Legion mandates background checks

Featured in Youth Support
Legion mandates background checks

The American Legion relies heavily upon dedicated Legionnaires and Legion family members to support and donate countless hours to the success of its youth programs—Baseball, Oratorical Contest, Boys State/Nation, Junior Shooting Sports, Scouting and Junior Law Cadet. And in an effort to continue enhancing the Legion’s youth programs, and its protection of children and youth, The American Legion National Executive Committee (NEC) adopted Resolution 4 during the 2012 Spring Meetings, which mandates a background check screening for staff and volunteers selected to be involved in American Legion’s national youth programs.

These national programs include: Boys Nation, regional and World Series Baseball tournaments, National Oratorical Contest, National Junior Shooting Sports Competition and National Boys Scout Jamboree. This policy goes into effect Jan. 1, 2013, and will be conducted annually prior to the start of each program.

Click here to read and download the "Risk Management Policies of The American Legion for the Enhanced Protection of Children and Youth."

The Legion has teamed up with Protect Youth Sports, Inc., to conduct background screenings of staff and volunteers for the Legion’s national programs. The Legion has negotiated discounts for background screening with Protect Youth Sports, Inc., for all national youth programs, as well as youth programs within American Legion departments.

With the exception of coaches, managers and volunteer staff of junior and senior Legion Baseball teams, background check screenings of staff and volunteers for youth programs within American Legion departments is not mandated, but Resolution 12 highly recommends that they are conducted. In regards to Legion Baseball, the NEC adopted Resolution 16 during the 2012 Fall Meetings in Indianapolis, which states that background check screenings are mandatory for coaches, managers and volunteer staff involved with Legion Baseball teams.

Let it be known that while The American Legion has the utmost trust and confidence in its staff and volunteers, the need to implement such measures as background checks is unfortunately reflective of today’s social reality. Any organization entrusted with the safety and welfare of youth must first and foremost engage all reasonable means necessary to protect those youth, as well as mitigate its overall risk and liability by taking measures aimed at sustaining program integrity and safety.

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John La Rochelle

October 22, 2012 - 2:56pm

Smart Move.

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