Goodpush Member

This is a thread to share resources, reflections, challenges and ideas about Child Protection.

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In the United States, as I understand it, it is common to have anyone in an organization that is in direct contact with children to be screened for history of certain kinds of criminal activity — particularly involving children, violence, and so on. This process is known in the U.S. as a criminal-background check.

The criminal background checks are done by professional services. I think that it's almost all done online but sometimes there is fingerprinting, (and that obviously needs to be done in person). The services look through various databases in search of matches to your volunteer or employee's information to flag specific types of criminal history. The organization generally pays for this service.

The U.S. is a litigious place, and the common practice for larger organizations and companies to be risk-averse, (sometimes to a seemingly ridiculous degree).

I'd be interested in hearing to what degree organizations use a practice like this, and what factors compel them to do so.

Hi Pete,

Thanks for sharing about that. Skateistan has been working this year to introduce background checks at all its locations - no small feat with a staff base from over 10 countries! It seems easy enough to do in Cambodia, SA and Germany via the police. In Afghanistan the process is less clear. There's also the factor of how long someone should have lived in a place for the police check from that place to be recognized by an organization. For example, if someone from New York moves to Berlin for a job at Skateistan, do we request a NY background check or a Berlin one? Food for thought... 

Another consideration is that if someone has been convicted of an unrelated crime, such as shoplifting, a DUI, vandalism, or a crime committed as a juvenile, should that prevent them from being considered for the job? I think the main purpose of protecting children should always be kept in mind when making these calls.

Talia