Tracking the cost of background checks

WICHITA, Kan. — When it comes to your kids safety, who should undergo background checks? And, who should pay for it, to make sure sex offenders are kept away from your children?

Wednesday evening, KSN brought you a story we’d been investigating about a youth football coach that is a registered sex offender, after being convicted of having sexual relations with a 17-year-old student. He was 31 at the time.

Now the league that he coaches in is looking to do background checks on their coaches and KSN wanted to know who gets the bill for background checks like these.

For most organizations, running the background checks costs close to $20 a person, depending on the service used but for large organizations that can run anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand.

For Maize Recreation Commission Director Brad Naccarato, the answer to the question of background checks is simple.

“I know that there’s a cost involved and I think you have to pay that cost,” said Naccarato.

Also, regarding privately run, self funded, recreational teams, the answer stayed the same.

“If you’re a volunteer for AYSO, we do the background check,” said Craig Bay, Regional Commissioner for AYSO (American Youth Soccer Organization).

For parents that have kids playing sports, no matter who is running the league, everyone wants the same thing – to know their kids are safe in the hands of the coaches and volunteers.

And with thousands of kids in the mix and hundreds of adults volunteering their time, it’s important to know who is interacting with the players.

“We figure that into our budget and know that we’re gonna spend 3 or 4 thousand a year running checks,” said Naccarato.

While Maize’s commission can budget the money since it’s funded through a joint commission with the school and the city, the American Youth Soccer Organization passes that fee on to parents.

“We include the national fee as part of our overall registration, so for parents it’s buried in there but it is an important part of that, $17.50 a kid is definitely a chunk,” said Bay.

And officials say, there will be no cutting corners in the matter because safety is the top priority.

“That’s the reason we have to be diligent in our background checks and to not compromise, ah that’s okay for that one occurrence,” said Bay.

Each organization has it’s own rules for background checks, some choose no to do them at all to avoid paying that cost and having it roll over to the parents.

If you are concerned about your league, be sure to call the organization to ask about their policies.

While not official, you can do a background check with the latest web technology as well.

Two resources, “PeekYou” and “White Pages Neighbors“, allow you to get information about just about anyone based on a search query run over a number of websites.

If you want to find out what pictures have been posted to Instagram, “The Beat“, can tell you when and where each was taken and by whom.

A fourth resource is the National Sex Offender website, where you can find out who lives where and what they have done.

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