Protect My Ministry reaches out to hundreds of churches every week and in that process we hear stories from churches of every denomination, tradition, and philosophy. The most common truth about volunteer background screening we encounter is this: churches often do not know exactly what they are getting when they do a background check on their volunteers.
Over the next few weeks, Protect My Ministry will take time to reveal several misconceptions churches have about background checks and what we do to address these issues. Here are a few of the most common myths regarding background checks followed by the facts:
Myth # 1 – “Background checks are all the same, so why does it matter who we use?”
Fact – There are several ways to do background checks and there are hundreds of background screening companies out there for a reason; and they are not all created equally. Here are a few questions you should be asking: Am I getting felony as well as misdemeanors or just felonies? What exactly is being searched for when I run this background check? Doesn’t a national search mean I am getting all 50 states? The answers to these questions are extremely important as you develop your child safety procedures.
Myth #2 – “I am getting my checks for free from the police station (or a member of our church is a police officer and runs them for us), so I’m covered.”
Fact – While the price may be right chances are you don’t realize what is being checked and what is not. Most people just assume everything is. The truth is most police checks are searching only the state you are in and does not include criminal information outside of your state. The only exception to that is if they are checking the NCIC (the FBI database) and if you are getting that for free the person doing that for you is almost certainly doing that illegally.
For more information on our recommendations please visit our Volunteer Screening page.