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

Thank you for your interest in Volunteering in our Parish!

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 and Sexual Abuse Policy.

 

Below please find a detailed list of the seven (7) required documentation for volunteers within our parish. We have included links to information and/or attachments as you may need them. Diocesan protocol currently requires that all clearances be dated within a year of receipt to the Safe Environment Coordinator. If you have completed any/all of these items within the last year, please submit the original 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 5040 St. Joseph's Road, Coopersburg, PA 18036. Please indicate if you need any of the papers returned to you.

 

Please note - although there are fees typically associated with the background checks, when filing as a VOLUNTEER and going through the Diocese of Allentown, there is no cost for the volunteer applying.

 

Step 1 - Complete the Background Check & Fingerprint Authorization Form for Employees/Volunteers

Form_-_Lay_Background_Check__Fingerprint[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [204.1 KB]

Please submit the completed form to the Rectory*, and we will then forward it to the Diocese. After the form is processed by the Diocese, you will receive a registration ID for the 3M Cogent System.  Once you have the ID, you then need to go to a 3M Cogent site (such as the UPS Store in Allentown) to have your fingerprints scanned.  You will receive an original document in the mail, which must be brought to the Rectory. We will keep the original and give you a copy of it for your personal records.

 

Step 2 - PA Child Abuse History Clearance  https://www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis/public/home

Simply create an account to get started. Results typically available within two weeks (via web or mail, you choose). Please submit your completed clearance to the Rectory*. We will make a copy of it and return the original to you.

Also available to download and print - follow instructions to complete (2 sheets - release form must be included when sending to state).

PA Child Abuse Consent Release Auth 3.2[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [326.4 KB]
NEW PA Child Abuse Form.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [356.8 KB]

Step 3 - PA State Police Criminal Record Check  https://epatch.state.pa.us/Home.jsp   

Click on the “New Record Check” Volunteers Only button to get started. Results are typically instant. Please submit your completed clearance to the Rectory*. We will make a copy of it and return the original to you.

Also available to download and print - follow instructions to complete. You will be asked for a volunteer organization name and phone number.  Reply with Diocese of Allentown and the main phone number: 610-871-5200.

Request_for_Criminal_Record_Check_-_Volu[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [133.1 KB]

Step 4 - Read the Diocesan Sexual Abuse Policy  & Complete the Acknowledgment Form

The full policy is available below. Please submit the completed acknowledgment form to the Rectory*.

Diocese of Allentown Sexual Abuse Policy (full, English)
19-12-03_sexual_abuse_policy_051514_MAST[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [363.7 KB]
Sexual Abuse Policy Acknowledgement Form[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [43.5 KB]

Step 5 - Read the Diocesan Code of Conduct & Complete the Acknowledgement Form

 

The full policy is available below. Please submit the completed acknowledgment form to the Rectory*.

Diocese of Allentown Code of Conduct
Code_of_Conduct.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [224.3 KB]
Diocese of Allentown Code of Conduct Acknowledgement Form
conduct aknowledgement_0.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [13.1 KB]

Step 6 - Protecting God’s Children Workshop

A list of scheduled workshops can be found on the Diocesan website here. Once completed, please submit a copy of the attendance certificate to the Rectory*.

Step 7 - Mandated Reporter Training

Visit the following website:  www.reportabusepa.pitt.edu. Simply register to begin the course requirements. You do not have to do this training session in one sitting. The site allows you to come back and begin where you left off. Once completed, please submit a copy of the certificate to the Rectory*.

You also have the option of attending a LIVE Mandated Reporter Training session, provided by the Diocese. These Mandated Reporter Trainings are open for all those who do not wish to complete the training online. Please visit the Diocesan website calendar for a list of available sessions. The meetings are three hours in length and requires registration at 610.332.0442 (x2016). Please leave your name, which will be confirmation of your registration. There will be a $5.00 fee at the door for materials.

 

We thank you for your willingness to diligently work together with us to protect the children and young people entrusted to our care.

 

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.

 

More information about the Pennsylvania State Laws can be found at http://keepkidssafe.pa.gov/. Additional information regarding the Diocese of Allentown and its commitment to Youth Protection can be found at http://www.allentowndiocese.org/.

 

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