People involved in High Security ministries, such as Children’s Liturgy or Collection Counters, need to give two references. The Screening committee is responsible for checking the references.
In the binder, there is a Reference Letter Form (Section 3 page 11-12). There is also a Telephone Reference Form (Section 3 page 9-10). We are recommending the letter rather than the phone call.
When gathering reference information some tips can help the process. If you are giving volunteers the information about their ministry, you can give them the reference form in an envelope with the Screening Committee Coordinator’s name and address on it. We recommend the address of the church be used, if possible. It is more business-like and often more comfortable for the volunteer.
If the Screening Committee is meeting with a group such as attending the training session for Collection Counters, they can bring the Volunteer forms and the reference forms. The people in the committee can even be references for each other if they know each other. So, the volunteer forms and references can be collected all at once. You could even do the interviews at the meeting if you have a quiet spot to keep them private.
If a reference is not returned, ask the volunteer to remind the person about the reference or you can suggest the volunteer select another reference.
Even if you have known the volunteer forever, you cannot skip the references. If the person gets upset, explain to them that if you treat people differently, the process could be seen as discriminatory. Usually, people understand that you cannot show favouritism.
Next blog “I’ve been a member of this parish for over 20 years, why do I need to be interviewed?”