March 2015 - Who is Coaching My Kid?
It's late in the afternoon on a Thursday in Spring. You pull into the parking lot just in time for Junior to take the field with his new youth baseball team. You sit in the car fastidiously catching up on emails from the day. After about twenty minutes you get a gut feeling. Is it really the best use of your time? You look out into the field where six adults are working with the 15 youth baseball players. You wonder, who is coaching my kid?
You turn the phone to vibrate and close out of your email app. You open the door, get out into the spring air and walk to the field. You wait on the sidelines observing the practice. It soon comes to a close. As Junior gathers his equipment, you introduce yourself to each of the six adults who were helping the team out. There's George from church, who has always been involved in youth baseball and coached his now grown sons to the World Series. Scott is back with his son Scottie who is also in Junior's class at school. Bill, the league commissioner is there as he is for all the team's first practices. Rob is also back this year. Rob heads up the concessions and likes to get to know the kids and parents. Tim and Fred are both new to you and as far as you know the league too. After a little bit of banter, you learn that Fred is new to town and Freddie (his son) is on Junior's team. Tim didn't hang around with the adults and didn't
partake in too much conversation.
Later that night as you relay the practice details to your spouse, you pause as you mention Tim. Something seemed off there. You decide to inquire by calling Scott. Scott doesn't know much about Tim; however, he reassures you that the league does background checks and he will find out more about Tim through that and through further conversations with him.
You didn't think about background checks. Oh yes, that makes you feel better! But wondering what is involved, you go on to the Internet and find out a little more. One of the main focuses of the youth baseball's backgrounds is on sex offenders, so, you start to relax a little.
The next day at the coffee shop you run into your old friend Michelynn. You quickly remember she knows a lot about background checks. Fortunately, she has time to sit down with you to enjoy your coffees together. So, you take full advantage of the situation and ask, “What type of background do you think a youth sports organization should be doing on the volunteers?”
She starts in, "Well, here in New York we are fortunate, Commercial Investigations has a special Best Practices program for just those types of organizations and other non-profit organizations. For one low flat rate per volunteer the program includes:
Origin, which includes:
•Social Security Number Validation
•Names associated with the Social Security Number
•Addresses associated with the Social Security Number
•Death Master Index Search
•Multi-jurisdictional Criminal Information Search
•Anti-terrorist Databases Search
•Exclusions Databases Search
•Adverse Databases Search
•National Sex Offender Search
Cursory Indicator New York, which includes:
•Statewide New York Criminal Information Data from all counties, cities villages and towns
•All Names used in the last ten years are run through this inquiry.
State specific Sex Offender Registry searches on all names used in the past ten years and all states lived in for the past ten years."
You listen intently, as she pauses, you question, "All three of those components make up the best practices and are all run for one low flat rate?"
Michelynn says, "Yes, it's a great program that they put together. I know many organizations utilizing the Best Practices. Some organizations add more services such as a motor vehicle search and some do less like only Origin and Cursory Indicator New York."
You forgot how passionate Michelynn is about background investigations. She continues, "You know what else is great about Commercial Investigations?" "They have an electronic consent form where the volunteer enters their information via a secure electronic portal and there is even a volunteer pay option where they accept credit cards."
She pauses just enough for you to comment, "Wow!"
She carries on, "You know they did years of research into the volunteer and non-profit market. They found that in most instances volunteers are willing to pay for their own background. They created the electronic portal to greatly cut down on the administrative burden of the non-profit, which was also highlighted in their research."
Fortunately, she pauses to drink some coffee. You jump right in, "Sounds like they know their stuff. The electronic consent form sounds like a win/win! The volunteer controls their information and its secure and then the non-profit doesn't have to enter the data and risk making costly mistakes."
Michelynn comments, "Yes, and you know the best part? With all their research and concentration on the non-profit volunteer market they also created VolChecked. You should check it out, at VolChecked.com. It's the new generation of volunteer background
investigations. It's simply epic!."
"I will," you interject.
With that she smiles and says, "Nice seeing you again. I have to run."
And, just like that she's gone, leaving you to contemplate - who is coaching my kid?