New rules for volunteers at Catholic schools in Milton, Burlington, Oakville

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Published December 12, 2023 at 10:40 am

The rules for volunteers at Catholic schools in Oakville, Burlington, Milton and Halton Hills have been tightened.

At a recent Halton Catholic District School Board meeting, revisions to the volunteer policy were passed by trustees. The revised policy includes additional requirements for parents, guardians and community members interested in volunteering at HCDSB schools.

New requirements include :

  • A volunteer who is 18 years of age or older must submit a Vulnerable Sector Check (VSC) to the school principal prior to volunteering and once again every four years
  • The VSC must be dated within 120 days of submission
  • Volunteers with a VSC for which an official pardon has not been received, will not be accepted as a volunteer in the school.
  • A Vulnerable Sector Check (VSC) is required when a paid or volunteer position is one of authority and trust relative to children or vulnerable persons.
  • The VSC is the highest level of police check specific to volunteers and includes the following information:
  • Criminal convictions from Canadian Policing Information Centre and/or local databases
  • Summary convictions, for five years, when identified
  • Findings of guilt under the Youth Criminal Justice Act within the applicable disclosure period
  • Outstanding entries such as charges and warrants, judicial orders, peace bonds, probation and prohibition orders
  • Absolute and conditional discharges for one or three years respectively
  • In very exceptional cases, where it meets the Exceptional Disclosure Assessment, non-conviction dispositions including, but not limited to, Withdrawn and Dismissed
  • Not Criminally Responsible by Reason of Mental Disorder
  • All record suspensions as authorized for release by the Minister of Public Safety

All current and returning volunteers must already have a VSC on file but will need to ensure it is dated within the past four years. If the VSC is not current, the volunteer must submit a new VSC by March 1 in order to continue volunteering at the school.

In addition to the VSC requirements, a volunteer must also continue to complete an annual volunteer criminal offence declaration form before being accepted as a returning volunteer.

Anyone seeking to volunteer at an HCDSB school must apply for a VSC through Halton Regional Police Services, either online or in person at police headquarters.

“Volunteers are valued members of our HCDSB community who help to foster positive relationships and play a significant role in enhancing the educational experience of our students,” said a Board spokesperson. “The revisions to Policy II-37 continue to enhance our commitment to providing safe learning environments in each of our HCDSB schools.”

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