Please note the fees for Pennsylvania Criminal Record Check and Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance will be waived for volunteers whose applications are filed after July 25, 2015 according to state officials. Therefore volunteers may want to wait until after that date to apply for those clearances. Also, volunteers may submit an Affidavit in lieu of the FBI check if a Pennsylvania resident for the last ten (10) years. See below for link to Affidavit.
Under Act 153 of 2014 (Amendments to the Child Protective Services Law) effective December 31, 2014, as amended by Act 15 of 2015, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania now mandates that volunteers in schools must obtain and submit the clearances set forth below in order to be considered for volunteer positions.
The law defines Volunteers as an “adult applying for or holding an unpaid position as a volunteer responsible for the welfare of a child or having direct volunteer contact with children.” "Direct volunteer contact" is defined "care, supervision, guidance or control of children and routine interaction with children." And "routine interaction with children is defined as regular and repeated contact that is integral to the volunteer responsibilities. This means in part that parents of students who the school has identified as school chaperones on school sponsored field trips or are regularly scheduled to assist in the school during school hours and/or after school at school-sponsored events, who have regular direct contact with children and/or who will be responsible for students, will need to obtain the clearances.
Limited contact visitors or event participants that are not responsible for students, such as; attendance in an audience, participation in a celebration, incidental role at a school event, guests at parties, or auditing a class on site in a school setting, where students are supervised by professional and/or authorized school staff, will not require clearances. We are awaiting further guidance and clarification from the Pennsylvania Department of Education and Department of Human Services and will update our guidelines if such clarification is provided.
For those who wish to be a School Volunteer, state law now requires the Pennsylvania Criminal History Record (Act 34), Child Abuse History Clearance (Act 151) and FBI Federal Criminal History Record check and that they be updated every five (5) years in order to continue as a volunteer. Clearances must be less than one year old at the time of submission. Original forms must be brought to the office of the school where you will volunteer and they will be forwarded to the District‘s central administrative offices for review. There is now an alternative to the FBI check if you have resided in Pennsylvania for the last ten years. Please see below for the link to the Affidavit you need to submit.
The process can be initiated online and produces clearances quickly. Please follow the links below for each of the three (3) clearances.
· Go to https://epatch.state.pa.us and click on “Submit a New Record Check” and follow the instructions. Please select “Volunteer” as the Reason for Request. At the end of the process, please print the certification form as proof of submission.
2. The Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance can be completed online for the quickest result.
· Go to https://www.compass.state.pa.us/CWIS . You will create a login for your Keystone ID#. This includes a combination of letters and numbers you create for yourself. A credit card is required for the $10 processing fee.
3. The FBI Federal Criminal History Record requires a 2-step process including online registration and fingerprinting taken digitally at a registered site. However, if you have been a Pennsylvania resident for the past ten (10) years, and have not been convicted of enumerated offenses, you may submit the Affidavit at this link, in lieu of the FBI fingerprinting check.
· Go to https://www.pa.cogentid.com/index_pdeNew.htm or by phone at 1-888-439-2486 (M-F 8 AM-6 PM) to register. Please be sure to choose the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) when registering. There is a $27 fee for this clearance which includes an automatic mailed unofficial copy of the results to the applicant.
· Once you have registered, proceed to an approved fingerprinting site to be digitally fingerprinted. A list of approved locations is available on the Cogent website. Please note the UPS Store in Wynnewood is a drop-in site for fingerprints (no appointment required). Your Registration Number starting with “PAE…” must be provided to the school office so your results can be retrieved.
Please bring all clearance documentation in a sealed envelope with your name to the school office for review by central administration. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact the Human Resources Office at 610-853-5900 ext. 7124 or ext. 7134.