Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Regarding Background Checks
Below is a list of some of the frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding Northside background checks.
- If you can use the online form, your Background Check can be processed more quickly.
- The Online Background Check form has an English and a Spanish version.
- The Online Background Check uses SSL encryption to protect your personal data.
- The Online Background Check requires you to submit your Social Security Number. We can conduct a faster, more accurate background check if we have the Social Security Number.
- If you do not want to give out your Social Security Number, you may use the paper forms.
- Check with your campus to find out the status of your Background Check.
If your question is not listed here, please contact your campus for assistance or call Partnerships at (210) 397-8599.
1. Who is required to have a Background Check?
In addition to all employees, background checks are required of volunteers, contract service providers, adult & community education instructors, student teachers, and PTA volunteers. Generally, anyone who will spend time on a Northside campus interacting with students is required to have a background check.
One group that we get questions on are artists who may give a performance at a campus or campuses. These do not usually require a background check, since they are only on campus for a short period of time (a few hours) and do not have direct student contact.
2. What exactly is being checked?
The Background Check is a criminal history check, which when you complete the form (online or on paper) you authorize Northside to conduct. We use your information and run it against government databases to check for misdemeanor and/or felony violations.
3. How long does the process take?
If you use the Online Background Check form, the process will take only 1 or 2 business days. If you use the paper form, it will take considerably longer.
4. How frequently must I have a background check?
Background checks must be renewed at least annually. For some volunteer positions, you may be required to pass a background check more frequently than that.
5. Do I have to provide my Social Security Number?
You can be a volunteer without providing your Social Security Number. However, the Online Background Check form does require it. If you want to be a volunteer but do not want to provide your Social Security Number, then please use the paper version of the Background Check form.
6. I don't know what campus to put on the form, what do I do?
If you aren't sure what campus to put on the form, please put "Partnerships". This is also a good idea for Student Teachers who are completing the form but who haven't received a campus assignment yet.
7. What if I want to volunteer at more than one campus?
You can list up to 4 campus names on your Background Check form (both the Online and the paper versions). You will be able to volunteer at more than 4 campuses, but the notification process will be a little more involved.
8. I'm having trouble filling out the online form, what can I do?
If you are having trouble completing the form, you may want to try a few things:
- Close the form, then re-open and try again. Even though the internet has been around a long time, experience tells us that sometimes things just get a little bit "off", and starting over solves the problem.
- Check your browser version. You should be using Internet Explorer version 5.0 or higher for best results. Updating an old browser version can help solve problems.
- Check the directions carefully, and make sure you are using the correct formats when you type in your information such as phone numbers, social security numbers, and so forth. Also be sure you complete all of the fields with an asterisk (*), those fields are required.
- Finally, if you still need help, please contact the Partnerships office at (210) 397-8598, or send an e-mail to Norma Rabago: firstname.lastname@example.org
9. What happens if I don't pass the Background Check?
If you fail to clear the Background Check, you will not be able to volunteer for some/all duties you applied for. Different volunteer positions have different requirements.
You will be notified by mail if you fail to clear the background check. At that point, you have several options for getting the issue resolved. Please contact the Partnerships office at (210) 397-8598 for details.
10. What kinds of things will disqualify me from being a volunteer?
Different volunteer positions have different requirements. Generally, the more serious the offense, and the more recent the offense, the more likely it is that you will not be able to serve as a volunteer.