The importance of background checks is once again being played out in one part of the country. Last month, a new policy regarding background checks took effect. All coaches and other volunteers on recreational councils must undergo basic background checks at least once a year.
The policy went into effect on March 1st. All rec councils in Maryland’s Harford County are now required to make sure background checks are conducted on coaches and other volunteers that meet minimum requirements by The National Alliance for Youth Sports.
The requirement was apparently preceded by lots of talk and several drafts before an agreement was reached. A deadline was also set to allow rec officials to prepare for the new policy.
This is not entirely new for the people in charge. Reports are that many rec councils had already been doing background checks. Councils can also expand on the minimum standards outlined in the new policy. The new requirement is designed to make things consistent. It also is designed to prevent people with criminal records from moving to different rec councils.
Parks and recreation officials say the new plan was part of a promise following an incident last year. A coach was accused of assaulting a parent during a children’s soccer game. The coach and the parents involved were suspended.
So how will these background checks work? Individual rec councils choose a background check contractor. Background data is stored by the contractor and is generally delivered to the rec councils within a day.
The background checks look for a history of sex offense, domestic abuse, violence and/or misdemeanors within the last seven years.
We know that background checks and pre-employment screenings are part of the hiring process. We are continually reminded how the importance of the background checks is impacting so many types of jobs.