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Background Check

Parents, guardians and girls trust that Girl Scouts is a safe place for them, and Gateway Council does not take that trust lightly. We are committed to maintaining policies and procedures that create a safe environment for girls to discover, connect and take action.

Criminal background checks are one of the strategies used to ensure that girls are safe with us. Gateway Council's policy is to conduct criminal background checks on all new volunteers, and to repeat them on all volunteers every three years.

FAQ

Q: How do new volunteers get a background check?
A: The process begins when you register as an Adult Volunteer. Upon completion an email will be sent from theadvocates@verifiedvolunteers.com. You should see the email within 24-48 hours of completing your registration.

Q: I have been volunteering for years- why are you asking me to do this again?
A: Thank you for your continued service to Girl Scouting. We require volunteers to complete a background check every three years. Gateway Council provides a safe environment for all girls through screening our adult volunteers. Adult volunteers who do not complete a background check are not permitted to participate in any girl activity. Troop Leaders should perform checks and balances throughout the year to ensure all adult volunteers have completed the background check process. Troop Leaders who do not follow this policy are endangering the girls and violating Gateway Council insurance requirements. Action will be taken in these circumstances.

Q: How much does a background check cost?
A: $6 per volunteer every three years. Certain counties within Gateway Council may be subject to additional fees.

Q: How long does a background check take?
A: You’ll spend a few minutes completing an online form to get your check started. We often hear back from our background check agency within twenty-four hours, so that you can get started volunteering right away.

Q: Are you checking my credit? Will this impact my credit rating?
A: No. We do not check financial information or credit for any of our volunteer positions. We are only doing a criminal background check.

Q: May I provide a previous background check or one from another organization/school?
A: No. Background checks vary by agency, so our volunteers need to go through our process. 

Q: Do I need to provide my Social Security Number?
A: Yes. Respecting our member’s personal information is very important to Gateway Council. Our vendor, Verified Volunteers, provides a secure online process for submitting your information. Gateway Council does not see or store your Social Security number and Verified Volunteers only stores the last four digits. We are confident that there is little to no risk to you in our online background check process.

If you do not have a social security number, please call us at 904-388-4653 for instructions.

Q: What could exclude me from volunteering with Girl Scouts?
A: Girl Scouts of Gateway Council cannot work with an adult who has been convicted of, has pleaded guilty to, has received adjudication for, or has pleaded no contest to the following crimes:

Automatic Disqualification

  • Registered Sex Offender
  • Crimes against children
  • Felony offenses against persons
  • Felony offenses against a family member
  • Crimes defined as public indecency
  • Crimes involving the use of weapons
  • Any violent crime
  • Any felony drug-related offense
  • Any felony conviction within the five (5) year period preceding the background check
  • Any offense involving driving under the influence, driving while intoxicated or equivalent within the five (5) year period preceding the background check will be automatically disqualified but may be eligible for reversal upon appeal by prospective volunteer
  • Residing on the same premises as a registered sex offender (may only participate as a parent/guardian)

Possible Disqualification

For all other criminal offenses, or felony convictions older than the five-year period, Gateway Council shall review the applicant’s situation on a case-by-case basis. The decision whether to allow service within Gateway Council’s discretion, and factors to be considered include, but are not limited to:

  • The nature and severity of the criminal conduct
  • The position for which the person seeks to volunteer
  • The length of time since the criminal conduct occurred
  • The circumstances under which the crime was committed
  • The degree of rehabilitation
  • The likelihood that the person will commit the crime again
  • The number of crimes committed by the prospective volunteer