Background Checks & Compliance

The Office of Child Protection requires that all individuals be compliant before beginning an employment or volunteer position within the Diocese. In order to streamline this process, employees and volunteers may now submit their background check information electronically.

PDF versions of the forms are also available for reference, but note that paper forms are no longer accepted by the Office for Child Protection.

Compliance FAQs

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Who must undergo a background check?

According to the Policy on the Protection of Children/Young People and the Prevention of Sexual Misconduct and/or Child Abuse, all employees of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington--all direct employees of any parish, diocesan school or diocesan office--regardless of contact with children must complete a background check.  Additionally, any volunteer with ministry with substantial contact with children must complete a background check.  However, background checks alone are not sufficient for compliance with the policy.

What is "substantial contact," which volunteers have substantial contact?

Substantial Contact is used to refer to volunteer activities where the adult works in direct contact with youth on a regular and ongoing basis as a part of the ministry, or in which there is a potential for contact with youth outside the sight or hearing of other responsible adults. 

I have already undergone a background check; I have a security clearance.  Does that meet the needs of the background check?

No.  Background checks conducted by any other organization, including the federal government, do not satisfy the background check requirements of the Policy.  Background checks are not able to be shared between organizations and we must conduct our own to ensure that everyone with contact to children has a record free of concerns.

How do I start the background check process?

Generally, you will receive the forms from your parish, school or other diocesan organization's liaison to the Office of Child Protection.  The liaison can also assist you with instructions on how to ensure the forms are filled out correctly, including helping you locate a notary public which is required for one document.  Copies of most forms are also available for download here.  Upon completion of the forms, they should be returned to the liaison of your parish, school or diocesan organization.  If you do not know who your liaison is, you can review a list of parishes and schools and their current liaison here @Linkliaison.

With the increased risk of identity theft, how is the personal information required for the background check protected?

Background check forms and information must be shared with investigating agencies to conduct the research of the background check.  Forms are mailed to the Virginia State Police, the FBI and the Virginia Department of Social Services.  Additionally, information is shared with Southeastern Security Consultants, Inc. for a comprehensive court records search. The results of background checks are received by the Office for the Protection of Children/Young People.  The information is retained and viewable only by staff members as designated by the bishop.  Great care is taken to ensure the protection of the private information of each applicant for employment or volunteer service during each phase of the background check.  Documents containing sensitive information are destroyed by shredding by diocesan staff at the end of the process.

What results on a background check would result in disqualification from employment or volunteer service with substantial contact?

Any conviction of an applicant for a "barrier crime," as defined statutorily by the Commonwealth of Virginia, or any founded case of child abuse/neglect as reported by the Virginia Department of Social Services.  Any additional criminal history data, or other derogatory information recovered by the background check process will be considered on a case-by-case basis, but would not generally result in disqualification.

Do I need to be documented to work in the United States in order to volunteer?

No.  All volunteers with substantial contact with children must complete the background check process, but being eligible for hire in the United States is not a condition of our background check process.