Background Checks a Must for Youth Sports Coaches

Unfortunately it is far too often in the news we hear about employed and volunteer youth sports coaches abusing their young players.  In some cases these coaches have been convicted of crimes against the youth in the past, and if proper background screening was in place prior to hiring either an employed coach or volunteer a second attack could have been prevented.  Employment screening for employed and volunteer youth coaches is a valuable tool utilized across a wide variety of industries and has proven successful in creating safe work environments.  It can also help prevent malfeasant individuals from having unsupervised time with youth sport athletes.

Hiring managers know that a thorough and legally compliant pre-employment background check is an enormously important tool, one that over 80% of all business and organizations use, and when combined with a thorough interview can be very powerful.  This same vetting process should also apply to all persons with unsupervised time with the youth in this country.  When a candidate understands that a background check is thorough and complete, one that utilizes public records and verification of employment and education it gives that individual pause should their information be purposely inaccurate.

Volunteer background checks are especially important with schools and churches, and any group involved with youth sports.  When combined with a well-publicized and thorough background check, one that includes public records search and data verification, a background check can act as a preventative tool.

Every day internet news sites are littered with articles regarding malfeasant coaches.

In Lafayette, Indiana an assistant boys volleyball coach was charged in child seduction and related charges.

From (Aug 22, 17)

Lafayette School Corp. Supt. Les Huddle said Barmby worked as a paraprofessional and substitute paraprofessional, in addition to being an assistant coach, for less than a year before she was terminated following the criminal investigation.

A Minnesota high school recently put a paid coach on administrative leave due to inappropriate and illegal behavior with a minor.

From (Aug 30, 17):

A Hudson High School junior varsity girls basketball coach has been placed on paid administrative leave after sexual assault-related charges were filed against him this week.

… has been charged with first-degree child sexual assault for having contact with a person under the age of 13, according to the filing. … has also been charged with repeated sexual assault of the same child, using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime, and for causing a child ages 13-18 to view sexual activity.

A thorough background check on a youth coach both employed and volunteer should include:

  •   Criminal Background Checks
  •   Sexual Predator registry search
  •   Employment and / or volunteer verification
  •   Personal reference verification
  •   Education / Certificate verification
  •   Department of Motor vehicles record check

Ultimately a solid vetting process, one that includes a face-to-face interview, verification of claims, and a criminal background check will greatly assist in creating a safe environment for participants of youth sports.

To read more about why all employed and volunteer youth sport coaches should undergo a thorough background screening before being allowed unsupervised time with the youth read recent press release:

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