Youth league director wants background checks for all coaches
LITTLE ROCK (KATV) —
You may have to pass one to get a job or be approved for a loan, but not always to work with our kids.
Believe it or not youth sports leagues aren't required to make their volunteer coaches pass a background check.
Youth coaches give up hours of their time during the season, not to mention cash at times for buying team equipment; but along with a love for sports one local youth director wants his kids' coaches to have something else: a clean background check.
As many kids come out of spring break ready to hit the field for spring sports, several leagues want others to follow suit making sure your kids are in good hands.
"Overall it's not about them, it's not about me, it's about the kids and that's the bottom line. No one is perfect, but my child comes first," said Rickey Williams, director of LifeChamps Youth Football in Little Rock.
Williams told us his organization follows a simple green light, red light system with all coaches and volunteers.
"If they get a green light everything is fine with them. If they get a red light they're being checked for crimes against children or violent crimes," he added.
Three separate organizations told Channel 7 fellow youth leagues are hesitant to swing away at doing in-depth research on volunteers because of the cost.
"None of that tops the fact that a child should be safe," Williams said. "That may be one of the things that the other leagues are looking at, and the other leagues are doing, but for us cost is not above safety."
Some leagues have insurance policies or a morale clause, but that still doesn't protect your young ones.
"Being a parent and having these kind of checks in place makes me feel better about walking away from a practice for an hour or so and knowing my child is in good hands," Williams said as a parent of two kids in youth leagues.
Many cities around the United States have their own ordinances for background checks, but California is working on a bill that would make it a state law for all coaches to pass a background check.
Research Monday showed a state background cost $22, while a FBI check cost $18 person.