Criminal Background Check Required for the Protection of Children and Youth

1.    Background checks for the protection of children and youth are to be conducted with the consent of the subject, in compliance with any applicable civil laws and rules, and with regard to confidentiality as well as the rights in canon 220. [1]

2.    The Diocese of Lansing reserves the right to conduct an initial or an updated criminal background check on any employee or any volunteer at any time for any reason or for no reason, at its sole discretion.

3.    If a parish, a public juridic person, a school, or a diocesan agency discovers that it has an employee or volunteer for whom no criminal background check has been conducted, it must notify the employee or volunteer and must conduct the criminal background check without delay.

4.    An employee may be conditionally hired if (a) materials for a criminal background check have been submitted, but the report is not yet available, and (b) the employee signs a statement identifying all prior convictions and agreeing that the employer can terminate the employment relationship immediately if the statement is contradicted by the report.

However, a person who has been convicted of a "listed offense" under Michigan Law may not be employed by a school or serve as a volunteer at a school. Nor may such a person be employed, contracted for service or authorized as a volunteer by a non-school institution of the diocese when interaction with minors is required or foreseeable. (See following Advisory, Listed Offenses under Sex Offenders Registration Act.)

5.    The following are required to undergo criminal background checks conducted under the auspices of the Diocese of Lansing. (In certain cases, it may authorize or involve a third-party provider to conduct the checks.).

   a.    Adult volunteers who have contact with minors in a non-school setting regardless of the frequency and length of contact with them (such as aides, bus drivers, coaches, helpers, mentors, musicians, nurses, overnight chaperones, playground supervisors, tutors, etc.);

   b.    Clergy who minister in the diocese, regardless of incardination status (and see # Certification of Suitability of Clergy and # Extern Clergy Residing and Ministering in the Diocese);   

   c.  Those who apply for diocesan-sponsored admission to a seminary, inquirers who apply for aspirancy in the program of diaconal formation, and those who seek certification or commissioning as a lay ecclesial minister;

   d.    Lay ecclesial ministers, whether employed or volunteer, and whether commissioned or not;

   e.    Employees, even religious, of the diocese, its parishes, its public juridic persons, and their programs apart from K-12 schools;

   f.    Employees of day care, pre-school or child care programs, including their directors.  

   g.  Student teachers;

   h.  Principals of any K-12 school operated by a parish or by a public juridic person of the diocese, even if they also teach;

6.  The norms of the Diocesan Educational Policy Manual govern the use, security and disposal of criminal history background checks at parish schools and schools established as public juridic persons of the diocese. The criminal background checks of the following are to be conducted under the auspices of those schools in accord with the applicable civil laws and regulations.

   a.    Employees of any K-12 school, including substitute teachers, but excluding the principal of the school itself;

   b.    Employees provided by outside contractors to provide services to these schools.

   c.    Adult volunteers in schools (such as aides, bus drivers, coaches, helpers, mentors, musicians, nurses, overnight chaperones, playground supervisors, tutors).

 (These details are contained in policy #4101-P, Subject: Background Checks, Management of Criminal Record Information, with Administrative Regulations, #4101.1-R and #4101.2-R, and extensive resources; policy approved by Bishop Earl Boyea, April 14, 2014. The policy reads in part: "Any full time or part time employee of the school, including persons employed by entities who have contracts with the school to provide food, custodial services, transportation, counseling, or any other auxiliary services to students, shall have a criminal history background check completed as required under MCL 380.1230 et seq. as amended, prior to being a regular employee or working continuously under contract. Volunteers, including student teachers, will also undergo background checks prior to serving in any capacity for a school.")

7.  The Office of Human Resources should be consulted to clarify what actions are required  when a person holds positions at more than one place (e.g., at the parish but also its school), or if some other question arises.

[1] Canon 220: No one is permitted to harm illegitimately the good reputation which a person possesses nor to injure the right of any person to protect his or her own privacy.

Date approved by Bishop

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In Committee