Volunteer Background checks
Volunteer Background Clearance Information
2016 brings some changes to PFAA’s requirements for our volunteers. A new law has gone into effect in Pennsylvania this year requiring three document for everyone working (or volunteering) in activities involving children. More information on the new Pennsylvania law can be found at http://www.keepkidssafe.pa.gov. In addition Babe Ruth League, Inc., has established requirements for its chartered organizations.
Pine Forge is requiring this for all adults helping as coaches, team parents, trainers, regular concession stand helpers and any others representing PFAA having regular contact with our youth members.
The Pennsylvania documents are not only required by PFAA, but for almost anyone involved in any activity involving children. For example volunteers involved in scouting, or other youth sports. Most, if not all, school districts will require these documents for chaperons. I know that Boyertown required them for those adults helping moving marching band equipment at field shows. There is no cost for these documents if you are getting them as a volunteer. If you have current documents, e.g. from working or volunteering at a school or other activity, then you can use them with PFAA.
What We Need
The first two documents required to comply with Pennsylvania law are a Pennsylvania Criminal Background check, and a Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance.
The Pennsylvania State Police have a website for getting the PA Criminal Background Check (the PATCH system) at https://epatch.state.pa.us/Home.jsp. Getting the check is fast and simple.
The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare has a site for getting the PA Child Abuse History Clearance at https://www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis/public/home. This is a little more involved and may take a few days to get the clearance. You go to the site and create an “Individual Account”, when they approve and create the account, you receive an email confirming the account is ready to use. You then log on to the system and request the clearance check. They will email you the results when the check is completed.
Babe Ruth League, Inc. is requiring us to get a national background check. They have contracted a company to provide the checks to member organizations at a low cost. Pine Forge will pay for this check, but will be asking your cooperation with getting information from you necessary for the checks to be run.
The third Pennsylvania document varies depending on how long you have been a continuous resident of Pennsylvania.
If you have lived, continuously, in Pennsylvania for the last 10 years, you can provide a document swearing or affirming, under penalty of 18 Pa CS. Sec. 4904 stating this fact. That’s all that’s required.
If you have lived out of state, for any period, in the last 10 years you must get a
FBI federal criminal history certification. The process has changed. Please visit https://www.identogo.com use your zipcode to locate a convenient service center and schedule a FBI fingerprint check. This obviously takes the most time to complete, so if you need this please start the process soon. https://www.epatch.state.pa.us will have the latest information on the documents required and how to obtain them.