Who Should Pay For Police Record Checks for Volunteers?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Guelph, Ontario | January 10, 2020 |
All those that require volunteers to complete a police check are invited to a community dialogue on Thursday, February 13th to discuss an issue of crucial importance for 2020 and beyond.
“As a key supporter of volunteerism and an advocate for the sector,” Christine Oldfield, Executive Director at PIN – The People and Information Network, explains: “we are hosting a community input session that will ask the question – ‘who should pay for police record checks for volunteers’ and seek to understand the impact in the community if fees are introduced across the board.” The Guelph Police Service will continue to cover the cost of volunteer Police Record Checks for 2020. Beyond that, “we need to understand what the options are for sharing costs and what this will mean for our community, our charities and our volunteers” says Oldfield.
An integral component of engaging volunteers is determining the best match – a match that benefits the volunteer, the organization and ensures the safety of individuals served. For some volunteer roles, a police record check would be an important step in the screening process. Oldfield explains: “Your child’s sports coach, your grandmother’s weekly friendly visitor or the facilitator of a youth drop in; these are examples of volunteers that would require a Police Record Check because they involve working directly with a vulnerable person in a position of trust or authority.”
Since 2013, PIN has led a program called ‘BestMatch’; a program to ensure organizations have appropriate volunteer screening policies and practices in place. Funded by the City of Guelph, participating non-profits and charities can obtain free police record checks for their volunteers.
The Guelph Police Service estimates that the cost of these free police record checks exceeds $70,000 annually. Don Drone, Chair of the Guelph Police Services (GPS) Board, has noted that this cost is a significant hit to the GPS and further states that the police service would like to see the costs spread out between volunteers, organizations who need them, and, possibly, the police.
Who Should Pay For Volunteer Police Records Checks?
Date: Thursday, February 13th, 2020
Time: 10:00 am
Location: Lakeside HOPE House, 10 Cork Street East