Guidelines for Student Volunteerism

October 6, 2014 (Rev 3-26-2015)

PURPOSE: These guidelines are meant to provide a Safe Environment for diocesan students who volunteer their services to entities within the Diocese of St. Petersburg. The student volunteer services entail providing service hours to diocesan entities outside of the school environment in the area of office work, computer-related services, or maintenance service as examples. Diocesan personnel are responsible for the safety and well being of these volunteer students.

STUDENT VOLUNTEERISM: Student volunteers provide their services in an effort to amass service or volunteer hours as a ministry, as service to the community, or as works of goodwill. Student volunteerism must take place on diocesan property such as the Pastoral Center, a parish, the radio station, the cemetery, or at another diocesan entity. Student volunteers must be supervised by diocesan personnel who have a current FBI/FDLE (AFRNP) Level 2 Background Check and a current Safe Environment Program Training Attendance Certificate.

REQUESTING A STUDENT VOLUNTEER:  Diocesan organizations that need the services of a student volunteer should complete and send a Student Volunteer Request Form to the Safe Environment Program Office (SEPO) via email ( by fax (727-374-0215), or by mail (Diocese of St. Petersburg, Safe Environment Program Office, 6363 9th Ave., North, St. Petersburg, FL).  The SEPO will manage placement of the student and ensure that diocesan personnel who supervise students have a current background check and have been Safe Environment Program trained.

Students who are volunteering are doing so on an individual basis so as to earn credit for service hours as required by their school or parish.  That being said, it is not the school conducting the activity.  The school can use volunteer students in any number of ways, however, the hours volunteered at the Pastoral Center or other diocesan entity are done personally by the student in fulfillment of “service” to the community.

The student is volunteering and is free to leave at any time.  That being said, such volunteer time should not exceed the normal work day at a maximum. However, students must sign in at their volunteer location and sign out at the end of the day at their service location on their Student Volunteer Parental Permission Form .  Volunteer Students must also sign in and sign out on the Student Volunteer Sign-in Sheet maintained at their volunteer location’s administrative office or receptionist desk.

Guidelines for Student Volunteerism


  1. The Safe Environment Program Office has administrative and operational oversight responsibility for student volunteerism within the Diocese of St. Petersburg and:
    a.    Provides these guidelines for Student Volunteerism.
    b.     Confirms that volunteer supervisors’  background check and Safe Environment Program training are current
    c.      Maintains copy #3 of the Student Volunteer Parental Permission Form
    d.    Maintains and files the Student Volunteer Sign-in/Sign-out Sheets at the Pastoral Center
  2. Organizational heads at diocesan student work locations are responsible for oversight of supervisors who use student volunteers.

VOLUNTEER STUDENTS’ RESPONSIBILITY:  Students who wish to volunteer their time must:

  1. Contact the organization where they wish to volunteer
  2. Obtain permission from the organization to volunteer there
  3. Obtain a Student Volunteer Parental Permission Form from their school or parish, from the organization to which they wish to donate their volunteer hours
  4. Have their parent or guardian complete Sections 1, 2, and 3, sign and date the form
  5. Have their school or parish to complete SECTION 4 – VOLUNTEER STUDENT’S ORGANIZATION
  6. Have the diocesan organization providing volunteer hours to complete SECTION 5 – RESPONSIBLE DIOCESAN OFFICE
  7. Use SECTION 6 – SIGN IN/OUT SHEET to sign in and out on the reverse side of the Student Volunteer Parental Permission Form at the parish office, administrative office of the diocesan entity where the student volunteers his or her time, or at the Pastoral Center work location.
  8. Student Volunteers must also sign in and out on the Student Volunteer Sign-in Sheet at the administrative office where they volunteer.

Note: Students from St. Petersburg Catholic High School are not to enter or exit from the East Wing door of the Pastoral Center to report to or leave from work. This is the door closest to St. Petersburg Catholic High School. Students must come to the main door at the rotunda and sign in and sign out on the Student Volunteer Sign-in/Sign-Out Sheet at the Receptionist’s Desk.

PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY: Parents or guardians of students who wish to donate service hours or to provide their services to the community must complete the following sections of the Student Volunteer Parental Permission Form

  4. Sign and date the form.

STUDENT VOLUNTEER SUPERVISIOR RESPONSIBILITIES:  With regard to limitations on the work environment of student volunteers, common sense should apply; that is, they should not be permitted to work in an environment for which they are not suited or properly trained.  Clerical or administrative help would not be an issue except when using shredders or lifting or moving heavy files, office supplies, or furniture.

However, assisting maintenance personnel may require specific knowledge regarding the equipment to be used and/or chemicals for cleaning, etc.  Therefore, it is important that the adult supervisor assigned direct supervision of student volunteers must make reasonably prudent decisions on the service to be performed.

Adult supervisors must be present and directly supervise their student volunteers at all times in case of injury or emergencies such fire, natural disaster, or an active shooter on the premise. Adults who supervise student volunteers must:

  1. Have a current FBI/FDLE (AFRNP) Level 2 Background Check
  2. Have a current Safe Environment Program Training Attendance Certificate
  3. Complete SECTION 5 – RESPONSIBLE DIOCESAN OFFICE (Provider of Volunteer service opportunity)
  4. Know where their student volunteers are at all times
  5. Obtain medical assistance when needed and subsequently notify parents or guardians
  6. Ensure that their student volunteers are properly signed in and out on their Student Volunteer Parental Permission Form AND on the Student Volunteer Sign-in and Sign-out Sheet at the Receptionist Desk at the Pastoral Center, or at the parish office, or at the diocesan entity administrative office where they volunteer
  7. Ensure that the “Date”, “Time In”, Time Out”, and “Name of Organization Receiving Volunteer Hours” columns are completed
  8. Enter the number of hours for the day in the “Total Volunteer Hours” box
  9. Make copies of the Student Volunteer Parental Permission Form and distribute via email or fax as follows:
    1. Copy #1to the Student Volunteer’s organization listed in SECTION 4 – VOLUNTEER STUDENT’S ORGANIZATION
    2. Copy #2– Retain at student volunteer’s work location
    3. Copy #3 – Provide Copy to Safe Environment Program Office via email at fingerprinting@dosp.orgor via secure fax at 727-374-0215
  10. Notify Human Resources of any issues that arise out of student volunteer service


Student volunteer work locations must:

  1. Ensure that all Volunteer Students sign-in and sign-out on the Student Volunteer Parental Permission Form
    1. Turn over these forms to the administrative function at the parish or other diocesan entity.
    2. The Pastoral Center Receptionist will turn over the forms to the Safe Environment Program Office.
    3. The admin function must file these forms for 2 academic school years and then destroy them.