Screening your volunteers:
This page contains general links to information on volunteer screening, and links to perform quick background checks. This is not a comprehensive list and it is not a legal guide, it is only provided to show the many facets of volunteer screening and liability issues.
The most common screening tools used are:
1. Position Descriptions and Applications:
Position Descriptions are used to clearly state what you are looking for in a volunteer and what the job will involve. Have a written application with a release form that authorizes your agency to conduct record's checks, and ask for three or more references.
Nonprofit Risk Management Center:
Permission to Verify Documents - Example
Sample Disclaimer Language for Volunteer Applications:
USFSA Volunteer Interview Questions. http://www.usfsa.org/content/VolunteerInterviewQuestions.pdf
3. Reference Checks:
"Reference Checks" by John Patterson with Charles Tremper and Pam Rypkema. Article is an excerpt from their book Staff Screening Toolkit, 1st edition (NP 658.3112). http://www.energizeinc.com/art/astaf.html
University of Alabama: Reference Check Guidelines
4. Police Records Checks:
St. Charles County Sheriff's Department
101 Sheriff Dierker Court
O'Fallon, MO 63366
Telephone: (636) 949-0809
St. Louis County & St. Louis City:
Bureau of Central Police Records
7900 Forsyth RM B-013
Criminal history record checks must be obtained in person by the individual requesting the record check. A record check cost, for a criminal history record check for incidents that occurred within St. Louis County is $4.50 and a criminal history record check for incidents that occurred within the City of St. Louis is $4.50. The total cost for a City and County Record Check is $9.00.
State Criminal Check (MO):
Missouri State Highway Patrol:
Criminal Records and Identification Division
1510 East Elm Street
Post Office Box 9500
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Telephone: (573) 526-6153
- "Personal Identifier Search" - a name-based search which will provide only "possible matches" based on your search criteria. Cost: $13
- "Fingerprint Based Search"- A search can be processed based on fingerprints and provide a "positive match" to the person in question. Cost: $20
National Criminal Check:
FBI: Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System:
Only the FBI can run a nation-wide search. An individual, however, may request their FBI record.
https://www.fbi.gov/services/records-management/foipa/privacy-impact-assessments/iafis (about the system)
https://www.fbi.gov/services/cjis/identity-history-summary-checks (For a fee, the FBI can provide individuals with an Identity History Summary—often referred to as a criminal history record or a “rap sheet”—listing certain information taken from fingerprint submissions kept by the FBI and related to arrests and, in some instances, federal employment, naturalization, or military service.)
5. Motor Vehicle Records:
You can request driving records that do not contain the personal information of an individual. Non-personal information includes the driving history showing speeding tickets and other violations.
Driver License Record Center
301 West High Street – Room 470
PO Box 2167
Jefferson City, MO 65101
Or Go to any Department of Revenue Branch or Fee License Office and pay the correct fee.
$5.88 Driving Record
$0.50 Fax fee
Those companies that are exempt from the Federal Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA), can access driving records with personal information.
Must submit Form 4681, Request from Record Holder with Notary signature
Submit by mail or at any Department of Revenue Branch or Fee License Office.
6. Credit Bureau Checks:
Fair Credit Reporting Act - Employment Background Checks
Missouri: Family Care Safety Registry:
This registry accesses multiple databases to check for criminal background activity. With a social security number one can check to see if someone is registered with the Family Care Safety Registry.
Sex Offender Registries:
Missouri Statewide List:
St. Charles County
Other States: links
VineLink: Search for criminal offenders by state and custody status.
BRB Publications: Public Records by state
Missouri Casenet: Use this database to see if your volunteer has been convicted for a crime, dispute, or traffic ticket in the State of Missouri. Search all Circuit Courts by Offender's name.
Here are a few examples of professional companies that can screen volunteers