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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 policy is to conduct criminal background checks on all new volunteers, and to repeat them on all volunteers every three years.

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 include 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. Background checks are valid for three years and must be repeated before they expire to remain eligible. Adults who do not complete a background check are not permitted to participate in any Girl Scout (GS) sponsored activity, except 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 background check?

Begin registering as an adult Girl Scout member, and you will be guided through a background check process.

If you are already a Girl Scout member and would like to take on a volunteer role, contact us for assistance getting set up and completing your check.

I have been volunteering for years – why are you asking me to do this again?

Thank you for your continued service to Girl Scouting. We require volunteers to complete a background check every three years.

How much does a background check cost?

Girl Scouts of California’s Central Coast covers the $8 cost to perform a background checks. Volunteers are given the option to make a donation to cover that cost.

How long does a background check take?

You will spend a few minutes completing an online form to get your check started. There is usually a 24 – 48 hour turnaround in the process. Some counties have a longer processing time.

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.

If you review the information on the Sterling website, you will see reference to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, because that governs criminal background checks as well as credit checks. Despite this reference though, we are not checking your credit.

May I provide a previous background check or one from another organization/school?

Girl Scouts of California’s Central Coast uses Sterling, a GSUSA-approved vendor for background checks. If your other organization also uses this vendor, you may be able to share the check 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?

Providing your social security number helps our vendor, Sterling, find the correct person’s records as they perform your check. Respecting our member’s personal information is very important to Girl Scouts. Sterling provides a secure online process for submitting your information. 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 you in our online background check 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