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Should coaches and trainers be screened before hiring them?

Should coaches and trainers be screened before hiring them?

Children are our most prized possessions and it is our responsibility to make sure that they are safe. The society we live in is filled with numerous vices and child abuse takes the top position. Even though the rate of child abuse has reduced over the years, recent estimates by the Advocates for Youth show that “between 1-3 percent of U.S. youth experience child sexual abuse in any given year and that one in four girls and one in six boys are sexually abused before their 18th birthday.” Also, according to a survey conducted for the American Association of University Women, coaches come in second only to teachers in frequency of sexual misconduct.” With such stats, you wouldn’t want to leave your kids with strangers. So don’t you deserve to know more about your kid’s coaches?

This is where background checks become of paramount importance to create a reliable staff of coaches and trainers. This point has been emphasized by decisions taken by some major sports organizations and leagues around the country.

In the light of recent occurrences where the former president of Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), Bobby Dodd has been accused of molesting young kids and Jerry Sandusky being found guilty of 45 counts of sexual abuse, AAU has made background checks mandatory for all adult coaches and staff. They plan to develop a 42 point plan for the safety of the children. A few years ago, the Little League Baseball began “requiring all volunteers to be checked annually against state sex offender registries.”

Precautions taken while hiring will definitely reduce the chances of future complications. Any organization that deals with children should have a pre-defined process for background screening and testing of their employees.