What Sports Parents should know about Background Checks

2013-04-19T16:26:15+00:00 April 19th, 2013|Protecting Your Kids|

Part of a sports parentʼs job is to be informed. Of safety issues. Of coaching philosophies. Of how they can volunteer to help the team. But sometimes there are things sports parents need to know that they donʼt know they need to know.

And one of those things that sports parents should know about is that there are two levels of background checks. Most sports parents would agree that all youth sports organizations should do background checks on anyone working with kids, but what most sports parents may not know is that there are two types of background checks. The type your organization or school chooses is entirely up to your budget.

County-level Searches

Occasionally SportsSignup gets asked if they do county-level searches. These searches require a researcher searching through all county records for an individual. Although this is possible and recommended for employers, checking every county that a person has lived in can get very expensive. County-level searches can run upwards of $10-15 for each county searched. Best Buy can probably afford $30+ for a background check on a new employee, but the local little league might find that a bit steep.

Unfortunately, volunteer-run, non-profit organizations typically do not have the financial resources to pay for county-level searches.

National Searches

Since volunteer-run, non-profit organizations canʼt afford to pay for county-level searches for their volunteers, they rely on services like KidSafePlus that include a national criminal search that includes all the sex-offender registries. This is the broadest possible search for the price. Although various counties do submit info to the aggregators like backgroundchecks.com, KidSafePlus does not explicitly conduct county-level searches,

If your youth sports organization can afford the county-level search for itʼs volunteers and coaches, then it is a worthwhile investment. But if your budget prohibits that investment, then background checks like KidSafePlus are an excellent option.

This is a guest post by Janis B. Meredith. Janis B. Meredith writes a sportsparenting blog, http://jbmthinks.com. She’s been a sports mom for 20 years, and a coach’s wife for 28, and sees life from both sides of the bench.