Background checks have become a necessity as our church has moved from a small family church plant to a two service per week 400+ person church. We have never conducted background checks before, so I had to research every single detail of how to start this process. I thought I would share what I have learned with you, in case you find yourself in a similar boat.
There are many background check services available, but the most popular ones recommended to me by other children’s pastors were the following:
We chose Shepard’s Watch by GROUP because they have a low priced one-time processing fee, then you can check any individual for $9 for the lifetime of the agreement. I had to call their 1-800 number to set up an account for our church. Then, they sent me a legal form that our church had to fill out to enable us to check backgrounds.
At our yearly volunteer training/appreciation day, I had the children's church volunteers fill out a legal form releasing us to run their background check (provided by Shepards Watch). Once I send that information to Shepard’s Watch, I don’t have anything left to do but wait for our background checks to show up.
Overall, background checks with Shepards Watch was a pain free experience and worth the cost. I would much rather be on the safe side than to find out we had not taken every precaution to keep our kids safe.