10 Justifications for Your Nanny Having a Criminal Record
November 22, 2011 | in Background Check
Hiring a nanny requires a lot of time, research and screening to arrive at the best candidate for the job. No secret there, of course, but what happens when you’ve found someone who’s a great fit for your family, is an otherwise ideal candidate, but who also has a less-than-perfect criminal record? Clearly, prudence and responsibility are top priorities here; but no one is really perfect, right? So then just how much imperfection should the right candidate be allowed? Here are ten justifications for your nanny having a criminal record:
- The nature of the crime – A thorough criminal background investigation will provide a lot of information, including misdemeanors, court warrants and arrests. If there’s nothing there that would make a candidate unsafe to work as a nanny, then it may be disregarded.
- The date of the crime – If the infraction wasn’t particularly serious and occurred a long time ago, it may not necessarily have any bearing on the trustworthiness of the individual today.
- Her age at the time of the crime – With age comes maturity for most of us, even those who have made mistakes in the past. Again, this is about who the person is right now, the person sitting across from you. She may not bear any resemblance now to the youthful foolishness that led to that blemish on her record.
- The location of the crime – The applicant may have been living in another country when she was convicted, for an offense that isn’t regarded as a crime where she is seeking employment.
- The accuracy of the record – Criminal records, much like credit reports, can contain erroneous data, which often goes unverified. Unlike credit reports, however, that data stays there indefinitely, unless updated manually. It’s possible that a background check will bring back inaccurate results if the subject has not had it updated to reflect the correct information.
- The record isn’t exactly criminal – By this we mean that a criminal record is going to include non-criminal data as well, such as judgments and tax liens. These are penalties, but they aren’t crimes for which the person was convicted; so discretion is needed in interpreting what “having a record” really means.
- Sufficient References – Any concerns stemming from the presence of a criminal record can be offset by testimonials as to the person’s character by credible and authoritative sources. These can include previous employers, law enforcement and judicial personnel, clergy members.
- Political Activism – If her criminal record is comprised of an arrest and conviction resulting from, say, peaceful protest, it more than likely isn’t going to impede your nanny’s ability to care for your children. Just so long as her involvement wasn’t militant by nature, that is to the point of violence being advocated, you should be OK.
- Rehabilitation – For crimes such as DUI’s or substance abuse: an applicant can demonstrate that they have been successfully rehabilitated for any addiction, along with pertinent references (doctors, case workers, etc.).
- Trial Employment – Pun only partly intended, there is always the alternative of hiring your nanny on a trial basis. If there is no other potentially disqualifying consideration, it may just be time to let her past remain in the past.
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