Audit Finds Sex Offenders in State-Funded Child Care and Foster Homes

A recent audit has found that during a ten year period from 2002 to 2012, there were twenty-eight sex offenders living in child care and foster homes regulated or subsidized by Washington State, including one who worked for nine years in a high school as a janitor. The review stated that the problem could be prevented if state laws were followed more strictly, and offered several recommendations for procedures the state should follow to better keep children safe from sex crime offenders. However, the auditor’s office spokeswoman, Mindy Chambers, said the state agencies should be commended for taking action to quickly improve procedures after learning about the problems. Lawmakers contend that the audit shows more should be done in order for children to be protected, including improved communication and background checks.

State Representative Bruce Dammeier said he was very concerned that only certified school workers such as teachers and librarians were regularly being checked against sex offender lists. Since 2005, Washington State law has required that any school employee must be searched for in the State Patrol’s sex offender database. Dammeier said that while he was glad to see that an auditor ran the database check and “that they only uncovered one (school) employee with a sex offense…one is too many.” The school janitor that the audit uncovered had initially passed his background check, but within two years was convicted of voyeurism, while continuing to work at the school. State law enforcement officials failed to alert the school district or education department of the offense. The State Patrol was also faulted by the audit for failing to disclose conviction information provided by other states.

Seventeen of the remaining sex offenders the audit uncovered were living in residences operating as home child care providers, and 11 resided in foster care homes. In most of these cases the offenders were undetected due to the care providers neglecting to inform state agencies that the offenders were living there, according to the audit. Two of the home daycares were licensed as Department of Early Learning Child Care Sites, and one had its license revoked while the other ceased operations. In the foster home cases, children were removed from homes and licenses were revoked. State Senator Mike Carrell said next year he would like to introduce a bill that would look more closely at unlicensed home daycares to make sure sex offenders were not working or living there.

State governments are becoming increasingly more vigilant when it comes to background checks, especially for those working with children. However, there are still many offenders out there who fall through the cracks. By using a reputable company like, you can be assured you are getting the best and most thorough background check screening techniques available.With access to countless criminal databases nationwide they have many options available, several with instant results. Their Ongoing Criminal Monitoring tool allows you to automatically run a continuous background check against a name and date of birth. You will be notified via email of any new information that may appear on their record. They will run the name for one year and remind you when it is time to renew the monitoring, plus you can remove the name from being monitored at any time. Or start with their US Offender OneSEARCH, which includes information contained in their comprehensive US OneSEARCH. Plus, this data includes sex offender information from 49 states (plus Washington D.C., Guam, and Puerto Rico) with photos.

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Michael Klazema

About Michael Klazema The author

Michael Klazema is the lead author and editor for Dallas-based with a focus on human resource and employment screening developments

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