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KidSafePlus® Background Checks

Frequently Asked Questions

All background checks ARE NOT ALIKE. With KidSafePlus, all positive results from the national criminal database search are re-verified by trained researchers (real people), for no additional charge, before a case is opened in the system. This is just another safety feature to protect your youth athletes while also protecting the applicants rights…and what we like to call double-protection!

How is KidSafePlus® different than other background check systems?

Here are the key differences:

  1. We have automated the case management aspect of the system so large organizations can roll out a background check initiative and have 100% mandatory participation without creating an administrative burden for your organization.
  2. One fully integrated Background Check System — All of the KidSafePlus and online sports registration data will reside in one place. 
  3. Background checks are immediately sent out when the volunteer registers, and the results are tied into your rosters as soon as they come back.
  4. We offer easier case management - With the new "Wizard" interface, we take all the guess work out of managing your KidSafePlus® system
  5. All criminal matches are re-verified directly at the source by professional researchers before being reported, ensuring maximum risk protection and greater accuracy. Saving administrators time and hassle. 

Do all background screening companies re-verify records before sending the results to the customer?

No. This process of pro-actively re-verifying records is currently provided by very few background screening companies.

How does re-verification work?

Every positive record returned from the national and statewide database is placed into a queue, where it is reviewed by a person trained to conduct due diligence by filtering out un-reportable records, such as traffic violations. Clearing out un-reportable records before sending results to our customers is the best way to protect the applicant’s rights and is required by the FCRA employment screening guidelines.

How long does it take to re-verify a record?

Using the KidSafePlus system, most records with positive matches are re-verified within one to three business days.

Is it more expensive to re-verify records and do additional court charges apply?

Although background screening companies charge additional fees to re-verify (sometimes $8 to $20), re-verification is included with KidSafePlus. Your organization will not incur any additional fees or court access fees.

What other capabilities does the system have?

The KidSafePlus solution ties into our Roster Management system, which has many capabilities:

  • A roster approval process ensures players are age verified and coaches are properly certified
  • Enforces your organization’s rules for roster size, player age, and number of coaches
  • Reports on and emails people by groups, such as age group, not certified, etc
  • Prints rosters and player passes
  • A permanent history of all players and coaches is maintained
  • Full integration with online registration systems

Who owns the data?

You do as the organization. SportsSignup does not sell, distribute or share any data including email addresses.

What databases are the background checks run against?

A National Criminal File (including all 50 states) with 220,000 convictions, built from 150 data feeds, including:

  • Sex and Violent Offender Registries
  • Fugitive File and Government Watch List
  • State and County criminal record repositories
  • Proprietary criminal records
  • Prison, parole, probation, and release files from State Departments of Corrections
  • Administrative Office of Courts

What is the average turnaround time for results?

Results are returned within minutes after registering for Social Security Number verifications and no matching criminal records are found. In cases where criminal records matching the applicant’s information are returned (also known as “hits”), these records require review, which may take 4 to 48 hours.

Are background checks sent in batches?

No. Background checks are submitted in real time, immediately after a volunteer registers.

What does ‘FCRA Compliant’ mean?

Because credit history can be inaccurate, the Federal government has a set of laws called the Fair Credit Reporting Act that are designed to protect consumers from negative information that may exist in their credit history. The laws identify procedures that organizations handling credit / personal history must adhere to. Our system includes tools to help your organization with FCRA compliance.

SportsSignup & COPPA Compliance.

What the heck is COPPA? Well, COPPA is an acronym for Children's Online Privacy Act. Websites or online services that are directed at children is a criteria to be COPPA compliant. No part of SportsSignup services are a "website or online service directed to children." Our service is utilized exclusively by adults completing registration transactions on behalf of themselves or family members. That said, we do have the measures to ensure that the users are not children - upon creation the end user provides a click-wrap consent to our terms of use, which indicate that our service are not for use by children under the age of 13 (the COPPA cutoff age). 

In addition, almost all SportsSignup transactions end with a credit card payment, which is tied to a primary card holder (an adult).  In COPPA, this is one of the options to ensure "verifiable parent consent." So, although it is SportsSignup position is that we do not meet the criteria to comply with COPPA, most aspects of our system are already in compliance. 

What are the costs for KidSafePlus?

We charge a per registration / background check fee – the fee varies depending on the type of background check you run - Single Name Search or Alias Search. There are no setup fees, no yearly or monthly fees, no emailing fees, and no minimums. Most organizations have their potential coaches / volunteers pay the cost to cover the fee of the background check, thus eliminating any additional cost for your organization.

What does a Single Name Search consist of?

A Single Name Search uses only a single name match from a Social Security Number (SSN) trace and will not recognize alias names, including maiden names if found.

What does a Alias Search consist of?

 An Alias Search is a multi-faceted search that uses all known aliases provided from a Social Security Number (SSN) trace. The standard criminal database search is then done with this list of alias names including, maiden names found.

Is it more expensive to run an Alias Search compared to a Single Name Search?

Yes, since KidSafePlus Alias Search conducts a search on all known aliases; the cost to deliver these searches are $2.00 more than a Single Name Search. However, with an Alias Search if we need to search 1 or 10 names for the same person, you pay the same fixed price per person checked. 

Who pays for the service?

The system can be configured to charge your volunteers when they register (you can make payment options of credit card or check available), or we can bill your organization directly and not charge the volunteers.

How do coaches pay?

KidSafePlus is fully integrated with online registration. The online background check registration process has a payment step. You can set the fee. Coaches can pay by credit card or check.

Do I need to have a Merchant Account to process Credit Cards?

No. SportsSignup will process the credit card, and electronically deposit money due to you into your bank account twice monthly.

Do we have control over what questions are asked when volunteers register?

Yes. You can ask what club the person belongs to, what team, age and gender they are coaching, if they are club or league administrators, or whatever is important for you.

What if someone dosen’t have a computer to register?

Paper registration forms can be provided, which would be sent to your organization’s office for data entry into the system.

Who has access to the private information and the tagged results?

Only people you deem as qualified users are provided with access to the private information and the background check results and you will no longer will you need to send SportsSignup paper work in order to give your administrators KidSafePlus privileges. 

How does a volunteer know if he/she is eligible?

96% of the background checks submitted get auto adjudicated as eligible (Social Security Number verification passed, the background check came back clear, and there were no self admissions). In these cases there is no intervention required by an administrator and the volunteer receives a system generated email stating their eligibility. Cases that require your intervention involve personal contact with the volunteer and appropriate documentation. The KidSafePlus system documents your activity on each case, and provides the paper trail to prove you are being FCRA compliant.

If a criminal record “hit” is found, who makes the determination of eligibility?

Your organization is presented with information about the volunteer. You can then decide, based on your organization’s criteria, if the volunteer is eligible or not. 

How does a coach know if he/she is ineligible?

You notify coaches when you determine there are issues. You allow the coach to ‘defend’ themselves, and then you make a final determination of eligibility and notify the coach of your decision. The KidSafePlus solution documents your activity on each case, and provides the paper trail to prove you are being FCRA compliant.

How can you have confidence in the accuracy of records from the national and statewide criminal databases?

The only way to have confidence in the accuracy of criminal records from the national or statewide criminal database is to have a trained researcher contact the original county courthouse from which the arrest originated. Leveraging the expertise of a trained criminal researcher, with access to more than 3,000 counties nationwide, ensures that accurate and reliable information is provided - the first time.

Why do records from the national and statewide criminal databases need to be re-verified?

Quite often criminal records are stored in a national or statewide database with either partial data or outdated information; possibly with missing arrest or disposition dates, incomplete sentencing information, no final disposition (verdict), or unclear explanations of criminal charges. Records may even be duplicates or for the wrong person. By accessing the county the case was filed in, a researcher is able to obtain the most up to date information and provide a complete background report.

Does re-verification solve the false positive problem?

Not in all cases. Most criminal database searches are done using the full name and birth date of the applicant. It is a misconception that Social Security Numbers are used to initiate a search, as SSNs are rarely found in public records (that’s a good thing). The reality is that some individuals may have a name and birth date that matches up with the name and birth date of an individual with a criminal record. It is a rare occurrence, but it does happen. For these cases, it is in the best interest of the applicant to get this cleared up with the Consumer Reporting Agency, so the problem does not recur on subsequent background checks.

We are only screening volunteers, not employees. Do we still need to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)?

According to the FTC, "Because the term 'employment purposes' is interpreted liberally to effectuate the broad remedial purpose of the FCRA … it includes … a nonprofit organization staffed in whole or in part by volunteers." See page 32 of the FTC staff report 40 Years of Experience with the Fair Credit Reporting Act: An FTC Staff Report with Summary of Interpretations (July, 2011). Many sports organizations tend to use the same system to screen paid staff, such as referees, administrators, or other contractors that have regular access. These employment scenarios clearly fall under the FCRA.

Is a national criminal database search compliant with the FCRA Employment Screening Guidelines and suitable for employment screening? How is KidSafePlus compliant?

In most cases, yes. This depends on the Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) and how it deals with the positive matches from the national database searches. According to FCRA Section 613, the CRA must use one of the following two methods before returning a result to you:

  1. At the time such public record information is reported to the user of such consumer report, notify the consumer of the fact that public record information is being reported by the CRA, together with the name and address of the person to whom such information is being reported.
  2. Maintain strict procedures designed to insure that whenever public record information, which is likely to have an adverse effect on a consumer’s ability to obtain employment, is reported that it is complete and up to date.

KidSafePlus re-verifies public record information, so it is compliant with FCRA 613 (2). Without re-verification, more of the burden is placed on your applicants, as they will receive, typically by US mail, a copy of any and all records found during the search. Most background checking companies rely on the on the first method as it does not require human intervention – thus it is less expensive for sports organizations to consume.

How quickly can we get up and running?

We can set up your system and have you running coach and volunteer background checks within 7 – 10 business days.

What if I’m unhappy with the SportsSignup system?

We are so confident you will be happy with our system and support that we do not lock you into any time commitment. If you are not satisfied with us, just stop, export your data and you’re done.

About SportsSignup


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