Safe Environment Requirements and Forms
In the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, the United States Bishops called for the establishment of a Safe Environment Program in every diocese. The Safe Environment Program of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia exceeds Pennsylvania law by requiring all volunteers who have regular contact with children in any capacity, to have current criminal background checks. Over the past year, there have been TWO NEW programs added that our volunteers must also complete.
There are now a total of five components required of adults to be eligible to work with our children here at St. Maria Goretti Parish. These are required for adults over the age of 18 and must be completed BEFORE you start volunteering.
- Obtain a PA State Police Criminal Record Check. You will need to go on the PA police criminal records check website at https://epatch.state.pa.us and file for a criminal check. This is free for all volunteers. They will give you a link to the certificate right away. Please make two copies of the certificate. One for me and one for your records. This record check must be updated every three years and must be on file with Geri at the Parish Office.
- Obtain a PA Dept of Public Welfare Child Abuse Clearance. You need to go to the following website http://www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis/public/home and file for the clearance. This is also free for all volunteers. When you receive this in the mail I will need a copy of it. They will give you a link to the certificate right away. Please make two copies of the certificate one for me and one for your records. This record check must be updated every three years and must be on file with Geri at the Parish Office.
- Attend a Safe Environment Workshop. Check available sessions and register on-line at www.virtus.org/virtus. This is a one-time requirement.
- If you attended a Safe environment class prior to July, 2011 you must complete the Information and Communication Technology Addendum. This is a NEW one-time requirement. This training is now available on-line through the OCYP website at www.childyouthprotection.org under “Training Institute”. When completed, the certification form must be signed and provided to her at the Parish Office.
- Take an on-line Mandated Reporting of Suspected Child abuse it will provide an overview of Archdiocesan reporting procedures for suspected child abuse and PA Child welfare Laws. This training is mandatory for all staff and volunteers who began service after December, 2011 or who did not take the training in person. This training is now available on-line through the OCYP website at www.childyouthprotection.org under “Training Institute”.
If you are unsure if your Criminal Record Check or Child Abuse Clearance needs to be renewed, or unsure if you have completed the requirements above, you may check with Geri in the Parish Office at 215 -721-0199. If you have any further questions about these requirements, please feel free to contact Geri Salanik in the Parish office.