Community is at the heart of churches. In order to protect those within a community, running background checks on staff and volunteers is one of the smartest ways to create a secure environment for all who attend. But what information comes up in a background check that will help protect a community?
At Verified First, we help thousands of communities keep their members and staff safe by offering accurate and compliant screening services. To help churches (like you!) understand the scope of background checks, we’re breaking down some of the most frequently asked questions about background checks so that you can understand how background screening helps keep the heart of your community safe.
What is a background check?
At the simplest level, background checks look into a person’s history and verify that someone is who they say they are. However, with the advanced screening technology used today, background checks can glean more specific information than just a simple identity verification.
Background checks can be customized to any industry and business size. With every screen you order, screening specialists (like our team members at Verified First) take the information provided by an individual for a small pass-through fee and verify with other individuals or institutions that those records are true and up to date. Sometimes this means verifying driving records with a county court office or authenticating an academic experience. For example, here’s a list of common background screens that are often used across industries.
- Drug screens
- Reference verifications
- Driving history
- Nationwide criminal records
- Sex offender registry
Whatever the case, background checks and screens uncover the history of an individual in order to help identify those who are the best fit to serve within any church community.
What do churches look for in a background check?
As previously mentioned, there are a multitude of checks that look into an individual’s background. But specifically, there are some screens that should be a priority when screening within any faith-based organization.
ACS Technologies includes these five types of screens in every package that they use to verify one’s information. These screens uncover an individual’s past and help churches understand their potential staff or volunteer character. They are:
- Nationwide Criminal Database search – Identifies if an individual holds any past convictions
- Global watchlist, Homeland Security lists, sanctioned lists – Looks for known criminals on a global scale
- International and Interpool – Accumulates records of individuals across 190+ countries
- Nationwide Sex Offender Database search – Identifies if an individual has been convicted of a sex crime and added to the National Sex Offender Registry
- Social Security Address Trace report – Verifies an individual’s known identity
While each is incredibly vital, these five screens are just the start. From here, you can select additional packages specific to member groups like volunteers and leadership that will help identify them as someone who is safe to serve.
Why should churches run background checks?
As churches serve wide and vast populations, it’s important to identify those who should serve out of all of those wanting to serve. Background screening is one of the most valuable ways to protect your congregation. And it allows you to select those best suited to volunteer or lead.
When you know those on your team, you know they will represent your congregation in a way that best reflects your faith. Churches should utilize background checks and screens as a way to care for their community. Having the peace of mind that those serving are doing so with the best of intentions makes your organization both reputable in your community. And trustworthy to those looking to find their church home.
How can I get started with background screening?
To get the most streamlined screening experience, utilize a background screening provider. This allows you to get started with your screening process in minutes.
Verified First makes screening easy. Our solution integrates directly into ACS Technologies’ solutions so you can order screens directly within your church management software. Our screening specialists will walk you through how to order the screens, and then we’ll take it from there. With a few clicks, you’ll be on your way to making your church community safe for everyone.
Sign up and start screening today!
Verified First is the leading comprehensive background screening processor partnered with ACS Technologies. Together, we lead the market in knowing how best to help churches manage, grow, and protect their church with easy-to-use, integrated solutions. Verified First has received accreditation and is a member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS). This accreditation means Verified First has dedicated itself to providing the highest level of standards. These standards include information security, legal and compliance, client education, researcher and data standards, verification services, and business practices.