Becoming a volunteer with the Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks is a three-step process: contact your local community office, apply and undergo a background check, and receive authorization. Learn more about the Volunteer Registration Program or follow the steps below to begin.
Call or email your local recreation office, recreation council, or nature center, or the Recreation Volunteer Coordinator to find out what volunteer opportunities are available. You don't have to volunteer close to home, but your local office is the best place to start.
Fill out the online volunteer application. Your application provides the basis for your background check.
Select only one of the councils, activity sites or communities that are listed alphabetically. Please contact your local recreation office, recreation council, or nature center, or the Recreation Volunteer Coordinator with questions.
The volunteer application is available on any device that connects to the internet, such as a smartphone, tablet, laptop or computer. Baltimore County offers public computer labs at the Dundalk Community Center, Randallstown Community Center, Sollers Point Multi-Purpose Center and all Baltimore County Public Library branches.
Check the roster of authorized volunteers to make sure you are authorized to volunteer. Although results are usually posted on Fridays, they can take up to two weeks to come in.
The Recreation Volunteer Coordinator will contact you if there are questions related to the results of your background check. You may be notified that you are not authorized to volunteer or you may be asked to provide additional information.
Note that you will not be contacted if you are authorized to volunteer. You will be contacted only if you are not authorized to volunteer.
Baltimore County Government is committed to facilitating the safety of participants who engage in activities and programs. This commitment is demonstrated through the Volunteer Registration Program. The program includes background checks on all applicants who wish to volunteer for programming sponsored or run by the Department of Recreation and Parks, recreation councils, nature councils, therapeutic recreation and PAL centers.
The Volunteer Registration Program is not meant to take the place of family involvement in programming. It is meant to work in partnership with constituents to ensure that children and all participants enjoy programs and activities in a safe environment.
Volunteer background checks are conducted by the National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI), a company specializing in background screenings for volunteers in youth sports. Background checks verify applicants’ identities and search local, national and international criminal records. The results of a background check determine a volunteer applicant’s eligibility to volunteer for our programs.
Who Must Complete the Background Check
All volunteers must complete a background check, including:
- Board of Recreation and Parks members
- Recreation and Nature Council Board members, including all officers
- Head and assistant coaches
- Instructors and assistant instructors
- Volunteers who have care, custody or control of children
- Volunteers who have access to confidential information (example: registration forms, financial information, etc.)
Volunteer applicants are considered eligible to volunteer if none of the following offenses appear in the background checks. Any of the following offenses that resulted in charges, convictions, pending convictions, deferred sentences or adjudications, guilty pleas or pleas of no contest automatically disqualify any applicant from volunteering:
- Abuse or Neglect of a Vulnerable Adult-Custodian
- Assault-First Degree Felony
- Attempted Murder
- Child Abuse
- Felony Assault (within the last five years)
- Felony Robbery
- Inclusion on the National Sex Offender Registry
- Indecent Exposure (within the last five years)
- Misappropriation of Funds
- Possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute (within the last five years)
- Statutory Rape
- Vulnerable Adult Abuse Physical Injury-Felony
How to Complete Your Background Check
Volunteer applications include the background check process. Review the volunteer application process above for instructions and to complete the background check.