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I only want to Volunteer...

Why do I have to be Screened?

Scouts Canada
Greater Toronto Region
265 Yorkland Blvd.
2nd Floor
North York, Ontario M2J 5C7
"I'm just a volunteer - why do I have to be screened?"

There is no such thing as just a volunteer! Volunteers do very important work. They are part of the team. In fact, in Scouting they are the primary "staff" members. The most important issue is what someone does, not the fact that he or she is an employee or volunteer.

"Okay, volunteers do important work. But I still don't understand why I have to be screened."

Scouting has moral, ethical, and legal obligations to our youth members, to our Leaders (including you) and to the community. It must do everything reasonable to protect them from harm that might be done by people who work for or provide services for Scouting. One way to do this is to thoroughly screen all of these people. "But I don't get paid..." It doesn't matter. The organization can be just as responsible for something a volunteer does as for something an employee does.

"But a police records check won't catch someone with no record."

You're correct, and that is why the police records check (PRC) is only a small part of Scouting's screening program. Perhaps the most important ones are the personal interview and the reference checks. These both allow you to get to know Scouting, and us to get to know you. They also let us know what others have experienced in terms of your abilities and strengths. Scouting needs to ensure that the right person is in the right position and that they have a positive attitude, appropriate skills, and knowledge to do the job. Remember, the youth members are depending on each of us to help them grow and develop.

"Will it hurt?"
Not at all! The vast majority of people will have no difficulty meeting Scouting's requirements. The process is designed to both ensure the safety of our youth, and to maintain the privacy of the volunteers. Police records are not made available to Scouting, only a "yes" or "no" is provided. The process is very simple.

"Okay, let's do it! Our kids are worth it"

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