Criminal History Background Check Policy

PURPOSE

The Diocese of Saginaw values the safety of children and youth, its employees and volunteers, and the people whom it works with and serves. Accordingly, the diocese must take prudent measures to protect its people. This policy and accompanying procedures became effective on March 1, 2004, and were revised in January, 2014.

GENERAL POLICY REGARDING SCREENING

The Diocese of Saginaw mandates that a criminal history background check, ICHAT, is required for:
All paid church personnel including those paid by stipend, whether they have contact
with minors (anyone under 18 years of age) or not. This includes all paid personnel
who provide services to the diocese, parish, school or early childhood center, or any
other diocesan institution.

All volunteers who have regular contact with children/youth at the diocese, parish,
school or early childhood center, or any other diocesan institution. This includes
adults who hold meetings with children or youth on church/school property, such as,
Boy/Girl Scout activities. This includes adults on overnight trips with children/youth.

The Diocese of Saginaw mandates that the Michigan State Police/FBI Fingerprint background check with live scan fingerprint is required for:

All paid school personnel as mandated/required by the State of Michigan.
All paid coaches and all volunteer coaches in schools and parishes in the Diocese of
Saginaw . (This group has both the fingerprint check and ICHAT check.)

Minors (anyone under 18 years of age) who volunteer to work with children in programs at
the diocese, parish, school or early childhood center, or any other diocesan institution shall
complete and have their parent/guardian complete and sign the “Minor’s Statement of
Background” form.

TYPE OF BACKGROUND SEARCH

Criminal Background searches include:

  • Michigan State Police Internet Criminal History Access Tool (ICHAT)
  • Out-of-State Background Check for persons who have lived outside of Michigan within the past seven years
  • Michigan State Police/FBI Background Check with Live Scan Fingerprint.

Criminal history background checks will encompass all the places that the person has lived within the past seven years. Out-of-country background checks will be conducted where possible.

COST

The Diocese of Saginaw will cover the cost of the Internet Criminal History Access Tool (ICHAT) and any check needed to verify an applicant’s identity. The cost of any additional required background check, such as, the out-of-state or country check and the Michigan State/FBI
Check is covered by the requesting diocesan department, institution, agency, parish or school.

PROCEDURE

Requirement for Employment/Volunteer Activity: A criminal history background check is a condition of employment or volunteering for those individuals described above.

Time Frame: At the time of employment, assignment or request to volunteer, the applicant will be provided with a copy of the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw Background Check Policy and an Authorization Form to conduct the background check.

The background check for employees and volunteers is initiated as soon as possible prior to employment or volunteer activity. The result of the background check will determine whether the person may be placed or retained in an employee or volunteer position.

The Minor’s Statement of Background must be completed prior to the minor being a volunteer.

Frequency: Current church personnel and volunteers may be screened periodically at the discretion of the diocese.

RESPONSIBLE AGENT

Requests for a criminal history background check are handled by the hiring agency and/or the agency handling volunteer applicants.

The hiring agency for all employees and/or the agency responsible for volunteers who will have regular contact with children/youth, gives the person a copy of the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw Policy on Background Checks and a copy of the Authorization Form which the applicant completes and signs. Two copies are made of this form. One copy is given to the applicant and the other copy is kept in the personnel file of the diocese, parish, school or early childhood center. The original signed Authorization Form is sent to the Diocese of Saginaw Compliance Office which conducts the ICHAT background check.

In addition to the ICHAT check, as noted earlier, all paid school personnel are required by Michigan law to have a Michigan State Police/FBI background check with live scan fingerprint. The Diocese of Saginaw requires that all coaches who volunteer in diocesan schools/parishes have a Michigan State Police/FBI background check with live scan fingerprint. All Catholic schools must follow the requirements for background checks according to Michigan law.

Upon receiving the MSP/FBI background check report, a copy is kept in the official files including the Diocese of Saginaw Compliance Office.

A copy of the Minor’s Statement of Background form is kept in the school/parish personnel file and the original is sent to the Diocese of Saginaw Compliance Office.

The Compliance Office and the Safe Environment Coordinator will serve as a resource to the hiring agents and volunteer coordinators in conducting and processing required background checks.

COMPLIANCE MONITORING

The designated person within each parish, school or early childhood center, or diocesan institution will maintain a record of all people required to have a criminal history background check. In addition, each agency will cooperate with the diocesan Compliance Office in keeping and maintaining mutual and updated records including seasonal coaches and personnel.


COMMUNICATING RESULTS OF CRIMINAL HISTORY
BACKGROUND CHECKS

In cases where a criminal conviction is discovered through ICHAT or other investigative organizations, the diocesan Compliance Office will promptly notify the hiring entity or the entity dealing with volunteers and the Office of the Bishop.

All information received from the background check will be kept confidential by the requesting agency, the diocesan Compliance Office, the Office of the Bishop and any other person involved with the background check results. FBI/Fingerprint reports will be handled according to diocesan procedures for such reports.

Laws protecting the employee must be followed. A final determination regarding future service of any employee or volunteer will be made by the bishop in consultation with the hiring agent or the agent responsible for volunteer personnel and the diocesan safe environment coordinator.


Revised January, 2014