Demanding background checks on people who teach or coach kids may, on the surface, seem uncomfortable, but the results of no action could be disastrous.
Most religious and youth sports organizations conduct some type of background check on their volunteers, but sexual predators are skirting the system.
“It is not a matter of getting on the internet and searching a name,” said Bryan Mower, Western Reporting President. “It requires a compliant, certified company to use all of the tools necessary to not only make a positive identification, but moreover, eliminate a false positive identification.”
Mower stated that sexual predators often times target volunteer positions that require working with children and adolescents. He stated that youth sports, child care and religions provide a perfect landscape for their crimes while experiencing the lease amount of risk due to organizations either not doing background checks at all or relying on non-compliant internet searches.
“Parents need to make sure the organizations responsible for the safety of their children are using verified background screening companies,” said Mower. “A simple change of the spelling of a name or an incorrect birthday on a volunteer application can make all the difference in not detecting a predictor. And, trust me on this one, the perpetrators know this little-known tactic all too well.”
In just one day in Provo, Utah, two men, in separate in incidences, were arrested for sexual abuse of a child. One a local religious leader, the other a karate instructor. According to Mower, every time a person is arrested for sex abuse of children, there are more people who come forward who have been abused.
“Our company can’t dictate when and where a crime will be committed,” said Mower. “but we can reduce the risk, liability and, flat out, keep keep kids safe. Parents can help by asking questions to organization regarding their process, and if all else fails, conduct the check themselves. Our company will never turn down a parent needing a background check. Our job is to protect our youth and provide peace of mind to the parents. Simple as that.”