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Volunteers in Schools

Last updated on Thursday, January 14, 2016.

Thank you for taking an interest in being a volunteer within one of Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board’s (HWDSB) schools.

At HWDSB, we believe volunteers play a very important role in our schools. Our volunteers help enrich our students’ educational experiences and bridge the gap between schools and our community.

Volunteers often work directly with students and may help oversee activities for safety, guidance, regulation or direction.

Beginning this 2015/2016 school year, all volunteers in HWDSB schools MUST provide a new Vulnerable Sector Screening every three years. Volunteers must also sign a current offence declaration each year, in between Vulnerable Sector Screening updates. We want everyone at HWDSB to be safe in our buildings and the updated Vulnerable Sector Screening is one way we can protect our students.

We recognize the cost of completing a Vulnerable Sector Screening can be a barrier for some volunteers. If this is an issue, please speak with your Principal.

We welcome and encourage volunteers in our schools. Interactions with volunteers model caring and promote the value of being responsible citizens in our community.

If you have any questions about volunteering in our schools, please connect with your school Principal.

A Vulnerable Sector Screening is a form of a background check that is restricted to applicants seeking employment and/or volunteering with vulnerable individuals. It is a collection of offence information, including convictions, non-convictions and other relevant police contact information available from a local police agency’s records management system and other systems/records where authorized. This check will include sexual offence convictions for which the individual has received a pardon where authorized by the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

To learn more about the Vulnerable Sector Screening process, or to apply for a Vulnerable Sector Screening online, please visit Hamilton Police Services page on Police Background Checks.

Why do I need to complete a Vulnerable Sector Screening?

The Criminal Records Act requires that a Vulnerable Sector Screening be performed for “a paid or volunteer position” when that “position is one of authority or trust relative to those children or vulnerable persons.” A child means a person under the age of 18.

How much does a Vulnerable Sector Screening cost?

Vulnerable Sector Screenings must be conducted by the local Canadian police service where an applicant lives. Please check with your local police service about costs for a Vulnerable Sector Screening.

For those living within the City of Hamilton, (including Ancaster, Dundas, Stoney Creek, Flamborough, Binbrook and Glanbrook), a Vulnerable Sector Screening done by the Hamilton Police Service costs $25.00 (plus a $9.95 processing/authentication fee for online applicants).

I've recently completed a Vulnerable Sector Screening. Do I need to submit a new one, or can I use the one I have?

The Criminal Records Act requires that Vulnerable Sector Screening be conducted for individual positions. Therefore, you will need to submit a new Vulnerable Sector Screening to volunteer within HWDSB schools.

I have been volunteering within schools for many years. Do I still need to complete the Vulnerable Sector Screening?

All volunteers in HWDSB schools MUST provide a new Vulnerable Sector Screening every three years. This means that you are required to submit a new Vulnerable Sector Screening to volunteer in schools if your current Vulnerable Sector Screening is over three years old.

I want to volunteer, but I can't afford the cost of the Volunteer Sector Screening. What should I do?

We recognize the cost of completing a Vulnerable Sector Screening can be a barrier for some volunteers. If this is an issue, please contact with your Principal.

The Volunteer Handbook is intended to help provide clarification and direction regarding your role as volunteer within HWDSB. Please feel free to contact your school principal should you have any questions or concerns regarding your volunteer experience. HWDSB values relationships with our volunteers and your input in providing relevant and responsive programming for our students.

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