Volunteers and employees at churches are entrusted with the congregation’s safety and wellbeing. However, it’s the ministry’s duty to take all relevant precautions when hiring staff. The church leaders should ensure every member is appropriately qualified for the job and hired after passing a rigorous background screening assessment.
Whether the staff is being hired to pack food boxes in a group setting or they’ll be left alone with children, conducting a background check on all prospective volunteers and employees is imperative to protect the ministry from significant risk. Some background check procedures include thoroughly checking public records, while others require the prospective staff members’ consent. Here are a few ways you can streamline optimum protection for your ministry.
#1 Reference Checks
Your prospective staff vetting process should include a reference check. Designate trustworthy personnel who can personally visit and speak to past employers. This critical part of the screening process can reveal important information about the applicant’s past performance and conduct.
#2- Background Criminal Checks
Criminal background checks reveal most misdemeanors and unveil whether the individual has ever been convicted for felonies within the last few years. This includes those convictions that might have been kept secret by court order or expunged through a pardon. Such checks can be conducted at federal and state levels and might need to be conducted in other regions if the applicant has moved around. However, make sure to keep the results of the criminal background checks confidential.
#3- Credit Checks
These reveal whether a person has had any significant financial troubles or has declared bankruptcy in the past. Credit checks are especially important if the staff is likely to handle significant sums of money for your nonprofit or religious organization.
#4- Sex Offenders List
Some registries contain information about people convicted of sexual offenses for public notification and law enforcement purposes. Most states maintain official sex offender registries that are open to the public via the website. These individuals are tracked using GPS technology, so you can easily use the online screening tools to check whether the applicant’s name is in the state’s sex offender registry to avoid potential sexual harassment lawsuits.
Measures To Optimize Protection For All Church Members
Regular volunteer training programs can help set paradigms for more active volunteer roles, like elderly home care or child care. It can help them learn best practices and protocols regarding sensitivity, safety, and appropriate behaviors for working at the ministry.
It’s also essential that you listen to your community and pay attention to their feedback or concerns about certain employees. Take all allegations seriously by taking immediate actions to let everyone know such unsafe and inappropriate behaviors will not be tolerated in your ministry.
While background checks and stringent policies serve as a defense against malicious individuals, sometimes unfortunate events can still occur on your church’s premises. To minimize loss of reputation and finances from potential lawsuits, your ministry should protect itself with a comprehensive church insurance policy from a reliable church insurance company.
As one of the leading church insurance companies, they offer an extensive range of services including, workers’ compensation insurance, house of worship insurance, ministry insurance, commercial auto insurance, church property insurance, and more to safeguard the ministries in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, Washington, Ohio, and Texas.