Welcome to CivicSpark!
We’re so excited to have you join CivicSpark’s eighth Fellow Cohort this Fall! This webpage will provide you with instructions on the next steps once you have accepted a position in the program. Please review all of the information below. If you have any questions about the new hire paperwork and/or background checks, contact us at email@example.com.
1. START DATE & ORIENTATION
Fellows will begin the 2021-22 Service Year on Monday, September 13th with CivicSpark Program Orientation. CivicSpark’s Orientation will be a mix of pre-recorded sessions that will need to be completed weekly, as well as live potentially in person, regional group gatherings. During this time, Fellows will connect with staff and other Fellows and learn more about CivicSpark and their projects.
All Fellows are expected to be in California by September 13th and will need to complete all service in CA. Fellows will begin project service on September 20th, either reporting to their project site in person or participating virtually based on partner guidelines. All Fellows should connect with their Project Partner to confirm start date instructions.
More detailed information, including a final schedule, will be sent in the weeks before Orientation.
2. CONTRACT AND NEW HIRE PAPERWORK
CivicSpark requires applicants to submit multiple forms as part of the hiring process, including a Fellow contract and New Hire Paperwork. You should receive your contract after you complete your background check and paperwork. Our Operations and Compliance Coordinator, Richard Balli will be hosting 30 minute office hours each Monday at 2:00 pm PST starting June 21st (except for om July 5th) for any new Fellows to connect with our program staff to go over the documents, what you need to submit, and to answer any questions you might have. You can register for office hours here.
You will need to download the Fellow New Hire Paperwork and read through the instructions document carefully to ensure you complete all the documents correctly and submit them on time. For more guidance, watch this video. All forms will be submitted electronically. Upload all documentation to this DropBox link (also found in the instructions document).
We recommend downloading a free scanner app onto your phone for any printed items so it’s easier to scan as a PDF and upload. A few we’ve personally used are Genius Scan, and Tiny Little Scanner.
Info: We’ll need your information, particularly your I-9, uploaded into Dropbox before we can begin the process for one of the background checks (as mentioned below). Apart from this documentation, we will also complete an E-Verify request for all Fellows at the start of the service year. There is nothing you need to do on your end for this.
3. BACKGROUND CHECKS
All Fellows MUST clear all background checks prior to beginning any service work with CivicSpark, including attending Orientation or beginning their project. Checks will be done through two vendors – Fieldprint (they conduct FBI checks) and Truescreen (they conduct state and National Sex Offender Public Registry checks). You will need to create online accounts for both.
Fieldprint checks require you to make an appointment to go in person to get your fingerprints taken, but the Truescreen checks can be done relatively quickly online. For Fieldprint, the appointment availability will vary by where you are located – due to COVID, some sites may have a long waiting list or are closed, so be sure to look for availability as soon as possible. Let us know ASAP if you are unable to schedule an appointment before mid-August in a location near you.
To begin the process:
- Carefully review the instructions on how to create accounts for Fieldprint and Truescreen and begin the process for each.
- Create your Fieldprint account and schedule an appointment ASAP to have your fingerprints taken.
- Once you’ve uploaded your I-9 and other new hire paperwork, we’ll use the information there to send you an email via Truescreen to begin the Truescreen process (Truescreen does not require an appointment or fingerprints).
If you have any questions or issues as you go through this process, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
**Fellows CANNOT log hours or receive any benefits until ALL background check results have been received by LGC and cleared. If you do not clear your checks, you will be notified immediately; if you do not hear from us, then you’re all set! Full clearance of checks usually happens around 1-2 weeks after you’ve submitted your final check.
Please do NOT use any other background check processes on your own outside of those mentioned above – the checks we use are specific to the requirements of AmeriCorps.**
4. FELLOW INFORMATION
At the start of the year, all Fellows are given their uniform, which includes AmeriCorps and CivicSpark pins, as well as a jacket and CivicSpark T-shirt. We also upload a bio and headshot for each Fellow on our website. Use this link to complete a form where you will submit your bio, headshot, as well as jacket and t-shirt size.
Ahead of and during Orientation, we will share information regarding signing up for health care and childcare, applying to CalFresh, the process for initiating loan forbearance, and other benefits.
5. FELLOW CONNECTIONS & HOUSING BOARD
CivicSpark has created a CivicSpark Fellow Housing Board that incoming Fellows can use to connect and/or find housing in their region (if needed). If you will be serving remotely, you can use the board to connect with other Fellows.
The first tab is for Fellows who are looking to either find housing or connect with Fellows to room with; the second tab is for those who know of or have a specific room for rent; the third tab is for more general housing leads, or if current Fellows and CivicSpark alumni are available to assist incoming Fellows about regional housing opportunities. The AmeriCorps Housing Facebook Group is another great resource open to all California AmeriCorps Members looking for housing and roommates, or for posting leads and specific rooms for rent.
We’ve also recently created a LinkedIn Group named “LGC National Service 21-22”. Please search this on LinkedIn and request to join. You will need a LinkedIn profile to join, so please feel free to create an account if you don’t already have one. This space will be Fellow driven, and more of an informal group for you all to connect outside of emails and webinars, so we encourage you to make the space yours – create polls, ask questions, share resources, chat, the possibilities are endless! Although this group is a standard group, please do not invite others to join. This group is solely intended for those in this cohort year.