Updated Safe Sanctuary background check consent forms now available


Due to a concern that outdated consent forms are being used to obtain background checks for employees and volunteers who work with children, youth and vulnerable adults, updated versions of the consent forms are available from The North Alabama Conference, working in coordination with the Conference's background check provider Employment Screening Services (ESS). The updated forms reflect updated legal requirements and best practices in obtaining the necessary consent and providing disclosures concerning the use of personal information when running background checks.

"Using these updated consent forms helps churches to ensure that they are fulfilling their background screening requirements as described in the Conference Safe Sanctuaries policy, and that those checks are processed as quickly as possible," says Rev. John Fleischauer, Conference Safe Sanctuaries Coordinator.

According to Rev. Fleischauer, churches that use the Conference account with ESS to process background checks should download the updated forms. Churches using branch accounts should verify that they are using forms with "Rev. 09.18" printed on the first page. Churches who utilize ESS's SwiftHire online background check system are not affected as those consent forms are updated automatically.

Churches using a background check provider other than ESS should check with that provider and their church's legal counsel to ensure the consent forms and background checks meet current requirements.

"With the start of a new school year, this is a great time to verify that all staff and volunteers who work with minors and vulnerable adults have up-to-date background checks," adds Rev. Fleischauer. "Background checks - which, under the Conference Safe Sanctuaries policy, must be updated at least every three years - are among the most effective tools we have to ensure that the minors and vulnerable adults in our care are protected."

The updated background check consent forms are available at www.umcna.org/backgroundchecks. Additional details about the Conference's background check program are also available at that link.

Frequently asked questions about background checks can be found at www.umcna.org/background-check-faqs.

Additional questions should be directed to Conference Safe Sanctuaries Coordinator Rev. John Fleischauer at john.fleischauer@umcna.org or (205) 226-7963.

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