Iowa aims to improve screening efficiency

Iowa Volunteers imageSimilar to how the Delaware government recently decided to review their child protection laws, Iowa’s Commission on Volunteer Service is now working to streamline background checks for volunteers, whether they help out in schools or other organizations, according to Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad. At least in Iowa, the problem doesn’t seem to be a lack of background screening on volunteers; rather, that the same volunteers are undergoing several background checks if they volunteer with more than one school or organization, as each entity conducts its own screening processes. The goal for the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service group is to create a network that regulates the screening processes, and shares the information between organizations. Having this system in place will help improve efficiency in background checking and eliminate redundant checks. Currently, different background checks may be required for different levels or types of volunteers, and there does not appear to be any regulatory system in place. Volunteers may work with children in a variety of situations, such as in the schools, at summer camps or in after-school programs, but may not all be subject to the same checks. This group will not only determine what processes are necessary for each type of volunteer, but will allow other volunteer organizations to review previous background checks to verify the volunteers have been checked out.]]>

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