Some local lawmakers want to make that a law, though many parents thought this was already being done.
Show of hands if you just assumed that local summer camps conducted background checks on camp counselors. You would not be alone.
Two Palm Beach County lawmakers are introducing bills in the state legislature that will require all summer camp programs to be licensed by the state and mandate criminal background checks for counselors.
State Representative Mark Pafford, a Democrat from West Palm Beach, claims he was moved by news stories about how sexual predators find employment in summer camps or even start their own camps. He then discovered that there is in fact no state law requiring these camps to conduct background checks.
Meanwhile, some camps that do conduct background checks, only checked the Florida database, thus allowing people with history of criminal activity in other states to work or volunteer at those camps.
Pafford's House Bill 591 "Regulation of Summer Camps" would make DCF repsonsible for licensing the camps and performing inspections to ensure that thorough background checks are being done. Fellow Democrat, Senator Jeff Clemens is sponsoring a similar bill in his chamber.
The Palm Beach Post reports that efforts to regulate these businesses and organizations in the past have fallen flat in Tallahassee.