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Vetting Potential Childcare Workers - Reference Checks

It is incredibly important that you take multiple measures to vet your church's potential childcare workers. In addition to running a nationwide criminal background check, check of the sex offender registry, and interviewing the potential worker, you should also ask for several references from each worker. When asking for these references, it is important to let the potential worker know that you plan to call their references. In order to get information on a potential worker's references (as well as provide them proper disclosures about what you will be doing in terms of contacting those references), we suggest using our Sample Childcare/Youth Worker Application for all potential workers.

When asking for references, it is important to ask for at least 3 references so that you can get a good feel for the person's character from multiple sources. Preferably, at least one of those references should be a professional who has supervised the potential worker in the past (especially if they supervised them in childcare settings such as at church, at a daycare, etc.). It is also a good idea to ask for 2-3 references from within your church membership, as these church members may be able to shed light on important facts about the potential worker. Finally, you will want to ask about the potential worker's previous church attendance so that you can call the previous church to ask about the potential worker's suitability for working with children/youth.

When calling these references, make sure to ask about things such as:

  • The potential worker's suitability for working with children/youth
  • The potential worker's heart for service
  • The potential worker's faith and relationship with God
  • Whether the reference person would allow the potential worker to watch their own children or grandchildren
  • Ask if they know of any criminal background or child abuse background on the part of the potential worker
  • Ask if they know about any drug or alcohol abuse by the potential worker
  • Ask whether they would recommend the potential worker, and if not, to explain the reasons in detail

By taking the steps to call a potential worker's references, churches can uncover many hidden facts that could help protect the church from hiring a worker who would be harmful to children.

If you have questions about how to vet your childcare workers, please call David Cook at 214-886-7633.

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