The recent scandals involving high-profile coaches in universities and colleges across the nation are a sobering reminder of the need for vigilance in safeguarding children. SportsSignup is helping to address this need with a proprietary service known as KidSafePlus®, a comprehensive criminal background check management system that is designed specifically for youth sports organizations. Developed in partnership with LexisNexis®, KidSafePlus offers youth sports leagues access to accurate, affordable, private background screenings of coaches, volunteers and officials who supervise or otherwise have regular contact with young athletes.
SportsSignup CEO Anthony Bruno says, “Volunteer-run youth sports organizations, unlike big corporations, typically do not have the infrastructure or experience to properly screen volunteer applicants, and many organizations don’t even know where to start when it comes to background checks. Our job is to make the entire vetting process easy, secure, and affordable.”
To complete a background check using KidSafePlus, the coach/volunteer completes a secure online form, then the program combs a database of over 250 million criminal records compiled from numerous sources. In addition to LexisNexis proprietary data, the search includes fugitive files and government watch lists, sexual and violent offender registries, state and county criminal record repositories, and state departments of corrections. When adverse records are found, a case is automatically opened in KidSafePlus so the organization can complete the vetting process based on their own policies.
Here at SportsSignup, weve noticed a 180% increase in online coach background checks when compared to this time last year. We see this as a good sign, an indication that sports administrators and organizations are increasing their safety measures to protect youth athletes. Hopefully this increased awareness and dilligence will prevent another Penn State scandal before even one child is abused.
SportsSignup believes that performing a nationwide background check on sports coaches and volunteers is one of the basic things that every sports organization should be doing. Sports administrators, parents and coaches have the ability and duty to stop abuse before it ever begins.