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Florida summer camps implement more thorough employee background check system

Jun 03, 2011 Matt Roesly

Summer camps in Florida are completing their first year of hiring employees since House Bill 7069 was passed in August of last year. The new legislation requires all camp counselors and volunteers who work with children to pass a Level Two background check, which involves submitting fingerprints to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The FDLE will then run the prints through the national offender database. According to the Florida Department of Children and Families website, results of digital fingerprint scans can be processed in as little as 24 to 48 hours, and background checks for prints submitted on paper may take up to six weeks to complete. Next year, the background screening will be fully digitized as the electronic method not only saves time but is also cheaper for employers. Although the law applies to day camps and sleepaway camps, vacation Bible schools are exempted. House Bill 7069 also requires Level Two background checks for direct care providers, employees at mental health facilities, unlicensed staff who work in licensed general hospitals and juvenile delinquent program employees.