[Ansteorra-announce] Background check FAQ

Duchess Julia seneschal at ansteorra.org
Wed Apr 11 12:54:31 PDT 2007

Unto Ansteorra, Greetings!

Below please find some additional information as well as some FAQs regarding
the background checks.

In Service,

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: seneschal at sca.org <seneschal at sca.org>
Date: Apr 11, 2007 2:22 PM
Subject: [SENESCHAL] Background check FAQ
To: sca-seneschal at midrealm.org

The SCA has long had a policy of parents being ultimately responsible for
their children at SCA activities. We have policies in place prohibiting a
single adult from being alone in supervising youth that are not their
children by birth or legal document. These have not sufficed to prevent
harm to some of our minor participants at the hands of adult participants.
Since 2002, there have been 88 revocation and denial of membership
decisions rendered by the Board of Directors. 29 of these have been for
conviction of predatory crimes. 24 of these have been with regard to abuse
of minors. It would seem clear that the old policies are not sufficient to
protect our minor participants. Any number greater than zero of these
incidents is profoundly unacceptable.

There are many organizations similar to the SCA in that they have
well-defined programs for minor participants. These organizations conduct
a due-diligence check of volunteers who would like to be in positions of
control, teaching, or supervision of minor participants. The vast majority
of these organizations vet possible volunteers via background check. There
are a variety of methods used.

The SCA feels a responsibility to the wellbeing of our minor participants
and will implement a program of background checks to enhance their safety.

Some Questions and answers about this endeavor follow:

Q: Are Kingdoms required to implement the Society policy?
A: Once upheld by the Board of Directors, the Kingdoms will have a
timeline to implement the policy or cease offering youth-activity

Q: I had a background check for work. Can you just use that?
A: No. All checks for this program will be performed according to the same
criteria and by the same vendor for all participants. The vendor is a
licensed, bonded provider of background examinations.

Q: Will the SCA be privy to specific details of my background, whether I
pass the exam or not?
A: No. The SCA will only receive a pass or a fail notice from the
background-examination provider.

Q: Will my personal information be exposed to other SCA participants?
A: No. Information is provided directly to the vendor in order to perform
the background examination, and does not go through the SCA.

Q: How long is my pass status good for?
A: It is planned that the pass status will be good for two years.

Q: Will all existing officers have to be checked?
A: All officers/volunteers with supervisory positions, teaching, or direct
control of minor participants – new or existing – would require a
background examination.
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