Background Checks Delay Hirings: Understaffed Group Homes Can’t Fill Void

Karen Fonseth, CEO, Direct Action in Support of Community Homes (DASCH) head of a Winnipeg non-profit agency says vulnerable Canadians are being put at risk because a new system has resulted in long delays getting background checks for new workers. Fonseth, says it can take more than a year for some vulnerable-sector checks to be completed due to the poor implementation of a stricter system for doing the checks. “It’s ridiculous,” said Fonseth. “People can’t wait five to six weeks to get a job, let alone five to six months.”

In June, she had over 50 applications awaiting a criminal check. Last month, she could only watch in frustration as three more potential hires found work elsewhere.

The new system, implemented over a year ago, now requires fingerprints to be submitted for anyone whose gender and date of birth match someone who has a sex offence on record. It means far more people now need to go to their local police station to submit fingerprints and the delays for processing those prints can extend for several months. Even the initial check before fingerprints takes four to six weeks, said Fonseth.”

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