Since we host high school students on-site, the Olympia School District requires all volunteers who overlap with students to have an approved background check on file. The school district encourages people to self-disclose and have denied applications for lack of disclosure in the past. This includes pending and recent cases, and is usually cleared up by re-submitting a background check with the case information included.
We work with potential volunteers on a case-by-case basis because we know the criminal justice system impacts many people in the United States.
If you’re concerned about the background check process, the Volunteer Coordinator welcomes conversation and can find volunteer opportunities that don’t require a background check. You can find answers to frequently asked questions below.
Directions for completing a background check:
Visit http://www.helpcounter.net/olympia and follow these steps:
Step 1: Click on “Start”
Step 2: Fill out sections 1 and 2 to the best of your abilityRequired information is marked with a ” * “. If you do not have a driver’s license, input “N/A” to complete the application.
Step 3: Under “Confirm your school selection,” choose “GRuB”
Step 4: Select “Farm Volunteering” and/or “General Volunteering” according to your interests.
Step 5: Submit your application!
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is required to fill out a check?
Anyone over the age of 14, including all volunteers, interns, AmeriCorps members, staff, and others working with or around youth and/or families while at GRuB are required to fill out an annual background check through the Olympia School District (OSD). Anyone 14 years or younger must be accompanied by an adult who has an approved background check.
Does the check cost money?
No. There is no charge to complete the background check.
What does the check look for?
The check looks for very specific offenses related to working with youth (sexual assault, domestic violence, drug dealing, and violent felonies). Some offenses, like DUIs or shoplifting, may limit types of volunteering (e.g. transporting youth or handling money) but not others. The type of offense, how long ago it took place, and how up-front you are about it are all taken into consideration when deciding upon your eligibility to volunteer. We consider volunteer background checks on a case-by-case basis.
Can I volunteer even if my background check isn’t approved?
Yes, because we work with people on a case-by-case basis. We can find opportunities that don’t require an approved background check (for example: office support, community events, and other opportunities that don’t overlap with GRuB School).
How often will I need to fill it out?
The check is good for one school year and is renewed annually between May and July.
How long does it take to receive results?
It takes up to two weeks to receive results once the check is processed. Typically you will recieve results within 48 hours.
How soon can I start volunteering once GRuB has my results?
You can start with some kinds of volunteering (farm drop-in hours, for example) right away. Orientations are held once per month, on weeknights. Orientation is not required to begin volunteering, but is encouraged.
How can I get a copy of my results?
Olympia School District has the detailed results of your check. For a copy of it, contact the folks who conduct OSD background checks at firstname.lastname@example.org or (360)596-6130.
Can I volunteer at GRuB for court-appointed, community service hours?
Yes. If your background check isn’t approved, the Volunteer Coordinator can find opportunities that don’t require the background check.
Who can I contact with questions?