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Background Checks

Parents, guardians, and girls trust that Girl Scouts is a safe place for them, and Girl Scouts of California’s Central Coast (GSCCC) takes that trust seriously. We are committed to maintaining policies and procedures that create a safe environment for girls to discover, connect, and take action.

Criminal background checks are one of the strategies used to ensure that girls are safe with us. GSCCC’s policy is to conduct a criminal background check on all new volunteers.

All adults who wish to serve as Girl Scout volunteers must be registered members and are required to complete and pass a background check. This includes any adult supporting the troop in any volunteer capacity, including, but not limited to adults who wish to volunteer as chaperones on field trips or work cookie booths. Live Scan background checks only need to be completed one time and it lasts the entire time you are a current girl scout. Adults who do not complete and pass a live scan background check are not permitted to participate in any Girl Scout (GS) sponsored activity in which they are directly in contact with the girls. An exception to this is when the activity is intended for family participation (e.g., award ceremony, family/troop outing etc.).

Any adult who has been convicted of, has received adjudication for, or has plead guilty to the crimes listed in the "What could exclude me from volunteering with Girl Scouts?" section below cannot participate in any Girl Scout activity, including GS family activities. The decision to disqualify or limit an individual’s participation as a volunteer is solely at the discretion of Girl Scouts of California’s Central Coast. Girl Scouts of California’s Central Coast will strictly maintain the confidentiality of all background information obtained, including reasons why a volunteer applicant may have been disqualified.

Frequently Asked Questions about Background Checks

How do volunteers get a live scan/background check?
  1. To get a Live Scan, you will need to take the GSCCC Live Scan Form to a live scan site. Please ensure that you take a valid government issued ID such as a driver’s license, state/government ID card, or passport. To find the live scan site nearest to you, click on this link, and select your county at the bottom of the page. Remember, please retain your receipt and email a copy to for reimbursement.

  2. To get a basic background check, you will need to be a registered member. If you need this type of background check, please ask our customer care team to send you a background check link so you can complete it online. Please call them at 800-822-2427, or email them at

Why do I have to get a live scan instead of the previous basic background check?

If you exceed 16 hours per month, or 32 hours per year, being in direct contact with youth, you are required by law to pass a live scan background check. This is in direct compliance with California’s Assembly Bill 506 (AB506) – California’s Child Abuse Neglect and Reporting Act.

How much does a background check cost?
  1. If you require a live scan, then GSCCC currently covers the cost; although, you will initially have to pay the upfront cost and send your receipt for reimbursement. Please use the GSCCC Live Scan Form when going in for a live scan.

  2. If there is an individual that needs a basic background check, then it is $8 to get a background check with a company we’re partnered with called Sterling. If you have a GSCCC membership, you do not need to pay for the $8 background check with Sterling.

How long does a background check take?
  1. Live Scan: 2 - 12 Weeks

  2. Basic Background Check from Sterling: 1-2 Business Days

Are you checking my credit? Will this impact my credit rating?

No. We do not check financial information or credit for any of our volunteer positions; we are only doing a criminal background check. This process will not impact your credit rating.

May I provide a previous background check or one from another organization/school?
  1. Regarding a Live Scan, no. Generally speaking, live scans are not transferrable between multiple parties. The results of a particular Live Scan are sent only to one requesting party. For example, if you went to one location to get live scanned for two different parties, you would have to fill out two separate forms and the results would go to each party, respectively. GSCCC cannot transfer results.

  2. Regarding a basic background check, GSCCC uses Sterling, a GSUSA-approved vendor. If your other organization also uses this vendor, they may be able to share the results with Girl Scouts.
    Due to security, legal, and technical limitations, we are unable to accept background checks run by other vendors.

Do I need to provide my Social Security Number?

Yes. Providing your social security number for the background check is required to verify that the correct person is going to receive the background check. Respecting our member’s personal information is very important to Girl Scouts. Girl Scouts of California’s Central Coast does not see or store your Social Security. We are confident that there is little to no risk to your personal information in this background process.

What could exclude me from volunteering with Girl Scouts?

Girl Scouts of California’s Central Coast (GSCCC) cannot work with an adult who has been convicted of, has pleaded guilty to, has received adjudication for, or has pleaded no contest to the following crimes:

Automatic Disqualification

  • Registered sex offenders are not eligible for membership in Girl Scouts of the USA and may not participate in any capacity with Girl Scouts. Any adult listed on a sex offender registry (past or present) will not be approved to serve as a Girl Scout volunteer.
  • Crimes against children
  • Felony offenses against persons
  • Felony offenses against a family member
  • Any violent crime
  • Any felony drug-related offense
  • Any felony conviction within the five (5) year period preceding the background check
  • Any offense involving driving under the influence, driving while intoxicated or equivalent within the five (5) year period preceding the background check.
  • Residing on the same premises as a registered sex offender (may only participate as a parent/guardian)

Possible Disqualification

For all other criminal offenses, or felony convictions older than the five-year period, California’s Central Coast shall review the applicant’s situation on a case-by-case basis. The factors to be considered include, but are not limited to:

  • Nature and severity of the criminal conduct
  • Frequency of criminal conduct
  • Length of time since the criminal conduct occurred
  • Age of the individual at the time of the criminal conduct
  • Relationship between the incident and the type of service the individual will provide
If I completed a Live Scan, do I need to complete the basic background check?

No. If you completed a Live Scan, you do not have to complete the basic background check. Unlike the basic background check, you do not have to renew it every three years. The live scan lasts as long as you are a girl scout member.