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Church Volunteer Child Sex Solestion investigation continues.

by Staff Writer 2/4/2010 11:34:00 AM

Note: Pre-employ.com and its division "www.volunteertracking.com assists churches and volunteerorganizations with background check policies and best practice solutions. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions comments or concerns.
 According to local news source channel 9, authorities in Douglas County Colorado are looking for children who may have had contact with a former youth volunteer accused of having a sexual relationship with a child at his church.

Sheriff's deputies say William "Bill" McLaughlin, 45, was arrested in December 2009 and charged with multiple felony counts including sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust.

"It is very tragic to hear about these types of cases, especially when it involves someone who is put in a position to care for and guide our youth. It is a great reminder for parents to talk to their children about issues involving these types of cases and how important open and honest communication is," Douglas County Sheriff Dave Weaver said in a news release.

Detectives believe McLaughlin, who was a youth volunteer at Denver Church of Christ, might have taken advantage of other children. During his time with Denver Church of Christ, which has satellite churches across Colorado and the country, McLaughlin had contact with hundreds of children and traveled extensively.

John Lusk, a senior minister with Denver Church of Christ says the church has about 600 adult members and its main church is in Arvada.

Lusk says McLaughlin volunteered with the church's youth from 1999 to 2006, but was "taken out" of the youth volunteer program four years ago. Lusk says he didn't know why McLaughlin was removed, but added McLaughlin has not been involved with the youth for four years.

According to Lusk, McLaughlin volunteered with teens from the church's high school group. His job was to attend activities and serve as a mentor. The idea, Lusk says, was "to be a spiritual guide to them."

"We typically do background checks," Lusk said. He was unsure whether a background check was done on McLaughlin.

During the ongoing investigation detectives have learned that McLaughlin lived in several locations within Douglas County, where some of the crimes took place, as well as multiple places in the Denver metro area.

McLaughlin declined to talk on-camera with 9NEWS.

McLaughlin's ex-wife, Cathy Jones, who does not live in Colorado, was in disbelief over the charges.

"I'm shocked. I don't believe it, can't believe it," Jones said. "I don't think it's true. He's a good man."

Jones and McLaughlin have been divorced since 1995.

In 2006, McLaughin was charged with a misdemeanor for sexual contact without consent, but in exchange for pleading guilty to harassment, the first charge was dismissed.

Pam Russell, a spokeswoman for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, says in the 2006 incident, a 14-year-old son of a friend told deputies McLaughlin was constantly around. One day, in the family's kitchen, deputies say McLaughlin tried to put ice down the boy's pants. The teen repeatedly told McLaughlin no, but deputies say he persisted and eventually did put the ice down the boy's pants.

Deputies say when McLaughlin put the ice down the boy's pants, he touched the 14-year-old's private parts. The incident was reported after the fact, and McLaughlin was charged with a misdemeanor.

The Denver Church of Christ issued the following statement after McLaughlin's recent arrest:

"The leadership of Denver Church of Christ was informed in late December by the Douglas County Sheriff's Office that a former youth volunteer of the church was arrested and charged with an offense against a young man. The Church leadership is very concerned by these allegations and the harm these actions bring to all involved. The Church leadership has been cooperating with the Sheriff's investigation since the initial arrest.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to this victim, his family, as well as all others concerned and affected by these events. As we wish to protect the privacy interests of the persons who have raised these concerns, we cannot comment any further on the case, or the investigation. We ask that all of those involved with these events and the investigation appreciate the seriousness of the claims and fully cooperate with the Sheriff's investigation."

Anyone with information about McLaughlin, additional victims or inappropriate conduct by McLaughlin should contact the Douglas County Sheriff's Office Investigations Division at 303-660-7548 or its tip line at 303-660-7579.

Utah Volunteers may have to pay for mandated background checks if they wish to volunteer

by Staff Writer 2/1/2010 10:43:00 AM

According to a recent story in The Salt Lake Tribune

The House Education Committee voted unanimously Tuesday in favor of a bill that would expand the criminal background checks required of school employees to include volunteers.

HB81 would require background checks for "volunteers who [are] given significant unsupervised access to a student in connection with the volunteer's assignment."

Legislators dismissed the concerns of Rob Layton, of the Utah Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, who warned that vague language in the bill would make it difficult for citizens to volunteer in schools.

"You are excluding a large range of people," he said, citing those who have been arrested, but not charged, and those who have been convicted of drug and alcohol-related misdemeanors, such as open container and marijuana possession laws. "It is just additional burdens on [volunteers]."

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Sheryl Allen, R-Bountiful, said more stringent requirements are necessary to protect children. The bill comes after public safety officials last year unearthed nearly 7,000 arrests, criminal charges or convictions. But a single employee could account for a dozen or more of those, said agency spokesman Jeff Nigbur.

The bill would also allow districts to require employees, applicants and volunteers to pay the background check fees, rather than the district covering those costs.

Currently, teachers undergo a background check as part of receiving or renewing a teaching license.

Licensing fees charged to them cover the costs of background checks. Periodic checks are also required for non-teaching staff such as bus drivers.

A district may choose to require non-certified employees, such as custodians, secretaries, and lunch clerks, to undergo a background check when they are hired, although the district must cover those costs. Becky Williams, the human resources director for Davis School District, said shifting those fees would save her district approximately $300,000 over six years. Pre-employ.com offers background check services to thousands of organizations and is the largest supplier of volunteer background checks in the nation. Full descriptions can be found here:

http://www.mybackgroundcheck.com/Business/Volunteer

 

National Council’s Discount Background Checks Protect Nonprofit Members and Communities Served

by Staff Writer 12/17/2009 9:08:00 AM

Who Needs Background Checks?

The need to provide a safe environment for the vulnerable populations that nonprofit organizations serve – including children, the elderly, and those people with special needs – has led to the need for a comprehensive and cost-effective volunteer and employee tracking and risk management system to be made available to the nonprofit sector.

Realizing the safety and security of those served is the top priority for nonprofit organizations, the National Council (formerly the National Council of Nonprofits) – a network of state and regional nonprofit associations serving more than 20,000 member organizations – has partnered with companies that provide background checks that look for “red flags” such as drug felonies, domestic violence, child abuse, and sex offender crimes in the pasts of volunteers and employees.

By screening out these potential “bad hires,” non-profit organizations reduce liability while ensuring the safety of their members and communities served. The consequences of a poor hiring decision and lack of a thorough background screening and tracking could negatively affect nonprofit organization in the form of: negligent hiring lawsuits; decreased workplace safety; lowered productivity, and; bad publicity that could make securing funding and donations more difficult.

What’s Volunteer & Employee Tracking?

According to the U.S. Department of Labor's “VOLUNTEERING IN THE UNITED STATES, 2008” report, 61.8 million people (26.4 percent of the population) volunteered at least once between September 2007 and September 2008. With that many volunteers per year, some kind of tracking system is obviously needed.

To meet the specific requirements of nonprofit organizations, a comprehensive and cost effective web-based volunteer and employee tracking system must exceed other more typical background screening programs in order to provide volunteer, employee, and community protection at the local, regional, and national levels.

A reputable background check provider should offer some form of volunteer and employee tracking system to nonprofit organizations, one that offers valuable risk management features, easy and flexible administration, and privacy law compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) governing the background check process.

The volunteer and employee tracking system should provide nonprofit organizations with timely and accurate background screening services, complete integration and technical support, and unlimited customer representation. In addition, members should receive a national group rate discount when referred through membership.

Where Can I Find Background Checks & Tracking Systems?

A partner of the National Council, MyBackgroundCheck.com — a member of the Pre-Employ.com Family of Companies and a leading provider of applicant supplied background checks — has developed a unique Volunteer/Employee Tracking System that effectively manages risk while significantly reducing background check costs.

By selecting MyBackgroundCheck.com, nonprofit organizations give volunteers and employees a useful resource. With an account, volunteers and employees can view background check results, manage personal information, and receive notification of changes to their information and who is requesting access to their information.

The National Council and MyBackgroundCheck.com have partnered to ensure the security of volunteers, employees, and communities though a cost-effective and comprehensive screening, risk management, and tracking system. To learn more, visit www.volunteertrackingsystem.com, email info@mybackgroundcheck.com, or call 1-800-503-2364.

pr@mybackgroundcheck.com

Volunteer Background Checks & Tracking System Protects Nonprofits and Communities

by Staff Writer 12/7/2009 3:37:00 PM

According to the U.S. Department of Labor's “VOLUNTEERING IN THE UNITED STATES, 2008” report, 61.8 million people (26.4 percent of the population) volunteered at least once between September 2007 and September 2008. With that many volunteers per year, some kind of volunteer background check and tracking system is obviously needed.

This need to provide a safe environment for the vulnerable populations that nonprofit organizations serve – including children, the elderly, and those people with special needs – has led to the need for a comprehensive and cost-effective volunteer tracking and risk management system to be made available to the nonprofit sector.

Realizing the safety and security of those served is a top priority, many nonprofit organizations have partnered with companies that provide criminal background checks that look for “red flags” such as drug felonies, domestic violence, child abuse, and sex offender crimes in the pasts of not only volunteers, but the employees of nonprofits too.

By screening out potential “bad hires” with background checks, nonprofit organizations reduce liability while ensuring the safety of their members and communities served. The consequences of a poor hiring decision could include: negligent hiring lawsuits, decreased workplace safety, lowered productivity, and bad publicity that could make securing donations more difficult.

To meet the specific requirements of nonprofit organizations, a comprehensive and cost effective web-based volunteer and employee tracking system must exceed other more typical background check programs in order to provide volunteer, employee, and community protection at the local, regional, and national levels.

MyBackgroundCheck.com — a leading provider of applicant supplied background checks — has partnered with many nonprofit organizations to ensure the security of volunteers, employees, and communities. The company’s unique Volunteer/Employee Tracking System effectively manages risk while significantly reducing background check costs.

By selecting MyBackgroundCheck.com, nonprofit organizations give volunteers and employees a useful resource. With an account, volunteers and employees can view background check results, manage personal information, and receive notification of changes to their background check information and who is requesting access to their information.

To learn more about volunteer background checks and the volunteer tracking system from MyBackgroundCheck.com, visit www.volunteertrackingsystem.com, email info@mybackgroundcheck.com, or call 1-800-503-2364. Follow MyBackgroundCheck.com on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MyBackgroundChk.

pr@mybackgroundcheck.com

More Volunteers Screened with Criminal Background Checks to Protect Children

by Tom Ahearn 11/2/2009 11:58:00 AM

According to an article in USA TODAY, screening volunteers with criminal background checks has become common in many volunteer organizations, and background checks are seen as an effective way to protect children, the elderly, and the disabled from sex offenders and people with criminal pasts — and protect volunteer organizations from liability over negligent recruiting.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the U.S. Department of Labor's "VOLUNTEERING IN THE UNITED STATES,  2008" report reveals that approximately 61.8 million people (or 26.4 percent of the population) volunteered at least once between September 2007 and September 2008.

If volunteers in America work with children, the elderly, and the disabled, they most likely undergo criminal background checks that look for "red flags" such as drug felonies, domestic violence, child abuse, and sex crimes, USA TODAY reports. Using background checks on volunteers has grown steadily since 1993, when the National Child Protection Act became law and enabled organizations to use criminal background checks to screen out volunteers with criminal records, according to USA TODAY, and some states have enacted their own laws concerning volunteer background checks:

  • Florida: A 2005 state law requires school districts to run potential volunteers through the sexual predator and offender database.
  • Minnesota: A 2008 state law made background checks mandatory for volunteers who work with children, the elderly, the disabled, and other vulnerable populations.
  • Ohio: A 2001 state law encourages youth organizations to require background checks for volunteers.
  • Oregon: A 2001 state law authorizes the State Police to conduct national background checks on people volunteering to work with children, the elderly and the disabled.

Ensuring the safety and security of members and the community should be a top priority for volunteer organizations, and they need a volunteer background check program in place that meets the specific requirements of for volunteer screening, MyBackgroundCheck.com — a pioneer in the consumer requested and applicant supplied background check industry — has developed a unique and comprehensive Volunteer Tracking System (VTS) for volunteer background checks that tracks volunteer applicants that effectively manages risk, significantly reduces volunteer background check costs, and protects volunteers, volunteer organizations, and the community.

For more information about MyBackgroundCheck.com's Volunteer Tracking System (VTS) for volunteer background checks, visit www.volunteertrackingsystem.com, call 1-800-503-2364, or request information. Take a Volunteer Screening and Risk Management Nonprofit Organization Survey. Follow MyBackgroundCheck.com on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MyBackgroundChk.

tahearn@mybackgroundcheck.com



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