Volunteers and Background Checks

A news article mentioned that a hospital volunteer was publically stating that he  would no longer be volunteering because he was offended by the healthcare organization  requiring a background check on volunteers. 

 

ESR believes that volunteering is about giving to others. When a medical organization request a background check, it is just a sign of the times, and sometimes mandated by federal law.  Someone who says they will not volunteer due to a background check either has something to hide, or is so self-focused that they do not see the bigger picture, but only see their own needs.  It is certainly understandable that someone that has been volunteering for a long time would initially be skeptical about a background check.  However, if it helps the organization comply with federal law and install confidence in the community, then a real volunteer should have the wisdom, insight and understanding to do what is needed for the greater good.  This volunteer may know in his or her  heart that a background check is not needed for them, but how can the volunteer be so certain that the vulnerable population being served, including the young and the infirmed, is safe from other volunteers that may not share the same  high moral character.  Who is the volunteer to decide that all volunteers are safe?  As long as the background check protects and preserves privacy, and is done fairly and uniformly, then a volunteer that refuses to do a background check requirement may not be the type of person the organization needs anyway.  A real volunteer understands helping people is what is important, and making a public dispute because their feelings are hurt is really hurting the people he is supposedly concerned about.   This volunteer needs to get over it, and perhaps not think its all about him.