Parents, guardians and girls trust that Girl Scouts is a safe place for them, and River Valleys 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. River Valleys’ policy is to conduct criminal background checks on all new volunteers, and to repeat them on all volunteers every three years.
How Do New Volunteers Get a Background Check?
Start our online volunteer on-boarding process, and you will be guided through a background check.
What if I’m Already a Volunteer?
If you’re already a volunteer and need a background check, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will send the instructions your way.
How Much Does a Background Check Cost?
River Valleys’ covers the background checks, so there is no cost to our volunteers.
Is There a Paper or Offline Option?
If you do not have home access to the Internet, we suggest you use a computer at your local library, borrow computer access from a friend or come into one of River Valleys’ service centers to complete the online process.
If you prefer to submit your information in paper form, please contact our background check vendor, The McDowell Agency, at 651-644-3880 or toll-free at 877-644-3880.
May I Provide a Previous Background Check?
No. Background checks vary by agency, so our volunteers need to go through our process. It only a few minutes and is at no charge to you.
Do I Have to Provide My Social Security Number?
Yes. Respecting our member’s personal information is very important to River Valleys. Our vendor, The McDowell Agency, provides a secure online process for submitting your information. River Valleys does not see or store your Social Security number and The McDowell Agency, Inc., only stores the last four digits. We are confident that there is little to no risk to you in our online background check process.
What if I Do Not Have a Social Security Number?
Contact Volunteer Services at 800-845-0787 for instructions.
What Could Exclude Me From Being a Volunteer?
In accordance with Volunteer Essentials: Safety-Wise, River Valleys cannot work with an adult who has been convicted of, has pleaded guilty to, has received adjudication for or has pleaded no contest to one of the following crimes:
- 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)
For all other criminal offenses, or felony convictions older than the five-year period, River Valleys shall review the applicant’s situation on a case-by-case basis The decision whether to allow service within River Valleys’ 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