Saint Joseph Church Coopersburg, Pennsylvania
Saint Joseph Church     Coopersburg, Pennsylvania

Calling All Adults

of the

St. Joseph Parish Family!

 

Please take a moment to read this important information regarding the requirements for all volunteers working with children and youth within the Diocese of Allentown and the State of Pennsylvania.

Volunteer Clearances - Who needs them, and why?

  • All employees and volunteers of a child care service, school or a program, activity or service responsible for a child’s welfare, are required by Pennsylvania State Law and the Diocese of Allentown to complete clearances.

  • All volunteers having direct contact with minors are  required by Pennsylvania State Law and the Diocese of  Allentown to complete clearances.

 

In the state of Pennsylvania, all persons, both employees and volunteers, who come into contact with children at any time in the course of their work are considered  mandated reporters of child abuse and are required by Pennsylvania State Law to report to law enforcement authorities all cases of suspected child abuse. In order to further protect the youth of our community, PA State Law requires that all employees or volunteers who come into contact with children complete a PA State Police Criminal Background Check, PA Child Abuse History Clearance, FBI Criminal Background Check, and to attend Mandated Reporter Training.

 

Additionally, the Diocese of Allentown requires these persons to attend a Protecting God’s Children Workshop, and to read & acknowledge the Diocesan Code of Conduct, Sexual Abuse Policy and Child Protective Services Law sheet. In some cases, volunteers may also be asked to read monthly educational bulletins on the Virtus Online Training/Tracking Platform. All actions taken by the Diocese of Allentown in regards to Youth Protection are based on the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, established by the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops in June 2002. The norms resulting from the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People require dioceses to work with parents, civil authorities, educators, employees and volunteers to establish and maintain the safest environment for minors.

 

“Churches, schools, and youth organizations must ensure that children and youth who worship, study, or participate in activities sponsored by a parish can do so in the safest and most secure setting possible.” - United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on Child and Youth Protection

 

Volunteer Opportunities within Our Parish Family

  • PREP Teachers & Classroom Helpers
  • High School Teen Group Chaperones
  • Sunday School Teachers & Helpers
  • Vacation Bible School Teachers & Helpers
  • Parish Festival Children’s Activities Monitors
  • All CYO Coaches & Assistants
  • All Parish School Volunteers - Cafeteria, Library, Classroom Parties, Field Trip Chaperones, Classroom Assistants, etc.

Any other individual or group running or assisting at a child/youth activity, or, using Parish buildings during school/PREP hours may be required to complete the

clearance process. This may include members of any of our Parish Social and/or Spiritual Activities. Check with the

Parish Safe Environment Coordinator for details.

What are the steps to becoming a volunteer in our parish?

Every employee and/or volunteer in our parish must complete the 8 steps on the Diocese of Allentown “Safe Environment Requirements Checklist”. This list includes the items required by the State of Pennsylvania as well as the Diocese of Allentown. Details on how to complete these steps can be found on our Volunteer Requirements webpage.

 

Safe Environment Requirements Checklist

 

1. Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check

 

2. Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Certificate

 

3. Federal Bureau of Investigation

Criminal Background Fingerprint Check

 

4. Signed Acknowledgment Form for the

Diocese of Allentown’s Sexual Abuse Policy

 

5. Signed Acknowledgment form for the

Diocese of Allentown’s Code of Conduct

 

6. Protecting God’s Children Workshop attendance certificate

 

7. Certificate from Mandated Reporting Training

 

8. Signed Acknowledgement Form for

Child Protective Services Law Policy

What kind of information is collected, and who will have access to it?

When applying for the clearances required by Pennsylvania State Law - PA State Police Criminal Background Check, PA Child Abuse History Clearance and the FBI Criminal Background Check - individuals will be required to provide personal identifiers including, but not limited to:

applicant’s Full Name, Date of Birth, Address, Phone Number, Social Security Number, Email Address and Driver’s License Number. Under Pennsylvania Law pursuant to § 6344 (b.1), the employer, administrator,

supervisor or other person responsible for employment decisions or acceptance of the individual to serve in any capacity requiring clearances, shall maintain copies of the required information. Your personal volunteer file will be located in the parish Rectory and may only be viewed by the

parish Safe Environment Coordinator, and/or the parish priest if deemed necessary. Additionally, the Diocesan Safe Environment Coordinator’s office keeps secure files of all Diocese of Allentown employees and volunteers. Protecting your personal identity is a priority in the clearance process, so please do not be concerned about providing this information.

 

If you are interested in volunteering...

If you have completed any/all of these items, please  submit the documentation to the Rectory. You have a few options for how to submit your completed paperwork to the Rectory: In a sealed envelope addressed to PARISH SAFE ENVIRONMENT COORDINATOR, which can be placed in the offertory basket at any weekend Mass; personally delivered to the Rectory during normal business hours (typically, Monday-Friday 10AM-3PM); or, mailed to the Rectory at 5050 St. Joseph’s Road, Coopersburg, PA 18036. Please indicate if you need any of the papers returned to you.

 

Questions can be directed to the Parish Safe Environment Coordinator, Janessa Lanning O’Donnell, at the Rectory office: 610-965-2877, or via email: safeenvironmentcoordinator@stjoescoopersburg.org.

​December Events

12/4 A & R Society Meeting

12/8 Immaculate Conception - Mass at 9AM

Vigil Mass on 12/7 at 7PM

12/8 A & R Society Christmas Floral Sale Pickup

12/8 Young Women of Grace Advent Retreat

12/16 Gaudete Sunday Parish Family Christmas Celebration

12/19, 12/21 & 12/22 Advent Ember Days

Click Here for More Info

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