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Camps & Programs FAQ's
- For how long is the background check valid?
At the University of Maryland the background check record is valid for 3 consecutive years. If there is a break in employment at any point during the 3 year period, the employee or volunteer must be fingerprinted and the background check is done all over again.
- Is it permissible to choose to use a commercial company rather than use the State/FBI Criminal History Check system to conduct background checks only on employees or volunteers working with minors?
No, it is not permissible to choose to use a commercial company to conduct background checks. Commercial vendors obtain their information from public records and clearly admit that the information they provide may not 100% accurate or complete about a person's criminal history. They also assume no liability for any claims or damages that may arise. The University believes that we should be as thorough as possible in checking the background of those who will be working with minors.
- What is the difference between a commercial company who conducts background checks and CJIS?
The difference between a commercial company and a CJIS fingerprint and background check is that when a person commits a crime, they are arrested and processed, meaning, they are fingerprinted and photographed. The fingerprint record not only records the arrested person's fingerprints, but also the facts surrounding the arrest. This information is stored in computers at both the FBI and CJIS and is the most thorough check of a person's background. We know that when a person is fingerprinted and background checked through CJIS, the information on each person has passed through both the Federal (FBI) and State (CJIS) data banks. This does not happen with commercial vendors.
- Why does the fingerprint process and background check have to be repeated if a person has been fingerprinted before?
The government does not keep a file of everyone's fingerprints. Only the fingerprints of people who have been arrested or who are working in highly sensitive government positions are on file in the FBI and the State computers. When a person is fingerprinted for a background check, the fingerprint card or record is destroyed after the check is made. The law does not allow those fingerprints to be stored, and therefore, when applying for a new job (paid or volunteer), you must be fingerprinted and the background check is done all over again. Also, just because a person had a clean background the last time their record was checked, doesn't mean they haven't committed a crime since then.
- Who pays for the cost of the fingerprinting and background check?
It is up to the Camp/Program Director to determine who pays. The Director may choose to pay for all costs or require the employee/volunteer to cover the cost themself.
- If an intended employee or volunteer had a previous child care fingerprint and background check conducted at a job prior to coming to the University of Maryland, can they use their current CJIS report and reference number as proof that they have been fingerprinted and background checked?
If an intended employee or volunteer was previously screened for child care at another agency or job, the agency affiliation can be transferred to the University of Maryland only if the original date of fingerprinting is less than 180 days old. Any request made to CJIS to transfer the agency of record that is older than 180 days will be rejected by CJIS. The employee must make the request to CJIS to transfer the record to the University.
- What is the procedure if the University receives a "flagged" record on an intended employee or volunteer?
The Office of Risk Management and the University Legal Office review the record to determine what infractions or charges are listed. A joint call is then made to the Camp or Program Director to discuss the findings and determine a course of action that may require denying employment for the camp (dependent on the charge) or requesting clarification or direct information from the employee about the "flag" that appeared on the record. A decision will then be made as to whether the reason is cause enough to deny employment or not. Based on a child care background check, certain "flags" will automatically disqualify someone from working with minors.
- Is everyone connected to a camp or program that involves minors, required to be fingerprinted or background checked? No. Only those employees or volunteers that have direct and/or regular contact with minors, have to go through the fingerprint and background check process. Excluded is: administrative staff to the camp or program, guest speakers, visiting coaches (not working the camp), etc.