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How and Why to Screen a privately hired Caregiver

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Things to consider when hiring privately….

A criminal record check is the FIRST step to hiring a caregiver. Getting an enhanced police check is a good idea.

Once you’ve found a caregiver to meet your needs, the next step is to make sure their past will fit in with your life. A criminal record check is the first thing you should do when hiring any kind of employee. An enhanced police check will give you access to more information about their history and may give you more peace of mind than just a standard check.

Who needs police checks?

Anyone who is considering hiring someone else to work in their home or on their property should ask them whether they have a valid criminal record check. If this isn’t possible, they should always ensure that the applicant provides proof of having obtained one before they take up employment with them. This can be done by asking for an official copy or by obtaining one themselves so that they can provide it at a later date if necessary (if for example, an employer decides not to hire someone due to a criminal history).

Here are your options: 

Criminal Record Check

You can order a criminal record check by calling the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC). The cost is $25 per request and takes about 2 to 4 weeks to process.

If you’re getting your caregiver from outside Canada, you may need to get a vulnerable sector check as well. This will require that they get fingerprinted by local police or RCMP officers in their area, who will then report back to CPIC with the results of their investigation.

It’s up to each province or territory as to who requires this kind of screening when hiring a private caregiver—for example, Ontario does not require vulnerable sector checks for personal support workers under its Community Care Access Centres Act (CCAC), so if this applies in your area you’ll want to make sure that your provider has been screened before bringing them on board!

Local Police Check

You can also request a local police check from the police service in your area. This is usually a free service that is completed by mail or in person and the results are mailed to you within a few weeks. The advantage of this type of screening is that you have access to all of their records, including any arrests or convictions for violent offenses.

Home country Police Check

The RCMP will conduct the background check. To do so, you will need to:

  • Complete a form from the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) and pay the $25 fee for each applicant.
  • Submit an application form with copies of your passport and health card, as well as a copy of their criminal record check from their country of origin.
  • Have fingerprints taken by the RCMP at any police station in Canada or at any Immigration Canada office.

Police Knowledge check of Vulnerable sector (PKV)

A police knowledge check of the vulnerable sector (PKV) is a check of police computer databases to see if a person has a criminal record or if they are listed as a sex offender. This check checks the same databases as a criminal record check (CRC) but also includes the vulnerable sector. For example, an applicant may be considered for employment working with children in childcare facilities or schools and therefore required to provide proof of their background checks through the vulnerable sector search before starting employment.

The PKV must be done after you have hired them & before they begin work with your family.

Vulnerable Sector Screening (VSS)

There are two things that you need to know about the Vulnerable Sector Screening (VSS) before you begin the screening process. First, it is an enhanced criminal record check. Second, the Police Checks and Vulnerable Sector Screenings (PKC/VSS) program is the government-mandated process for doing this type of screening.

The result of your VSS will tell you if there is any information that should cause concern about your caregiver’s suitability for working with children or vulnerable adults in Canada. The police check itself can be done by mail or online in most provinces, but it’s important to remember that only certain people can get a background check done by mail — these individuals must be 18 years old or older and have lived continuously in Canada for at least six months (see our article on who can get a background check). For example, if someone wants to hire their 21-year-old son as their caregiver because he has been living away from home since he was 17 years old, they would not be able to do his background check through mail because they aren’t one of those categories eligible for this method. When hiring anyone who has lived outside Canada within three years of being hired as a caregiver—or within five years if they had lived abroad before coming back—the employer must ensure they meet all requirements under federal law before proceeding with hiring them.

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