Waltham, MA (PRWEB) September 18, 2012
Children and young adults gather up their new school supplies, dress in new clothes, and head out the door for another adventure in education. Teachers and administrations gear up for all the classroom activities and check off an extensive list of things-to-do.
Headlines over the last several weeks suggest they are:
- Background Checks Recommended For Coaches. (Shelbyville Times-Gazette, September 6, 2012, http://www.t-g.com/story/1891171.html)
- District Adds Screening Requirement For Some Volunteers. (ThisWeek Community News, September 5, 2012,
Background checks are generally accepted and relied upon in the business world as a tool utilized in the hiring process. Increasingly, volunteer groups utilize background checks for the same general reasons a business might: Risk Mitigation.
Risk is a component of business that most companies do not want to be overly involved with, specifically when it comes to employees and the safety of their workforce. The same holds true for organizations that utilizes volunteers, especially those involved with at-risk populations such as children.
As schools and school districts rely more and more on volunteers to assist in vital areas, the level and breadth of those background checked has increased. Paid employees such as teachers and administrative staff are background checked prior to employment, subsequently all volunteers involved in and or with similar activities as a teacher or administrator should be screened as well.
In Shelbyville, Ohio regulations over the use of background checks for Shelbyville youth sports team volunteers is under review.
The policy would require criminal background checks for anyone over 18 wishing to serve as a board member, head coach or any coach or referee who will be alone with players or responsible for a team during a game or practice.
It would apply to any youth sports leagues operating on city-owned or leased property, and the background screening would include Social Security verification, an address trace, a state-or county-wide criminal record check, a national criminal history database search and a check of the sex offender registry.
Most individuals would agree that background screening for coaches is a good thing, but a thing that is easier said than done. One concern is with the background screening reports becoming public record
. One must remember that documents drawn in a volunteer background check are public record. Another concern is with missing records and that is certainly valid. Records are lost, improperly filled out, filled incorrectly: Any number of issues regarding the validity and accuracy of a public record exist. Additionally, concerns exist about time spent and cost.
In Deerfield Beach, Florida frustrations have arisen in relation to volunteer background checks. A new regulation "...requires a national criminal background check
and automatically disqualifies anyone found guilty at any point in their lives of a violent felony or sex crime, and it means the city's little league teams are looking for sixteen new volunteers."
The phrase "at any point in their lives" is key.
Each state has its own interpretation of what can and cannot be used in certain areas of background screening. While most employers cannot go farther back than seven years (depending on state) for criminal convictions history checks, apparently Deerfield Beach can go back nearly 24-years for a conviction of a violent felony or sex crime.
The regulations go further:
Who should be screened and who should not?
With children back in school and often times away from the watchful eye of fully vetted and screened school personnel is critical that extra protections be put in place. The old adage, better safe than sorry, certainly plays well in these situations.
Volunteer background screening
for coaches can be challenging. Many districts struggle with the best approach. Others take a direct approach and volunteer background check all that come in contact with children, across the board.
As headlines such as these continue to appear on-line and in-print it is clear that background checks for coaches and campus volunteers are on the minds of many. In the end it is about protecting the children and volunteer background checks is one step closer to peace-of-mind.
If your school district or volunteer group needs assistance in setting up a volunteer background check program, one that operates within local, state, and federal regulations, contact CriminalBackgroundRecords.com. Their experience and industry knowledge will allow one to set up a program that is both cost effective and broad enough to fulfill any requirement.