Forsyth alters background checks policy

Forsyth County commissioners have given final OK to a new, streamlined Park and Recreation Department-wide policy for conducting annual background checks on volunteers and independent contractors such as program instructors.

The new policy doesn’t change the offenses that disqualify volunteers but some of the time limits have been changed. Volunteer and contractors are subject to a lifetime ban if they’re found guilty of a violent felony or sex offense. Applicants are disqualified for a decade if they’re guilty of any other felony besides violence or sex infractions or have more than one alcohol or drug offense. Various categories of misdemeanor carry bans of seven and three years.

The annual checks are being done done on volunteers/contractors who deal directly with at-risk clients such as kids under 18 and the disabled, those working in an office or rec center or handling money and people routinely working independently from staff supervision.