Back when screening was in its infancy, I remember my reaction when a person I screened was later accused of abuse. I ranted, "But I did a criminal record and he was clear!" Because criminal record checks get to the heart of whether someone has been convicted of wrongdoing, they are resisted in one breath and put on a pedastal in the next. If you pass a criminal record check, you are good to go, right? Maybe...maybe not.
Recently, another religious organization was in the news because a church worker was arrested for molestation. The church representative repeatedly claimed surprise because a criminal record check came back negative when it was done a few years prior. Yes, I have been there and said that, too. Most church workers applying for volunteer positions do not have a criminal record because many abuse instances - and therefore abusers - are not reported. If the abuser is not reported, he or she will not carry a record of arrest nor of conviction. An organization should always pursue several steps of screening especially for any position when the applicant will spend time alone with youth. Words of wisdom - don't rely on the criminal record check alone. However, conduct a criminal record check at the end of a thorough process to show due diligence in the event an allegation surfaces later.