A Parent’s Homework For Today: Check Out Your Child’s Coach

Not all organized sports organizations will get a background check on the coaches that they hire. In every state, in every country, there are numerous stories about how a coach harmed a child in one way or another.

This harm is usually in the form of verbal, physical or even sexual abuse. If you read news stories about a coach who was arrested for mistreating a child, inevitably, someone will say he or she was such a nice person – so friendly, and so kind to everyone.

Sometimes, these people coaching children really are nice people and they have a bad day and say something to a child or to the team that they shouldn’t say. This could be a one-time occurrence with someone who really did make a mistake.

But you don’t want them making mistakes with your children. Not when words and deeds can have lasting effects on the psyche of a child. It’s become all too common today to discover that someone in a position of authority who works closely with children has a history of bad behavior.

That history could include things like assault, driving while intoxicated, or arrests for things like drug abuse or domestic violence situations. You would think that given the precious value of children that all sports organizations would automatically do in depth background checks on coaches.

But they don’t. It’s not always policy that a coach, especially if it’s a volunteer coach, have a background check. That’s why it’s up to a mom to make sure that her child’s coach doesn’t have a record that would make him or her more likely to harm a child.

What you need to do first is ask wherever your child plays sports if mandatory background checks were conducted. Even if you’re told there are, that doesn’t mean that you’ll be given access to that information.

The organization has to protect the privacy rights of the coach they did the background check on. So they may see something that happened several years ago and decide that it was okay to overlook it now – even if it was something like solicitation or improper communication.

Having a record doesn’t mean a person can never coach. It means that some organizations will weigh the facts and then choose to hire or deny employment to that person.

You don’t want the safety of your child left up to someone else’s judgment call. Not only can you request a background check on your child’s coach, but you should – and it’s as easy as entering the person’s name into an online system.

A background check will pull up any prior arrests, whether the person was convicted of a crime, and whether or not the person has registered as a sex offender. It will also show the driving record. You’ll be able to take a look at the character of the person who will have a lot of contact with your child.

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