Recruiting and Screening Volunteers for Ministry

If you are a ministry head in charge of recruiting volunteers for your youth-related ministry, there are some extra steps that will help us in our shared mission to provide the safest environment for minors to flourish.
According to the new diocesan policies and standards, all brand-new volunteers must do 3 things:  (1) fill out an application, (2) be interviewed, and (3) have their references checked.  The prospective volunteer is responsible for #1 (the application) and you the ministry leader will be in charge of #2 (interviewing them) and #3 (checking their references).

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 Volunteer Application
(filled out by prospective volunteer)

 
Send this brief and simple 1-page application to the prospective volunteer.  They will fill it out and return it to you, the ministry leader.  The application’s first page is for the prospective volunteer to fill out.  The second page is for you the ministry leader to fill out partially and then turn into the parish office for our record-keeping.  The application asks for basic contact information from the volunteer and for 3 references.  You as the ministry leader must check at least 2 of the 3 references.  Sample reference-check questions are provided in the following steps.  
 
(click to download)

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The Interview
(conducted by ministry leader)

 
Sample Questions to ask when Interviewing
 
 
Have you worked with youth before?  In what capacities?
 
What do you see as the mission of our ministry/organization?
 
Why are you interested in helping out with this ministry?
 
…..and other ministry-specific questions you believe are pertinent
 
 
After completing the interview, record your name, the volunteer’s name, the date of the interview, and any notes/comments on the second page of the Volunteer Application.  

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Reference Check
(checked by ministry leader)

 

Sample Questions to ask when Checking References
 
How are you acquainted with this person?
 
Have you found this person to be responsible and a person of integrity?
 
Can you speak to the person’s moral character?
 
Would you feel comfortable leaving your children in the care of this person?
 
Is there anything that makes you hesitate to endorse this person for volunteer work with children?
 
Is there anything else you would like to add about him/her?
 
After checking at least 2 of the 3 references, record the reference’s name and the date you contacted them on the second page of the Volunteer Application.  

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Complete the Process
(materials filled out and turned in by ministry leader)

 
After the volunteer has filled out the application, you have interviewed them, you have checked the references, and you have recorded that you have done both, return both pages of the application to the parish office.  The parish office will complete the rest of the form.  After all of the other boxes have been checked and the background checks have come back clear, the office will give the final approval for the applicant to become a volunteer and start volunteering.  
 
The Parish Office will contact you and notify you that you can now bring the volunteer onboard to begin helping with the ministry/organization.