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Negligent Selection

Criminal records checks for youth workers.

Criminal Records Checks for Youth Workers

A Texas court says "yes," Frith v. Fairview Baptist Church, 2002 WL 1565664 (Tex. App.-Dallas 2002)

Article summary. A Texas court ruled that a church had a "self-imposed duty" to conduct criminal records checks on youth workers, because of a policy the church had adopted years before. Because the church violated its own policy in selecting a youth worker without performing a criminal records check, it violated this self-imposed duty. However, the court concluded that the church was not legally responsible for the worker's acts of child molestation because even if the church had conducted a criminal records check it would not have discovered any information suggesting that the worker posed a threat to children.

Many church leaders are wondering if their church should conduct criminal records checks, and if so, on which persons. ...

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Richard R. Hammar is an attorney, CPA and author specializing in legal and tax issues for churches and clergy.

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