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, Sexual Abuse Policy and Child Protective Services Law sheet. In some cases, volunteers may also be asked to read monthly educational bulletins from the Virtus Online Training/Tracking Platform.

 

Below please find a detailed list of the eight (8) required documentation for volunteers within our parish. We have included links to information and/or attachments as you may need them. 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.

 

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 - Background Check & Fingerprint Authorization for Employees/Volunteers

The fingerprinting process has changed since its inception as the state has transitioned to a new vendor for digital fingerprinting, IDEMIA. You will now register online with IDEMIA, and be fingerprinted at an IdentoGO site. The background checks are conducted either through the Department of Human Services (DHS), or the Department of Education (PDE).  Prior to registering, you will be asked to complete a Diocese of Allentown Background Check Authorization Form. Upon completion and submission to the parish Safe Environment Coordinator, you will be provided with a payment code to use when you register online at: https://uenroll.indentogo.com (the Diocese of Allentown will cover the cost for volunteers). During registration, you will set up an appointment at a local IdentoGo site. Print your receipt and take it with you to the appointment. After your appointment, please provide your receipt to the parish Safe Environment Coordinator to make a copy for your records. You will receive the results of the report in the mail approximately two weeks after your appointment, and must provide the original results to the parish Safe Environment Coordinator to submit to the Diocese of Allentown. You will be provided with a copy for your personal records. If submitting an already completed check, it must be dated 2015 or later, if through DHS, or, less than 365 days old if PDE. The report is generally good for 5 years, but some exceptions may apply.

doa_backgroundcheckauthorizationform.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [349.1 KB]

Step 2 - PA Child Abuse History Clearance  

https://www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis/public/home

This process can be submitted online through the Child Welfare Information Solution (CWIS) self-service portal, or mailed in. Submitting an application online allows individual applicants to receive their results through an automated system that will notify them once their results have been processed. Applicants will be able to view and print their results online. The online process takes anywhere from 2-14 days to process, while applications through mail typically take 7-14 days (results mailed to the applicant). There is no cost for the report when processing as a volunteer (as long as you have not already been processed within the last 57 months). The report is generally good for 5 years, but some exceptions may apply. You will receive the results of the report, and must provide the results to the parish Safe Environment Coordinator.

If you choose to download and print, please follow the 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   

This item can be completed over the Internet with results typically processed immediately; Or, submit the form via mail, with results mailed to applicant (can take up to 14 days to receive). There is no cost for the report when processing as a volunteer (as long as you have not already been processed within the last 57 months). The report is generally good for 5 years, but some exceptions may apply. You will receive the results of the report, and must provide the results to the parish Safe Environment Coordinator. Results will be accepted if dated 2015 or later.

Online completion - Click on the “New Record Check” Volunteers Only button to get started. Where you are asked for a volunteer organization name and phone number, reply with Diocese of Allentown and the main phone number: 610 871-5200

If you choose to download and print -  please 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 parish Safe Environment Coordinator.

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 parish Safe Environment Coordinator.

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

The Protecting God’s Children™ Program for Adults is a video presentation and discussion used to educate every priest, employee, and volunteer who works with children about the harms of child sexual abuse and what they can do to prevent it.  Any adult volunteer who comes into contact with children is required to attend this program. Workshops are offered throughout the Diocese of Allentown, and all require pre-registration. A list of scheduled workshops can be found on the Diocesan website here. This is a one-time completion event.  You will receive a certificate of completion at the conclusion of the class, and must provide the results to the parish Safe Environment Coordinator.

Step 7 - Mandated Reporter Training

The Diocese of Allentown requires that all volunteers complete an online training course through www.reportabusepa.pitt.edu, an approved training course by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Additionally, the Diocese of Allentown hosts in-person training sessions that individuals may attend. These sessions are Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance trainings approved by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. A list of upcoming trainings is available on the Diocesan website hereThe Diocese will accept certificates from any of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Approved Courses for Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting Training for Mandated Reporters, as listed on the www.keepkidssafe.pa.gov website. The certificates must be less than 5 years old to be accepted, and must be renewed upon expiration. You will receive a certificate of completion at the conclusion of the class, and must provide the results to the parish Safe Environment Coordinator.

 

Step 8 - Child Protective Services Law

All volunteers must review the Diocese of Allentown's Child Protective Services Law Policy and sign an acknowledgement form. The CPSL sheet and acknowledgement form can be downloaded below. Once completed, please submit the signed form to the parish Safe Environment Coordinator.

CPSL rev. 052518.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [545.3 KB]
cpslacknowledgementform.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [36.5 KB]

Additional step for PREP Volunteers, High School Teen Group Volunteers, and other employees or volunteers coming into contact with children: You will be emailed Virtus Protecting God’s Children Bulletins on a quarterly basis. We ask that you read over these materials and reflect on the content.

 

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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