Kansas Mentors has given more than $45,000 in funding to 11 mentoring programs to help offset the costs of background checks conducted through the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.
HandsOn Kansas State, which does academic mentoring among other volunteer activities, received $960 and North Central-Flint Hills AAA- Foster Grandparents received $700. The Kansas Big Brothers Big Sisters program, which includes a Riley County chapter, received $20,000.
Background checks are an essential component of the screening process to help ensure the safety of youth involved in mentoring programs. The cost of criminal background checks, however, is substantial considering every mentor must pass a check before they begin mentoring.