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TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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I work for a church that works with children. Are we as a

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I work for a church that works with children. Are we as a organization required to have anyone who works with our children fingerprinted? If not, can we legally require that workers submit their prints to us?


Unless your Church also operates as a Community Care Facility under California law, then the Church is not required by lawto submit worker fingerpints for a background check. However, the Church can, as an added precaution, require that workers submit to fingerprints or any other kind of criminal background check it wishes to require.


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for the response. But, I'm also wondering if we as an organization (church) are allowed to view the records since we have no Custodian of Records on staff, thereby, making it technically illegal for us to require them to submit the information to us.

I'm afraid I don't quite understand what you are saying...what records are you talking about? Background checks?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sorry. Yes, background checks.

Criminal background checks are public information and thus the disclosure of the same to any person, no matter who they are, is not illegal. The information that is submitted to undergo the background check, such as fingerprints, drivers license numbers, social security numbers, etc., are things that should be held confidential and not released to the public by the organization, but this does not mean that no one in the organization can look at this information, nor does it mean that there must be a custodian of records that controls this information. A custodian of records is simply a designation given to whomever an organization appoints to handle records. For churches, it is usually the church secretary.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Cool. Thanks. That was super helpful. One more quick question. Do you recommend that churches working with children get their staff and volunteers fingerprinted or is it just overcautious?

If you have the resources to spend, its always a good idea as this will help you weed out any potential predators.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks. Appreciate all the information.

You are welcome.
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