Background Checks for Coaches

Discussion in 'Discussing the Cheerleading Industry' started by Rudags, Jun 5, 2010.

  1. Rudags

    Rudags Two Time Defending Champion, Board Comedian

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    How much digging do you think is appropriate for a background check? If you get a typical "criminal" background check; this will not show anything if there is currently an open case against an individual. I know of TWO people in our industry who have open court cases regarding sexual harassment against minors. One of them is in the process of opening his own gym and the other has been gym hopping around the country coaching at various gymnastics and allstar cheer gyms getting fired one gym at a time.

    What can be done about this? I know that these are open court cases, and these people COULD be found innocent (although I know both personally and dont believe that to be the case) what are you feelings about hiring someone who has an open court case?

    Is there anything the USASF can offer for safety?

     
  2. King

    King Is all about that bass Staff Member

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    I don't think there currently is anything the USASF can offer, but let me offer my view point.

    There is a ton of information available about everyone on the internet. You can even get someones FBI file if you can prove its a matter of public interest. I think to get a job anywhere you should expect a healthy background check on everything about your personal life. Arrests, your Facebook, what you do on the weekends, the stupid stuff you got kicked out of school for when you were 16, ... everything. So I believe it would be very hard for someone to have done something naughty without a gym owner finding out about it if they knew how to use the right tools.

    Maybe there needs to be a section on here teaching gym owners how to run background checks and search out people on the internet for all their information?
     
  3. Rudags

    Rudags Two Time Defending Champion, Board Comedian

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    That could be useful!!! But do you think people will really use it? In my experience, it took a TON of digging to find out what i found out!
     
  4. King

    King Is all about that bass Staff Member

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    Did you use a paid background check site?

    There are 'consultants' who you can hire to do background checks on an individual. Any charges brought up against someone. It costs money... but if $200 bucks is worth the piece of mind for you why not?

    There isn't much stopping anyone from getting information about you (not YOU but you) personally. Just gotta always make sure you dot your i's and cross your t's. IF someone decides to come after you there is no stopping what they can find.
     
  5. King

    King Is all about that bass Staff Member

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    Quick version from how to hire a nanny. I think this could all be adjusted to fit a gym coaches needs.

    Step 1
    Ask your nanny for at least three references. Contact every single one of them. Get details. How long was she employed? How did she perform? Why did she leave? Would they hire her again? Do they recommend you hire her?

    Step
    2
    Get more references if you can't reach the people listed or if they cannot provide you with enough information.

    Step
    3
    Have your nanny fill out an application listing location and date of her birth, driver's license number, any previous names, her last five employers (other than the references she gave you), names, addresses and phone numbers of close relatives, names of colleges or schools attended and dates, her last three addresses and anything else you want to know.

    Step
    4
    Tell her you are going to do a background check and have her sign a statement authorizing you to do so. If she doesn't want to give you this information, do you really want to trust her with your kids?

    Step
    5
    Call the relatives listed to verify they are her relatives. Call the employers and find out if the information given is true and what the employers thought of her.

    Step
    6
    Verify the information provided if you feel the need to. Use one of the several online background check services available, or hire a local investigator. The cost of the background check will vary depending on the depth of information you want. You should be able to get the most basic information verified for under $100.

    An example of a background check website that is around 20 bucks for two years of searching:
    http://criminal.publicrecordschecks.com/CriminalCheck/
     
  6. Rudags

    Rudags Two Time Defending Champion, Board Comedian

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    Kingston -

    I used free things online and used some connections I had in the industry. I did some unethical things to find out some information, but IMO, it was for the greater good, and I dont regret it.

    That "Nanny Program" seems pretty good, however, The thing about "calling references" is tough. I "called some references" if you will - and due to the open cases, they could not say anything. They could only tell me how long the particular person was there, that they were no longer there, and that was it. They couldnt tell me why - which was a pain, but again, I dug. It's truely hard to find out if someone has an open case. Honestly, the only reason I found out was that someone's conscience (sp?) got the better of them. When I told them who I was calling about and told them they were coaching kids, they called back three days later and finally told me. She told me she could go to jail and get in big trouble for revealing what she told me, but she felt the kids safety was at risk. Without her call back I would not have found any proof.
     
  7. King

    King Is all about that bass Staff Member

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    Ok, so the key is finding out if someone has an open court case. Individuals involved in the case are not allowed to talk about it at that moment.

    I wonder if it is legal to:

    A. ask if they are in a case at the moment

    B. ask if there is someone else they could talk to for reference about that person at all

    Thoughts?

    What sucks is when working with kids you are guilty until MAYBE proven innocent. If an accusation even comes up your job might be toast.
     
  8. ufomom

    ufomom I have my own cheer message board

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    I highly recommend finger prints. I know you can still run into a pending criminal case, but I think they are relatively inexpensive. I think this would be a great thing for the USASF to put together...how to run an effective and legal background check. You seriously do not know people. Front page story where I am today...peditrician and family friend arrested for inappropriate contact with patients and other things too graphic too post.
     
  9. King

    King Is all about that bass Staff Member

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    Fingerprints are an interesting idea. But I think the aclu would be all up on someone's butt if that was tried.

    Sent from my Droid Incredible
     
  10. ufomom

    ufomom I have my own cheer message board

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    I will ask my husband what the legality issues are. They are run as a matter of course in his industry. You have to protect what you find as you would for any personnel file. You can't have loose lips.
     
  11. Rudags

    Rudags Two Time Defending Champion, Board Comedian

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    I just think something should be done, bottom line. I dont think most gyms do good enough jobs at checking into this. A gym I worked at before didnt run a background check - They knew me, but still - Just because my record would have come up clean doesnt mean everyone in that gym's would've.
     
  12. King

    King Is all about that bass Staff Member

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    But to run a blacklist... I'm curious of the implications.

    Maybe the safer legal solution is the usasf teaches gyms how to run background checks instead of baring the burden of holding onto that info? I don't think the answer is as easy as a list at the usasf. But if every gym owner knew how to access the resources to check everything within their legal ability that would empower the gyms AND cost every little to implement.

    Any lawyers have any advice?
     
  13. GAcheerpeach

    GAcheerpeach Cheer Stalker

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    I seriously doubt you will ever get a previous employer willing to give any useful information to you if it is of a negative nature. That practice was ended long ago after employees started suing (and winning) employers that gave out negative information on them.

    You will just have to use background checks and hope for the best.
     
  14. King

    King Is all about that bass Staff Member

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    Hrmm... that is frustrating.

    But at the same time I can see how that does protect your civil liberties. So the best solution is just to be tenacious as you can and take it upon yourself find out.
     
  15. powerXbaby

    powerXbaby Last Pass... on International Open 1

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    Something that has bothered me. There was a coach at a gym that was fired because he had a relationship with one of the girls that was on the team. She was a minor at the time. There was no court case. That coach was then rehired at the gym a couple years later. That bothers me a lot.