Why Background Checks Matter

Here at Church Mutual we understand that your camp is committed to both the physical and emotional safety of children and youth. The best way to protect your campers, and your staff is to start from within. This means conducting thorough background checks on all camp employees and volunteers. Background checks are more than just a step to gain accreditation, they are crucial to the safety of your campers.

A CBS news report from December of 2018 found 500 victims who were allegedly sexually abused at children’s camps over the past 55 years. At least 21 of those cases had surfaced in the last year. Don’t let your camp be next. Keep your organization safe by doing your part and background screening employees and volunteers.

Background checks not only aides in the prevention of sexual misconduct crimes, it also helps to prevent fraud and embezzlement as well.

Other benefits of background checks:

  • Checks protect organizational reputations

  • It demonstrates a commitment to preventing abuse, fraud and other criminal activity

  • It helps your organization avoid costs arising from criminal or harmful behavior

  • It improves the quality of your hires by filtering out poor candidates

  • Improves general safety

Our best tips for checking applicants:

  • Always obtain a signed authorization from the applicant before conducting any checks.

  • Only check applicants who are finalists prior to a job offer.

  • Conduct background checks at both a state and national level.

  • Recheck current employees and volunteers annually.

  • For minors, ask for references as criminal records may not show up on public databases.

Highly recommended types of checks:

Criminal records history. This is one of the most common and most recommended background checks done for employees.

Driving and motor vehicle searches. Every organization that allows its employees or volunteers to drive on the job should perform this check.

Employment verification. Some jobs require specialized skills that are difficult to master in a new position without prior experience. Important questions can be answered with:

• Experience checks with previous employers

• Standing with previous employers

Reference verification. This step should be performed before a job offer is extended.

Other checks available. For some companies or organizations, it might be essential to request additional checks that are applicable to a specific position, such as address verification, education verification and others.

Marijuana and employer drug testing. With numerous states legalizing marijuana for either medical or recreational use, it can be confusing to understand how these laws affect employment and hiring practices. In many cases, it’s still within employer rights to perform drug testing on employees. Confirm this with local legal counsel, however, before doing so.

Church Mutual has partnered with Trusted Employees, a reputable background checking company. Over the past 20 years they have been helping organizations manage their employment and volunteer checks. We have come together to offer discounted background checks to Church Mutual policyholders with prices starting as low as $5.75. To learn more about this value-added service please visit our Trusted Employees webpage.

Great programs and facilities are essential to a camp’s success, but the best camps are those with exceptional employees. This means staff members who understand and share the camp’s goals and make them come alive for campers. It’s important for camps to investigate the history of its employees to prevent hiring someone who may cause harm. It only takes one incident to cause a lifetime of pain and shut down your camp. Do your part and background check employees and volunteers to ensure a safer culture.

We’re here to help! For additional questions, contact Church Mutual Insurance Company’s Risk Control Central.

The information contained in this article is intended solely to provide general guidance on topics that may be of interest to you. While we have made reasonable efforts to present accurate and reliable information, Church Mutual Insurance Company disclaims all liability for any errors or omissions, or for any actions you take or fail to take based on this article. The information provided may not apply to your particular facts or circumstances; therefore, you should seek professional advice prior to relying on any information that may be found in this article.


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Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I. (a stock insurer)
P.O. Box 357 | 3000 Schuster Lane | Merrill, WI 54452-0357
Telephone (800) 554-2642 or (715) 536-5577

© 2022 Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I. All rights reserved. Protecting the Greater Good is a registered trademark of Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I.

Church Mutual is a stock insurer whose policyholders are members of the parent mutual holding company formed on 1/1/20. S.I. = a stock insurer.