controlling Agency Identifier). This number is provided by DCF and identifies the provider requesting the background check.

Without the ORI number and the OCA number, FDLE cannot process the request and the DCF will not know where the screening results are to be sent.

The DCF will need the following:

 

Facility/Camp:

Name
Physical Address
Mailing Address
Valid E-mail
Contact Person (Owner/Operator)
Contact Person Phone Number

 

This information can be sent to the following email address: bgs1116@dcf.state.fl.us

Upon registration, you will be provided a DCF Agency Identifier (ORI) and a DCF Live Scan OCA through email.

 

What if we have already done the VECHS check – is this sufficient?

No. DCF is responsible for ensuring persons working in summer camps meet the requirements for background screening. VECHS checks are not allowed to be shared with the Department.

 

What if we have already done fingerprint checks, but not through the Live Scan process – do those have to be redone? Can fingerprints be done using hard cards?

 

If they meet the Level 2 requirements, were completed within the last 5 years, and there has not been a 90 day break in service, they would not need to be redone.

Fingerprints submitted using hard cards are permissible until 2012. However, it will delay receiving the results for 4-6 weeks or longer.

 

Where do the records need to be kept? Is it the same for the Affidavit of Good Moral Character?

The results from the background screening and the Affidavit of Good Moral Conduct should be maintained in your personnel files.

 

Who will be enforcing this? Can we expect to be monitored or inspected, or will this happen when a complaint is lodged against a program?

 

DCF has the authority to ensure compliance. Currently, summer camps are only monitored when a complaint has been made related to noncompliance with background screening. However, we are reviewing the requirements and more information related to enforcement will be released in the near future.

 

Why isn’t there a state database where I can verify if someone has already been checked?

Currently, there are limitations on sharing information between agencies. Agencies work together and when possible, the DCF will accept Level 2 Letters of Clearance completed by other entities such as school boards, or the Agency for Health Care Administration.

 

Is all necessary information collected with the fingerprint, or are there other forms that have to be completed and retained by us, or returned to DCF?

For completion of the Level 2 Background Screening, the information provided to the Live Scan Vendor is sufficient. Additional information from the applicant may be required if a criminal history is noted.

 

When does a summer camp have to be licensed by DCF?

Summer camps are not licensed by DCF.

 

Does the State require any additional training of employees hired by local agencies for summer programs?

No.

What are the counties that are doing their own licensing, when are they allowed to do their own licensing, and can they require a program that is exempt in State statute to be licensed under their county authority? Where can we find contact information on those county licensing boards/units?

 

The State does not require licensure of summer camps. There may be local ordinances that do require licensure. This information would be found locally.

Is there a website for more answers on DCF background screening requirements?

 

Yes. The Department website for background screening is: http://www.dcfbackgroundscreening.com. As information or updates are available, they will be added to our website.

 

Categories
AHCA Background Screening

DCF Level 2 Background Screening and Fingerprinting for Summer Camps in Florida

Here are some important facts on background screening for Summer Camps in FAQ format:

 

What constitutes a summer camp?

 

Summer day camps” and “Summer 24-hour camps” are defined in Section 409.175 F.S. “Summer day camps” are recreational, educational, and other enrichment programs operated during summer vacations for children who are 5 years of age on or before September 1 and older. “Summer 24-hour camps” are recreational, educational, and other enrichment programs operated on a 24-hour basis during summer vacations for children who are 5 years of age on or before September 1 and older, that are not exclusively educational.

 

Requirements for athletic coaches are found in Section 943.0438 F.S. Background screening for paid or volunteer athletic coaches are not screened through the Department of Children and Families, they are screened using the Volunteer and Employee Criminal History System (VECHS) through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). Enforcement of requirements for athletic coaches would be the independent sanctioning authority.

 

Who has to be screened?

 

Personnel for the purposes of screening for summer day camps and summer 24-hour camps includes owners, operators, employees, and volunteers working in summer day camps and summer 24-hour camps providing care for children. Volunteers who assist on an intermittent basis for less than 10 hours per month do not need to be screened if a person who meets the screening requirement is always present and has the volunteer in his or her line of sight.

 

When do employees or volunteers have to be screened?

 

An employer may not hire, select, or otherwise allow an employee to have contact with any vulnerable person that would place the employee in a role that requires the background screening.

 

How are international counselors background screened?

 

They must complete a Level 2 Background Screening upon arriving in Florida. Although not required by law, a background check from their home country should be requested. Most organizations that assist with identifying international counselors do provide a background check.

 

Are employees or volunteers under the age of 18 required to be fingerprinted?

 

Yes. There are no exclusions under the statute for those under age 18 from being fingerprinted. However, if the employee or volunteer under 18 is not providing direct care for children, they would not have to be fingerprinted.

 

What are the differences between Level 1 and Level 2 Background Screening for employment and where are the lists of offenses that will preclude potential employees from working? What are local law enforcement checks? What are the cost differences? Do we need to do a local sheriff’s check?

 

The requirements for Level 1 and Level 2 Employment Background Screening are found in Chapter 435 Florida Statutes. Level 1 Background Screening requires an employment history check, statewide criminal correspondence checks through FDLE (name-based check), and a check of the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website and may include local law enforcement checks.

 

Level 2 Background Screening requires fingerprinting for statewide criminal history checks through FDLE and national criminal history checks through the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and may include local law enforcement checks.

 

The list of disqualifications from employment is found in Section 435.04 F.S.

 

They include:

 

  • Anyone arrested for and awaiting final disposition of prohibited offense, regardless of adjudication
  • Anyone who has entered a plea of nolo contendere or guilty to a prohibited offense
  • Any case where the applicant was adjudicated delinquent and the record of committing a prohibited offense has not been sealed or expunged

 

Local law enforcement checks are completed by local sheriff and police departments. They are recommended because occasionally there may be information related to arrests or calls to the applicant’s address that are not included in the FDLE record.

 

The costs can vary and depend upon the Live Scan vendor selected. Most costs are listed on our website under the section Live Scan Location and Interactive Map.

 

Are volunteer athletic coach screened under this law?

 

No. Background screening for volunteer athletic coaches is authorized under s. 943.0438 F.S. through the Volunteer and Employee Criminal History System.

 

What are the differences between this law and the Jessica Lunsford Act?

 

The Jessica Lunsford Act found in Section 1012.465 F.S. requires non-instructional school district employees or contract personnel who are permitted access on school grounds when students are presents meet Level 2 Background Screening requirements as described in s. 1012.32 F.S.

 

Is there any limit on how far in advance you can screen?

No earlier than 60 days before beginning employment.

How often do they have to be screened?

 

Section 409.1757 F.S. outlines when persons are not required to be refingerprinted or rescreened. If an employee or applicant has been fingerprinted or screened as required in chapter 393, 394, 397, 402, and 409, or teachers pursuant to chapter 1012, who have not been unemployed for more than 90 days and attest to the completion of the fingerprinting and compliance with the standards related to good moral character.

 

What are ORI and OCA numbers? What is the process to get an agency ORI Code and OCA Code and how long does that take?

 

The ORI number (Originating Agency Identifier). This number is provided by FDLE and identifies the agency requesting the criminal history check and for what purpose.

 

The OCA (Controlling Agency Identifier). This number is provided by DCF and identifies the provider requesting the background check.

 

Without the ORI number and the OCA number, FDLE cannot process the request and the DCF will not know where the screening results are to be sent.

 

The DCF will need the following:

 

Facility/Camp:

Name
Physical Address
Mailing Address
Valid E-mail
Contact Person (Owner/Operator)
Contact Person Phone Number

 

This information can be sent to the following email address: bgs1116@dcf.state.fl.us

Upon registration, you will be provided a DCF Agency Identifier (ORI) and a DCF Live Scan OCA through email.

 

What if we have already done the VECHS check – is this sufficient?

 

No. DCF is responsible for ensuring persons working in summer camps meet the requirements for background screening. VECHS checks are not allowed to be shared with the Department.

 

What if we have already done fingerprint checks, but not through the Live Scan process – do those have to be redone? Can fingerprints be done using hard cards?

 

If they meet the Level 2 requirements, were completed within the last 5 years, and there has not been a 90 day break in service, they would not need to be redone.

 

Fingerprints submitted using hard cards are permissible until 2012. However, it will delay receiving the results for 4-6 weeks or longer.

 

Where do the records need to be kept? Is it the same for the Affidavit of Good Moral Character?

 

The results from the background screening and the Affidavit of Good Moral Conduct should be maintained in your personnel files.

 

Who will be enforcing this? Can we expect to be monitored or inspected, or will this happen when a complaint is lodged against a program?

 

DCF has the authority to ensure compliance. Currently, summer camps are only monitored when a complaint has been made related to noncompliance with background screening. However, we are reviewing the requirements and more information related to enforcement will be released in the near future.

 

Why isn’t there a state database where I can verify if someone has already been checked?

 

Currently, there are limitations on sharing information between agencies. Agencies work together and when possible, the DCF will accept Level 2 Letters of Clearance completed by other entities such as school boards, or the Agency for Health Care Administration.

 

Is all necessary information collected with the fingerprint, or are there other forms that have to be completed and retained by us, or returned to DCF?

 

For completion of the Level 2 Background Screening, the information provided to the Live Scan Vendor is sufficient. Additional information from the applicant may be required if a criminal history is noted.

 

When does a summer camp have to be licensed by DCF?

 

Summer camps are not licensed by DCF.

 

Does the State require any additional training of employees hired by local agencies for summer programs?

 

No.

 

What are the counties that are doing their own licensing, when are they allowed to do their own licensing, and can they require a program that is exempt in State statute to be licensed under their county authority? Where can we find contact information on those county licensing boards/units?

 

The State does not require licensure of summer camps. There may be local ordinances that do require licensure. This information would be found locally.

 

Is there a website for more answers on DCF background screening requirements?

 

Yes. The Department website for background screening is: http://www.dcfbackgroundscreening.com. As information or updates are available, they will be added to our website.