Conducting thorough background checks on potential employees and volunteers is an important part of protecting your ministry.
Conducting thorough background checks on potential employees and volunteers is an important part of protecting your ministry’s people and its financial assets. While you cannot rely on a background check alone to ensure the safety of those you serve, when used in conjunction with other safety and risk management procedures, your ministry will be a safer place.
All people involved in your ministry, both paid and volunteer, should be screened. Carefully screening people before allowing them to work in your ministry is one of the best ways to protect young people and other vulnerable individuals from harm.
Choose a reputable background screening provider who provides comprehensive services. Some questions to take into consideration while doing your research include:
The type of background check you choose for a particular employee or volunteer will depend upon their role in your ministry. Certain positions, like those that involve children or finances, may require more scrutiny than others. Choose a background screening provider that offers different screening options, to make it easier for your ministry to customize your screening program based on your unique needs.
Most states have public sex offender registries that can be valuable tools for evaluating a suspicious person. However, sex offender registries include only individuals convicted of specific sexual offenses. There are a number of criminal offenses that may not result in someone being placed on a registry, but those other convictions may disqualify the individual just the same. There is no substitute for obtaining a thorough background check from a reputable provider.
Yes. Federal law requires that job candidates and volunteers give written permission before a background check can be conducted. Your background screening provider should be able to provide you with the appropriate forms. You’ll need to ask your candidate to fill in the relevant information and sign the form. Then you can submit it to your screening provider for processing.
Safe Hiring Solutions, a background screening firm, offers sample forms that can be opened in Microsoft Word and customized with your ministry’s information. Download the forms from their website.
Yes. Most screening services provide this option. The service's customer service representatives will explain the process and send you the necessary forms. You should be able to order driving records independently of other screening options.
Reducing the Risk Kit. Brotherhood Mutual also offers the Reducing the Risk Kit, 3rd Edition, an excellent resource to help your church reduce the risk of sexual abuse. Published by Christianity Today International, this kit provides a turnkey solution to training and implementing a child sex abuse prevention program.
Guidelines for Ministry Workers. This sample policy manual includes screening forms for workers with children and youth, response forms for personal references, and reporting forms to be filled out if someone is injured during an activity on your premises or sponsored by your ministry. Learn more about this free resource.
Updated September 2020
The information provided in this article is intended to be helpful, but it does not constitute legal advice and is not a substitute for the advice from a licensed attorney in your area. We strongly encourage you to regularly consult with a local attorney as part of your risk management program.
Thank you for your interest in Brotherhood Mutual. We appreciate the opportunity to provide your church or other ministry with an insurance quote and will reply to your request as soon as possible.
Text to follow...