Volunteer Coaches Should be Background Checked

With summer in full swing children across the country are participating in sport camps and other athletic programs.  A must for parents is that they feel their child is safe with the sporting group coaches and staff.  One way to help achieve this kind of peace of mind is to make sure that all summer camp staff including volunteer coaches undergo a thorough background check including criminal background checks, sex offender registry checks and necessary interviews and reference checks.

Recently in Kewanee Illinois local citizens requested background checks on all park district coaches.

From StarCourier.com (Jun. 15, 17):

Two women whose children participate in the Kewanee Park District’s baseball teams addressed the park district board of commissioners Thursday night seeking background checks for all the park district’s coaches.

The women said they are concerned about those adults who volunteer to coach the park district’s youth teams after a baseball coach was taken into custody from a Kewanee baseball field earlier this week.  starcourier.com/news/20170615/parents-ask-park-board-to-background-check-coaches

While the offense the baseball coach taken into custody appears minor it did create enough concern for parents to question the overall screening process of volunteer coaches.

As a society we need to protect at-risk populations like children from malicious individuals looking to find an avenue to spend time with children.  Volunteer coaching positions are one such environment that nefarious individuals would exploit to access children.  However if these individuals seeking volunteer coaching positions find out that they must first undergo a rigorous vetting process that would uncover a history of criminal records and/or sex offender records they may be less apt to apply for such a position.  A thorough background screening program that includes volunteers is a great deterrent for past offenders from applying and to catch those that try to slip through the cracks.  US Organizations that utilize volunteer coaches should partner up with a third party background screening company to properly vet all these individuals prior to giving them access to children or young adults.

To read more about this subject read recent press release found here.

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