Background check requirements

Effective December 31, 2014, the state of Pennsylvania now requires strict background checks and training for all employees and volunteers who work in direct contact with children/youth.  All employees of the church and volunteers who work with our children/youth are required to complete at least three different background checks/training as described below. These checks are good for five years, at which time they must be updated. Once you receive your clearances/certificates, please turn them into our Business Administrator who will update your online church profile and keep your paperwork in a locked file cabinet. You may request reimbursement for any fees -- please pick up a special green slip in the office.

In addition to these background checks, please adhere to our additional guidelines when with our children or vulnerable adults:

  • There should be two adults present at all times. Ideally, these two should not be related. This two adult rule protects everyone -- the children, the adults, and the church as a whole.
  • If you must have a one-on-one interaction with a child/youth, this should take place where you will be visible to others -- for example, the far corner of the classroom as opposed to down the hall in separate room, or in a hallway with a sight line visible to others.

EMPLOYEE (14+)  requirements

All employees with 'regular contact' with children/youth must have three clearance documents: PA Child Abuse, PA State Police check, and an FBI fingerprint check. 'Employees' include anyone being paid to help run a camp at TMPC, nursery care workers, as well as any church staff who work directly with children/youth or vulnerable adults.  Please see below for links and instructions on how to complete these checks.

If you have already completed these background check(s) elsewhere, such as for your child’s school or as an employee somewhere else, you do not need to repeat the process.  Just bring in copies of your paperwork for our files. 

1.    PA Department of Human Services Child Abuse Clearance

$8 fee
https://www.compass.state.pa.us/CWIS/Public/Home
        
This puts you in the Child Welfare Portal page where you will ‘Create a new account’.  When it asks for ‘Keystone ID’, this is a username that you make up.  After setting up your account, you will receive a temporary password.  Log in with that.  You will be asked to update your password, follow the rules on the screen to reset it.  You then will have to re-login with the new password.  You will then select ‘Access my clearances’ on the page with the question ‘What do you want to do today?’.  Select ‘next’ or ‘continue’. Then, select ‘Create clearance application’.  You have to go through a page or two of disclosure documents – just select ‘next’ or ‘continue’ to move to the next page. When you get to ‘application purpose’ page, select ‘volunteer having contact with children’, category is ‘other’, agency is ‘Thompson Memorial Presbyterian Church’.
Follow instructions on each page, noting that you need to press ‘+’ to add additional names for yourself (such as a maiden name), previous addresses, and people you have/do live(d) with.  You will be asked if you want an email AND paper copy of the report, select ‘yes’.  Double-check the summary page that is presented and proceed to the next pages.  You will be asked if you have submitted a similar request in the last 53 months, say ‘no’; check the ‘I affirm…’ paragraph; then e-sign by typing in your first and last name.  The next page will ask if you have an authorization code, select ‘no’.  Then select ‘Waive application fee and submit application’.  You should get a confirmation number.  These clearances usually take 1-2 weeks before you hear back.
Allow 10-30 minutes to complete this process.

2.    PA State Police Criminal History Record

$8 fee
http://epatch.state.pa.us/Home.jsp

Look for “New record check (volunteers only)”.  Agree to the disclosure stuff and move to the next page.  For the ‘reason for request’ field, select ‘Volunteer FREE’.  The organization name is ‘Thompson Memorial Presbyterian Church’, phone 215-862-2440.  After submitting your request, click on ‘view queue record check requests’ right under the ‘enter this request’ button.  This will take you to the next page where you select ‘submit’.  The next page will give you a ‘processing’ bar.  Wait until that is gone (about 1 minutes).  You will see a control # on the left, click on that and you will get another page that will give you “Record Check Details.”  In the center of that page at the bottom, you will see “Certification Form,” click on that to print it.  You should see a form with a seal.  There is a ‘print’ option at the top of this page. IMPORTANT:  You get one chance to view this copy of the form for printing, so make sure it has printed correctly before leaving this page, otherwise you will have to start the process over.
Allow about 5 minutes to complete this process.

3.    FBI Fingerprinting

$25.75 - $28.75 fee
https://www.pa.cogentid.com/index_dpwNew.htm
Select ‘register online’ under the ‘Registration’ heading on the right-hand side of the page which will take you to a form to fill out.  On that form you may skip all the ‘agency’ fields, they do not apply.  In the field titled ‘Reason Fingerprinted’, select the option for ‘employment with likelihood of contact with children’. 
Fill in the remaining fields as appropriate, print the registration confirmation once you have paid.  
Allow 5 minutes to complete the registration part of the process.
Select a fingerprinting location as listed on the website above -- some require an appointment, some are walk-in.  Take your registration receipt to the location to complete the fingerprinting process.

4. other related training

a.    Mandatory Reporter Training
$30 fee
www.reportabusepa.pitt.edu or http://www.pa-fsa.org/Mandated-Reporters/Mandated-Reporters-Training/On-Demand-Online-Training
All staff who work with children are considered mandatory reporters of suspected child abuse and are required to complete state mandated training.  Select one of the two websites above and follow the instructions.  These online classes take 2-3 hours to complete.

b.    Sexual Misconduct Prevention Training
Free
In addition, TMPC highly recommends that all employees and volunteers who work with youth/children take an online training course to help you identify situations where child sexual abuse can occur.  This course will also help protect you as you understand your responsibilities as a leader to follow certain rules.  Read this document for more details.
 

Volunteer (14+) requirements

All volunteers with 'regular contact' with children/youth must have three clearance documents: PA Child Abuse, PA State Police check, and either an FBI fingerprint check or Volunteer Affidavit. If the volunteer has been a resident of PA for 10+ consecutive years, they may sign an affidavit that they have no reason they should not be allowed to work with children/youth. If the volunteer has lived here less than 10 years consecutively, they must undergo an FBI fingerprint background check. Please see below for links and instructions on how to complete these checks.

If you have already completed these background check(s) elsewhere, such as for your child’s school or as an employee somewhere else, you do not need to repeat the process.  Just bring in copies of your paperwork for our files. 

1.    PA Department of Human Services Child Abuse Clearance

No fee for volunteers
https://www.compass.state.pa.us/CWIS/Public/Home
        
This puts you in the Child Welfare Portal page where you will ‘Create a new account’.  When it asks for ‘Keystone ID’, this is a username that you make up.  After setting up your account, you will receive a temporary password.  Log in with that.  You will be asked to update your password, follow the rules on the screen to reset it.  You then will have to re-login with the new password.  You will then select ‘Access my clearances’ on the page with the question ‘What do you want to do today?’.  Select ‘next’ or ‘continue’. Then, select ‘Create clearance application’.  You have to go through a page or two of disclosure documents – just select ‘next’ or ‘continue’ to move to the next page. When you get to ‘application purpose’ page, select ‘volunteer having contact with children’, category is ‘other’, agency is ‘Thompson Memorial Presbyterian Church’.
Follow instructions on each page, noting that you need to press ‘+’ to add additional names for yourself (such as a maiden name), previous addresses, and people you have/do live(d) with.  You will be asked if you want an email AND paper copy of the report, select ‘yes’.  Double-check the summary page that is presented and proceed to the next pages.  You will be asked if you have submitted a similar request in the last 53 months, say ‘no’; check the ‘I affirm…’ paragraph; then e-sign by typing in your first and last name.  The next page will ask if you have an authorization code, select ‘no’.  Then select ‘Waive application fee and submit application’.  You should get a confirmation number.  These clearances usually take 1-2 weeks before you hear back.
Allow 10-30 minutes to complete this process.

2.    PA State Police Criminal History Record

No fee for volunteers
http://epatch.state.pa.us/Home.jsp

Look for “New record check (volunteers only)”.  Agree to the disclosure stuff and move to the next page.  For the ‘reason for request’ field, select ‘Volunteer FREE’.  The organization name is ‘Thompson Memorial Presbyterian Church’, phone 215-862-2440.  After submitting your request, click on ‘view queue record check requests’ right under the ‘enter this request’ button.  This will take you to the next page where you select ‘submit’.  The next page will give you a ‘processing’ bar.  Wait until that is gone (about 1 minutes).  You will see a control # on the left, click on that and you will get another page that will give you “Record Check Details.”  In the center of that page at the bottom, you will see “Certification Form,” click on that to print it.  You should see a form with a seal.  There is a ‘print’ option at the top of this page. IMPORTANT:  You get one chance to view this copy of the form for printing, so make sure it has printed correctly before leaving this page, otherwise you will have to start the process over.
Allow about 5 minutes to complete this process.

3.    FBI Fingerprinting

a.    If you are a resident of Pennsylvania who has lived here for the past 10+ years consecutively, you do not need to be fingerprinted if you can swear and affirm that you have not been involved in nor convicted of the crimes or offenses listed on the affidavit statement. Please sign this affidavit and turn in. 

b.    OR, if you are a minor (ages 14-17), you do not need to be fingerprinted if both you and your parent/legal guardian sign the affidavit mentioned above.

c.    Otherwise, you must be fingerprinted:
$25.75 - $28.75 fee
https://www.pa.cogentid.com/index_dpwNew.htm
Select ‘register online’ under the ‘Registration’ heading on the right-hand side of the page which will take you to a form to fill out.  On that form you may skip all the ‘agency’ fields, they do not apply.  In the field titled ‘Reason Fingerprinted’, select the option for ‘employment with likelihood of contact with children’.  (Note – there is currently no ‘volunteer’ option, so use the ‘employment’ option.)
Fill in the remaining fields as appropriate, print the registration confirmation once you have paid.  
Allow 5 minutes to complete the registration part of the process.
Select a fingerprinting location as listed on the website above -- some require an appointment, some are walk-in.  Take your registration receipt to the location to complete the fingerprinting process.

4. other related training

Employees who do not work with children

1.    Only a standard criminal background check is required.  Please see the Business Administrator for forms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a.    Mandatory Reporter Training
$30 fee
www.reportabusepa.pitt.edu or http://www.pa-fsa.org/Mandated-Reporters/Mandated-Reporters-Training/On-Demand-Online-Training
Some volunteers may also be considered mandatory reporters of suspected child abuse and will be requested to complete this training. Your team leader or committee chair will let you know if you need to complete this requirement. Select one of the two websites above and follow the instructions.  These online classes take 2-3 hours to complete.

b.    Sexual Misconduct Prevention Training
Free
In addition, TMPC highly recommends that all employees and volunteers who work with youth/children take an online training course to help you identify situations where child sexual abuse can occur.  This course will also help protect you as you understand your responsibilities as a leader to follow certain rules.  Read this document for more details.


If you have any questions about these background checks, their websites, or want to check when you need to update your clearances, please contact the Business Administrator for TMPC.