2 Dangers of Volunteer Background Checks

volunteer background checksHow much do volunteer background checks cost?  It is the one question we are asked many, many times per day. Every request for information is really a request for pricing.  The handful of times each month that a potential client is focused on safety and security is almost always driven by an incident where a volunteer with a violent background passed their current background screening process.

Unfortunately, they have learned the hard way about the low standards of care in background screening.  How the screening industry has no standard definition of what a background check consists of.  And how easy it is for violent offenders to receive a clear through these cheap criminal database searches.

So when a large volunteer organization told us today that they can get the exact same background check for $3 I just sighed.  Then I laughed (not on the phone).  Not because it is hilarious.  But because I have spent more than 8 years focusing on educating organizations on how to protect themselves.   I have been presenting at conferences, blogging, conducting webinars, conducting interviews in print radio and television.  Talking until I am blue in the face.

I laugh because it is preposterous to think you can protect a child for the cost of the latte on your desk.  I laugh because that is what I do when I am frustrated.  I know that large numbers of children are now at risk with this organization because they are more concerned with saving a few dollars than protecting them.

Conducting low quality criminal record checks plagues the volunteer world.  Believe me, I get it.  I have seen the eye-catching marketing that makes you believe for $10 you can ensure the safety of your organization.

However, these cheap background checks are placing your organization at great risk of allowing someone to volunteer who is intent upon harming a child.

Here are the 2 biggest dangers of volunteer background checks:

  1. Instant Results.  If your background screening program is instant, then it is junk.  There is no such thing as an instant background check.  Background screening requires multiple levels of screening including searches of county courts where candidates live or have lived.
  2. Less Than $10.  Sorry but you cannot conduct quality background checks for $3 or $10.  Cannot be done.  Read the disclaimers on the $10 search and see if you are still comfortable.  This is a search of incomplete databases.  There does not exist a database, not even the FBI’s NCIC that is complete.

It drives me crazy how background screening firms place profit above the safety and security of children.  And these cheap criminal database searches are very profitable.  There is no labor.  You do all the work of inputting the names and filtering the results.

I honestly could not sleep at night if we were peddling these incomplete searches.

So what do you need to do if you are are using an instant background check or one that costs $10 or less?

Join us for a webinar How to Conduct Comprehensive Volunteer Background Checks.