Vetting Volunteers

Protecting Children Through Adventist Screening Verification
August 15, 2019

COLUMBIA, MD. – As of June 18, 2019, Verified Volunteers, in its effort to remain consistent with the organization’s branding, is now operating under the name Sterling Volunteers. The name chosen for all the North American Division (NAD) background screening and training needs is Adventist Screening Verification.

“It is a common practice for a company to change its name as needed,” explained Ernest Hernandez, director of the Office of Volunteer Ministries (OVM), regarding the name change from the organization that partners with the NAD, “but that can be confusing for some so we have determined that it is now a great opportunity for the church to select a parent name that can remain in our publications and website landing pages on a permanent basis.”

The web-based platform features a training and screening system for both employees and volunteers across all conferences in the division. Those over 18 who are voted to serve in volunteer roles within our churches or organizations within the NAD, or those who are employed by the church and working with children and youth, are asked to complete a criminal background check (FB 20) and child protection training through Sterling Volunteers by way of Adventist Screening Verification. This should be completed every three years.

“As we see in the Bible, particularly in Matthew 18:1-6, Jesus placed a high value on the protection of children,” said Hernandez. “Child protection is, therefore, an essential element in all church-sponsored children’s activities.”

The Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual states, “Church should be a safe place to bring our children. Everyone involved in work with children who are minors must meet all Church and legal standards and requirements”.

OVM works with thousands of short and long-term volunteers and mission workers each year and has taken the lead on facilitating the name update. But they are quick to reiterate that this Adventist Screening Verification is for all adult division volunteers and workers who engage with minors. “As followers of Christ in Seventh-day Adventist organizations in the North American Division, we believe it is our responsibility to nurture and protect the vulnerable within our communities, including our children and youth,” OVM shared.

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By North American Division Office of Communication