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Volunteer Certification Procedures

NOTICE: All volunteers previously cleared under the former STAND program are required to register on the new Shield the Vulnerable website (and complete the updated training if required). Please continue reading below about the new certification process and requirements. If you do not know the date of your last training or certification, please contact Joan Lashley, our parish Child Protection Coordinator, at jlashley@stjosephodenton.org.


Thank you for your interest in serving as a volunteer at ST. JOSEPH CATHOLIC CHURCH. The Archdiocese of Baltimore and St. Joseph Catholic Church are committed to providing a safe environment for children and youth. We will exclude from ministry, employment and volunteer service anyone against whom there is a credible allegation of child abuse.

All parents and volunteers who will have substantial contact with children in any of the ministries at St. Joseph must be fully compliant with the revised Archdiocese Policy for the Protection of Children and the revised Code of Conduct. Resulting from these revised documents, there is a new compliance management system used by the Archdiocese of Baltimore and St. Joseph Catholic Church, called Shield the Vulnerable. The new procedures were established by the Archdiocese of Baltimore in August 2014, and they are as follows:

Adult Volunteers

For NEW volunteers, the following steps must be successfully completed before volunteer service can take place.

A. Visit www.shieldthevulernable.org to complete the following:
  1. Create a user account as a St. Joseph “Odenton” Volunteer (NOTE: when prompted to select the Primary Position, if you wish to be certified to drive for parish activities, choose “Drivers with contact” otherwise choose “Substantial contact with children” from the drop-down menu.)
  2. Complete Application for Volunteer Service.
  3. Complete Criminal History Screening Form (and Driving Form ONLY if driving for parish activities).
  4. Complete Part 1 & Part 2 of the “Protect Children course. (Note: print certificate when completed).
  5. Read “Code of Conduct for Church Personnel.”
  6. Read “A Statement of Policy for the Protection of Children and Youth.”
B. Print three Reference Check Forms and provide the forms to the three references you named in the application on the Shield the Vulnerable website above. Submit the completed forms to Joan Lashley at St Joseph Catholic Church, 1283 Odenton Road, Odenton MD 21113 or via email at jlashley@stjosephodenton.org. These three completed forms are needed for certification.

C. Those who may be driving youth to events need to contact the office to have a separate electronic link sent to them to authorize the driver's check. Your online STV record will be automatically updated when the DMV check is complete.

Previously STAND-Certified Volunteers

All volunteers previously cleared under the former STAND program are required to register on the Shield the Vulnerable website as described below.

If you received your STAND training in 2009 or earlier, you are required to register on the Shield the Vulnerable Site and complete the new training, as described under A. above. If you don't know the date of your last background check, please contact Joan Lashley at jlashley@stjosephodenton.org.

If you were trained in 2013 or thereafter, you will not be required to complete the new training at this time (you will when your certification expires - 5 years after your original certification date). But you must visit www.shieldthevulernable.org to register on the site and create an account now. Please contact Joan Lashley with any questions.

Youth Volunteers Ages 14-17 “Worthy of the Call” Certification

Presently there is no requirement for Teen Volunteers to register with the Shield the Vulnerable website. All applicants for volunteer service who are at least 14 years of age must:
  1. Complete the Application for Volunteer Service.
    • Be sure to include complete and current mailing addresses and telephone numbers for your three references on page 2. The references must be adults.
    • A teacher, principal, pastor, etc. may be the "Professional Reference."
    • The application must also be signed by the volunteer’s parent or guardian. The signature may be placed beneath the applicant's signature.

  2. Have three references checked. These reference forms are completed by the three individuals noted on page 2 of your Application. All forms should be returned to Ms. Joan Lashley at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 1283 Odenton Rd., Odenton, MD 21113. A cross-check may be performed by the parish either by mail or telephone to confirm your references.

  3. Complete WORTHY OF THE CALL Training.
    Minor volunteers, between the ages of 14 and 17, must receive age appropriate child and youth protection training utilizing the Archdiocese training video, Worthy of the Call. This training is not currently available on-line. Please contact Joan Lashley to arrange a training date (this is usually coordinated with the parish Youth Ministry leader, Michele Dougherty).
Minor volunteers, 14-17 years old, do not receive a criminal background check.

Youth Volunteers Under Age 14

Children under 14 are considered to be doing Christian service and need not follow the Archdiocese volunteer requirements. A parish information form and parent permission may be required by the ministry leader in order for the child to volunteer with a ministry.

For More Information

If you have any further questions regarding the child protection policies or volunteer paperwork, please contact Joan Lashley in the parish office at 410-674-9238 or jlashley@stjosephodenton.org.

A complete description of the Archdiocese’s policies for child and youth protection, including screening of priests, employees, and parish volunteers can be found on the Archdiocese of Baltimore website. Spanish versions of all the documents can be found on the Archdiocese web page.

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