Hennepin County volunteer manual

Message from Hennepin County Administrator

Dear Volunteer,

On behalf of the Board of Commissioners and employees, welcome to Hennepin County. I want to thank you for your willingness to serve as a volunteer.

Last year over 3,000 volunteers served in a variety of assignments. Volunteers help the county achieve its mission to enhance the health, safety and quality of life of our residents and communities in a respectful, efficient and fiscally responsible way.

The Hennepin County Volunteer Manual contains general policies and procedures that set standards and expectations for volunteers in all county departments. During your orientation you will also learn about additional policies and procedures specific to the department in which you are serving. If you have questions about the policies and procedures outlined in this manual please contact the volunteer coordinator for the area in which you are volunteering.

We appreciate that you have chosen Hennepin County as a place where you want to volunteer your time. Your commitment is valuable to us and all of the residents of the county. With your help, we can make a difference in the lives of the many people we serve.

— David J. Hough, County Administrator

The Hennepin County Volunteer Manual contains general policies and procedures that set standards for volunteers in all county departments. Individual departments may have additional policies and procedures specific to their lines of business. Volunteer coordinators may provide additional appropriate departmental manuals to their volunteers.

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Contributions of volunteers

Hennepin County volunteers contribute in a variety of ways. Examples of recent volunteer contributions include:

  • Teaching clients independent living skills
  • Providing transportation for appointments, groceries and errands
  • Assisting library patrons with their basic computer questions – internet navigation, resume writing, completing E-government forms and more
  • Tutoring adult students to improve their English skills and prepare for the GED tests
  • Working with immigrants to prepare for citizenship testing
  • Researching youth history, interviewing youth/families, preparing calendars, and making recommendations to the Court for juvenile petty arraignment hearings
  • Facilitating weekly support groups for women on probation who have mental health and chemical dependency issues; a retired psychologist leads the groups
  • Tutoring youth at the County Home School in preparation for the ACT test

Definition of a volunteer

A volunteer is any individual authorized to provide services for Hennepin County who is not paid for those services.

Youth volunteers are individuals under the age of 18 authorized to provide services for Hennepin County and who are not paid for those services.

The signature of a parent or guardian will be required for all Hennepin County volunteers under the age of 18 prior to the initiation of a volunteer assignment.

Policies and procedures all volunteers must follow

Equal access to volunteer opportunities

Hennepin County provides equal access to volunteer opportunities without regard to race, color, creed, religion, age, gender (except when gender is a Bona Fide qualification), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, public assistance or national origin.

If you believe you have been discriminated against, contact your volunteer coordinator or the Hennepin County Human Resources Department, A-400 Government Center, Minneapolis, MN 55487, 612-348-2163.

Non-discrimination and respectful workplace policy

It is the responsibility of all Hennepin County employees and volunteers to create, promote and maintain work environments in which all are respected, valued and welcomed. Respect is a basic building block of every organization. Respect for one another is fundamental to getting work done in effective, efficient and innovative ways.

Consistent with the mission and vision of the Board of Commissioners, Hennepin County will:

  • Recognize similarities, respect and value differences among all employees, volunteers, union representatives, clients, customers and vendors
  • Strive to ensure a respectful work environment free of all forms of discrimination, including harassment, and workplace bullying
  • Promote a cooperative work environment that fosters a positive attitude toward the provision of services

All Hennepin County employees and volunteers will foster environments that demonstrate and support respect and eliminate workplace bullying and discrimination in the workplace.

County managers and supervisors are responsible for investigating any reported situation of discrimination, including harassment and workplace bullying, and taking prompt and appropriate corrective action, which can include informal resolution or more formal action.

The county's complaint processes provide for prompt, thorough and objective investigation of alleged discrimination, including harassment and workplace bullying. If you are a witness to such conduct, you are encouraged to contact a supervisor, manager or department director.

Volunteers may request assistance with filing a complaint through their volunteer coordinator. Volunteers making a complaint will not be subject to retaliation as a result of making the complaint.

Secure workplace

Hennepin County seeks to provide a safe and secure workplace environment for employees, employee organizations, clients, volunteers and citizens. Violence, or the threat of violence, has no place in any of Hennepin County’s workplaces.

Hennepin County is committed to providing as rapid and coordinated a response as possible to violence or the threat of violence at any Hennepin County workplace. Employees and employee organizations, both individually and jointly, will act to prevent or defuse actual or threatened violent behavior at workplaces.

Violence, or the threat of use, of an object as a dangerous weapon, including all firearms, is not permitted at the workplace, or on county property, including in a county vehicle, unless such possession or use is an approved requirement of the job.

Hennepin County is committed to providing a workplace environment in which employees, employee organizations, clients, volunteers and citizens are free to communicate concerns or questions directly to the appropriate level of management.

Discontinuing volunteers

Hennepin County reserves the right to discontinue a volunteer relationship at any time.

Among the infractions for which a volunteer may be immediately dismissed are:

  • Illegal conduct with a minor
  • Convicted of certain crimes
  • Under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
  • Sexual misconduct
  • Inappropriate use of funds
  • Abusive behavior toward staff, clients/customers, volunteers

Volunteer accidents and injuries

When a volunteer is injured while working (no matter how minor), it is his or her responsibility to advise his or her supervisor immediately.

Reporting Procedure: The volunteer should meet with their supervisor who will complete an Incident Report Form (PDF) which the supervisor must immediately forward to Debra Bernard in the County Attorney's Office.

Completing the incident report form does not mean the County is accepting liability for the injury. Under most circumstances, if the volunteer is seeking compensation for an injury, the volunteer must do so by filing a Notice of Claim with the Hennepin County Board as required by statute.

Confidentiality and data practices

Volunteers are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of any information they encounter while serving as a volunteer. All county departments have processes in place to receive and respond to information requests. Volunteers will direct all information requests to their supervisors.

Mileage, parking and transit reimbursement for county volunteers

Subject to the pre-approval of a Hennepin County volunteer coordinator or other designated staff, volunteers who are required to use their automobile for county business purposes are eligible for reimbursement. County volunteers will only be reimbursed for actual mileage and reasonable parking expenses that exceed normal personal commuting costs.

Volunteers requesting reimbursement for business related mileage must maintain a valid driver’s license and motor vehicle insurance. Volunteers are personally responsible for paying fines for any moving violations and parking tickets received while driving for business purposes. These fines are not a reimbursable expense.


The county’s standard mileage reimbursement rate per mile is the same as the Internal Revenue Service rate for the deductibility of county business-related mileage expenses. Mileage expenses must be recorded on the Mileage & Parking Reimbursement Request – HCV 489A (PDF).


Volunteers may be reimbursed for county business-related parking expenses up to the established maximum rates. Actual parking expenses must be recorded on the Mileage & Parking Reimbursement Request – HC489A (PDF).

Public transit

Volunteers may find it convenient and cost-effective to use light rail or bus for county-business purposes instead of driving. Actual public transit expenses must be recorded on the Mileage & Parking Reimbursement Request – HCV 489A (PDF).

You’ll need to provide:

  • Date incurred
  • County business destination – use the closest intersection if there are privacy concerns
  • Number of business miles driven – odometer readings are not needed
  • County business purpose

When available, attach original receipts to the form to document parking and public transit expenses. Submit the form and receipts at the end of the month to the volunteer coordinator for the area in which you are volunteering.

For pre-approval and if you have questions please contact the volunteer coordinator for the area in which you are volunteering. A list of volunteer coordinators is included below.

Tobacco-free property

Hennepin County is committed to its mission to enhance the health of its residents and employees by allowing them to live and work in a safe and clean environment. Smoking, tobacco use, and exposure to second-hand smoke have been found to pose definite health hazards including an increased risk of heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, cancers, and respiratory diseases.

Tobacco use is prohibited in and on all Hennepin County Property or within a 15 yard radius (45-feet) of street level entrances, whichever distance is further. Hennepin County Property includes, but is not limited to: the grounds of county-owned property; the grounds of property that is leased in its entirety by Hennepin County; and on or in Hennepin County parking garages, lots, and ramps (including within personal vehicles on Hennepin County property).

The tobacco free property policy does not apply to tobacco use done as part of a traditional spiritual or cultural ceremony that has prior approval by the County.

Volunteer consent to photograph

Occasionally Hennepin County takes pictures of volunteers while they are engaged in their assignments. Photographs of volunteers may be used on the county's website and in publications. The county will seek consent prior to taking photographs by asking volunteers to complete and return a consent to photograph form.

IRS deductions – charitable contributions

As a volunteer, you may be able to deduct certain expenses relating to your volunteer activity. Please consult with a tax professional or seek guidance from the IRS at www.irs.gov.

Contact information

Community Corrections and Rehabilitation

Program Name Email Phone number
Adult Correctional Facility Susan Thornton susan.thornton@hennepin.us 612-596-0060
Adult Field Services/Adult Probation Barbara Ritchie barbara.ritchie@hennepin.us 612-348-6893
County Home School Lois Mineau lois.mineau@hennepin.us 612-348-3894
Juvenile Detention Center Lois Mineau lois.mineau@hennepin.us 612-348-3894
Juvenile Probation Barbara Ritchie barbara.ritchie@hennepin.us 612-348-6490
Mentors for Success Joseph Durocher joseph.durocher@hennepin.us 612-596-1687

Environment and Energy

Program Name Email Phone number
Master Recycler Carolyn Collopy carolyn.collopy@hennepin.us 612-596-0993
Stream, River, Wetlands Evaluation Mary Karius mary.karius@hennepin.us 612-596-9129
Master Naturalist Stacey Lijewski stacey.lijewski@hennepin.us 612-348-9938
Fix-It Clinics Nancy Lo nancy.lo@hennepin.us 612-348-9195

Human Services and Public Health

Program Name Email Phone number
Community Partnership Kim LaRosa kimberly.larosa@hennepin.us 612-348-8048
  Shira Rabinowicz shira.rabinowicz@hennepin.us 612-348-5835
Medical Reserve Corps
of Hennepin County
Trent Daugherty trent.daugherty@hennepin.us 612-382-8666
Office of Multicultural
Angela Alberio angela.alberio@hennepin.us 612-348-6622


Program Name Email Phone number
Library Volunteers Barbara McKenzie bmckenzie@hclib.org 612-543-8579
Library Volunteers Husein Yussuf hyussuf@hclib.org 612-543-8817

Transportation (Roads and Bridges)

Program Name Email Phone number
Adopt-A-Highway Brant Kough brant.kough@hennepin.us 612-596-0338

Hennepin County mission and goals

By putting the customer first, Hennepin County employees work every day to achieve our mission, vision and goals. We strive to improve our services through proactive, innovative public stewardship.


The mission of Hennepin County is to enhance the health, safety and quality of life of our residents and communities in a respectful, efficient and fiscally responsible way.


We envision a future where residents are healthy and successful and where our communities are safe and vibrant. We will strive to meet and exceed expectations by engaging people and communities in developing innovative solutions to challenges. We will be a diverse, learning organization. We will partner with others to enhance the quality of life in Hennepin County and the region.

Overarching goals

People are:

  • Healthy: People are healthy, have access to quality health care and live in a clean environment.
  • Protected and safe: People are safe from harm through prevention, early intervention and treatment services, and through enhanced public safety.
  • Self-reliant: People achieve success with the support of essential services, have access to affordable housing and opportunities for life-long learning.
  • Assured due process: People are assured equal protection of the laws through an adversarial and respectful system designed to assure fairness and reliability in the ascertainment of liability, guilt and innocence.
  • Mobile: People and goods move easily and safely throughout the county and the region, via an integrated system of transportation.
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