Volunteer Information

ACT 153 Clearances for Volunteers

Act 153 defines volunteers as any adult applying for an unpaid position as a volunteer responsible for:

  • the welfare of a child or
  • having direct contact with children.

All volunteers who are subject to background check clearances are required to re-certify their clearances every FIVE years.

Act 153 requires volunteers to obtain the following clearances:

  1. Report of criminal history from the Pennsylvania State Police:  Go to https://epatch.state.pa.us. There is NO CHARGE for requests for the purpose of volunteering. For step-by-step directions, see this doucment.  
     
  2. Child Abuse History Clearance from the Department of Human Services:  Apply online at https://www.compass.state.pa.us/CWIS. Once you create an account you will receive an email with your password. Log in to the website and complete the clearance application. There is NO COST for volunteers. For step-by-step directions, see this document.  
     
  3. An affidavit may be accepted in lieu of the fingerprint based federal criminal history (FBI) submitted through the Pennsylvania State Police or its authorized agent if:
    • The position the volunteer is applying for is an unpaid position, and
    • The volunteer has not lived outside the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the last 10 years.
    • If both of these situations apply to you, complete this form and submit it to the school.
       
  4. If #3 above does NOT apply (i.e. you meet one of the conditions below), a fingerprint-based federal criminal history (FBI) submitted through the Pennsylvania State Police or its authorized agent is required due to one of the following:
    • The position the volunteer is applying for is a paid position, OR
    • The volunteer has lived outside the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the last 10 years.
      • Applicants MUST register online (go to www.pa.cogentid.com and click on PA Department of Education on the first screen). If you have any difficulties while registering online, you can call 1-888-439-2486 (from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.).
         
      • For step-by-step diections, see this document.