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Who is required to have a background check?

All Class A volunteers ages 18 years and over are required to have a current criminal background screening. Class A volunteers are those who:

  • have regular, close physical contact with athletes (e.g., coaches, chaperones, Unified Sports partners, etc.).
  • are in a position of authority or supervision (e.g., board members, committee members, officials, etc.).
  • are in a position of trust (e.g., competition key volunteers, etc.).
  • handle substantial amounts of cash ($15,000 or more annually) or other assets of the program (e.g., fund raising volunteers, certain Torch Run volunteers, Games Organizing Committee members, etc.).

Why does SOTX require their Class A volunteers to have background checks?

Special Olympics Texas (SOTX) Class A volunteers are trusted to work directly with SOTX athletes and may handle SOTX resources (including money or equipment). For the protection of the SOTX athletes and Special Olympics Texas itself, we require criminal background checks of all Class A volunteers. All information acquired through the background check will remain confidential and is used only for screening purposes.

What does SOTX do with that information?

SOTX uses information acquired through the background check to screen volunteers for participation and potential roles within the organization. Once the background check has been submitted to SOTX a notation will be made in their volunteer record along with the date the screening was conducted.

Are there things that could prevent me from volunteering with SOTX?

If the background check reveals certain convictions, a volunteer may be disqualified from participation as a volunteer with SOTX. For a full list of these offenses please see Section C of the 2015 Sports Information Guide.

If the background or motor vehicle check discloses a conviction for a DWI or three or more moving violations in the preceding three years, the volunteer applicant shall be disqualified from driving on behalf of SOTX.

If the background check reveals any money-related convictions with in the previous 10 years, the applicant shall be prohibited from handling monies on behalf of SOTX.

Deferred adjudication or any similar disposition under the laws of another state whereby a finding of guilt is withheld or otherwise stayed shall be considered a conviction unless the violation is officially dismissed.

If I have a background check through my work or another organization can I have SOTX use that information?

The background check must be conducted by the approved SOTX vendor, Verified Volunteers at a Level 3. Other background check vendors have not been vetted by SOTX and thus their reports are not accepted.

Does SOTX require or retain my Social Security number?

SOTX does not require volunteers to submit their Social Security number for our records.

How often do I need to have a background check?

SOTX requires background checks through Verified Volunteers every four years. In the event an offenseis found on your record during the background check, you will be required to resubmit a new application after three years.

Do minors need a background check?

Minors under the age of 18 do not need to submit a background check to SOTX. In lieu of the background check, they are required to submit a completed Minor Reference Form. References used on this form should be from a school, church or civic/service organization. Relatives are not allowed to be used as references. Once a minor reaches the age of 18 years, a background check is required.

If I am a SOTX athlete who also volunteers do I need a background check?

We encourage SOTX athletes to become involved as volunteers. If they decide to participate as a Class A volunteer they must undergo a background check and complete all other steps required of Class A volunteers.

Why do I have to pay for a background check to volunteer for SOTX?

Because of the expense of these extensive background checks, we ask that our volunteers pay the fee so that SOTX can devote more it its budget toward providing quality, year-round sports training and competition to the athletes.

Why does SOTX ask me if my driver's license had been suspended or revoked?

Class A volunteers often drive on behalf of SOTX. If a volunteer's license has been suspended or revoked, it is our responsibility to ensure any suspensions or revocations do not conflict with our volunteer policies.