Hundreds of lawsuits against the clergy have been filed since.
These lawsuits shine a light on why background checks—along with careful oversight of employees or volunteers who work one-on-one with minors—are so crucial for religious organizations. With more locales putting a spotlight on housing availability and the way that landlords operate, new rules and regulations are increasingly common. For landlords, it's a concerning change in operations.
A Guide to Managing Your Church’s Volunteer Background Checks
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You would like to trust that everyone working with your organization has a sincere desire to help others. For most people that is true. New headlines of abuse pop up every day, so it is more important than ever to really know who is volunteering and working in your nonprofit. With proper screening, you can ensure that everyone involved in your organization is safe. But some insurance carriers will deny coverage unless churches repeat background checks every 12 months.
Most churches will restart the process. Will you make each staff member and volunteer go through the background check process before they can serve or only those who will be working with children and financial information? Because many duties will overlap, enforcing background checks for everyone involved in ministry is the recommended practice.
You might get some pushback, so help them understand the importance of these policies. Create a process for handling results and respect the privacy of your church community. Keep hard copies in a locked file and digital records secured with a password. Limit the number of people who handle this sensitive information. Make a plan for dealing with any unfavorable issues that come up from background check results.
You may have to ask people to volunteer with another ministry because of a checkered past. Handle these situations delicately.
How Do You Run Church Background Checks?
Consider companies like SecureSearch that understand the unique needs of your church. Keep in mind that some information also varies by state. Develop a policy for background checks and stick to it. Integrate background checks with your church management software to save a few steps and run automated reports. Check out these other resources on background checks and making your church a safe environment:.
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