by: Linda Trischitta
Sun Sentinel file photo: Cristobal Herrera.
Hey moms and dads: If your kid’s camp counselor didn’t pass a state and federal background check, the state wants to hear from you.
The Florida Department of Children & Families says schools and community organizations have to follow new regulations to protect campers.
In 2010, lawmakers expanded background check requirements from owners and operators to include employees and volunteers who work more than 10 hours a month, DCF says.
The department is not authorized to license or inspect summer camps, but says it will investigate complaints related to background screenings.
“Parents and families need to be confident that their children are safe in the care of well-meaning adults,” said Secretary David Wilkins. “Florida’s law requiring federal background screens is one of the strictest in the nation, and parents need to make sure they diligently research their choices for summer camps.”
DCF says it has met with camp operators and that parents should ask these questions to ensure safe care for their kids:
- Have all directors, employees and volunteers at this camp had proper background screening?
- Can I see the clearance letters for all your employees?
- What are the qualifications and experience of staff who will be working with my child?
- Are employees trained in first aid and CPR?
Before enrolling your loved one, visit and observe the camp and know its policies for illness, accidents and whether they drill for fire and other safety incidents.
Also, talk with your child daily about his or her camp experiences.
Source : sentinel