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Towne Parents » Background Check Information

Background Check Information

A new law went into effect on Dec. 31, 2014, changing state policy on background checks for school employees and volunteers. Act 153 of 2014 (known as the Child Protective Services Law) requires any unpaid, adult volunteer who has direct contact, routine interaction, or responsibility for the welfare of children in public schools to provide a series of background checks:

  • A clearance statement from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (formerly known as the Department of Public Welfare);
  • A Pennsylvania State Police criminal history report; and
  • A written statement that the volunteer has been a resident of Pennsylvania for the past 10 years and is not disqualified from service based upon criminal convictions (i.e., the same criminal convictions that would disqualify an individual from school employment).

Volunteers applying for a paid position or volunteers who have lived outside of Pennsylvania in the last 10 years will also have to obtain an FBI criminal history report, which includes fingerprinting.

Some school districts already require one or more of these background checks, but under the new state law, volunteers in all school districts must obtain them.

You have the options of printing these forms out and mailing them in for processing, or completing them online.  Please see the directions below for both methods.




PAPER & MAIL INSTRUCTIONS FOR VOLUNTEERS

Please print the following attachments and follow the directions on each form to submit to the appropriate authorities.  Please note, using this method will prolong the process for receiving finalized paperwork.

f you do not have access to a printer, a copy of these forms may be picked up at our front desk during regular business hours.



ONLINE INSTRUCTIONS FOR VOLUNTEERS

 

Step One – PA Criminal History Clearance – NO FEE IF VOLUNTEER

  1. Online form located at https://epatch.state.pa.us/
  2. Click on New Record Check (Volunteers Only)
  3. Fill out the online form as directed.  You will need the organization name you are volunteering for, your social security number, maiden name/aliases and date of birth.
  4. Once completed, you will get a results screen.  Please wait until the processing has finished before reviewing the background check.  Once processing is complete, click on the Control Number hyperlink to view the details of your record check.
  5. Print a copy of your certification.  You will NOT receive a copy in the mail.

 

Step Two – Act 151 Child Abuse History Clearance – NO FEE IF VOLUNTEER

  1. To obtain this clearance, you will need to have the following information ready:
    1. All of your permanent addresses since 1975
    2. Names of all individuals you have lived with since 1975, both living and deceased (i.e. parents, guardians, siblings, spouses, children, grandparents, etc.)
    3. Any previous names you have used or have been known by (i.e. maiden name, etc.)
    4. Your clearance will be processed more promptly if you also provide your social security number.
    5. Go to https://www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis to create a new account.
    6. After doing this you will receive two automated emails from the state (These emails may go to a SPAM or junk mail folder, so please check before recreating another account.)
    7. One email will include your Keystone ID and the other will include a temporary password.
    8. Use your Keystone ID and temporary password to log on at https://www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis and create a permanent password.
    9. You will then log on again at https://www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis and start the clearance application.
    10. Click on “Individual Login”
    11. Click on “Access My Clearances”
    12. Scroll to the bottom right and click on “Continue”
    13. Login with your Keystone ID & password
    14. Click on “Create Clearance Application”
    15. Fill out the online form as directed.  We suggest you request both the electronic and paper forms of the clearance.
    16. Part 2 eSignature – this is certifying that the information entered on the form is accurate and complete to the best of your knowledge.  Click “Next”
    17. Payment – Fee WAIVED for volunteers
    18. Once the application is complete, you will receive an email confirming that your application has been successfully received.  Print the confirmation page for your records.
    19. If you do not receive your clearance within 3 weeks by mail, please call 717-783-6211 or toll free 1-877-371-5422.

 

Step Three – Background Check Signature Form – SIGN & RETURN TO SCHOOL/ORGANIZATION

  1. PDF
  1. Open the PDF document and print a copy
  2. Read, sign and return to school/organization

Step Four – Official Forms

  1. Bring official Child Abuse History Clearance once you receive it in the mail, print out of PA Criminal History Clearance and completed Background Check Signature Form to your school/organization.