Thursday, November 11, 2010

Boy Scout Failure to Do Checks Is Costly

By Gary Snyder
gary.r.snyder@gmail.com

For years, Nonprofit Imperative has used a lot of ink on the need to do background checks. Failure to do so has cost charities hundreds of millions of dollars. It has cost the Boy Scouts of American perhaps $40 million in settlements and judgments, the animal rights movement up to $5 million, child related charities, such as parent teacher associations, soccer and little leagues more than $100 million---all of which have been spotlighted in the last two editions of NI. With more that $100 million of dollars in claims and settlements, the church and religious community is starting to commit to conducting background checks in the wake of the sex abuse and financial scandals.
LifeWay Christian Resources, the Southern Baptist Convention’s publishing and research arm, launched a partnership with backgroundchecks.com to offer background screenings. There is a $10 basic-level background check option that includes a national criminal and sex offender search, said Jennie Taylor, a marketing coordinator at Lifeway. With nearly 16.2 million members, the Nashville-based SBC is the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S. More than 900 different churches or organizations have conducted 11,277 background checks through Lifeway with backgroundchecks.com since 2008. Of those, 40 percent returned a hit — which is any kind of incident, ranging from minor traffic violations to felony convictions.
About 21 percent — or 2,320 searches — returned records with misdemeanor or felony results. More than 600 of those 2,320 returned felony offenses. Background information is then reported to Lifeway customers using the backgroundchecks.com service, and customers decide whether to hire job candidates.
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