Please click on the following link for information on Volunteer Fees: Fee Waived for Volunteers
New State Act Increases Background Check Requirements for School Volunteers
Governor Thomas Corbett signed into law Act 153 of 2014, that amended the state Child Protective Services Law and the Public School Code to impose greater background check requirements on school employees, and volunteers having direct contact with children.
New background checks and mandated reporter training requirements for Volunteers
The definition of volunteer as provided is “Persons having direct contact and interaction with students.” In an attempt to comply with Act 153, Susquenita School District will view the following as volunteers due to the potential of having direct contact with students. PTO or Booster Organization Members, chaperones, persons assisting with athletic or music events, persons working in concession stands, school security personnel, as well as classroom volunteers. The only exception that would apply to PTO and Booster members needing clearances would be for those organization members who would never see themselves in a position of being with students while acting as representative of the Booster/PTO organization. Obviously, not having a badge would greatly limit access to the buildings and various functions outside of the “visitor” realm. Note: Being an “Approved Volunteer” is not a requirement for attending athletic events, parent conferences, award ceremonies, musical performances, grandparent lunch, etcetera, when there as a spectator only.
Effective July 1, 2015, volunteers must obtain all necessary clearances. If there is a question as to whether or not clearances are required for your participation, contact a District Administrator.
- ACT 151 Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Certification (Clearance)
- ACT 34 PA Criminal History Record Check
- FBI Criminal History (Fingerprint)
If a volunteer has been a Commonwealth resident continually for 10 years, and swears in writing that he or she has never been convicted of a disqualifying crime in Pennsylvania or another state, only the child abuse and state clearances are needed - the federal criminal check is not needed.
Click here for the official affidavit for this purpose. They will be available upon request at District Office. Susquenita School District will only accept an original signed and notarized affidavit. It is the opinion of our solicitor that a strict reading of Act 153 means that the written statement must be notarized.
Volunteers already having clearances on file (traditionally “Board Approved” Volunteers associated with athletic and music events) must obtain new clearances if they are not within the 5 year window. The District will supply “approved” volunteers with a photo ID badge, and lanyard. The badge will say “Approved Volunteer” and include the expiration date of each individual’s clearances.
Mandated Reporter training (Mandatory)
The District provides on-line web based training (approximately 3 hrs. currently)
This web based training would be the sole responsibility of the volunteer to complete. Volunteers would have 90 days to complete this training from the time they receive an official Approved Volunteer status with the District. Failure to complete this training would result in removal from the “Approved” status. A valid e-mail address must be provided to the school in order to complete this training. This e-mail will need to be provided to the school when applying for the “Approved Volunteer” badge.
ACT 151 Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Certification (Clearance)
Effective December 31, 2014 The Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Certification (Clearance) application can be submitted online.
Child Abuse History Certification (Clearance) Online: https://www.compass.state.pa.us/CWIS
- Once you enter the link above you will be directed to the Child Welfare Portal where you must create an account or log in if you already have an account. Note: you will need an email address to create an account.
- Creating an account and submitting your clearance application online will give you immediate access to your results or the status of your results if your results cannot be processed immediately.
Paper submissions of the Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Certification (Clearance) application will still be accepted for anyone who may not have access to the internet. Submit paper applications to:
ChildLine and Abuse Registry
Pennsylvania Department of Human Services
PO Box 8170
Harrisburg, PA 17105-8170
- The instructions for how to complete the Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Certification (Clearance) application are now included on the last page of the application and can be printed for easy reference when completing the application. Failure to comply with the instructions that are attached to the application will cause considerable delay in processing the results.
- Applicants can now type their information directly onto the application or the information can be hand written onto the application.
- If the information is typed directly onto the application, the information will NOT be able to be saved on a computer unless the computer has a licensed version of the acrobat adobe software. Therefore, please be sure to print the completed application before closing the document so that the information typed on the application is not lost.
- If you have trouble accessing the application you may need to download the latest version of Adobe Reader,which is available free on the internet.
NOTE: ALL information that has been entered directly onto the application will be lost if you close the application prior to printing it (if your computer does not have a licensed version of the Acrobat Adobe software). Once the application is received in the ChildLine and Abuse Registry’s Verification Unit, the results of the Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Certification (Clearance) will be mailed to the applicant’s address that was noted on the application within 14 days from the date that the application is received in the ChildLine Verification Unit.
ACT 34 PA Criminal History Record Check
Criminal History Record Check Online: https://epatch.state.pa.us
Select the item for "submit a new record check”
Print several copies so you have at least one for your own records
FBI Criminal History (Fingerprint)
PROCEDURE FOR THE FBI FEDERAL CRIMINAL HISTORY CHECK
Applicant must register with Cogent Systems prior to going to the fingerprint site. Registration is available on line 24 hours/day, seven days per week at www.pa.cogentid.com. Telephone registration is available at 1-888-439-2486 Monday thru Friday, 8 AM to 6 PM.
- When you log in to the cogent website, select Pennsylvania Department Education, PDE. The applicant will pay a fee of $27.00 for the fingerprint service. Applicants will receive a paper copy of the unofficial report at no additional cost
- Payment can be made on line at the cogent website using a credit or debit card. Money order or cashier check payable to 3M Cogent will also be accepted on site for those applicants who do not have the means to pay electronically. No cash transactions or personal checks will be accepted.
- The fingerprint site is the UPS Store #0698, 4900 Carlisle Pike, Mechanicsburg, PA 17050. Additional fingerprint sites, directions, hours, and other important information are available on the cogent website (www.pa.cogentid.com). No appointment is necessary, but be sure to check their website for specific hours. You will need to take a valid, unexpired Pennsylvania picture driver's license with you to the site.
- You will be given a registration number. You must bring that number to the school district in order for us to access your FBI report.
Contacting the District
After you have gathered all necessary documents and are ready to submit them to the District for the purpose of securing your “Approved Volunteer” badge…
- call the District Office for an appointment 717-957-6000 and ask to speak with Caryn Pincin
- or email Caryn Pincin directly at firstname.lastname@example.org in order to make an appointment with her.