Be Clear About Background Check Policy to Ease Parents Fears

Chances are if your business or organization deals with children, you’ve taken steps to ensure their safety through the use of background checks on every teacher, coach, minister, volunteer and staff member that comes in contact with youth. If so, good for you! But are you doing an adequate job of conveying to parents and guardians all the hard work you’ve done checking into people’s pasts?

As the school year starts and fall sports start revving up, don’t make it difficult for parents to find the information that’s on all their minds: Will my child be safe in your hands? Be sure to clearly state your background check policy on a letter, handbook or whatever material goes out to all parents at the beginning of your school year or program. Be specific, too. Don’t merely include a line about how staff and volunteers undergo background checks: Tell them exactly what is checked. Does your background check include a look at national and state sexual offender registries? What about criminal records? Does the report include just felony convictions in a certain number of years, or does it include every misdemeanor and conviction dating 10 years, or more?

The more specific you are, and the more clearly stated your background check policy is, the happier and more secure parents will feel trusting their children with you. Plus, such a strongly worded, clearly stated background check policy is a clear sign to would-be offenders that they’ll never get past your security gates, so they may as well not even try.

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Kristina Taylor
In 1989, Kristina began her career as a customer service representative at the newly formed American Tenant Screen, Inc. Ten years later, she pioneered tenant background screening on the Internet. As a long-standing member of the National Multifamily Resident Information Council (formerly the National Association of Screening Agencies) Kristina gains insight into the trends of the tenant screening industry to better understand the current and future needs of their clients.

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