Posts Tagged ‘Criminal background checks’

Deterring Child Predators in Youth Sports

Protecting kids is a group effort

Do parents who send their children to ball practice ever think that they might be handing them over to a sexual predator?  That’s probably the last thing that crosses their mind.  They assume that they can trust the coaches, volunteers and league administrators who come in contact with their children..

The predatSad soccer playeror’s thought process

League administrators are responsible to do all in their power to protect these children.  It is unfortunate that not everyone is aware of the dangers that sexual predators pose or are how this battle to protect our children can be fought.  The September 1999, Sports Illustrated article “Every Parent’s Nightmare”  is still relevant.  It’s an in-depth, in-your-face report about abuse in youth sports. The article takes readers inside the heads of  the average sexual predator. It delves deep into the thought process of predators who found their victims on ballfields. Those highlighted in the story made a combined effort to let readers know HOW they got to the children and signs for which parents and other adults need to be on the lookout.

Although there is no foolproof method to prevent sexual abuse and molestation, we can work together as a team to put safeguards in place.  In collaboration with attorneys, insurance underwriters and national risk managers, we have developed information to provide our youth sports league administrators, coaches and volunteers with the necessary tools for putting a risk management program in place.  The risk management section of our website provides a Child Abuse and Molestation Protection Program, Child Abuse and Molestation Handout for Parents, and specific information on conducting criminal background checks.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like any further information.

Make No Assumptions When Appointing Volunteers

Criminal background checks are a must

by Michael Pfahl

Call it a “sixth-sense,” “gut-feeling” or that “little voice.” We all have it and make the conscious choice to listen or ignore it whenever it makes itself known.  Have you ever wondered if every person who was  stepped up to help as a volunteer should have even been asked in the first place?  That gut feeling becomes even more obvious when someone is over the top with enthusiasm about volunteering for a specific duty without even being asked.

Southeastern Security Consultants Inc. is the nation’s leading expert on volunteer criminal background checks.  Co-founders Randy Rodebaugh and Byron Palmer teach their clients to make no assumptions and listen carefully to your gut when it comes to providing anyone with the privilege of working with youth, seniors, and people with disabilities.  These two professionals are the antithesis of cynicism but hold firmly to the belief that when it comes to selecting volunteers, adopt the axiom TRUST but VERIFY.

“Listen to that inner voice because it only knows the truth.  Don’t become distrustful but at the same time don’t be naïve.  Don’t assume anything or feel that you know someone because you really don’t,” says Palmer.

It appears the hCriminal background checke is right.  In the first year after launching Operation TLC ² in 2007,  the  screening protocol through SSCI kept 243 of 3,500 would be volunteers with serious criminal histories out of parks and recreation programs in 16 states.  That’s a shocking 6.9% and these are people who signed a consent form to conduct the background check.  It is impossible to gauge the number of people with criminal histories that self-eliminated during when asked to consent to the check.  Another revealing statistic is that 13% of the potential volunteers that were disqualified committed their offenses outside their state of current residency.

According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, about 63 million Americans, or 26.8% of the adult population, gave 8.1 billion hours of volunteer service in 2009.  Let’s cut the number in half and make the assumption that 31 million volunteers today have one-on-one access to children, youth, and people with a disability or the elderly.  Statistically speaking and applying the 6.9% disqualification rate across the estimated 31.7 million, we potentially have 2,139,000 volunteers currently working in a volunteer position that, based on their personal criminal history, simply should not be provided the privilege.

Coaches and administrators are often overworked.  It’s much easier to fill a critical volunteer position without ensuring due diligence.  But employing a warm body recruitment method and ignoring the inner voice can be a huge mistake, putting the most vulnerable people being served in jeopardy.

Being overly trusting and making assumptions about our volunteers as part of our common practice can contribute to the perception.  The reality is that bad things can and do happen.  It is much easier to ignore the little voice that sometimes screams for you to question a person’s motive.  Make no assumptions and listen intently to that little voice.

Follow this link for more information on Operation TLC2 and the Minimum Standards For High Quality Background Checks

D.Michael Pfahl D. Michael Pfahl is president of DMP Consulting, Inc.  He has over 35 years of experience working with park, recreation, and conservation agencies to effectively train volunteers for public service.  He is the founder of Operation TLC² Making Communities Safe, a National Park and Recreation Association initiative to provide agencies with resources to help manage volunteers and ensure safety.