News Release – One less barrier for Alberta volunteers

June 8, 2012

One less barrier for Alberta volunteers

Cost of police information checks for volunteers working with children, seniors, and the disabled will be covered

Alberta… Volunteers and volunteer engaging groups in Alberta have one less barrier to overcome thanks to the continuation of the Volunteer Police Information Check Program (VPICP). Under this program, the cost for police information checks for volunteers who interact with children, seniors, and people with a disability are covered by the Government of Alberta.

“The Volunteer Police Information Check Program has proven itself to be a vital resource that will continue to aid nonprofit voluntary organizations in ensuring the safety and well‐being of our most vulnerable citizens,” said Minister of Culture, Heather Klimchuk. “We are very pleased to continue our partnership with Volunteer Alberta in delivering this valuable program.”

The program provides for $800,000 in annual funding and is run in collaboration with Volunteer Alberta, benefiting from their extensive reach into Alberta’s more than 19,000 nonprofit/voluntary sector organizations. “The program has helped thousands of volunteers and volunteer engaging organizations throughout Alberta,” said Karen Lynch, Executive Director of Volunteer Alberta. “They can now direct their funds to providing the services Albertans want and expect; while strengthening their volunteer screening practices to ensure the safety of the people they are serving.

In order to protect Alberta’s children, senior and disabled populations, nonprofit/voluntary organizations obtain police information checks to screen volunteers. Organizations in the sector face two central concerns related to these checks. First are the costs of obtaining police information checks for volunteers. The associated costs divert funds away from front-line services and core missions, and act as a barrier to volunteerism. Second, organizations strive to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the populations they are benefiting. Strong screening practices ensures that the client, volunteer, and organization are protected. Volunteer Alberta has ensured the Volunteer Police Information Check Program provides assistance for organizations in both these respects.

Working with nonprofit, public and private stakeholders, Volunteer Alberta stands as an expert and key voice for volunteerism and the nonprofit/voluntary sector across Alberta.

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Media inquiries may be directed to:
Andrew Fisher
Director of Communications
780-482-3300 ext.229

To call toll-free within Alberta dial 1-877-915-6336