How Much Background Screening Do Popular Caregiver Search Apps and Sites Provide?
Whether you’re considering Care.com or the Rover app, you may be surprised just how little vetting is built into basic service plans.
When you’re short on time, your search for caregivers for beloved humans and pets alike may turn to the countless apps and websites that promise they’ll make sourcing care a breeze. Unfortunately, these directories often play up their convenience-factor while shrouding how much due diligence they’ve performed on their recommendations.
Although thorough vetting of caregivers might seem like a given, caregiver apps and sites do not have to follow any sort of standard for background checks. That’s right—we said ANY. Each one has their own individual policies and procedures, some being more diligent than others.
Some states have agencies responsible for managing the background checks process for licensed community care providers. California is an example of this, with the CBCB or “Caregiver Background Check Bureau” But in most cases it’s up to you to get to know the background check requirements and options of the most popular care platforms and better understand the level of protection they provide.
Care.com provides caregivers for pets, children, seniors, and people with special needs as well as tutors and housekeepers. But, does care.com conduct any background checks? You’d be surprised to know they are one of the most popular caregiver apps, yet they do not require their service providers to complete a background check at signup — or even to accept a job.
When you’re going through the hiring process through Care.com, you are given the option to purchase screening services for an additional fee. Four tiers of screening services are available with minor mark-up to what these services cost if sourced independently. Though several tiers of the added-cost screening do check for criminal history and employment history veracity, there is no option to request drug testing or occupational health testing through the site.
Furthermore, caregivers self-report their past cities of residence to the site, meaning the screening could miss arrest data from unreported locations. Lastly, a care.com background checks can range anywhere from 3 to 10 days depending on the information that is being screened for.
The CareLinx app allows you to click through the system to hire caregivers for seniors and adults with debilitating health conditions. Unfortunately, CareLinx does not have a strong screening process in place. They do require that their caregivers complete a background check at sign up, but this only includes very basic screening services. This level of basic background screening will check the federal criminal databases and Sex Offender database, it doesn’t include education verification, or any drug testing.
It’s unclear how far back they look or how many regions their checks cover, which leaves a few major question marks when it comes to who’s taking care of your loved one. CareLinx does not offer driver screening services, drug testing, or occupation health testing.
Acting as an online marketplace, Rover allows you to acquire pet sitting, dog boarding, and dog walking services. Despite offering two levels of background checks, caregivers are not required to complete either one to pick up work, the only exception being people who hire caregivers from across state lines.
If walkers opt into a screening for an additional fee, Rover ensures their identity is legitimate and that they aren’t listed on the sex offender registry, a terrorist watchlist, or the National Criminal Database. Solely relying on the National Criminal Database and Sex offender registry are one of the more common background screening mistakes. For an extra fee on top of that, they will also make sure the caregiver’s cities of residence don’t turn them up in any untoward court records. Past cities of residence are self-reported, meaning the screening could miss arrest data from unreported locations.
Checks into motor vehicle records, drug testing, or occupation health testing are not available.
SitterCity is a top directory site that connects you with babysitters who can take care of your child while you’re at work, at an appointment, or on a well-deserved night out.
The ratings-based site often leaves users to “vet” sitters by reading about the experiences others had with them. However, there are several tiers of background screening services available for an added cost. On the affordable end of the spectrum, their $15 basic background checks the legitimacy of a potential sitter’s identity and runs their name through 7 years worth of criminal history and sexual offender records.
Anything beyond the basic check means a premium price, though enhanced background screening and motor vehicles records checks are available.
Drug testing and occupation health screening services are not offered.
Find the Best Service for Your Background Check Needs
At the basic level, none of the most popular care-sourcing sites offer included background screening. Though the majority allow you to pay a premium to opt into screening services, the solutions they offer are far from comprehensive and usually marked up above industry background check rates.
To proactively manage your loved one’s safety and ensure their caregiver’s ability to perform necessary caregiving functions, we recommend taking screening into your own hands.
Be proactive about checking your prospective hires with truly comprehensive background checks, drug testing, and occupational health screenings — all services provided by Health Street — to ensure your hire is primed to provide the best care possible.
To get started, reach out to our team by calling (888) 378-2499 or by registering for a free online account.