Who must undergo the screening process?

All individuals who have unsupervised contact with a vulnerable, at-risk, or special needs audience must complete the entire screening protocol.  Those serving in the following roles must complete the screening process:

  • Camp chaperones, counselors, volunteers and instructors
  • Club leaders (community, project and school)
  • Environmental camp chaperones, counselors or volunteers
  • People providing transportation
  • Field trip chaperones or volunteers
  • Anyone who has access to vulnerable audiences or populations
    • Youth
    • Home-bound
    • Physically, mentally or emotionally challenged
    • Disadvantaged
    • Underprivileged
    • Special needs
    • At-risk
  • Any other individual deemed necessary by the Agent, CPC, or CPC chair

Remember to utilize the “litmus test” for volunteer screening: 

“Will the volunteer ever be alone with a member of any vulnerable audience?”

“Will the volunteer ever have unsupervised contact (either one-on-one or group) with a member of any vulnerable audience?

If the answer to either question is “yes” or “maybe” or “I’m not sure”, then that volunteer must undergo the screening protocol.

Screening Protocol Exemptions:  

Episodic Volunteers:  Individuals who serve Extension programs for a single episode or for a specific program and are under constant supervision by Extension professionals.

Program Participants: Individuals whose role does not have a volunteer or service component and participate in Extension programs largely for the educational or social benefits (voluntarism versus volunteerism).

Casual Volunteers:    Individuals who serve Extension programs informally in unstructured ways.  Casual volunteers would include people who assist at Reality Store, Talk Meet, prepare a meal for a field day, staff a kitchen, and so forth.


Incomplete Volunteer Application Packets:

All volunteers must have a completed application packet on file in the Extension Office.  No volunteer has ever been “grandfathered in” to the system.  In order to be accepted as a volunteer, the entire application packet must have been completed, and the entire screening protocol followed.

Beginning on January 1, 2012, volunteers will receive, complete and return the Volunteer Application Packet (VAP).  The VAP should be used as a recruiting tool and should be distributed by Extension professionals, Extension staff, the CPC chair, the CPC and members of the appropriate program Council.  The agent is notsolely responsible for volunteer recruitment.  Rather, the appropriate program council is responsible for volunteer recruitment in each county.

The screening process cannot begin until the completed VAP has been returned to the Extension Office.  At that time, references, backgrounds and the sex offender registry must all be checked, prior to interviewing. (The exception to this would be with Familiar Community Members [FCM] or Past Program Participants [PPP] who complete a list of five required open-ended questions as part of the volunteer application packet. These five questions are included in the “Volunteer Questionnaire” found in Chapter 7.) 

Incomplete applications cannot be processed.