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Volunteer Background Screening Frequently Asked Questions

Why does New York Cares run a background check on volunteers?

The results of the screening can inform a decision to place a volunteer on a project in order to maintain
the safety of all volunteers and clients on projects.

Do I need to have a Social Security Number in order to have a background check?
Yes. We are unable run a background check without a valid Social Security Number.

What if I dont have a Social Security Number?
Please contact Charissa Townsend at 212-402-1148 to discuss an alternative.

Do you check my credit history?
No, we do not check your credit history, and the screening does not affect your credit in any way.

What company does New York Cares use to run background checks?
We currently use LexisNexis Volunteer Screening ( for our
background checks. This the same company used by such nationally respected organizations as the
HandsOn Network, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and the Boy Scouts of America.

How do I submit my authorization form?
You have four options for submitting the form:

1. Return it to the New York Cares office (65 Broadway, 19
Floor). You can drop it off anytime
during business hours (Monday-Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm);
2. Bring the form to an upcoming SAT training in our orientation room (65 Broadway, 19
3. Email it to; or
4. Fax the form to 212-228-6414 attn: Charissa Townsend.

What happens to my authorization form after I submit it?
We enter the information that you submit into the LexisNexis secure online system to run the
background check. After the information is entered, we create an electronic copy of the original form
and store it in a secured section of our server. Only a limited number of authorized staff members have
access to this folder. Once the information is secured in our system, the paper form is shredded and

What do you check?
We check the validity of your social security number and any criminal history associated with your name,
social security number and address. Both checks are described below:

1) Social Security Number Verification (SSNV)
The SSNV matches a given SSN, first name, last name, address and DOB against a database which
contains information provided by companies with which the consumer has had financial dealings.

This search warns if a Social Security number:
May never have been issued
May have been issued to a person who has been reported deceased
Has other names associated with the SSN
Has been recently issued
The report also discloses other addresses associated with the SSN.
2) LexisNexis National Criminal File
The LexisNexis National Criminal File provides a database search of more than 200 million criminal
records representing more than 62 million individuals. Records are gathered from across all 50 states,
from multiple criminal record repositories. This nationwide search complies with the Fair Credit
Reporting Act.
Database Repositories include:
Department of Corrections (Inmates & Release files, Probation & Parole)
Administrative Office of Courts
Individual County Courts
State Specific Criminal Record Repositories
LexisNexis Proprietary Criminal Record Data
Sex Offender Registry Records (48 States Plus Washington, D.C.**) [AL, AK, AR, AZ, CO, CT, DE, FL,
OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV and WY.]
** CA and MA may be available for approved permissible purposes.