It’s hard to believe, but winter is waning and spring sports registration is under way in many parts of the country. If your business, school or organization is involved in any way, shape or form with spring sports involving children and teenagers, now is the time to make sure you have — and are following — a clearly stated policy on background checks. Make sure everyone currently on staff has had a thorough background check, and that any new coach, volunteer or job applicant undergoes the same background screening.
Parents will be asking what your policy is, so have handouts on hand to give out as part of the registration process. And be sure to include a phone number and contact person for parents to call with questions or to report any activity they feel is suspicious or worrisome.
Finally, check with your state laws to make sure the type of background checks you’re doing are compliant with state regulations. And get the process under way as soon as possible — many coaches and volunteers tend to drag their feet when it comes to completing and returning the necessary forms. The last thing you want is to have a shortage of eligible coaches when it comes time for the season to start!