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 Department of Human Resources & Equal Opportunity

Workers' Comp

Volunteers Working Directly With Youth and/or Vulnerable Adults

The University of Minnesota Duluth has an obligation to provide a safe environment for youth and vulnerable adults* involved in University of Minnesota programs. And, we need to be able to provide documentation of volunteer placement for coverage under the University Indemnification and Defense of Employment policy. In order to accomplish both of these goals, and to help insure the selection and placement of qualified volunteers for University of Minnesota youth activities, additional screening beyond the Volunteer Agreement and Release will occur.

Who Will Be Screened?

Any prospective adult volunteer who will have access to children under 18 years of age or a vulnerable adult* during the course of his or her involvement with the University of Minnesota will receive additional screening. This screening will include a criminal background check, paid for by the department receiving the volunteer services. Volunteer applicants having used an alias (including maiden name) within the past 10 years will need a separate background check for each alias. The requirement for a background check will be waived if the volunteer provides documentation of an acceptable criminal background check within the previous two years.

*Vulnerable adults are persons 18 years of age or older who, regardless of where they live, are unable or unlikely to report abuse or neglect themselves because of their limitation(s) which is (are) caused by mental, physical or emotional impairment, or who are residents or patients of, or who receive services from, a state licensed facility.

Specific Processes Related to Volunteers who Desire to Work Directly with Youth and/or Vulnerable Adults

Departments who occasionally use volunteers must follow this process for formalizing the relationship of volunteers at UMD and to address any potential legal issues surrounding the volunteer relationship.

1. Open the appropriate OGC Volunteer Agreement Contract:

a. Volunteer Agreement and Release

OR Volunteer Researcher Agreement and Release

b. Review the departmental responsibilities on the first page.

c. Enter the applicable information:

i. Volunteer name
ii. Area/department where volunteer activity will occur
iii. Anticipated start/end dates
iv. Anticipated schedule
v. Supervisor’s name
vi. Nature of the volunteer services

2. Print out all materials relating to the criminal background check found at

a. Background Check Consent Form

b. Personal Disclosure Statement

c. Summary of Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act

The volunteer may not begin providing services until an acceptable criminal background check is received or prior report is verified (if volunteer has one less than 2 years old).

3. Using the cover letter template found below, draft a cover letter to send with the Agreement and Release and the background check materials. Mail the package to the volunteer.

4. When the materials are received back, have the Agreement and Release executed by appropriate UMD staff, make a photocopy for the volunteer and keep the original in the departmental file.

5. Print the Background Check Request Cover Sheet from the website listed under number 6. Send, with the background check materials from the volunteer, to Betsy Behning (Human Resources & Equal Opportunity, 255 Darland Admin. Building).

6. General Information on Volunteer Agreements:

a. The information provided in these guidelines does not apply to emeriti faculty.

b. These guidelines do not apply to Without Salary (WOS) appointments. For information regarding WOS appointments, contact your Payroll staff person or Betsy Behning (218-726-6520,

c. Volunteers are not entered into HRMS.

Cover Letter Template for Volunteers Working With Youth/Vulnerable Adults

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The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
Last modified on 12/07/16 01:09 PM
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