Your Youth-Serving Organization (YSO) should create protocols for the application, interviewing, and screening process. Each step of the process should focus on screening each candidate to determine their suitability to work with children.
For proper screening and hiring:
Develop a standard protocol for gathering screening information, including a timeline, who is responsible for each step, and documentation procedures. Clearly define the application requirements for candidates
, and what documents should be submitted. Determine who will be responsible for each aspect of screening and hiring.
Identify individuals who are responsible for ensuring all candidates are screened according to your organization’s policies. Designate screening duties to current staff to ensure the candidates are properly screened. Clearly define the level and type of screening that will take place based on the needs of the YSO.
Conduct interviews for all staff and volunteers, including asking questions about the staff or volunteers’ suitability to work with children. Personal interviews should be used to get to know the candidate. Use this time to gain understanding of the candidate’s interest and suitability in working with children.
Verify all candidates provide at least two references from recent and relevant work and that telephone reference checks are conducted for all positions. Live reference checks should be used to gain more information about the candidate, including a verification of past employment. Reference checks can also give more insight into potential signs of risk factors for harmful behaviors.
Require a written application and signed Statement of Suitability from all candidates confirming that there are no circumstances that would prevent them candidates from working safely with children. Ensure written applications and interviews include questions that provide more information about the candidate’s suitability. The Statement of Suitability asks them to confirm that all answers on the application are true, no information was withheld, and there is nothing in their background that would prevent them from working safely with children.
Each part of the application process is designed to help determine the suitability of the candidates for your YSO. Ensure all parts of the application and screening process are done properly, and without exception, in order to help verify that candidates are safe to work around children.
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