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 countyâs elderly and youth.
âWe know youth and seniors would be an important area to look at,â Wooten said. âWe need to make sure weâre putting the appropriate people in the appropriate situations to help these folks.â
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 doesnât have any reason to believe there has been any wrongdoing by the countyâs volunteers, to have safeguards in place might avoid an unfortunate incident.
âI think itâs just a good business practice,â Wooten said. âWe just need to confirm it.â
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.