Do I need clearances to volunteer?
The newly amended law requires any volunteer who serves in schools, or in children’s programs or activities and has “direct volunteer contact” with children to obtain background clearances. This new term is defined as “the care, supervision, guidance and control of children AND regular and repeated contact that is integral to a person’s employment or volunteer responsibilities.” If this applies to you, then you will need clearances.
Effective JULY 25, 2015 Governor Wolf has waived the $20 in fees associated with obtaining the child abuse clearance from the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the State Police (PSP) criminal background check for VOLUNTEERS who work with children.
Follow the instructions listed below: complete each bullet point. Print all your paperwork and return it to the designated party -- either Marie Nelson (church) or Melissa Rizzuto (school).
- Pennsylvania Access to the Criminal History check: (PSP)
Link to the site: https://epatch.state.pa.us/
- Click on: Record Check
- Click on: New Record Check
- Click on: Accept
- Reason for Request: DHS – Volunteer Work – Employment * (The lines indicated with an asterisk is a must complete line.)
- Click: Next
- Complete the Record Check Request form by filling in the required fields.
- Verify information as correct – Spelling – SSN – Date of Birth
- Review the information you entered.
- Click: Submit
- Childline – Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance from the Department of Human Services: (DHS)
Link to the DHS for Electronic Submission: https://www.compass.state.pa.us/CWIS. Create INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNT or click on INDIVIDUAL LOGIN if renewing.
Volunteers who have not lived in PA for the last 10 years are required to get an FBI background check via Cogent Systems. The cost of the Pennsylvania applicant fingerprinting process is $27.50. Your fingerprints will be used for a background check of the FBI database. https://www.pa.cogentid.com/index_dpwNew.htm
To acquire a FBI report – You must first register with COGENT Systems prior to going for fingerprints. This can be done 7 days per week 24 hours a day at https://www.pa.cogentid.com/ or by phone Monday thru Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST at 1-888-439-2486.
Payments can be made on line using credit card or debit card or at site with a money order or cashier’s check ONLY made payable to COGENT SYSTEMS. No cash or personal checks will be accepted.
- Select: Pa Pennsylvania – Department of Human Services (DHS).
- Reason for fingerprinting:
- Click – Next – Verify all information as being correct
- Click – Next – Here you are to enter your credit card information
- Click – Pay, after reviewing all information as correct