Governor Lincoln Chafee has signed into law legislation requiring school volunteers in Rhode Island to undergo a state criminal background check, according to a report by the Providence Journal available at

The Journal reports the legislation – which takes effect upon passage – expands the scope of Rhode Island’s current state law background check requirement mandating background checks for people seeking jobs with private schools or public school departments to include school volunteers with “direct and regular contact with students.”

Last week, the Rhode Island Senate and House of Representatives gave final passage to companion bills requiring state criminal background checks for volunteers: (2013-S0347) by State Senator Michael J. McCaffrey (D-Dist. 29, Warwick) and (2013-H5229) by State Representative Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston).

“As programs that rely on or use volunteers grow in school settings, adding this language to law is the safe and responsible thing to do. We don’t want to stand in the way of volunteerism in schools, but we want to put student safety first,” Representative McNamara stated in a press release that also includes links to both bills.

Attorney Lester Rosen, Founder and CEO of background check firm Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) and author of ‘The Safe Hiring Manual,’ says there are numerous organizations besides schools that are involved with helping youth and rely on volunteers who will have extensive contact with young people in a variety of situations.

Rosen says organizations that should conduct volunteer background checks include: Faith-based organizations; Youth sports leagues such as Little League and youth soccer; Youth organizations such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Big Brothers, and Big Sisters; Volunteer groups that work with “at-risk” youth; and Camps designed for children and teens.

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority®’ – is a nationwide background screening provider accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®). For more information about volunteer background checks from ESR, visit or call Toll Free 888.999.4474.


About Employment Screening Resources® (ESR):

Founded by safe hiring expert Attorney Les Rosen in 1997, Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority®’– provides accurate and actionable information that empowers employers to make informed hiring decisions for the benefit of their organizations, employees, and the public. CEO Rosen literally wrote the book on background checks with “The Safe Hiring Manual” and ESR is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), a distinction held by a small percent of screening firms. Employers choosing ESR know they have selected an agency meeting the highest industry standards. To learn more about ESR, visit or call toll free 888.999.4474.

About ESR News:

The Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) News blog – ESR News – provides employment screening information for employers, recruiters, and jobseekers on a variety of topics including credit reports, criminal records, data privacy, discrimination, E-Verify, jobs reports, legal updates, negligent hiring, workplace violence, and use of search engines and social network sites for background checks. For more information about ESR News or to send comments or questions, please email ESR News Editor Thomas Ahearn at [email protected]. To subscribe to the ESR News Blog Feed, visit To subscribe to the complimentary ESRcheck Report monthly newsletter, please visit


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