To Screen or Not to Screen?
Four Reasons You May Not be Screening Your Volunteers… And Why You Need to Start
Are you screening all your volunteers? If not, you could be compromising the safety of your church staff, your other volunteers, and the people your ministry serves. Even in small ministries where everyone knows everyone, or where other safety nets have been put in place, screening is an important step.
In their whitepaper, To Screen or Not to Screen?, Verified Volunteers outlines 4 key misconceptions about background screening. These 4 misconceptions lead ministries to mistakenly avoid screening some or all volunteers and staff. Unfortunately, as also explained in the whitepaper, this can be a costly mistake.
When you read the whitepaper, you’ll discover whether or not your ministry is avoiding volunteer screening because of one of the 4 misconceptions, and how to respond.
Why Screening Everyone is Better Than Screening Only Some
Background screening has become the norm for organizations with volunteers. In fact, according to a survey conducted by the National Center for Victims of Crime, 86% “screen volunteers in some way.”
Ministries should not feel immune to attracting a volunteer that may not have the right heart or motives. In fact, a person with ill-intent (to steal, or to work with a vulnerable population, etc.) may volunteer at your church expecting that a ministry will trust everyone.
By making it your ministry policy to screen everyone, and by making that policy clear and prominent on your website or volunteer communications, you’ll send a strong message to anyone who may have ill-intent, and may discourage them from applying in the first place. Plus, sharing this policy will instill more trust in your ministry among other members and visitors.
Additionally, by making it a policy to screen all your volunteers, you don’t have to single out the person who joins your ministry that nobody knows that well yet. You also don’t run the risk of letting someone fall through the cracks just because they are well-known, or perhaps are related to someone who is well known in your ministry.
A Word on Discernment
Background screening does not replace the need for discernment; instead it’s a tool you can use in your process of discerning. Sometimes you may discern someone is not right for a particular role in your ministry before you even consider background screening them. Other times, you may do a routine background screen, only to discover there is something in a volunteer’s history that will require you to discern if it will affect his ability to serve in a particular role.
Read the whitepaper to learn more about the need for background screening.