ARCHIVED - Minister Toews launches updated volunteer screening handbook

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OTTAWA, October 18, 2012 - Today, the Honourable Vic Toews, Canada's Public Safety Minister, and Royal Galipeau, Member of Parliament for Ottawa-Orléans, accompanied by the President and Chief Executive Officer of Volunteer Canada, Ruth MacKenzie, launched the 2012 edition of the Screening Handbook.

The Screening Handbook provides organizations with up-to-date information, tools and resources to support volunteer screening policies and practices. It also provides additional material that takes into account the current trends in volunteering, shifts in public policy, and changes in legislation.

“Communities across Canada are strengthened through the work of volunteers and through the protection of our most vulnerable members of society, including children, people with disabilities, seniors, or people with illnesses,” said Minister Toews. “Organizations serving these groups need strong volunteer resource management practices to ensure the safety, security, and well-being of their clients.”

“Volunteer screening involves much more than police record checks,” said Ruth MacKenzie. “The new handbook highlights volunteer screening as an ongoing, 10 step process - one that truly strengthens the quality and safety of volunteer programs in communities across Canada.”

The updated Screening Handbook was prepared by Volunteer Canada for Public Safety Canada. It is based on the original Screening Handbook: Protecting Clients, Staff and Community, which was developed in 1996 by Volunteer Canada (formerly the Canadian Association of Volunteer Bureaux and Centres) in partnership with the Solicitor General of Canada, Justice Canada, and Health Canada.

The version launched today keeps in step with advances in technology, shifts in demographics and economic turns affecting Canadian society, while addressing the risks and liability issues to improve community safety. This version includes the 10 Steps of Screening and an updated screening checklist, which will prove invaluable to the voluntary sector.

Public Safety Canada is also working with Volunteer Canada to deliver national training for volunteer organizations, particularly those organizations serving the most vulnerable, based on the 10 steps for screening volunteers. Training sessions will be delivered across Canada this fall and winter to promote the importance of implementing and updating screening practices.

For more information on Public Safety Canada, please visit: or follow Public Safety @Safety_Canada on Twitter.

See also:

Julie Carmichael
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Public Safety

Media Relations
Public Safety Canada

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