There are low quality $10 searches available on the internet that offer limited coverage areas and are not very effective to reduce the liability and are compromising ministries everywhere. In fact, we can all agree that it's becoming a big problem in the church, these days. And YES, other agencies and attorneys might disagree with me and say the $10 search is better than nothing. But keep in mind this is a legal perspective, not a morally responsible one. These cheap background checks will not keep sexual predators out of your church.
So what is the cost of a fully comprehensive background checks for churches? A quality background check of this depth can cost on average around $20 to $80 each or more depending on volume and at a minimum includes the following:
- Social Security Verification: Who are they? Have they been known by any other names? Where have they lived?
- National Criminal Database Search: This should never be used as the stand-alone screening program. It is a great tool but not a screening program.
- National Sex Offender Search: This is not a stand-alone screening program. Sex Offender Registries can be out of date or only contain certain classifications of sex offenders.
- County Criminal Record Search: Should search the county of current residence at a minimum and best practice would include past counties of residence for a 10 year period.
We are offering these types of comprehensive in depth Nationwide Criminal Background Reports to churches and other faith based organizations at a discounted rate of $15 per search. What is included in the background screening package and how the background screening firm will conduct their research is extremely important. A reputable background screening firm will not limit their searches to 7 years even, while only relying only on databases and will include alias names. What we offer is very in-depth because we do care about protecting ministries to the best of our ability. Every order received at Ballard Investigations is processed by a licensed Private Detective and results are returned within 24 hours or less.
Benjamin Franklin’s adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is prophetic. The cost of background checks for churches is minuscule compared to the cost of not doing them.