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You can download sample policies HERE to review.
Yes. In fact, all staff and employees of the church or ministry, including it’s Senior Pastor, must pass an even more rigorous criminal background check, including employment and education verifications, driving history and credit history searches.
This will be up to the local church that conducts the background check. If adverse information does show up that would disqualify an individual from volunteering, we strongly recommend that you share that information with the individual and give him/her an opportunity to contest the accuracy of that information. Protect My Ministry provides an opportunity for churches to request further review of records when someone contests the accuracy of the results.
How to manage the data will be up to each local church. It is our strong recommendation that the information received in the background screening be held confidential by the church or ministry and not be released to anyone other than those necessary to review the information, such as the leaders and church pastors.
Cost depends on your state and county (additional mandatory fees may apply). The difference depends on the reliability of the information for that state and county in the national database. Many states and counties do not report all of their criminal records to national database; in those states and counties, it may be necessary to run both a national search and a local county or statewide criminal search to get accurate data. Based on the reliability of the data, Protect My Ministry has come up with a minimum recommendation depending on what state and county you and the prospective volunteer are located in. For some locations where the states do provide reliable data to the national database, the minimum recommendation is a BASIC Package. For other locations, the minimum recommendation is a PLUS (county or statewide) Package. For more information, sign up for our free videos here or simply call (800) 319-5581.
We celebrate the transformation in the life of someone who has committed sexual abuse against children and pray that they are indeed able to refrain from engaging in such behavior again. That said, it is our firm conviction that we are not being good stewards of the children entrusted to our care or to our witness to create a risk by exposing children to those who have a known dangerous history. No one with a history of sexual abuse may serve in ministry with children or youth.
No. Some types of convictions will automatically disqualify an individual from serving. Disqualifying information would include any history of a sexual crime, especially those against children. A crime of violence against another person within the past 7 years would also be disqualifying. If the background check performed through Protect My Ministry comes back as an “Alert”, then potentially disqualifying information turned up in the records. Convictions or issues must be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine if it is disqualifying. The key is to determine whether that past behavior, combined with other data available about the person, reasonably suggests that this person could pose a danger of sexually or physically abusing children. If the answer is “yes”, that person may not serve.
Yes. While a church may decide on its own to conduct background screenings on its volunteers more frequently, standard policy is to require that the background screening be conducted at least once every 1 to 3 years.
That individual will not be allowed to serve in ministry.
In most cases it is appointed individuals from the local church. Given the variety of organizational structures in the church today, we do not wish to prescribe any particular process that must be followed. It may make sense for the ministry leaders to be the ones responsible for reviewing the screening materials with volunteers, conducting any necessary follow-up questions, and determining whether a volunteer may serve. Alternatively, it may be that a pastor or, if applicable, a volunteer of the church would take on that role. Whoever is chosen by the church or ministry to be the reviewer will need to be sure that every individual has passed the background screening and reviewed the training materials.
Yes. All volunteers must be screened and review the child protection training materials. Our experience is that most all who come to serve in the ministry have access to and are around children while serving.