Our sexual abuse prevention policies (found online here: Policy PDF) requires all persons who regularly work with or around children and youth to meet some standards including a criminal records check and sex offender registry check conducted every five years. It does not include, for example, the parent who helps at one event while being overseen by those with proper training and checks. Those personnel who drive youth on trips should also have a motor vehicle records check. In addition, those employees with oversight of funds (such as a paid bookkeeper) should have a credit check as part of hiring.
In order to assist congregations in fulfilling this policy, as well as best practices, we have negotiated a group rate with Professional Screening Services, a Florida-based company used by several other Episcopal Dioceses. The rates when the application is sent in through the Diocese are:
Multi-State Criminal History Search
- This is the most “national” search available to the public.
- Includes felony conviction information from state repository database in a minimum of 42 states.
National Sex Offender/Predator Search
- Searches the nationwide sex offender registry for convicted sex offenders/predators.
Motor Vehicle Report
- Provides license information, violations, and license status.
- Report looks at the previous 3 years.
Statewide Criminal History Search for Georgia
- Statewide comes from the state law enforcement bureau.
Residential Consumer Credit Report
- Provides public records and judgments, payment history, current and previous addresses, fraud detection check, and possible employment information.
We offer the reports as follows:
Multi-State Criminal and Sexual Offender Report ($15)
Motor Vehicle Report for Georgia ($15)
Statewide Criminal History for Georgia ($20)
Residential Credit Report ($10)
All of the background checks listed above are conducted on everyone in the ordination process. They are also conducted on all clergy moving into the Diocese. These clergy checks are at no cost to the congregation. Additionally, the Diocese now offers up to ten checks per year at no cost (beyond your ongoing support of the Diocese). These checks will be limited to the typical Multi-State Criminal and Sex Offender Registry report. Additional checks may be ordered for the prices listed above. In most cases, this will cover all of the background checks needed to fulfill the policy.
Once a policy is in place, make sure every person to be checked is notified of what is being done and how the records will be retained. Then get a signed consent form (a sample is in the policy linked above). Contact us with the full name, gender, current address, social security number, date of birth, and a signed consent form. Background checks are generally completed the same day as requested. Written proof can then be supplied for your congregation’s files
Social Security Number
Date of Birth
Full Current Address
Signed Consent Form
Vestries are encouraged to adopt and follow clear, consistent policies in deciding who is checked and which of the above reports are requested. Contact the diocesan office to arrange a background check using this service.