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Picture this: Your organization has found its new normal post-pandemic, attendance is rising, volunteers are offering support, and overall operations are smoothing out. Then, suddenly, your organization is hit with a lawsuit for not following proper protocols when allowing volunteers to work with children. Regardless of your organization’s size, one must establish a screening process. This incredibly effective risk management tool will help prevent unnecessary and costly litigation. Furthermore, screening volunteers will allow your organization to protect what matters most: your people.
Types of Risks:
There are four risks that organizations need to be aware of during the onboarding process. A thorough screening process will identify those risks and disqualify individuals who may cause harm:
- Physical harm: Physical or sexual assault, lack of proper judgment resulting in injury.
- Emotional harm: Sexual harassment, derogatory remarks, and discrimination.
- Theft or damage to property: theft of money, reckless behavior leading to property destruction.
- Violations of privacy: Discussing confidential information without permission.
The use of drugs and alcohol may also cause volunteers to inflict harm. Therefore, the screening process should also address substance abuse issues.
A good rule when developing screening guidelines is to tailor said approaches to your organization’s culture and keep the process the same for all applicants.
Before individual screenings:
- Create a description for the position and evaluate potential risks.
- Determine the essential responsibilities and skills required for the ideal candidate.
- Select the appropriate tools to assess individuals best and ensure those tools are used for the entire organization and not on a selective basis
Regardless of the position, everyone should complete an application, sit down for an interview with a supervisory staff member and have their references checked. In addition, jobs in which the volunteer works closely with vulnerable individuals or handles money should have more extensive background checks.
All management should use the following background check guidelines when hiring:
- Conduct local and national criminal background checks on everyone having contact with children
- Require at least two forms of identification and verify their legitimacy.
- Obtain Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) records
The best policy your organization can adopt is to exercise extreme caution while screening individuals. If a red flag is noticed during the screening process, do not continue. The main objective is to uncover these issues and weed out individuals who pose a risk. By not thoroughly screening potential volunteers, your organization may inflict unnecessary harm on itself, staff members, and the public.
SOGO Insurance is an independent insurance agency offering a comprehensive suite of insurance solutions such as discounted background checks and drug screenings, complimentary motor vehicle record checks, employee/ volunteer handbooks and applications, and free human resource assistance to protect you and your business from the unexpected. In addition, we work closely with clients to help them make necessary and informed decisions regarding their future. We offer solutions throughout San Antonio, Austin, TX, and surrounding areas, including Helotes, Schertz, New Braunfels, Cibolo, and Bexar County.
After two years of COVID 19’s impact, most people are more than ready to return to some sense of normalcy. Back to work. Back to school. Back to church. At Campwise, we are particularly excited that kids are back at summer camp! And we are also grateful for our partnership with Protect My Ministry. This valuable relationship allows Campwise to provide a reliable background check solution to our customers. That solution helps to ease the administrative burden of hiring reliable summer staff. And when our customers are able to hire full summer staffs, campers have safe and memorable summer camp experiences.
At this point, you may be asking: Who is Campwise? Campwise provides a comprehensive management software solution for camps and conference centers. Our products help customers streamline and consolidate everything they do, and do it all more efficiently.
So much of what camps and conference centers do on a regular basis happens behind the scenes. Campwise is the hub for everything. Day-to-day operations help parents to prepare and plan for the camp experience. Online registration, form completion and submission, medication and allergy entry, cabin mate selections, and electronic payments. Many Campwise customers provide year-round programs, and still others also rent their facilities for retreats and guest groups. Additionally, since many Campwise customers operate as non-profit organizations, generous donations are vital to their ability to provide programming and to maintain and grow their facilities. Campwise provides software solutions for all of these functions, and more.
Positive camp experiences impact children’s growth and formation in such profound ways. These experiences can create memories that last a lifetime. Here is an article from the American Camping Association about the tremendous benefits of summer camp: Take a look!
If you would like to get more information about Campwise products and solutions, we would love to hear from you. Call us today (866-297-7111), or visit our website (https://www.campwise.com/) to request a product demonstration.