The Key to Effective Volunteer Management and Safer Schools Share Written By Chris Tags Background ScreeningBest PracticesSchool SafetyVolunteer Management 2024-01-05 Schools rely on volunteers to help with everything from chaperoning field trips to coaching sports teams. In the U.S., it's estimated that parents and other community members volunteer over 4 billion hours in public schools each year. Although volunteers play an important role in many school functions, they are often overlooked when it comes to security. It's more important than ever to properly manage and vet volunteers to ensure the safety and security of students. Volunteer Management Best Practices 1. Background Checks: Before allowing volunteers in your school, it's crucial to run background checks and thoroughly screen them. Volunteers should be held to the same standard as employees. Background checks should include criminal history, sex offender registry searches, and reference checks. 2. Proper training: Volunteers may be well-intentioned, but they may not be familiar with the specific protocols surrounding school safety. Proper training helps volunteers understand what to do in an emergency and how to interact with students and staff. Safety training should include emergency procedures, first aid, and how to manage disruptive behavior. 3. Volunteer Management Systems: Volunteer management should be centralized to ensure that all volunteers are properly screened and tracked. Using a Volunteer Management System can help streamline your procedures - all while following your protocols and simplifying the process of applying, approving, managing, and reporting on volunteer activities. 4. Communication: Effective communication is key to volunteer management in school safety. This includes communicating your school's expectations and protocols to volunteers, as well as providing them with updates and training as needed. Schools should also establish a system for reporting any safety concerns or incidents involving volunteers. 5. Ongoing evaluation: Finally, schools should regularly evaluate their volunteer management processes and make adjustments as needed. This could include conducting surveys with your volunteers and school staff to get feedback on the process, regularly reviewing and updating safety protocols, and seeking out best practices from other schools and experts in the field. Keeping students safe requires a team effort, and volunteers are an essential part of that team. By properly vetting and managing your volunteers you can ensure the safety and security of students and staff. School Gate Guardian’s suite of security products keeps schools and students from unwanted visitors, sex offenders and other threats. Learn how our Volunteer Management System can help keep your school safe and secure!