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Volunteer Screening

Girl Scouts is a safe place for girls to have fun, build friendships and try new adventures. There are many reasons for this, but one of the most important is that – together with Girl Scouts of the USA – we conduct criminal background checks on volunteers and staff. Learn more about our secure background vendor that the background check process for volunteers.

Who needs to submit a background check?

All Girl Scout members who plan to volunteer in the following capacities must successfully complete the background screening process:

  • Any person who will supervise girls including:
    • Any adult who transports/drives girls (outside of their own guardianship)
    • Any adult who serves as a chaperone for day or overnight trips
  • Any volunteers with financial responsibility including troop cookie managers, fall product managers, treasurers and any signers on the bank account. 
  • All service unit team members
  • Short-term volunteers who will be working directly with girls

Additionally, all persons 18 years or older who reside at a residence where meetings occur must have a current GSKWR background check prior to the first meeting.  Since Girl Scout membership is not required for these individuals, they must email troopsupport@gswrc.org to begin their background check process.

Previous background checks, unfortunately, cannot be accepted.  Background checks vary by agency, so GSKWR volunteers must go through our process.

Are there exceptions? Yes, if the person meets all of the requirements of either of these situations:

  • A onetime speaker or presenter who is never left alone with girls and is not counted when considering girl/adult ratio
  • A parent or guardian who attends a family function (court of awards or family picnic) and is not counted when considering girl/adult ratio

NOTE:  Any adult who has not registered and successfully completed a background check should never be left alone with girls attending a Girl Scout activity.  These adults may, however, be paired with a registered and approved volunteer to lead a small group, as long as enough approved volunteers are present to cover the group’s girl-to-adult ratio as outlined in Volunteer Essentials

How do I submit a background check?

New members who register as a volunteer will receive email information about submitting a background check after completing their online registration.

If you do not select a volunteer role during registration, you will not automatically receive an email to complete a background check.

Current members to a volunteer position and current volunteers who must renew their background check will be sent an email with a personalized link and instructions on completing or renewing their background check 90 days before the background check is set to expire advising them that a new background check is needed.  If you do not renew at the time you will receive another email 60 days, 45 days, 30 days, and 2 weeks before your background check is set to expire as a reminder. 

Individuals who do not have a Social Security number must submit a paper background check form.  Email troopsupport@gswrc.org

What can I expect after I submit a background check?

On average, most background check submitted online take 24-to- 48 hours to complete; however, it can take longer depending on many factors outside of GSKWR’s control.  In addition, we are not able to respond to requests for ‘rush’ background checks. Please plan ahead, especially during peak times such as Back-to-School and before the Girl Scout Product Programs.

If you background check is clear, you will receive a confirmation email.  A specially trained GSKWR staff member will contact you if there are concerns about the results of your background checks.  

GSKWR Background Check FAQ

Why does GSKWR conduct background checks?

The safety of Girl Scouts is the most important consideration.  In order to safeguard the girls in our care, GSKWR joined with Girl Scouts of USA to develop a system for conducting criminal background checks on volunteers and all employed staff.

Who will conduct my background check and what do they look for?

GSKWR use Sterling Volunteers, a global background screening company with 40+ years of expertise.  Sterling Volunteers background screening for GSKWR includes national criminal record searches of convictions, arrest and court records, sex offender registries, and terrorist watch list. 

What Information do I need to provide and how will it be used

Applicants must provide their name, date of birth and Social Security number.  Your Social Security is used to ensure the accuracy of the background check process.  If  you do not have a Social Security number, please contact troopsupport@gswrc.org for assistance. Sterling Volunteers issues a report to GSKWR regarding any criminal records linked to the information you provide.  The report is used by a small group of specially trained staff members to determine eligibility for a volunteer position with GSKWR. We will never share information obtained from your background check report.  The status of your eligibility to volunteer or any restrictions on your volunteer activities will be shared with key service team volunteers who have signed a confidentiality agreement. 

What if GSKWR receives criminal history results that indicate I have a criminal record?

The decision to exclude or limit an individual’s participation as a volunteer is solely at GSKWR’s discretion.  Many factors are considered, including the nature and severity of the crime and length of time since the criminal conduct occurred.  GSKWR reviews each applicant’s report on a case-by-case basis, and may offer a special review process before determining  your eligibility to volunteer.

What if GSKWR receives criminal history results that I believe are incorrect?

You may report and dispute any results you believe to be incorrect or inaccurate to Sterling Volunteers within 30 days.  GSKWR will rely upon the information obtained in the criminal history report until a corrected report has been provided by Sterling Volunteers.

What happens if there is an open warrant or pending charge with no disposition?

If there is an open warrant for arrest of the applicant, or there is a pending charge with no disposition, that application cannot be approved and the volunteer cannot be placed until the situation has been satisfactorily resolved and the criminal background check report updated.  If the applicant has already begun to serve in a volunteer capacity, his or her participation must be suspended pending disposition of the case or resolution of the open warrant. 

Disqualifications

Girl Scouts of Kentucky’s Wilderness Road cannot approve 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
  • Crimes of theft, fraud, forgery
  • Crime of arson
  • Any violent crime
  • Any felony drug-related offense
  • Any felony conviction within the seven (7) year period preceding the background check
  • Any offense involving driving under the influence, driving while intoxicated or equivalent within the seven (7) 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 Disqualifications

Other misdemeanors, as this council may determine, including but not limited to traffic violations shall be reviewed by the council on a case-by-case basis.  The decision whether to allow service shall be within the absolute discretion of the council.

You must complete a GSKWR background check every three years. If you have questions about when to submit or renew your background check, please contact troopsupport@gswrc.org