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It’s 2016! Have You Conducted Your Church Volunteer Background Screening Yet?

 “What can employers find out about me during a background check?”

That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? If it weren’t, that phrase wouldn’t be Googled so often. But when you type that in, you’re assaulted with a barrage of fear-mongering articles like this one from CNNMoney. It scares the daylights out of anyone who hasn’t gone through a background check before.

Here’s some highlights:

• “But once they start digging, they can find out everything from whether you have a penchant for drinking and driving to whether you have a hard time paying your bills on time.”

• “Screeners and employment law experts both note, however, that the FBI fingerprint database used to check your criminal record is neither complete nor always accurate.”

• “Employers looking to hire a C-suite candidate, meanwhile, may do a deeper search in court records, social media and news reports to ensure that he or she isn’t embroiled in some nasty divorce, lawsuit or anything else that might attract negative publicity.”

There is always going to be misconceptions and alarming reporting about the screening industry. Background checks deal with sensitive, personal information and that freaks folks out. How can job candidates and volunteers be sure the company they’re applying to work for uses a reputable screening agency (sometimes referred to a Consumer Reporting Agency or CRA) to conduct background checks?

But articles like the one mentioned above do an even greater disservice to the numerous ministries, non-profit agencies, civic organizations, educational institutions and art and sporting leagues that rely on volunteers. Why? Because it’s becoming standard operating procedure for all of these organizations to screen their volunteers, and if background checks continue to get a bad or creepy rap, people who’d otherwise want to volunteer might shy away from the process.

Churches and religious institutions are especially vulnerable to problems with volunteerism because much of their outreach is based on volunteer participation. Vacation Bible Schools, youth groups, homeschooling collectives and mission trips are all heavily backed by volunteers. If these volunteers doubt the credibility of a background check, or become doubtful about their data remaining secure, you can bet more of them will bow out of activities. This puts congregations and their much-needed programs at risk.

The real reason most organizations require background checks of their employees and/or volunteers is to keep their workplace safe. They want their employees to be safe inside their brick and mortar buildings, and they want the data, money and other sensitive information that’s associated with their business to remain safe, too. Churches, like youth sports leagues, have another huge responsibility, too – keeping children safe.

So let’s take a look at how Protect My Ministry ensures that volunteers’ screening information is treated privately and fairly for everyone.

Protect My Ministry’s volunteer screening solutions meet industry Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) compliance standards. All of the records gathered are re-verified for accuracy. We treat volunteer background checks the same as we do employee background checks. That means the federal, state and local laws that exist to protect employees during the hiring process also protect any volunteers undergoing the same process.

Ministry Mobilizer, a volunteer-specific screening platform, is designed to exclusively meet the needs of volunteer-based organizations by providing an effective and cost-efficient all-in-one paperless screening solution. Ministry Mobilizer also fully integrates a secure sign-on process to your current website, and offers additional child protection training. You can learn more about Ministry Mobilizer here.

Since criminal background check options vary by state, Protect My Ministry offers a free consultation service that helps volunteer-based organizations conduct background checks more efficiently. We also have a series of free background screening videos to help you better understand the process of background checks and teach you best practices in approaching this delicate topic with your volunteers and staff. Using Protect My Ministry’s industry leading tools can help you streamline the process of implementing a child safety training program in your organization.

We’ve also created a four-tier bundle pricing system to help you choose which solution is right for you. Click here to see all of our options.

We understand that this is a lot to take in. And, if you’re like most volunteer-based organizations, your time is precious. Don’t become confused by scare-tactic articles. Head straight to the source. Our experts are standing by to talk with you. Call 1-800-319-5581 now.