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Frequently Asked Questions Specific to Summer Camps

    What constitutes a summer camp?

    "Summer day camps" and "Summer 24-hour camps" are defined in Section 409.175 F.S. "Summer day camps" are recreational, educational, and other enrichment programs operated during summer vacations for children who are 5 years of age on or before September 1 and older. "Summer 24-hour camps" are recreational, educational, and other enrichment programs operated on a 24-hour basis during summer vacations for children who are 5 years of age on or before September 1 and older, that are not exclusively educational.

    Requirements for athletic coaches are found in Section 943.0438 F.S. Background screening for paid or volunteer athletic coaches are not screened through the Department of Children and Families, they are screened using the Volunteer and Employee Criminal History System (VECHS) through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). Enforcement of requirements for athletic coaches would be the independent sanctioning authority.

    Who has to be screened?

    Personnel for the purposes of screening for summer day camps and summer 24-hour camps includes owners, operators, employees, and volunteers working in summer day camps and summer 24-hour camps providing care for children. Volunteers who assist on an intermittent basis for less than 10 hours per month do not need to be screened if a person who meets the screening requirement is always present and has the volunteer in his or her line of sight.

    When do employees or volunteers have to be screened?

    An employer may not hire, select, or otherwise allow an employee or volunteer (when required) to have contact with any vulnerable person that would place the employee in a role that requires the background screening.

    How are international counselors background screened?

    They must complete a Level 2 Background Screening upon arriving in Florida. Although not required by law, a background check from their home country should be requested. Most organizations that assist with identifying international counselors do provide a background check.

    Are employees or volunteers under the age of 18 required to be fingerprinted?

    Yes. There are no exclusions under the statute for those under age 18 from being fingerprinted.

    Are volunteer athletic coaches screened under this law?

    No. Background screening for volunteer athletic coaches is authorized under s. 943.0438 F.S. through the Volunteer and Employee Criminal History System.

    Is there any limit on how far in advance you can screen?

    No more than 60 days before beginning of employment.

    How often do they have to be screened?

    Section 409.1757 F.S. outlines when persons are not required to be re-fingerprinted or rescreened.

    If an employee or applicant has been fingerprinted or screened as required in chapter 393, 394, 397, 402, and 409, teachers pursuant to chapter 1012 and law enforcement officers who meet the requirements of s. 943.13, who have not been unemployed for more than 90 days and attest to the completion of the fingerprinting and compliance with the standards related to good moral character.

    What are ORI and OCA numbers? What is the process to get an agency ORI Code and OCA Code and how long does that take?

    The ORI number (Originating Agency Identifier). This number is provided by FDLE and identifies the agency requesting the criminal history check and for what purpose.

    The OCA (Controlling Agency Identifier). This number is provided by the Department and identifies the provider requesting the background check.

    Without the ORI number and the OCA number, FDLE cannot process the request and the Department will not know where the screening results are to be sent.

    The Department will need the following:


    Physical Address
    Mailing Address
    Valid E-mail
    Contact Person (Owner/Operator)
    Contact Person Phone Number

    This information can be sent to the following email address: @email.

    Upon registration, you will be provided with a Department of Children and Families Agency Identifier (ORI) and a Live Scan OCA through email.

    What if we have already done the VECHS check – is this sufficient?

    No. The Department is responsible for ensuring persons working in summer camps meet the requirements for background screening. Therefore, a new level 2 screening is required.

    Where do the records need to be kept? Is it the same for the Affidavit of Good Moral Character?

    The results from the background screening and the Affidavit of Good Moral Character should be maintained in your personnel files, and available for inspection by the Department.

    Is all necessary information collected with the fingerprint, or are there other forms that have to be completed and retained by us, or returned to the Department?

    For completion of the Level 2 Background Screening, the information provided to the Live Scan Vendor is sufficient. Additional information from the applicant may be required if a criminal history is noted.

    When does a summer camp have to be licensed by the Department of Children and Families?

    Summer camps are not licensed by the Department. However, Child Care programs are licensed under chapter 402 F.S.