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Home > Safe Environment Program > Step by Step Process for Parish Leaders

Parish Leaders:

Please use this process when recruiting new ministry volunteers.

Following the steps below will help you to:

  • Invite people into roles that match their gifts
  • Help keep children and young people safe


Step by Step Process for Recruiting New Ministry Volunteers


Step One: Interview Candidates


Use the Ministry Volunteer Interview Form to:

  • get to know the new volunteer
  • discern gifts he/she may bring to the particular area of ministry
  • determine interests of the candidates

Ministry Volunteer Interview Form
Ejemplos de preguntas para cuando entreviste a voluntarios


File interview forms in the parish. Candidates may also want complete the Ministry Volunteer Time, Talent and Interest Survey to assist you in placement of the volunteer.

Ministry Volunteer Time, Talent and Interest Survey
Voluntario Comparta Tiempo, Talento y Intereses


Step Two: Candidates complete an Application Form

If you determine the Interviewee is someone you want to invite into ministry, give the candidate the Ministry Volunteer Application Form to complete. The application includes naming three references who have known candidates for at least three years.

Volunteer Ministry Application
Solicitud de Ministerio Voluntario


Step Three: Complete Reference Checks

  • Use the Volunteer Applicant Reference Form (included in the Ministry Volunteer Application Form) to request three references from the applicant
  • Send a letter to each reference name immediately, and include in the envelope:
    • The Volunteer Applicant Reference Check Form (below)
    • A cover letter on parish stationary
    • A response date
    • A self addressed stamped envelope
  • Send a second request (or contact by phone) if necessary
  • If there is no response by the new return date, please ask the applicant for a different reference. Three references are needed. File the applicants Reference Checks in the parish.

Volunteer Reference Check
Voluntarios de Referencias Personales


Step Four: Conduct a Criminal Background Evaluation

Background evaluations are required in the Diocese of Fort Worth.

  • Candidates must complete the Authorization For Release of Information Form (below)
  • The staff member responsible for personnel will send this completed form to the Diocesan Office of Human Resources
  • Once the applicant is cleared you may continue with Step 5
  • Discuss restricted or non-clearance issues with the pastor and the Diocesan Office of Human Resources

Authorization for Release of Information
Autorización para Obtener Antecedentes Penales


Step Five: Participation in a Keeping Children and Youth Safe Program

Contact the facilitator or trainers in your parish, and use the diocesan Safe Environment Sessions to locate a session near you.


Step Six: Diocesan Code of Conduct and Behavior Standards

All volunteers must review and agree to abide by the Diocesan Code of Conduct and Behavior Standards. This document is designed to assist all ministry leaders in understanding their moral responsibilities to the people they minister to.

  • Ministry leaders must review the entire Code of Conduct and Standards of Behavior with each volunteer, individually, or in a group to determine that the "Code" is understood and the volunteers agree to abide by it
  • Each volunteer must then complete the "Code" Acknowledgement Form (not available online) and return it to be filed in the parish
  • Each volunteer must be provided a copy of the "Code" to be able to refer to it during the year. Each volunteer will sign off on the "Code" annually


Recruiting Youth Volunteers (Under 18)

Leaders recruiting youth volunteers should follow the same step by step process for adults (as above), but use the following forms, tailored specifically for youth.

Youth Volunteer Interview Questions
Ministry Volunteer Application for Youth
Youth Applicant Reference Check
Volunteer Time, Talent and Interest Survey for youth


Create a Filing and Tracking System for Volunteers

It is important to set aside a space and determine how the parish will track volunteers and the paperwork necessary for each volunteer.

  • Interview Forms
  • Applications and References
  • Reference Checks
  • Criminal Background Checks
  • Acknowledgment Forms for The Code of Conduct and Behavior Standards

Other items that could be stored about your volunteers include:

  • Diocesan Driver Form
  • Trainings & Continuing Formation Participation
  • Any Incidences or Awards as Volunteers

Files, boxes, folders and binders must be kept in a secure location. They should only be available to parish staff, not to the general public.




Richard Mathews
Director of Safe Environment

Nancy Mitchell
Safe Environment Analyst


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