The security and safety of children, families and staff require that any person defined as a Volunteer, participating in Head Start activities during operational periods meet certain criteria, including orientation and training.

Volunteer opportunities exist primarily in the classroom and child centered activities with limited opportunities for family service administrative and operational activities.

Other individuals who visit the program classrooms and/or administrative offices must have prior management approval to do so. Volunteers and Visitors are not allowed to have unsupervised contact with children in the program (see definition below for details)



  1. Any non staff individual 18 years or older (including parents /guardians of program children) who intends to perform duties for the program.
  2. Volunteers, including Practicum students are not replacements for staff, they may not be counted as part of the staff to student ratio,
  3. Must have management approval, and have had a volunteer orientation prior to placement.
  4. Volunteer nursing interns are used to support the Health Consultant in child development screenings.

SEEKERS Volunteer

  1. SEEKER volunteers are placed in the classroom as part of the SEEKER course requirement.
    1. SEEKERS are assigned Mentor Teachers
    2. SEEKERS are supervised by the SEEKER Advisor
    3. When possible SEEKERS are not assigned to their child’s class.
  2. SEEKER volunteers will complete a Central Background Registry (CBR)


  1. Program parents/guardians, who do not meet the definition of Volunteer, will not perform program duties and is intended to be with their own child. They may visit locations/classrooms where their child/children currently are in attendance.
  2. Community Visitors who do not meet the definition of Volunteer may visit sites and classrooms for limited times (less than four hours per year) with management/supervisory approval. They must always be under the direct supervision of a HSOLC staff person. They will not perform program duties nor have unsupervised contact with any child. Examples would be a student observer or a presenter, story teller etc.


  1. Volunteers are directed to the Volunteer Coordinator to start the placement process.
  2. The Volunteer Coordinator secures placement and notifies volunteer.
  3. A volunteer orientation checklist will be used, and signed by the Volunteer to indicate two orientations were completed.
    1. Orientation 1 is the Admin orientation where the program goals, philosophy and expectations are shared.
      1. Obtain signature on:
        1. Health Status
        2. Contact Information
        3. Code of Conduct and Confidentiality
    2. Orientation 2 is at the site level where the details about access and classroom expectations is shared.
    3. SEEKER Volunteers are placed by the SEEKER Advisor. A mentor teacher will be assigned to SEEKER Volunteers.
    4. Volunteer timecards will be given to the finance office monthly to track in-kind contribution.


  1. Upon notification from a supervisor/manager the Human Resources Department will begin the screening process, document the background checks and provide the initial orientation process prior to clearing the Volunteer for placement. Regional Managers/Assistant Regional Managers shall be responsible for the orientation of Parent Volunteers.
  2. The Human Resources Department will maintain a list of the Volunteers who are cleared to perform duties and have contact with children.
  3. Prospective volunteers who contact the Human Resources Department directly will not start the screening/orientation process until a supervisor has given written approval for the placement at a specific location.
  4. A list of authorized volunteers will be available on the agency website and current lists are to be checked by staff to ensure that the Volunteer has been cleared to participate.

This policy complies with Head Start Performance Standard 1302.94

Policy Council approved April 10, 2012,. September 2012

Updated: December 2020

© Head Start of Lane County. All rights reserved.

REVIEWED: December 2020