I want to volunteer with children. What do I need to do?
As of July 1, 2015, an adult applying for an unpaid position as a volunteer responsible for the welfare of a child or having direct contact with children will need clearances which may include the following:
- Report of Criminal History from the Pennsylvania State Police (SP 4-164); and
- Child Abuse History Clearance from the Department of Human Services (CY113); and
- if the applicant has not continuously been a resident of Pennsylvania for the last 10 years, a Fingerprint-based FBI Criminal History Report
All three clearances should be applied to independently. The fees associated with the state police and DHS clearances has been waived by Gov. Tom Wolf for all volunteers.
Pennsylvania State Police Clearance
You can apply electronically for the Report of Criminal History from the Pennsylvania State Police by going here. A paper form of the clearance application can be found here or by visiting my office.
One copy is to be submitted to:
Pennsylvania State Police Central Repository - 164
1800 Elmerton Avenue
Harrisburg, PA 17110-9758
For assistance, call the PATCH Help Line toll-free at 1-888-QUERY-PA (1-888-783-7972).
Child Abuse History Clearance
You can electronically apply for the Child Abuse History Clearance by going here. You will be required to set up an account to apply. You will need an email address to create the account.
Please note that it can take as long as 14 days before a clearance is granted. It is not an instant system.
A paper form of the application can be obtained here or at my office.
One copy of the application is to be submitted to:
Childline and Abuse Registry
Department of Public Welfare
P.O. Box 8170 Harrisburg, PA 17105-8170
If you have questions, call 717-783-6211, or toll-free at 1-877-371-5422.
Please note the following:
DESPITE THE PAPER FORM’S INSTRUCTIONS, VOLUNTEERS ARE NO LONGER REQUIRED TO SUBMIT A COPY OF THE PROCESSED RESULTS OF THEIR “REQUEST FOR CRIMINAL RECORDS CHECK (SP4-164) FROM THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE OR A COPY OF THEIR FBI RESULTS WITH THEIR PENNSYLVANIA CHILD ABUSE HISTORY CLEARANCE APPLICATION. THE TWO FORMS ARE APPLIED FOR INDEPENDENTLY.
If you have had a clearance before, the original, marbled clearance WILL NOT be issued from the electronic site or through a paper application. Clearances are now printed on plain white printer paper.
Volunteers must update their clearance every 36 months.
FBI Criminal History Report
The application and details about the Fingerprint-based FBI Criminal History Report can be found here.