The Basics of Background Checks
In nearly a full decade of serving area churches, non-profit organizations and private Christian schools, we at Beacon Insurance Agency of Pace, Inc., have become a trusted resource for far more than just writing insurance policies. We know the importance of creating a safe environment. We have teamed up with GuideOne Insurance to offer our clients the tools they need and to provide them with peace of mind. At Beacon, that peace of mind is something we strive to help our clients find, and it is emblematic of our mission to light their way.
For more than 40 years, GuideOne has been an expert on the safety needs of churches, non-profits and private Christian schools. In our work with GuideOne, Beacon is uniquely able to offer access to the Check & Protect program and conduct affordable background checks of all prospective employees and volunteers.
Checking Out with Background Checks
Written permission must be obtained from each individual undergoing a background check in order to maintain legalities, but these background checks are not something to be considered a mere hassle or an unnecessary expense. Children are extremely vulnerable to criminal behavior. Running a background check may mean all the difference in preventing a lifetime of emotional or physical devastation to the victims as well as financial and legal destruction of the organization entrusted with their care.
We recommend that each organization require background checks to be conducted on every employee and volunteer who works with or has contact with children or youth. These background checks protect the innocent and help preserve the organization’s mission and ministry. The Check & Protect program provides access to a number of different checks, including multi-state and state criminal, state sexual offender, employment and motor vehicle checks.
Wisdom for Hiring
Upon completion of the background check, the results should then be reviewed to decide whether the applicant in question should be hired or allowed to volunteer. If offenses are on record, those offenses should be carefully considered before a decision is made. In dealing with children, certain offenses should be seriously taken into consideration, including:
- Failure to disclose any criminal history including actual convictions as well as delayed sentencing
- Probation for a crime, whether that probationary period is currently being served or has been fulfilled
- Pending charges, even if the charges have not yet been taken before the court
- Adjudicated cases for offenses such as:
- Aggravated assault
- Alcohol or drug offenses
- Any other crimes directly opposing the mission of the organization
- Assault with a deadly weapon
- Child endangerment
- Criminal homicide
- Felonies associated with prostitution, the commission of obscene acts, or participation in other sexual performances
- Indecent assault
- Indecent exposure
- Injuring the welfare of a child
- Involuntary deviate intercourse
- Offenses involving the corruption of minors such as child prostitution and child pornography
- Rape, including statutory rape
- Sexual abuse of a minor
- Sexual assault, including statutory assault
- Unlawful restraint
- Violent crimes
To make the wisest decision, checking with the local school district or other organizations regarding their own policies may be helpful. The hiring process is naturally at the discretion of the organization, but it should never be completed until all facts have been disclosed. Confidentiality of all information should be maintained within the boundaries of the selection committee or those individuals in charge of hiring. All background checks and records are to be kept confidential in the applicant’s personnel file.
Background checks are invaluable in maintaining a child’s innocence and protecting your organization from damaging publicity or lawsuits that will result from crime. At Beacon, we believe background checks are foundational in creating a safe environment for children and preserving their childhood.
Call Beacon Insurance Agency of Pace, Inc., to learn more about GuideOne and the safety programs we offer today!