TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senator Nicholas J. Sacco which would permit community centers, schools, and other child-serving facilities to require background checks for unpaid volunteers was unanimously approved today by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.
“As an educator, I understand how important it is to have qualified people working with our children,” said Senator Sacco, D-Hudson and Bergen, who is also the Assistant Superintendent of Schools for the North Bergen school district. “With all that we hear in the news with child molesters and other others who mean harm towards children working in different child-serving groups, we can’t be too careful when interviewing volunteers. We must make sure that we never sacrifice the innocence of our kids for free help.”
Senator Sacco’s bill, S-60, would amend current law to allow facilities, centers or schools that educate children under the age of 18 to require unpaid volunteers to submit to a background check. The facility, center or school would be responsible for reimbursing volunteers for the cost of the background check.
The legislation would also permit facilities, centers or schools to cover the cost of background checks for persons seeking a paid position.
This legislation now heads to the full Senate for approval.