Background Checks are a MUST- Why, Who, How Often
Contents of this Blog was provided by Insurance One
In today’s society it is the Churches obligation to take every step to help provide a safe environment for our kids. There are several different measures that every Church should take but it is imperative that every Church, no matter the size, conducts background checks. Here are some principles to consider:
Most Churches or Leaders understand a base level as to why background checks are important. However, in our work we still come across several that have failed to take this initial step. Here are three reasons to consider:
Protect the Kids- The purpose of conducting background checks is to protect children from child sexual abuse. Over the past twenty years, sexual abuse has been one of the top reasons why churches and ministries are being sued so conducting a background check is an essential so that you won’t allow someone with a criminal record to volunteer.
Protect the Ministry- While protecting children is the paramount reason, let’s not overlook the negative impact a sexual allegation or incident could have on your ministry. Conducting background checks will help protect your ministry.
Protect the Church’s Integrity-Those who seek access to children will often follow the path of least resistance, so conducting background checks, along with other processes, will discourage those with ill intent. Failure to do nothing places the Church at some level of risk since proper steps were not taken.
Who and How Often
Another consideration is who should have backgrounds and how often should they be done.
We recommend that anyone who serves with infants, children, or youth. In addition, it is important to run background checks on each of your employees (including those not working with kids) or anyone who has access to children on a regular basis. This should be in relation to any person that holds a position of authority in the congregation. Included in that list are those who may assist in special events such as Sports Camps, Vacation Bible School, Summer Camps…etc.
Then we recommend that background checks be done and verified every two years (VisionBridge Recommendation). However, it is typically up to the Leadership in the Church. If you have an extensive hiring process that includes thorough reference checking, interviews, and screening, you may want to run them every five years. If you are not checking references and doing a complete screening process, you might want to run them every two years.
See the full article about Background Checks from Insurance One HERE