A guide to how youth sports programs should conduct background checks

A guide to how youth sports programs should conduct background checks

In today’s communities, coaches and instructors play crucial roles in the success of youth sports leagues. The good coaches, and there are so many out there, devote countless hours and have a beneficial impact on the young athletes they serve.

Sadly, here at GroupOne Background Screening we come across headlines about trusted adults who have violated the trust of a community and caused serious harm to children and their families.

Background checks are a necessary safeguard for the protection of our vulnerable populations. Sports organizations that fail to adopt the necessary steps to properly screen coaches and instructors put the trust of their communities at risk. A thorough background check from an accredited background screening provider can help protect athletes and your league’s reputation.

We’ve said it before and will continue to do so – beware of “do-it-yourself” Internet searches and companies that provide instant results. Screening an applicant without their consent is also a violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Following the rules of the FCRA is a standard adhered to by GroupOne Background Screening. Plus, we provide accurate and vetted results.

Instant-result companies offering screening services can put organizations at risk by not providing up-to-date information, resulting in inaccurate background checks for applicants with questionable histories.

A common myth is that all background checks are, in fact, background checks. Not only is this not the case, it’s nonsense. There’s an old saying that applies – “You get what you pay for.” When it comes to proper background screening, this slogan has never been more accurate.

For over 25 years, GroupOne has been on the forefront of helping companies understand the importance of establishing safe and extensive background check packages.

“We have always told our clients to avoid “bargain-basement screenings,” said David Graves, business director at GroupOne. “Budget background checks may seem like good business, but they are almost always a risky proposition.”

According to Graves, when searching for a background screening company, it is important to know the process that is used to verify applicants.

“Running a background check based solely on an applicant’s name is dangerous,” he said. “Incorrect name matches can lead to false positives and negatives. At GroupOne, we use a social security trace to help verify all identities.”

There are several other important questions to ask when choosing a background screening company:

• How do they verify the information?
• Do they use national, state, county and sex offender registries combined with county and state searches?
• What is included in the search?
• Are they FCRA compliant?
• Do they provide customer support?

As for the questions above, GroupOne utilizes numerous avenues to verify information to include phone calls, emails, faxes and third-party websites. Yes, we utilize all sex registries including county and state searches. Our searches include employment, education, criminal, drug screening and sanctions. We are FCRA compliant and have provided dependable customer support since our inception.

The bottom line, and something that we have learned at GroupOne over the decades – there are no shortcuts when conducting background checks. Protecting our community and our children is a responsibility we all share together.

The information and opinions expressed are for educational purposes only and are based on current practice, industry related knowledge and business expertise. The information provided shall not be construed as legal advice, express or implied.

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