Defining Good Screening Practices is a Group Effort

By Lucia Bone
The Sue Weaver CAUSE
Consumer Awareness of Unsafe Service Employment

Have you ever wondered what the results might be if the background screening industry got together and determined ‘good screening practices’ for the in-home service Industry? The Sue Weaver CAUSE, Consumer Awareness of Unsafe Service Employment, is embarking on a bold strategy to determine these ‘good screening practices’ to increase consumer safety in their homes and we want you to be a part of this historic endeavor.

The Sue Weaver CAUSE – A Brief History

The Sue Weaver CAUSE, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, brings awareness and education to consumers and employers regarding the necessity of criminal background checks on all employees, contractors and subcontractors and the dangers of not knowing who you hire.

August 27, 2001, Sue Weaver was brutally raped and beaten to death by a twice convicted sex-offender hired to do service work in her home. Six months prior, Sue contracted with a major retailer, Burdines Department Store, to have her air ducts cleaned. Unbeknownst to Sue, the subcontractor sent two convicted felons into her home to do the service work. A single woman, home alone, two convicted felons…

Burdines did not conduct criminal background checks on its subcontractors. Had a criminal background check been done, Sue might still be alive today.

CAUSE Certification

The primary goal of CAUSE Certification is to increase the safety of consumers and vulnerable populations.

The second goal is to help businesses that provide in-home service with a program to better manage their risk, reduce their liability and prevent negligent hiring.

The third goal is to create a way that in-home service firms can build a competitive advantage by distinguishing themselves as a high quality service provider that has earned CAUSE Certification.

To achieve these goals, our first step is defining ‘good screening practices’ for CAUSE Certification. We are reaching out to experts in the pre-employment screening industry to complete a short survey at and clicking on Survey. Participants are asked to answer the questions according to the minimum screening criteria they would want performed on any worker entering the home of their elderly mother, their teenage niece home alone, their pregnant wife, their disabled friend, or their mentally challenged cousin and not by the services their company may provide.

CAUSE Certification is initially being designed and introduced for the in-home service industry. Home health care workers, volunteers, teachers and educational providers and others may later participate in CAUSE Certification.

The Benefits of CAUSE Certification

CAUSE Certification is a program that provides consumers a trusted resource for hiring service companies. Consumers valuing their family’s safety will hire CAUSE Certified Companies. The Sue Weaver CAUSE will educate consumers on hiring CAUSE Certified Companies and be a resource for background screening information, background screening companies, and CAUSE Certified Companies.

A CAUSE Certified Service Company will have a marketing advantage over its competition who is not CAUSE Certified by ensuring safer employees for their clients’ protection. In addition, they will be listed on the CAUSE website and be included in the CAUSE Certification marketing plan as CAUSE Certified Service Companies. CAUSE will work with major insurance companies to influence the reduction of liability premiums for CAUSE Certified Companies as their risks for claims should be reduced.

The background screening companies participating in CAUSE Certification will gain a marketing tool as well. They will be listed on the CAUSE website and included in the CAUSE marketing plan as a CAUSE Certified Background Screening Company. Screening companies participating in the CAUSE Certification program may also use the CAUSE Certification logo in their advertising. It’s a classic win-win for employers, background screening firms and most importantly for consumers who will be safer in their homes.

CAUSE Certification Background Screening Survey. What Makes Good Screening Practices?

With the help of some wonderful volunteers and experts in the pre-employment screening industry, the CAUSE Team was formed to help design and implement CAUSE Certification and to assist with our simple questions and the not so simple ones too. The first step in developing CAUSE Certification is defining the ‘good screening practices’ for those workers entering clients’ homes.

By donating less than five minutes of your time, you can become a vital part of determining the minimum screening standards for CAUSE Certification. If you have not already participated in the CAUSE Certification Background Screening Survey, please do so by visiting and click on Survey at your earliest convenience. Your answers will help educate employers, legislators and consumers on the best criminal background screening practices. To complete this short survey designed exclusively for screening professionals, go to

Participants may complete the survey anonymously; however, those individuals providing contact information may also opt to later receive a copy of the survey results. The ‘good background screening’ practices for CAUSE Certification and the results of the CAUSE Certification Background Screening Survey will be announced at the 2007 Pre-employment Screeners Conference, November 11-14, in Clearwater, Florida.

We greatly appreciate your support of this effort.

For more information about The Sue Weaver CAUSE, please visit or call 214-450-5812.



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