Do We Really Need Background Checks?

“Do we really need to do background checks?

“We’re a small church.  We know everyone, so why screen children’s workers?”

“We can’t afford background checks.  Screening fees aren’t in the church budget.”

“We trust God to keep our church and our kids safe.”

“Background screening and secure check-in, check-out procedures are for mega-churches in urban settings.  We’re a small church in a rural area.  We don’t need any of that fancy stuff.”

Sound familiar?

If you’re in Children’s Ministry, child safety and security should be paramount.  It’s no place to scrimp, neglect, or cut corners.  In fact, the question may not be, “Can we afford annual, nationwide background checks/screening of all our C.M. workers?” but rather, “Can we afford not to?”

Why Screen?

Says Brotherhood Mutual:

Carefully screening people before allowing them to work in your ministry is an important investment in your ministry’s future. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. It’s one of the best ways of protecting your church from incidents of child sexual assault.
  2. It helps you avoid appointing staff or volunteers who might skim money from church accounts.
  3. It allows you to select drivers for church vehicles who have safe driving records.
  4. It’s a prudent step to take before allowing someone to become a leader in your ministry. Without it, you run the risk of having someone misrepresent his or her background.
  5. If you communicate that your ministry is committed to making itself a safe haven for children, screening could become a tool that attracts volunteers and new members.
  6. It also reduces your liability in court if you should accidentally hire someone who commits a crime, because it demonstrates that your ministry has taken reasonable care to safeguard its members.

Recommendations include mandatory, annual multi-state background checks  for everyone who works with minors in your church, both volunteer and paid staff.*

Background Screening FAQs (including Why, Who, and How)

Background Checks Are Paying Off.  Make sure background checks are nationwide, not just local or state.  Check with your lawyer and insurance company for specifics.

Additional screening resources.

Click here for Screen Now.

* Nothing in this post is intended nor should be construed as legal advice.  Be sure to consult your attorney and insurance carrier for specifics.

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