Volunteer Background Screening Update
Virginia Cooperative Extension is continuing to work with departments across the Virginia Tech campus to finalize a formal policy and procedure for background screening for current volunteers and volunteer applicants. As efforts progress, Virginia Cooperative Extension continues to encourage background screening for volunteers that work with vulnerable populations including youth, seniors, individuals with special needs, volunteers handling funds, and volunteers transporting participants in vehicles. These volunteers generally complete the Volunteer Enrollment/Application Long Form VA-114 and reference checks are conducted as part of the initial application process. Units should continuing screening volunteers as they have done in previous years. These efforts may include using local county/city resources to conduct criminal history screenings if available.
At this point the background screening is suggested as stated above and will become mandatory sometime in the near future. We are still waiting for University Council to come out with the official policy/process.
If units do not have access through the locality to run a background screening, there is an opportunity to conduct the check through the portal available in the State 4-H Office. Sam Fisher is the current contact to work out how to complete a screening. Cost for screening is $10 each and may be paid by the volunteer, unit or combination. It is an online process that allows the volunteer to enter the information directly and results are received within 36 hours. This helps address the security of the sensitive information and has a quick turn- around time.