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Background Checks for Volunteers: An Ongoing Debate; Opines CriminalBackgroundRecords.com


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July 10, 2019 Return to News & Events

Background Checks for Volunteers: An Ongoing Debate; Opines CriminalBackgroundRecords.com

As summer continues to heat up the need for volunteers will begin to peak and as many volunteers work with at-risk populations, such as the elderly and youth 13 years old and under, the need for background screening should be absolute. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of CriminalBackgroundRecords.com states: "A background check should be utilized in vetting volunteers and should be considered a best practice in decreasing risk, as well as protecting at-risk populations."

Every summer thousands of volunteers are required across a broad spectrum of activities. From summer sports to sleep over camp and hundreds of other places, volunteers interact with at risk populations daily and, subsequently, should be thoroughly vetted. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of CriminalBackgroundRecords.com states: "Background checks on volunteers should be a critical part of the vetting process and considered a best practice for volunteer organizations."

And yet volunteer checks are often questioned as either unnecessary or too expensive.

Almeida states: "Background checks are an important tool in risk mitigation and protecting at-risk populations should be a number one priority."

From an op-ed article posted to the Richmond-DailyNews.com (Jun 06, 19) and discussing the pros and cons of volunteer background screening:

The idea is a mixed bag. In some cases, potential volunteers may not like the hassle of government intrusion into their lives, with the result being that some otherwise decent volunteers may not bother. But there are also the rare cases where a background check might reveal a person has an unsavory history that disqualifies that person from being around children. Overall, erring on the side of caution – particularly when considering child safety – suggests background checks may turn away a few good people, but losing them is preferable to giving a pass to even one pedophile. (1)

Those against volunteer background checks have made themselves heard.

From mySanAntonio.com (Jul 02, 19):

“Putting up new roadblocks to dissuade the general public from wanting to apply to serve their community would be unwarranted,” Allen said, calling the checks “a slippery slope” that the city should avoid.

“This is opening Pandora’s box. Where do we draw the line as to what kinds of crimes or records would disqualify a commissioner from being appointed?” he said. “Who would be the judge, jury and executioner in regard to making decisions about what disqualifies an applicant from serving on our boards?”

Councilman Tim Woliver countered, saying he views the checks “as a means of public safety” and as “a bit of an insurance policy” that could protect the city in the future. (2)

Almeida adds: "The argument is on-going, but as stated previously, a background check can weed out potentially malicious individuals and a best practice should remain to conduct the most thorough background check possible in order to protect at-risk populations.

CriminalBackgroundRecords.com is a third-party background screening company, member in good standing with the NAPBS and advocate of SHRM that can provide compliant solutions for all screening requirements. From pre-employment to post-hire screening, as well as volunteer, caregiver and nanny checks, CriminalBackgroundRecords.com provides background screening services across a broad array of industries. From the smallest organization to the largest corporation, CriminalBackgroundRecords.com can fulfill every background screening requirement.

Notes:

  1. richmond-dailynews.com/opinion/gov-should-require-checks-on-volunteers/article_3a0a6312-8891-11e9-985f-d395ca0ace8a.html
  2. mysanantonio.com/news/local/communities/northeast/article/Cibolo-considers-new-policy-for-background-checks-14065051.php

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