How Do I Get My Child Clearance in PA
When it comes to ensuring the safety and well-being of children, Pennsylvania has implemented a rigorous clearance process for individuals who work or volunteer with children. Whether it’s for school activities, sports teams, or community programs, obtaining child clearances is essential. In this article, we will guide you through the process of getting your child clearance in Pennsylvania, along with answers to some frequently asked questions.
Why are child clearances necessary?
Child clearances are necessary to protect children from potential harm or abuse. These clearances are required by law in Pennsylvania for anyone who has direct contact with children. They help ensure that individuals who interact with children have not been involved in any criminal activities or have a history of child abuse.
What are the required clearances?
In Pennsylvania, there are three main clearances that individuals must obtain to work or volunteer with children:
1. Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check: This clearance verifies if an individual has a criminal record within the state of Pennsylvania.
2. Child Abuse History Clearance: This clearance confirms if an individual has been named as a perpetrator in a child abuse report.
3. FBI Criminal Background Check: This clearance is required for individuals who have lived outside of Pennsylvania in the past five years. It checks for criminal records at the federal level.
How can I obtain the clearances?
To obtain the necessary child clearances in Pennsylvania, you can follow these steps:
1. Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check:
– Visit the Pennsylvania Access to Criminal History (PATCH) website.
– Submit an online request and pay the required fee.
– Receive the results immediately if there is no criminal history.
2. Child Abuse History Clearance:
– Visit the Child Welfare Information Solution (CWIS) website.
– Create an account and complete the online application.
– Pay the required fee and submit the application.
– Wait for the results, which may take up to 14 days.
3. FBI Criminal Background Check:
– Visit the FBI’s Identity History Summary Check website.
– Follow the instructions to complete the online application.
– Schedule an appointment at an authorized fingerprinting location.
– Pay the required fee and provide the necessary identification documents.
– Receive the results via mail within a few weeks.
Can I obtain the clearances in person?
No, all the clearances must be obtained online. In-person applications are not accepted.
Is there an age requirement for obtaining clearances?
Yes, individuals must be 18 years old or above to obtain the required child clearances.
Do these clearances expire?
Yes, all three clearances are valid for five years from the date of issuance. After that, they must be renewed to maintain compliance.
Are there any exemptions to the clearance requirement?
Yes, there are certain exemptions to the clearance requirement. For example, parents or guardians attending school events that are open to the public are exempted. However, it is always best to check with the specific organization or institution to confirm any exemptions.
Can I use clearances from other states?
No, Pennsylvania requires individuals to obtain clearances specifically from within the state.
How much do the clearances cost?
As of the time of writing this article, the costs for obtaining the clearances are as follows:
– Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check: $22
– Child Abuse History Clearance: $13
– FBI Criminal Background Check: $27
Is financial assistance available to cover the clearance costs?
Financial assistance may be available for individuals who are experiencing financial hardship. It is recommended to inquire with the organization or institution for potential assistance programs.
Are there any consequences for not obtaining clearances?
Failure to obtain the required clearances can result in the denial of employment or volunteer positions involving direct contact with children. It is essential to comply with these requirements to ensure the safety and well-being of children.
Do I need to provide the clearances to every organization my child is involved with?
Yes, you will need to provide the clearances to each organization or institution separately. They are not transferable between organizations.
Can I obtain the clearances before my child becomes involved with an organization?
Yes, you can obtain the clearances in advance. This can help streamline the process and avoid any delays when your child joins an organization or program.
In conclusion, obtaining child clearances in Pennsylvania is a crucial step in ensuring the safety and well-being of children. By following the outlined steps and obtaining the required clearances, you can provide peace of mind to both yourself and the organizations your child is involved with. Remember to stay proactive and keep the clearances up-to-date, as they expire after five years.