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Background Check

Girl Scouts is a safe place for girls to learn, lead and grow. There are many reasons this is true, but one of the most important is that - together with Girl Scouts of the USA - we conduct criminal background checks on volunteers and staff. Learn more below, or take a deeper dive with common questions about our secure background check vendor and the background check process for volunteers.

Who needs to submit a background check?

All Girl Scout members who plan to volunteer in the following capacities must follow the steps in the “How do I submit a background check?” section:

  • Any person who will have direct contact with girls.
  • Any volunteer with financial responsibility.
  • All service team members.

Additionally, all persons 18 years or older who reside at a residence where meetings or events occur must have a current GSOSW background check prior to the first meeting. Since Girl Scout membership is not required for these individuals, they must email to begin their background check process.

Are there any exceptions? Yes, if the person meets all of the requirements of either of these situations:

  • A one time speaker or presenter who is never left alone with girls and is not counted when considering girl/adult ratio.
  • A parent or guardian who attends a family function (court of awards or family picnic) and is not counted when considering girl/adult ratio. 
How do I submit a background check?

New members who register as a volunteer will receive email information about submitting a background check after completing their online registration.

If you do not select a volunteer role during registration you will not automatically receive an email to complete a background check. 

Current members who are new to a volunteer position and current volunteers who must renew their background check will be sent an email with a personalized link and instructions on completing or renewing their background check.

Individuals who do not have a Social Security number must submit a paper background check form. Email to request the form in English or Spanish.

What can I expect after I submit a background check?

Background checks submitted online take at least one week to process, depending on many factors outside of GSOSW’s control. We are not able to respond to requests for “rush” background checks. Please plan ahead, especially during peak times such as Back-to-School and before Girl Scout Product Sales.

A specially trained GSOSW staff member will contact you by email if there are questions about the results of your background check.

You must complete a GSOSW background check every three years
. If you have questions about when to submit or renew your background check, please contact Have other questions? We’re here to help! Email for assistance.