Many parents would probably be shocked to know that numerous organizations that hire volunteers to work with kids have no formal rules regarding background screening of volunteers or team members. Several will cite “the cost” as an excuse; others will say it’s not necessary because they “know” the people well enough. That means that mentors, tutors, coaches and other staff are not properly investigated before they are brought on board.
It’s a scary thought, isn’t it?
This is the reason that it’s absolutely critical for moms, dads and grandparents to begin asking the question: “Do you background screen your volunteers and/or employees?”
If the answer is “yes”, you can inquire further as to what kind of investigation is conducted — do they look into criminal backgrounds or merely do a credit check? Are employees and volunteers randomly tested after they are brought into the organization? Don’t be intimidated if the organization’s representatives balk at your query. It’s your right to know who is working with your kids.
Of course, if the answer you receive is “no”, you will be in a position to make a serious decision. Obviously, we recommend never allowing your son or daughter to be alone with a volunteer or employee who has not been background checked. There have been far too many news stories of terrible incidents happening when adults take advantage of unsuspecting youngsters.
It takes very little time to make an inquiry. Make sure it’s something you do without fail, as you’ll never regret the knowledge you obtain.
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