It seems like it could become time and cost prohibitive to thoroughly screen everyone who works with children and youth at our church. Is the same level of screening needed for volunteers as for paid staff in churches?
When it comes to background checks for adults working with children and youth, churches should be screening all people who interact with kids at their churches, regardless if they're employees of the church or volunteers. A good screening process should include a written application, personal and professional (or volunteer organization) references, an interview, and a criminal background check. If a church is relying solely on a free or low-cost instant criminal database search for background checks, this is not enough. Why? Because many states only submit records to the sex offender registry if a person is actually incarcerated in a state correctional facility.