Northwest Meeting Notes - February 17, 2009 


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Volunteer Management Network - Northwest Region
Meeting Notes
February 17, 2009
Welcome & Introductions - Scott Niermann, Serve Illinois Commission

What is the Illinois Volunteer Management Network - Brief Recap

Serve Illinois Commission Updates

(Scott Niermann, Serve Illinois Commission)

  • AmeriCorps week May 9-16 with Disability Inclusion focus Website Update

(Scott McFarland, Serve Illinois Commission)

  • Goal: Direct traffic to your organization
  • since September, over 10,000 people visited site with over 46,000 opportunities
  • upcoming additions will include disability inclusion
  • minutes from all five regions will go up on website
  • AmeriCorps VISTA, Steven, offered to help with the VMN as part of his service term
  • feel free to send any program spotlight information to them
  • send calendar events for them to post on the website

Panel Discussion: Volunteers: Screening, Liability, & Risk Management

Mike Hughes, Community Outreach Coordinator, Office of the Attorney General, State of Illinois

  • Oversees the Charitable Trust Act (all non-profit charities must fill out 990 form)
    • can be fined if fail to file
  • Legal liability when dealing with volunteers
  • Recommendation handout:
    • Volunteer Board - recruit a lawyer
    • Insurance products - recruit an insurance agent/broker
    • Contract with volunteers -
      • receive no material goods from board members (conflict of interests)
      • Exercise good judgment because of legal ramifications
  • Call Bureau, Teresa (312-814-2595 or

Johnna Jennings, Unit Educator, U of I Extension (DeKalb County)

  • Application process to volunteer with 4H
    • Volunteer application (need 3 references - work, family, and personal)
    • Interview process
    • DCFS CANTS form
    • Sex offender site and police check
      • every 5 years must redo process and files are then secured and locked
  • educate chaperones for them to protect themselves

Risk Management (think through scenarios and have a game plan for each)

  • What does risk mean to your organization (legal/civil)
    • avoid risk
    • mitigate risk
    • share risk (insurance) - Nonprofit Risk Management Center
    • talk to your liability insurance company to see what they recommend
    • have a written policy for background checks - possibly reevaluate is it a good idea then
  • Other background checks
    • Secretary of State - motor vehicle
    • CNA: IL Department of Professional Regulation (professional complaints)
    • Timeframe for volunteers to serve
      • fill out forms in summer
      • Orientate volunteer, but can not start until receives CANTS back - especially for 1 on 1 service ( CANTS form takes a while to get back )
      • have letter if fail check
      • every volunteer gets a copy of Volunteer Behavior guidelines that sign off on

Trooper Melissa Randick, Illinois State Police-District 1 (Lee County)

  • Phone: 815-740-5160
  • Criminal History Record Information Training Symposiums
    • Name based, fingerprint cards forms available on-line but cannot be copied or reused
      • Manual Fees - $16 for name check and $20 for fingerprint
      • Some places do electronic prints
    • only shows convicted people not arrests
    • Judici does show arrests by county

VMN Statewide Survey & Upcoming Opportunities

(Scott Niermann, Serve Illinois Commission)

Possible NW IL Projects

need for statewide structure

  • Professional Development
  • Network/Sharing of ideas
  • Conferences - 1 full day conference (8-4 pm)
  • Volunteer Center/Connector

Survey Ideas - posted and collected

  • A VISTA member may conduct a baseline evaluation so state can focus resources where they are needed
  • state hopes to apply for grant based on the survey results

Next Steps

VMN Leadership Team for NW IL Region:

  • Sabrina Earl, Sauk Valley Community College
  • Doug Hampton, Illinois Coalition for Community Services
  • Joann Robinson, Volunteer Hospice of Northwest Illinois
  • Donna Minear, Rock Island County Unit, UI Extension
  • Mike Shore, RSVP/Highland Community College

(will meet sometime after March)

Summer Meeting & Location

  • Thursday, July 30 from 11-3 pm at the Rock Island University of Illinois Extension office in Milan
  • Brown bag lunch or ordered food option

Other Announcements

  • Volunteer Development class on Emergency: February 26 free ( 309-799-5166 to register


- Submitted by: Sabrina Earl, Sauk Valley Community College

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