ACA Position on Criminal Background Checks

The American Camp Association (ACA) is committed to the physical and emotional safety of children and youth. This commitment is reflected in the education, training, publications, and camp standards that ACA provides. ACA believes that camps should utilize multifaceted screening and hiring programs and support practices appropriate to the clientele, staffing, supervision, and program consideration of each camp. An important aspect of any screening program is biometric-based* criminal background checks for all staff and volunteers with access to children, youth, or vulnerable adults. In order for camps to implement effective biometric-based criminal background checks, a reliable federal program must be in place. ACA supports the establishment of a comprehensive federal biometric-based criminal background checking system that is reasonable in cost, timely in response, uniform in availability to camps across the country regardless of sponsorship, and consistent in the information provided according to identical pre-determined indicators of potentially harmful behavior. 

Advocacy and Federal Legislation

ACA Accreditation Mandatory Standard

The American Camp Association (ACA) is committed to the protection of children and youth. ACA believes that a criminal background check is a critical element in any staff/volunteer screening process. Therefore, the performance of criminal background checks is mandatory for all ACA-Accredited camps.