|VolunteerToday.com ~~ The Electronic Gazette for Volunteerism|
| ASK CONNIE
VT readers ask questions about volunteer management
and administration. Ask Connie, an experienced volunteer manager, consultant
and trainer, provides the answers for all to see.
~ July 2007 ~ Topics
I am looking for some information on Police Record Screening for volunteers. I am wondering what the national trend is for screening volunteers who work in health care or hospitals. I am trying to find out if volunteers and paid staff are screened via police checks and/or the Family and Community Services Prior Contact screening and approximately when the screening was implemented. Any information you can provide will be helpful.
A quick Google.com search tells me all hospitals are now requiring some level of background check for potential volunteers. The level appears to vary depending on the position the volunteer is applying for and the hospital's policy. Hospitals appear to be doing everything from a basic driver's license check to fingerprinting.
How and when do you approach the subject of "is it time” for a volunteer to stop volunteering due to age, health etc.? It's a sticky subject for a volunteer who has given years and years of service yet is unable to do all the duties of a department. Thank you for any suggestions.
You're right when you say that approaching "aging volunteers" is a sticky subject and one that most volunteer program managers avoid until it is too late. The best time to begin approaching the subject is during a regular annual volunteer assessment/evaluation. This is a neutral time when all volunteers receive and give input about their performance "on the job." You can suggest to a volunteer that there are tasks (be specific) that they no longer perform as well as they used to and that your organization still needs. So for this reason you'd like to move them to another position or reduce the number or type of tasks they do for your organization. This helps to preserve their dignity and helps you retain a valuable person who has given years of experience to the organization.
I have heard that some volunteer programs have a special status category for volunteers that need to retire from their position. It may be called Alumni, but I can't find any background information on this project. We want to honor the contributions of our volunteers as they age, keep them involved by inviting them to events, send them our regular newsletter, etc. Thank you in advance for any support/information you can offer.
Organizations seem to use a variety of names for their "retired" volunteers. Some that come to mind are: emeritus, emeritus club, associates, honorary society, VIP, and of course alumni. Some organizations use a name that directly reflects their institution, e.g., the Founders Club or the Explorers Club.
Connie Pirtle, of Strategic NonProfit-Resources, has 15 years' experience in working with volunteers. She has consulted and/or trained for such organizations as the Washington National Cathedral, Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Music America, and the Association for Volunteer Administration.
Send your questions to Connie
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