Why does Link Education require background checks?
In May 2006, the US State Department revised its regulations for Secondary Programs to include criminal background checks for all staff, field representatives, and host families. Such a requirement has been standard for many years with other youth based organizations, including the YMCA, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, youth sports clubs, school administrators, and day care centers. These measures will continue to support our policy to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of our participants.
When does the background check need to be run and who will be checked?
Host family background checks must be completed before the student arrives to begin his/her program. Checks on Link Education staff must be run on a yearly basis and be conducted before that person has any contact with students.
Who conducts the background check and what is done with the data collected in the search?
Link Education works with Intellicorp Records, Inc. a company that conducts background checks. When you submit the following forms, or the electronic authorization online, Intellicorp conducts a national criminal file search. This search will access information from the department of corrections, state criminal records, county court records, sex offender registries, and other criminal records databases. This search will not reveal any credit or financial information and it is compliant with the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) guidelines. Upon completing this search, Intellicorp passes on the results to our organization. If a criminal background check reveals a criminal history for an individual, the results will be reviewed and evaluated by our Manager . We are screening for offenses that would be relevant to providing a safe environment for the student. Generally, we are most concerned with crimes against persons, specifically sexual and/or violent offenses. However, each case will be reviewed individually and final determination for eligibility to host will be made by the management of Link Education. If any records (other than minor traffic violations) appear on the background check, Link Education will contact you.
Who will have access to my information?
Only the management of Link Education will have access to the results of background checks. This information will not become public knowledge. Only with your explicit permission would some information be provided to the natural parents of the student you would like to host.
How will my privacy be protected?
Link Education recognizes that its need to investigate a criminal history must be balanced with the need to protect an individual’s privacy. Link Education, together with state and federal laws, recognizes the individual’s right to privacy and prohibits our employees and others from seeking, using, or disclosing personal information except within the scope of their assigned duties. Criminal history information will be used only for the purpose of evaluating the person or person’s ability to work with or host exchange students.
How far back does the check for criminal convictions go? Will the report include all convictions?
The criminal history that is reported through the national criminal file search is usually a 7 to 10 year history, depending on the state.
What infractions would exclude a person from participating on the Link Education program?
No person convicted of a felony may participate in this program as an employee, contractor, volunteer, or host. Misdemeanor convictions of a non-violent nature will be reviewed by the Link Education staff for final adjudication and fair treatment.
How long does it take for Link Education to make a decision based on the findings of the criminal background check?
Link Education staff reviews all criminal background checks and will make the final determination regarding suitability of the individual(s) for the purpose of being a or host family within 5 business days.