News & Resources

Background checks place responsibility on volunteer organizations

Dec 03, 2012 Quinn Thomas

Background checks are supposed to help businesses, organizations and government institutions ensure that they're hiring trustworthy, responsible individuals. However, many groups are finding that while the background screenings still serve this purpose, they're also slowing down the hiring process. Youth organizations in Toronto, Canada, are dealing with months-long processing periods for police reference checks on volunteers for after-school programs, The Canadian Press reports. George Martin of the Community Action Resource Center told the news source the length of the reference checks tends to result in volunteers walking away. The police department explained that part of the problem with the length of the screenings was a lack of references. "We have received many complaints (about the processing times), but we want people to understand that because these checks are so in-depth it goes beyond not only our checks, but it goes into the [Royal Canadian Mounted Police's] database," Victor Kwong, a media relations officer with Toronto Police, told the outlet. Other nations are committed to protecting the security of minors through new restrictions. The U.S. recently passed legislation to help daycare facilities conduct more thorough background checks.