Chapter 7: Obtaining a Criminal Background Check


Background Check Reports are obtained through Sterling Volunteers for all volunteers, regardless of state of residence. Background checks are required for any volunteer role with the Kentucky 4-H organization.

 
Consent Form

Prior to running a background check, you are required to obtain a Consent Form from every volunteer. The needed forms are the UK Extension Volunteer Criminal Record Check Request, Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services Central Registry Check (CAN Check), the Criminal Record (Background) Check Results and A Summary of Your Rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

 

Sterling Volunteers Background Check Packages

Sterling Volunteers offers 2 background check package options. The Standard Volunteer Package – Level 2, and the Overnight Volunteer Package – Level 3. Additionally, each package is available with the added Motor Vehicle records search option, for a total of 4 options to choose from. All Extension volunteers that will spend the night (camp volunteers, overnight chaperones, host families, etc.) are required to complete the Overnight Volunteer Package -  Level 3.  All other Extension volunteers may be processed using the Standard Volunteer Package - Level 2. All volunteers who will drive for 4-H must have a driving records search completed.

Note that because it is very likely that many Standard volunteers will eventually be asked to serve in a role requiring an overnight role, it may be prudent to submit all volunteers through the Overnight Volunteer check at the start. There is no pricing discount for running an Overnight Volunteer check on an individual who has already completed a Standard check.

Standard Volunteer Package – Level 2 Advanced Criminal Locator Search 

$15 + jurisdiction fees *

SSN Trace

Nationwide Criminal Scan with validation service

DOJ Nationwide Sex Offender search

Kentucky CAN Check

OFAC watchlist search

Current County/State Criminal Records search

Monthly update service – 12 months

Overnight Volunteer Package - Level 3 Complete Criminal Locator Search

$30 + jurisdictional fees* 

SSN Trace

Nationwide Criminal Scan with validation service

DOJ Nationwide Sex Offender search

Kentucky CAN Check

OFAC watchlist search

Locator Select nationwide arrest records search

Current & 7 years address history County/State Criminal Records search

All above searches on current and alias/maiden name(s)

Monthly update service – 12 months

*Jurisdiction fees are very limited in KY, but can occur if your volunteer has an address history in a jurisdiction that charges for access to their records. In the event that a background check becomes cost prohibitive, you may choose to use the alternative package provided entitled “Overnight Volunteer Fee Exception.”

Accessing Sterling Volunteers

All Kentucky 4-H extensions are already set up with a unique and private subaccount in Sterling Volunteers. Your extension account can be accessed on Sterling Volunteers here: https://app.sterlingvolunteers.com

Username

Each extension has been issued a unique Organizational Username. Most usernames following the naming convention. Here is an example  “AdairCo-VV.” For information on your extension’s username, you may contact theadvocates@sterlingvolunteers.com. You MUST cc Ken Culp, ken.culp@uky.edu, on all requests to Sterling Volunteers in order for Sterling Volunteers to make changes or release information regarding your account.

Password

Each extension has been issued a unique Organizational Password. As needed, the password may be reset utilizing the Forgot Password function on the app. You must have access to the primary email on file with VV for your location in order to complete the Forgot Password process. Please be prepared to share any updates to the password or primary email with all extension users. All users for each extension location will share the same username and password. You can access and change the primary email address on file for your extension office by contacting theadvocates@sterlingvolunteers.com. You MUST cc Ken Culp, ken.culp@uky.edu, on all requests to Sterling Volunteers in order for Sterling Volunteers to make changes or release information regarding your account.

Running a Background Check

  1. Once logged in, access the Manage my Volunteers dashboard by clicking on that phrase near the top of the page.
  2. Click Order Background Check on the toolbar near the middle of the page.
  3. Choose between the 2 package options, and follow the prompts to enter volunteer’s details. Submit the check.

*The Social Security Number will be required for the Overnight Volunteer package, and optional for the Standard volunteer package

Kentucky Extension Screening User Guide / Running a “CAN” Check

Reviewing Background Check Results

Background checks will typically take between 1-3 business days to complete. Note that some Kentucky county jurisdictions take longer to process requests. The Status value on each volunteer’s record on the Sterling Volunteers Dashboard will be updated in real time when a background check has completed. You can also set up an email notification to be released to one or multiple email addresses. Contact theadvocates@sterlingvolunteers.com to make this update to your account. You MUST cc Ken Culp, ken.culp@uky.edu, on all requests to Sterling Volunteers in order for Sterling Volunteers to make changes or release information regarding your account.

 

Clear Background Checks

If the Report is completely clear of any adverse information, the report will be closed as Clear, and you can review and updates the status to green Eligible.

 

Consider Background Checks

If the Report contains adverse information of any kind, the report will be closed as Consider (Needs your Consideration) and the volunteer’s status will be automatically updated to purple Pending Review.

 

To review a background check report, first navigate to Review Background Checks by clicking on that phrase near the top of the page. Click on the volunteer’s name to reveal their report. Upon review, you may choose to move the volunteer’s status manually to Eligible or Ineligible using the grey dropdown menu in the top left corner of the screen. Note the standard criteria below that should be used to interpret the background check report and make an Eligibility decision.

Updating Criminal Record Checks

Beginning in 2023, background checks will be updated every four years, based upon the year that their most current background check was run.

All volunteers must be entered in 4-H Online by April 30, 2022.

Ken Culp will email a list of all volunteers whose background checks must be updated to agents and AEDs by January 7.

Background checks will be rerun between January 1 and April 30 for all volunteers whose most current background check was run four years earlier.

Billing

The cost of the background checks is the responsibility of each extension office. Sterling Volunteers has been provided with a budget contact for each extension office. That contact will received the monthly invoices (typically between the 10th and 13th of the month) via email and PDF attachment. The invoices are due net30, and late fees are assessed if payments are not received in a timely manner. You may set up a credit card to be kept on file with Sterling Volunteers for your extension office’s invoice payments. Contact theadvocates@sterlingvolunteers.com for more information. You MUST cc Ken Culp, ken.culp@uky.edu, on all requests to Sterling Volunteers in order for Sterling Volunteers to make changes or release information regarding your account.