Volunteer Screening – Resources to Help Keep Your Kids Safe

It’s imperative that any group, organization or agency who caters to youngsters and who relies on volunteers, runs a thorough screening procedure that includes background checks on those volunteers. Knowing where to turn for information on this complex topic, though, can leave you with more questions than answers.

  • How do you find a good screening agency?
  • Do you need to work with one who has experience screening volunteers?
  • Am I required by law to screen my volunteers?
  • How much money will you need to allocate to this?
  • Does everyone really need to be screened?
  • Where can I turn for more information?

Luckily, we have the answers to a lot of these questions. Let’s dive in.

How do I find a good screening agency? Do I need to work with one who has experience screening volunteers? You might think a simple Google search would turn up the results that you need. Yes, you will get a healthy dose of screening agencies, but not all screening agencies are created equal. We recommend finding an agency who is accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS). These screening agencies have gone through a rigorous approval process to earn this seal of approval and must have an impeccable track record in customer service, correct information, and tight turnaround time. Active Screening recently earned its accreditation by NAPBS. Also, do some research on your own to find out if any NAPBS-accredited agencies specialize in youth organization volunteer screening. Active Screening has customizable programs that can suit church groups, youth sports programs, non-profits, and virtually any other organization that relies on volunteers. Check out our online consultation service to see how we can help you.

Am I required by law to screen my volunteers? Does everyone really need to be screened? Forty-nine states and the District of Columbia require background checks for anyone working in contact with children, but not all of these states mandate comprehensive background checks. One of the most important parts of a comprehensive background check is the criminal history check which should include a Social Security Number and name verification, sex offender registry search, national criminal database check, a county or statewide criminal search. Still, there isn’t a standard screening protocol that organizations adhere to, reports the National Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS). Nonetheless, NAYS says “the vast majority of public entities (park and recreation agencies) are doing some form of background checks on their volunteers.” So the lesson here is it’s better to be safe than sorry, regardless if there is a law or not. After all, it’s our children that we’re trying to protect.

How much money will I need to allocate to this? Background checks are affordable. Because there are so many solutions that can be tailored to your needs, you will find a package that is cost-effective. Or, you can go this route. But we urge you to consider the damage that would be done to a child if he/she were victimized, your reputation ruined, and you find yourself embroiled in a costly lawsuit. Pay for the background checks. It will protect our children and protect your reputation.

Where can I turn for more information? There are so many valuable resources available online to turn to learn more about background checks for youth organizations. Here’s a list of our favorites:

National Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS) – a non-profit advocacy group promoting safe sports for kids

Protect Youth Sports – a leading background screening agency serving youth serving organizations

Darkness to Light – national organization working to end child sexual abuse

USA Football – official youth football development partner of the NFL

National Council of Youth Sports – advocacy group devoted to protecting kids in sports

Still have questions? We have answers. Give us a call or email us today.

This entry was posted in Background Screening, General, Human Resources, Industry Solutions, News, References & Credentialing and tagged , , , , , , , , by Patricia Carlson. Bookmark the permalink.

Patricia Carlson is a content writer who specializes in B2C and B2B inbound marketing. She blogs regularly for clients about the background screening and finance industries, and generates newsletters, white papers and email campaigns for a variety of businesses. Patricia also produces a heavy rotation of editorial material for home design, law enforcement, and family magazines. She’s been writing professionally for more than a dozen years, and for Active Screening for more than two of those. Check out LinkedIn for a roster of Patricia's clients and links to published works. When she’s not interviewing sources or researching trends, she’s living a fast-paced Florida life questioning the antics of her two young children, partner and mischievous cat. Patricia loves to talk tennis and TV on Twitter - give her a shout @pattycfreelance.
Active ScreeningBarbara S.
Healthcare Industry

"Here at Holland Hospital, we have been extremely pleased with Active Screening. The report results come back quickly, usually within 24 hours or less.  The staff at Active Screening is easy accessible, knowledgeable and responds to our questions promptly."

Active ScreeningLynn C. Staffing Industry

"Benton Mobley has been and remains my Main point of contact at Active Screening from the beginning; so aside from the comfort of dealing with the same person all these years, there is the most important fact of all;  customer satisfaction. Benton knows the business like the back of his hand; and that is what we need in our fast paced industry of staffing. He is the all-time BEST!  MY employer, Leslie, believes in the notion that great service deserves to be rewarded, so we are here for the duration.We get immediate and personalized attention for any and all concerns we need addressed, and in the staffing industry, this is vital."

Active ScreeningCayce R. Education Industry

"My experience working with Active Screening for our background check process has been very positive.  The reports are almost always completed in a very timely fashion. The information reported appears to be very thorough and accurate.  On the rare occasions that we have questions or problems, the customer service team is always very quick to respond and resolve the issue.  Overall, I am very pleased with the service I receive from Active Screening."

Active ScreeningCraig H. Staffing Industry

"Your customer service is excellent.  The turn around time on background checks is quite fast.  Excellent work.  I haven't had a single problem."

Active ScreeningJackie C. Education Industry

"I wanted to thank you and your staff for being so patient and working so diligently with the Human Resources staff during our recent endeavor to process all of our work study students through background screenings.  We have never had to process so many requests within such a short period of time before, but thanks to you and your staff we made it. Again thank you, we made a good choice in selecting Active Screening."

Active ScreeningLindsey W.  Financial Industry

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Active ScreeningYulesis D.  Staffing Industry

“Interactive Response Technologies (IRT) has more than 2,000 employees at multiple locations across the United States. IRT has been using Active Screening to conduct criminal background checks since 2006. During this time, Active Screening has consistently returned accurate reports, usually with less than 48 hours turnaround. If there are any problems or inconsistencies with the reports, their staff has called to notify us so that we can attempt to rectify the situation. The staff at Active Screening is always courteous and congenial over the phone. In our opinion, Active Screening is outstanding.”

Active ScreeningAndy N. Software Provider

 "Active Screening has helped us screen our applicants in record time for more than two years.... we are very impressed with the professionalism and speed with which their service team responds to our questions. They understand our needs and are a pleasure to work with. I highly recommend them."

Active ScreeningCassie J. Staffing Industry

"The Active Screening team is very informative; they provided a complete consultation on all the services, so I understood what I needed, and saved me hours and hours of my time learning the various services. Their reputation, as being on the cutting edge of employment screening best practices, certainly held true in this instance. The expertise they brought to the table was invaluable to our understanding of our applicants backgrounds. I highly recommend Active Screening to anyone with the task of screening large numbers of applicants and needing reliable customer support."

Active Screening

With over 20 years of law enforcement experience I can attest to the fact that the strongest predictor of future criminal behavior is a person’s criminal history. As the manager of campus safety at my church, I depend on Active Screening to provide a thorough assessment of every criminal history background check we request. For more than 3 years, Active Screening has been faithful to this task with timely, accurate and reliable service.

Active Screening

We have benefited from knowing that we are not exposing the communities we work with or ourselves to unnecessary risk. We continue to have a perfect record in that we have never had a serious incident with a trip participant causing harm or acting inappropriately with any community member or fellow team member- thank goodness!

Active Screening

I would highly recommend any association or organization who conducts background checks to use Active Screening. In addition to my involvement with WAHA, I am an officer in a corporation with over 500 employees who provide treatment, mental health, and correctional services for children and adolescents. Our company is mandated by law to do comprehensive background searches and I can say with the utmost sincerity that Active Screening product rivals that of any government or other private sector process.

Active Screening

We have used Active Screening and their solution VERITY to screen all our coaches and volunteers working with youth. The online system gives us an easy and cost-effective solution to collecting forms and payments from our applicants...and we simply login to view the results of who passed or failed. It's so easy....thank you Active Screening.