Want to become a volunteer in a nursery home or a rec center? Then you should be prepared for a fairly thorough background check. According to an article published in USA Today, most volunteer organizations involving children, the elderly, and the disabled do background checks, according to the National Child Protection Act that became law in 1993. If you’re considering donating your time, then you should be prepared for an extensive background check. As we saw in a previous post about Big Brothers, Big Sisters of southern Florida, candidates to be a mentor all go through a thorough and rigorous background check. Not only is your past history dug up through fingerprints and a background check, but candidates for mentoring are interviewed and asked questions with a lie detector test.
The 1993 law allows such organizations like Big Brothers, Big Sisters, as well as nursing homes and any place a person could volunteer, access to national fingerprint databases such as the NCIC. As a basic background check might not bring up criminal charges from state, a national search is necessary. While some may protest a background check as an invasion of privacy, as indicated by the article, it’s necessary in instances in which the most vulnerable will be involved. If you’re a parent, do you want former drug criminals or sex offenders coaching a child’s sports team or working with youth group?
If you’re looking into doing volunteer work with organizations geared toward children, the elderly, or disabled, expect such a background check to be part of the application process. Even if you’re a reformed former drug criminal, such a past can eliminate you from consideration for a position. Although other volunteer opportunities are available to those with criminal histories, volunteering for children’s, elderly, or disabled organizations is not one of them.