Implementing a Screening Policy

To succeed in the goal of protecting your ministry, children, and volunteers/staff from the risks of abuse and allegations of abuse, it is imperative to implement a screening policy that depends on two simple preventative measures: child safety training and church background checks.

A church or ministry should be committed to a policy of zero tolerance for sexual or physical abuse of children. Establishing a screening policy (sample policies and forms) is the first step in developing your child protection and volunteer screening process.

Every volunteer should be required to review basic principles of sound child protection and procedures. Protect My Ministry offers child safety training to accomplish this task. The required training is designed to accomplish two main objectives. First, protecting  your church and volunteers

from inadvertently putting themselves in a position where they could be subject to a false claim of abuse. Second, children will be better protected against potential abusers when sound procedures and training are in place. Equipping all those who serve (employees, staff, and volunteers) with sound training, will lead to an atmosphere of appropriate vigilance, in which children will be protected against perpetrators.

Employees, staff and volunteers should be required to pass a church background check. Just like airport screenings, this does not mean that we don’t trust everybody who would come on board; instead it is an exercise of stewardship, recognizing that it would be foolish not to use available technology to cheaply and easily screen and identify those few who could inflict such great harm.

There are 3 key elements to a screening policy:

Criminal Background Check
A criminal background check
3 confidential references
Obtaining at least 3 confidential references – collect references online (example)
A personal interview
A personal interview – conduct online interviews (example)
Each element helps to identify whether or not an individual has anything in his/her background that would pose any danger to children. And while no background screening is perfect, these 3 elements when combined together will help your church and ministry demonstrate that you have used reasonable care and diligence in selecting those who serve.

As a background check company focused on ministry, Protect My Ministry is here to assist churches to reliably, affordably, and easily perform the background screenings.

Refer to our Guidelines for Screening.