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FAYETTEVILE-CUMBERLAND PARKS AND RECREATION VOLUNTEER PROGRAM

ABOUT THE VOLUNTEER PROGRAM

Volunteers are a vital and integral part of the Fayetteville-Cumberland Parks and Recreation Department (FCPR). In some cases, programs would not be an option without a volunteer, and in others, volunteers help lighten a load or brighten a day.  Volunteer opportunities exist in all areas of the department from working with seniors and special populations, to recreation center helpers, to coaching youth sports. Possibilities include:

SENIOR PROGRAMS 

Be a friend to “actively aging” seniors; help with arts/crafts or music programs; become a computer instructor; act as an aide on trips; coach a Senior Games event; man the Senior Center reception desk; become a Program Assistant

TOKAY SENIOR FITNESS CENTER

Monitor fitness equipment workouts; provide heart rate and blood pressure checks; serve on the Fitness Center Board

GILMORE THERAPEUTIC RECREATION CENTER

Coach a Special Olympics athlete or team; be a one-on-one friend to a person with special needs; teach a class; assist with programs such as arts, crafts, music and dance

RECREATION CENTERS

Provide assistance with after-school and pre-school programs or in the exercise room; volunteer to help with dances, community days and center special events

YOUTH ATHLETICS

Coach a team as the head / assistant coach; serve as a game scorekeeper / clock operator; become a Team “Mom” or “Dad”

PARKS

Serve as a docent for historical exhibits; assist with fishing vents; serve as a Cape Fear River Trail guide; pick up trash along nature trails; become a trail monitor  

It is the primary desire of FCPR to protect program participants.  In these uncertain days, strict precautions are necessary to protect the most vulnerable – children, seniors and individuals with special needs. However, it is also FCPR’s wish that every volunteer have a positive experience and volunteer as long as they are able. 

VOLUNTEER BACKGROUND CHECK

Once completed, a background is valid for 3 years regardless of the sport, event and/or activity; Little League requires a new check be completed annually. Volunteer checks are paid for by FCPR and consists of a nationwide criminal search to include state and county records, social security verification, and a nationwide sex offender’s registry.

All volunteers are required to provide:
a social security number
date of birth
address(es) for 7 years
photo ID such as a driver’s license or military ID

COMMUNITY SERVICE

Community service is often required of one-time offenders in lieu of harsher punishments, particularly first-time youth offenders.  A background screen is required before community service is performed; this cost is borne by those wishing to perform community service and all necessary paperwork is required, including social security number, date of birth and photo ID. The community service request may be denied, depending upon the results of the screen.

VOLUNTEER ID BADGES

Once approved a volunteer is provided with a Volunteer ID Badge.  The Volunteer ID Badge is good for three (3) years (exception – Little League baseball/softball badge is provided annually).  The ID Badge is to be worn at all practices and games; a volunteer will not be allowed to be on the sidelines, in the dug-out or on the bench with the team if his/her badge is not worn.  There is no cost for the first badge; a $5 replacement fee is required for lost or damaged badges.  

DISQUALIFICATIONS

Disqualifications are made when there is a conviction in a prospective volunteer’s background check within the prescribed timeframe. In addition, an individual’s application will not be approved if he/she has a disqualifying charge pending. Once the charge is disposed the prospective volunteer can contact FCPR and if the charge is dismissed or the individual found not guilty the volunteer may be approved. FCPR reserves the right to re-screen at any time.

When an individual is disqualified he / she will receive a letter from FCPR indicating the individual has been disqualified based on the conviction listed. All information is confidential and will be treated accordingly. While there is no appeals process, a disqualified volunteer who feels an error has been made can contact the contracted background check company noted on the disqualification letter. This will begin the process to ensure the check has been conducted on the correct individual and may result in additional searches. Volunteer will be asked to send in a “Re-Investigation Request Form” and a photo ID.  All forms must be filled in completely before a re-check can be conducted. FCPR will fax or scan/email forms if the volunteer does not have access to such machines.  There is no additional cost to the volunteer and the process may take 2-4 weeks.  While regrettable, FCPR would rather work with an individual to help gather correct information than to approve someone in haste.

Recreation Center staff is notified as volunteers are approved and will contact those individuals to confirm.  Volunteers are not allowed to begin volunteer duties, including but not limited to: coaching or practicing with a team, in the dugout or on the sidelines during games, or volunteering at a recreation center until they are approved.  An individual who is disqualified may remain as a spectator. Being disqualified as a volunteer does not prohibit anyone from watching a game or practice.

The following, while not an exclusive list, are grounds for denial: 
For purposes of this policy conviction shall mean that a person was found guilty following a trial, entered a guilty plea accompanied by a court finding of guilt (regardless of adjudication) or received court directed programs in lieu of conviction

SEX OFFENSE CONVICTIONS

A.  All Sex Offense Convictions – Regardless of the amount of time since conviction. 
Examples include but are not limited to: Child molestation, rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sodomy, prostitution, solicitation, indecent exposure, etc.

FELONIES

A. All Violent Felony Convictions – Regardless of the amount of time since conviction.
Examples include but are not limited to: murder, manslaughter, aggravated assault, kidnapping, robbery, aggravated burglary, etc.

B. All Felony convictions other than violence or sex within the past 10 years. 
Examples include but are not limited to:  drug offenses, theft, embezzlement, fraud, child endangerment, etc.

MISDEMEANORS

A. All misdemeanor violence convictions within the past 7 years. 
Examples include but are not limited to: simple assault, battery, domestic violence, assault on a female, etc.

B. Any misdemeanor drug & alcohol conviction within the past 5 years or multiple offenses in the past 10 years. 
Examples include but are not limited to: driving under the influence, simple drug possession, drunk and disorderly, public intoxication, possession of drug paraphernalia, etc.

C. Any other misdemeanor within the past 5 years that involve the endangerment of children or is directly related to the functions of that volunteer. 
Examples include but are not limited to: contributing to the delinquency of a minor, providing alcohol to a minor, theft – if person is handling monies, etc.
 
ANY OTHER CONVICTION WHICH IS DEEMED BY THE FCPR DIRECTOR OR HIS DESIGNEE TO BE A POTENTIAL DANGER TO THE HEALTH, SAFETY OR WELFARE OF CHILDREN AMD WHICH IS DIRECTLY RELATED TO THE FUNCTIONS OF THAT VOLUNTEER.