Archived News

Jackson wants to do background checks on volunteers

To lend a helping hand in Jackson County, a willingness to volunteer may not be enough.

 

County Manager Chuck Wooten is asking that commissioners look at implementing a more stringent application process and some type of background check for residents who want to volunteer with the county.

Such a policy could affect participation in programs from Meals on Wheels to youth basketball programs. Wooten said he is most concerned about the quality of people that are put in direct contact with the county’s elderly and youth.

“We know youth and seniors would be an important area to look at,” Wooten said. “We need to make sure we’re putting the appropriate people in the appropriate situations to help these folks.”

Background checks and a screening process are commonplace for volunteers at many nonprofit organizations, church organizations and Western Carolina University, Wooten said. And though he doesn’t have any reason to believe there has been any wrongdoing by the county’s volunteers, to have safeguards in place might avoid an unfortunate incident.

Related Items

“I think it’s just a good business practice,” Wooten said. “We just need to confirm it.”

Wooten said the county will look at such policies in the coming weeks to decide the depth and the scope of such background checks or screening for volunteers.

Leave a comment

Smokey Mountain News Logo
SUPPORT THE SMOKY MOUNTAIN NEWS AND
INDEPENDENT, AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM
Go to top
Payment Information

/

At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.