Every registered adult leader should have received an email from BSA National this week that included the new Background Check Disclosure and Background Check Authorization Form that needs to be submitted by all adult leaders during the upcoming recharter cycle. As a follow-up, the following are two sets of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) for your additional information:
FAQ’s from National BSA Legal
1. Is the BSA doing credit checks on volunteers?
No. The BSA will only use these signed authorization forms for approval to obtain a criminal background check. State and federal laws regulating background checks and consumer credit checks require that both items be mentioned on the form since a full background check includes both parts. Again, the BSA is only using this form for authorization to obtain a criminal background check.
2. Why is this being done now?
Starting in 2020, rechecks will be performed every five years, but it will take several years to recheck all leaders. Unfortunately, technical limitations and changes in the law over the last five years prevent us from using existing authorizations from older applications. As such, new disclosure had to be sent and new signed authorization forms obtained. Rechartering provides the best window to collect and verify they have been received before the council processes the recharter application.
3. What about volunteers that are not registered with units?
All currently registered adults and employees who have not had a criminal background check in the last five years will be rechecked and need to submit the authorization form.
4. What happens if a unit leader does not provide an authorization?
Leaders who do not provide new authorization will not be able to renew their registration.
Additional FAQ’s from the Sam Houston Area Council
1. Why is the BSA requiring this?
As part of our on-going commitment to safety for our youth, the BSA is enhancing our criminal background check process. Currently, background checks are run when an adult registers and when they change positions (complete a new application). The new authorization form grants permission for the BSA to run additional background checks without requiring an additional application from the adult.
2. What is different about this authorization form?
Past versions of the authorization for a background check granted permission for the BSA to obtain a background check. The new authorization expands this permission to state the volunteer’s authorization remains valid throughout their volunteer relationship with the BSA.
3. How do I submit this form?
These forms should not be directly turned into the council service center. Volunteers in local Scouting programs (packs, troops, crews, ships, posts) should submit their form to their unit’s recharter coordinator for inclusion in their annual recharter, which is due in December. The unit will then submit these forms for all leaders in that unit in conjunction with their recharter paperwork at the recharter turn-in in December. District volunteers should submit their form to the district commissioner or district professional to include with the district recharter.
4. What about those with multiple registrations?
A copy of the authorization form for a leader should accompany each recharter where he or she is registered as an adult leader. Photocopies of the original signed document are acceptable
5. Does this apply to merit badge counselors?
Yes. Merit badge counselors should submit these forms to the district commissioner or district professional to be included in the district recharter.
The leadership of the Sam Houston Area Council appreciates your patience and diligence as we institute this important process to continue placing the safety of our youth at the forefront of our operations. If you have any questions or need further clarification, please contact Thomas Franklin, Deputy Scout Executive, at firstname.lastname@example.org.