How Much Background Screening Do Popular Caregiver Apps and Sites Provide?

If you're considering, the Rover app, or another home care provider, you may be surprised how little care provider screening is built into basic service plans. When you're short on time and searching for caregivers for a beloved human or pet, you may turn to the countless apps and websites that promise they can make finding care a breeze. Unfortunately, what you gain in convenience you may lose in a comprehensive screening process. The due diligence they've performed on their recommendations is too often shrouded in mystery.

Marie Abendroth
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How much background screening do popular caregiver apps and sites provide?

The availability of screenings for care providers varies across platforms. Some don't require them at all; others provide only basic screening services or offer different levels of screenings for an added cost.

A brief look into the background check and screening processes of popular caregiver apps

Although it might seem like a given to require thorough vetting for someone who provides personal care and other services for others, caregiver apps and sites are not legally required to follow any standard for background checks. That's right—we said ANY. Each organization has its own policies and procedures. Some are more diligent than others.

Certain states have departments set up to manage screenings for licensed community care providers (including but not limited to nursing homes). The California Care Provider Management Bureau (CPMB) is one example. However, in most cases, it's up to you as a consumer to learn the screening requirements and options of each care platform you're considering and to understand the level of protection they provide. This is especially true for private home care providers. is an extremely popular app where you can find care providers for seniors, children, people with special needs and pets, in addition to housekeepers and tutors. However, it may surprise you that they do not require a screening for their service providers, neither at signup nor when they accept a job.

During the hiring process at, you have the option to purchase screening services for an additional charge. There are four screening tiers, and not much information as to what these services cost if purchased elsewhere. Although they do offer, at a cost, caregivers criminal background checks and employment history verification, you cannot order a drug test or occupational health screening through their site.

In addition, caregivers self-report their prior residences, which means that the screen could miss a criminal record or arrest data from an unreported city. A screening can take 3 to 10 days, depending on the information being checked.


The CareLinx app makes it easy to hire caregivers for seniors and adults with debilitating health conditions. Unfortunately, CareLinx does not offer a robust screening process. While they do require their providers to complete a background check when they sign up, it only checks federal criminal databases and the National Sex Offender Registry. Their screening services do not include any drug testing, education verification, DOT screening, or occupational health testing.

They don't mention how far back the search goes or how many regions they cover. This leaves important questions unanswered when it comes to the person caring for your loved one.


As an online marketplace, Rover allows you to hire dog walking, pet sitting, and dog boarding services. Although they offer two levels of background screenings, providers are not required to complete either one to accept work—unless someone hires a care provider from across state lines.

If a dog walker chooses a screening for an added charge, Rover will verify their identity and ensure that they are not listed on a terrorist watchlist, sex offender registry, or the National Criminal Database. This is a common screening error, to rely solely on the sex offender registry and National Criminal Database. For those that pay even more, they will check that the person's residences don't appear in court records and arrest data. However, since past cities of residence are self-reported, there may be unreported locations that are not checked.

Rover does not offer drug testing, motor vehicle records, or occupational health screenings.


This leading directory site connects you with babysitters who can care for your children when you're working, at an appointment, or enjoying a night out.

SitterCity is a ratings-based site, which leaves users to "vet" potential sitters by reading about experiences that other users have had with them. The platform offers several tiers of background check services, available at an additional charge. Of the more affordable options, their $15 basic service verifies their identity and pulls up their criminal history and sexual offender records for the past seven years.

If you want additional checks done, you'll pay a premium price, although they do offer enhanced screening and motor vehicle reports.

Occupational health screenings and drug tests are not available.

What Background Checks Do Caregiver Agencies Use?

There is no federal mandate for caregiver background checks, though state and local laws differ. Therefore, you can expect a wide variance of screenings conducted by care agencies, depending on where you live.

What Pre-Employment Screenings Do Home Care Nurses Need?

A home health care nurse—that is, one who may care for the medical needs of a patient—should have screenings for past employment and criminal activity, in addition to pre-employment drug testing and occupational health assessments.

Find the Best Service for Your Background Check Needs

None of the most popular care sites include screening in their basic price. Although with most, you can add on screening services, their solutions are far from comprehensive and are usually more expensive than industry rates for background checks.

To be in control of your loved one's safety and verify that the care provider can perform the necessary functions, we recommend that you take screening into your own hands.

Be proactive when hiring a paid caregiver, by adding comprehensive background screens, drug testing, and occupational health assessments to your hiring requirements. Health Street provides these services and will help to ensure that your hire can 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.

Marie Abendroth

Marie Abendroth

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