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Background checks - concerned parent

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I am concerned parent. Are background checks completed? Is here a statue of limitations? If a "volunteer den leader" has a criminal record are they accepted or will they be denied? It has been rumored in my area that another parent has volunteered and I know that they have a record. This concerns me greatly. Please advise. Also - this does not have to be posted in the forum if not approved content, i just needed to know the procedures and wasn't sure where to start.

thank you

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If that parent has registered they would be background checked.  That may or may not be the case, depending on the unit.

My personal opinion is that if you volunteer in any capacity, the unit should request that you register and undergo the background check.  Not everyone or every unit feels the same.

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All registered adult leaders must have a background check, period.  Now, what some might consider damaging, may not show up, or it may not be the type of issue that would cause non-acceptance.  My understanding is that also applies to job background checks.  But councils do have an option to respond to some challenges, especially if we are talking of the foolishness of some youthful offenses. I guess that would relate to the statute of limitations in some cases.  CO's have the option to turn down anyone if they choose, though few get overly involved unless it is brought to them with concern.

 

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Great question.  Yes, all registered adult leaders will have had a background check. This looks at any reported legal issues in their background.  It’s ultimately up to the council exec to admit a leader with a “history “.   In all seriousness, if you have a concern about a leader’s background just report it.  I want to believe the council will handle the question professionally.  

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If you are really concerned about this person becoming a registered leader, then I would talk with the Chartered Org. Rep.  Chartered Org. Reps. are the ones who approve adult leaders in units (packs, troops, crews, ships).  The Chartered Org. Rep. normally approves the adult leader and signs the adult application before it goes to council for the criminal background check.

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Keep in mind that while you may know the person was convicted of a crime, it might not show up in the criminal background check.  The main example would be if the conviction has been expunged.  The fact that a person had a ”record” at one time does not necessarily mean they have one now. For more info see https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expungement_in_the_United_States.

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There are a number of issues here. 

Are they registered? If not, no one else may be aware of the record. If you are truly concerned, then you may want to inquire with your CO as suggested above. I would start with the CC, if you do not get a satisfactory response then escalate to CoR. If still not satisfied, then check with the council.

If they are registered, then:

The CO approved them, and BSA ran a background check (assuming there was no paperwork error.

If the background check came back clean, it could be because it was expunged (as stated above) or sealed. So background would come back clean. 

If the background check was done and came back with a record, then it is up to the Council.

The council has the option, depending on the nature of the crime, to allow the person to volunteer. I have seen volunteers with convictions be allowed to volunteer. Those that I am aware of were convictions were for crimes that did not put the youth at risk (bounced checks, white collar crimes, civil protest etc.)

Also, they could have plead their case down to an infraction that was less offending to the council. Or, depending on the source of the information (second or third hand/rumor) the crime in question may have never occurred or may have been embellished. 

If you feel Scouts safety is in question I would certainly urge you to follow up, but I would also recommend you be tactful, just in case your information is incorrect. 

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Thank you everyone for the advice. I will follow up. This was jail time for violence as an adult, in a separate county, then where they have volunteered. I will talk to the local organization and council as well. 

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I don't have much else to add than what others have stated... but its an excellent question...

There are times I wonder if the checks actually get done.  If they do, what they actually check?  Obviously, and offense that could endanger a minor (child abuse / molestation / DUI / etc)... but as another poster stated, I'm not sure if you write bad checks, that will even come up (depending on what BSA asks about).  Then if the record is sealed or expunged... or if the record was plead down to a misdemeanor... or if it was recorded when they were a youth... all reasons it might not show.

I also wonder IF BSA actually runs the checks all the time?  The reason I question this, in California, it is a legal requirement that a voluntary background checked individual has a write to a copy of any report that gets ran.  I've asked for this on a couple occasions for myself at time of recharter or when I've transferred units...  I've never received a report.  Now, I don't expect anything to pop up... so if the report comes back with no information, maybe that is not reportable... or maybe the check never actually got done?

Bottom line - if you have concerns for any reason about the safety of the youth an adult might / will be around... then its best to ask about it to COR and council in confidence and out of an abundance of caution.  That being said, unless you have first hand knowledge of the issue (i.e. you work in LE and arrested the dude before...) then I would be very cautious about it.  The responsibility to vet the volunteers is on BSA, not the fellow volunteers.  We assume everyone else is clean until proven otherwise, not sure I'd suspect someone on heresay alone.

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On 8/22/2018 at 4:27 PM, MikeS72 said:

If that parent has registered they would be background checked.  That may or may not be the case, depending on the unit.

My personal opinion is that if you volunteer in any capacity, the unit should request that you register and undergo the background check.  Not everyone or every unit feels the same.

This is simply false.  *ALL* registered volunteers have a background check.  This is conducted by the local Council, not the unit.  The unit simply turns in the signed applicaton form to the Council.  

As to the OP's question, I do not know if there is a statute of limitations on certain crimes (i.e. even as a retired cop who spent time in my department's drunk driving enforcement unit, I don't care if a volunteer got arrested for DUI in 1976.  If it happened last week, we have a problem...).  All crimes involving children will make a volunteer ineligible.  

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52 minutes ago, mac266 said:

This is simply false.  *ALL* registered volunteers have a background check. 

Woo there mac. I'm sure you are right, but that means things changed. Educate us, how do you know all volunteers are checked? Are you part of the group that does the checking? 

Barry

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9 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

Woo there mac. I'm sure you are right, but that means things changed. Educate us, how do you know all volunteers are checked? Are you part of the group that does the checking? 

Barry

I'm a Unit Commissioner...i.e. a District level volunteer.

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7 minutes ago, mac266 said:

I'm a Unit Commissioner...i.e. a District level volunteer.

Hmm, ok.

Barry

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