Jenny Thompson first realized something was wrong with her dog sitter, Sarah, when she arrived home from a trip. Apparently, Sarah never showed up for her duties during Thompson’s absence. Though Thompson had met Sarah several times before leaving the dogs in her care and felt she’d done her due diligence in vetting Sarah, she still ended up in a dangerous situation. The experience left Thompson shaken and ultimately led her to the idea for SafetyPIN Technologies.
How SafetyPIN Technologies Work
SafetyPIN screens prospective house sitters, dog watchers and caregivers for a variety of red flags and issues. Unlike similar services, SafetyPIN goes beyond criminal background checks (something Thompson points out isn’t updated in real-time), and screens for things that don’t typically show up in traditional searches.
The application process takes 5-7 minutes to complete, and runs a detailed criminal and financial history, verifies identification, and has applicants fill out a questionnaire scored through a proprietary behavioral algorithm. Results can be available in as little as 24-hours in some states.
Once an applicant earns their SafetyPIN (a number that allows the holder to access their clearances), they can share it with potential employers who can then login and verify that the account holder has passed their screenings.
Why it Works
There are plenty of similar services online, but Thompson says SafetyPIN takes an extra step when screening for behavioral indicators that an applicant is likely to put others at risk. “It’s important to note this is based on their own answers to the questions…not a social media score or anything like that,” she tells Parentology. Also, SafetyPIN gives applicants the opportunity to file for an appeal if they are denied for any reason.
“For a criminal or financial appeal, we ask for details of the circumstances, outcome, etc. with documentation,” Thompson says. “We always default to safety so if we aren’t sure, we will decline and let them appeal.” SafteyPIN hires attorneys, law students and law enforcement experts to help review certain appeals.
SafetyPIN Isn’t Just for Parents
Although parents can use the service to screen for babysitters and nannies, Thompson says others looking to hire in-home workers can benefit from a SafetyPIN search, as well. Among them: adult children of elderly parents, someone in need of a home repair expert, rent situations in line with Airbnbs, even parents looking to hire personal tutors or coaches.
Beware of Having a False Sense of Security
Thompson warns parents against letting any background check give them a false sense of security. Just because the caregiver they chose didn’t have anything come up in their screening doesn’t mean they’re “safe.”
Thompson says criminal background checks, especially those performed via online platforms, can be inadequate, incomplete or inconsistent. Meaning parents should always trust their gut, and keep a watchful eye, especially when it comes to anyone they hire to have direct contact with their children.
SafetyPIN Technologies – Sources:
Jenny Thompson, Founder and CEO of SafetyPIN Technologies