Our Council recognizes the essential role of volunteers in fulfilling its mission to foster the growth of girls. To ensure effective and satisfying volunteer experience, we are committed to an environment of respect and fairness in which volunteers receive support, training, recognition and appreciation. This section focuses on general volunteer policies related to background checks process and standards, code of conduct, grounds for dismissal or future reappointment, representation of the council, confidentiality, pluralism, media contact, online guidelines and smoke-free environment.
Adult Membership Requirements
GSUSA’s statement on membership is that every participant (girl or adult) in Girl Scouting must register and become a member of Girl Scouts of the USA. GSUSA membership dues are valid for one year (Oct1-Sept30). Membership dues are sent by the council to GSUSA; no portion of the dues stays with the council. Membership dues may not be transferred to another member and are not refundable.
Safety is a top priority for Girl Scouts. At GSKSMO to ensure the safety and well-being of our girl members, all volunteers/approved volunteers are required to complete a background check prior to becoming involved.
This is the easiest and preferred method to a valid background check is through the membership registration process. When an interested adult registers as a volunteer and purchases their adult membership, that individual will proceed with the required background check process. Troop Leaders are then able to easily view which volunteers assigned to their troop have a valid and approved background check on file at any time.
We know how crucial troop helpers are to the success of any Girl Scout Troop – our leaders tell us all the time! If the purchase of an adult membership is a barrier to engaging with your troop, please contact your assigned area Membership Manager to discuss. We can offer an alternative path to a background check. Because this process is done manually, the time to complete and process can extend up to 30 days and will not be viewable or easily accessible for the Troop Leader as he/she will need to call for a verbal verification, particularly during high season (fall recruitment and late spring Day Camp preparation). Additionally, because insurance is only included with the adult membership purchase, Troop Leaders will need to purchase and manage individual insurance for each event and engagement for those that obtain their background check through this alternative method.
Background Check Process and Standards
The Girl Scouts of NE Kansas and NW Missouri is committed to ensuring that all girls involved in Girl Scouting are provided with opportunities to gain new skills, learn new ideas and value diversity. To build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place and develop strong values in a SAFE and nurturing environment with caring and responsible adults. Therefore, it is mandatory for any adult who volunteers to work with girls to consent and voluntarily authorize the Girl Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri to obtain an independent criminal background report.
The decision whether to exclude or limit a prospective volunteer’s participation remains at all times within the discretion of the Council.
Volunteer applicants will be automatically disqualified for all volunteer positions if any investigation reveals convictions for crimes against children, crimes against the elderly, felony drug trafficking, being listed on the sex offender registry, or having someone living in the home of the volunteer who is listed on the sex offender registry.
Other factors that may be considered in making determinations include, but are not limited to: the nature and severity of the criminal conduct and length of time since the criminal conduct occurred.
Background checks may include, but are not limited to: county, state, and federal criminal records; driving violations; and state and federal sex offender registries.
The council will maintain the confidentiality of all criminal background check information. When a volunteer is restricted or disqualified from a volunteer position, staff and volunteer leaders are only notified of the restriction/disqualification, not the details of the background check.
Please allow 2 weeks to complete the background check process.
If a volunteer has submitted a background check to qualify for a specific event or activity, s/he will not be able to volunteer until the background check has been approved. If the background check is still under review at the time of the activity (or after a cut-off date determined by the troop leader or by staff), the applicant may not volunteer for the activity, regardless of any reservations or purchases that have been made by the applicant or by the troop.
Registered Sex Offender Policy – Individuals and Households
Any volunteer applicant listed on a state or federal Sex Offender Registry is disqualified from volunteer service.
Any volunteer applicant who lives in the same household as a person on a state or federal Sex Offender Registry is disqualified from volunteer service.
Volunteer Disqualification and Restrictions
On the basis of information found in the background check, a volunteer may be disqualified from volunteer service, or may receive a restriction on volunteer activities.
In the case of disqualification of applicant:
- The applicant is informed by mail that s/he is not approved to volunteer for Girl Scouts.
- The troop leader, Service Unit Manager, and Membership Manager are notified of the rejection.
- The applicant is placed on a Council-wide do-not-appoint list.
In the case of volunteer restrictions:
- There are two restrictions that may be placed on a volunteer applicant:
- “Cannot Handle Finances”: volunteers with this restriction are not allowed to handle troop or Service Unit finances in any way. Although this applicant may serve in a volunteer leadership position, the applicant may not be a signatory for –or have access to- a troop or Service unit bank account. Volunteers with this restriction may not serve in the Product Sales Manager position, or have any contact with product sales funds or product.
- “Cannot Drive Girls”: volunteers with this restriction are not allowed to drive any girls – other than their own daughter(s) – to or from any Girl Scout event.
- The applicant is informed by mail that s/he has received a volunteer restriction. The terms of the restriction are explained within these communications.
- The troop leader, Service Unit Manager, and Membership Manager are notified of the restriction.
- If a volunteer has been found to violate the terms of their restriction, this is considered grounds for immediate dismissal from all volunteer positions and placement on a a Council-wide do-not-appoint list
If the background check reveals there are pending charges or open warrants related to any criminal offense, involvement with the Council as a volunteer will not be allowed, pending disposition of the case.
If the applicant is already serving in a volunteer capacity, his or her participation must be suspended pending disposition of the case or resolution of open warrant.
Discovered Information Leading to Disqualification or Restrictions
Girl Scouts reserves the right to re-evaluate an active volunteer’s eligibility to volunteer based on information that is discovered or provided to the Council regarding criminal charges that were not discovered in the background check or charges that have been filed since the volunteer’s background check.
If an active volunteer is charged with a criminal offense, his or her participation must be suspended pending disposition of the case or resolution of open warrant.
If a volunteer is placed on a state or federal Sex Offender List, he or she will be disqualified from volunteer service.
If a volunteer begins living in the same household as a person on a state or federal Sex Offender Registry, the volunteer is disqualified from volunteer service. If a person on a state or federal Sex Offender Registry begins living with a volunteer, the volunteer is disqualified from volunteer service.
If a potential volunteer is not appointed to a volunteer position due to a restriction discovered on their background check, they are permitted to appeal this decision once in writing and by providing GSKSMO with proper documentation that refutes the information provided by the investigative agency.
If after this information is provided and GSKSMO still does not appoint the potential volunteer, there will be no further recourse for that individual. GSKSMO reserves the right to dismiss or refuse appointment of any volunteer.