Conducting background checks for youth sports volunteers is an essential step toward ensuring the safety of children. The Ultimate Guide to Conducting Background Checks for Youth Sports Volunteers provides all the information you need to conduct effective background checks.
Why Conduct Background Checks for Youth Sports Volunteers?
The safety of children should always be a top priority in youth sports activities. Background checks help identify volunteers who may pose a risk to children’s safety. Here are some reasons why conducting background checks for youth sports volunteers is crucial:
- Protect children from abuse and neglect: Background checks help identify volunteers with a history of abuse, neglect, or violent behavior toward children.
- Avoid liability issues: Failing to conduct background checks can result in legal liability if a volunteer with a known history of abusive or criminal behavior harms a child.
- Promote trust and confidence: Conducting background checks helps promote trust and confidence among parents and guardians who entrust their children’s safety to the volunteers.
Types of Background Checks
There are several types of background checks that youth sports organizations can conduct to screen volunteers effectively; choosing the right package is crucial. JDP offers a variety of packages to fit your needs and ensure the safety of young athletes.
- Rookie Package: Includes Social Security Number Verification and JDP National Criminal Records Search.
- Pro Package: Includes Social Security Number Verification, JDP National Criminal Records Search, and JDP National Sex Offender Registry.
- All-Star Package: This package includes Social Security Number Verification, JDP National Criminal Records Search, JDP National Sex Offender Registry, and either a Statewide Repository Search or Single County Felony & Misdemeanor.
- Hall of Fame Package: This package includes Social Security Number Verification, JDP National Criminal Records Search, JDP National Sex Offender Registry, and a Felony & Misdemeanor – 7-Year History (given and developed counties and names).
Conducting Effective Background Checks
Effective background checks involve more than just running a few searches on online databases. Here are some tips to help you conduct effective background checks:
- Develop a screening policy: Develop a comprehensive screening policy outlining the types of checks you will conduct and the criteria for disqualifying volunteers.
- Obtain written consent: Obtain written consent from volunteers before conducting background checks. The consent form should include a clear explanation of the checks that will be conducted and how the information will be used.
- Use reliable screening partner: It’s important to choose a background screening partner that has experience in your industry, complies with relevant laws and regulations, and maintains high levels of accuracy and security.
- Review results carefully: Review the results of background checks carefully and thoroughly. Be cautious about disqualifying volunteers based on a single offense or conviction. Consider the nature of the offense, how long ago it occurred, and whether the volunteer has demonstrated rehabilitation and positive behavior since then.
- Re-screen volunteers periodically: Conduct periodic background checks to ensure that volunteers continue to meet your organization’s screening criteria.
FAQs about Conducting Background Checks for Youth Sports Volunteers
- Who should be screened?
- All volunteers working with children in youth sports should be screened, including coaches, referees, team managers, and other support staff.
- How often should you screen volunteers?
- It is recommended that volunteers undergo background screening on an annual basis. This ensures that any new criminal activity that may have occurred since the last screening is identified. While some organizations may conduct background checks less frequently, annual screenings are the best way to mitigate the risk of harm to the community and protect the organization’s reputation.
- How can I ensure the background checks are accurate and thorough?
- Hire a professional background check company, such as JDP, to conduct the checks. They will ensure that the checks comply with all applicable laws and regulations and are thorough and accurate.
Information provided here is for educational and informational purposes only and should not constitute as legal advice. We recommend you contact your own legal counsel for any questions regarding your specific practices and compliance with applicable laws.