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. Please do not include your Social Security Number on the 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.identogo.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 2017 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.

 

PLEASE NOTE: Due to new requirements put forth by the State of Pennsylvania, volunteers of the Parish must have DHS fingerprint results. School employees and volunteers must have PDE results. The two are "not portable" between positions. Contact Mrs. O'Donnell for more information. (updated 2/3/2022)

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. (Most recent revision currently dated 2/8/2019.)

Diocese of Allentown Code of Conduct
Revised 11/20/2018
CodeofConduct 112018FINAL.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [240.4 KB]
Diocese of Allentown Code of Conduct Acknowledgement Form
Revised 11/20/2018
CodeofConductAck Form-English-112018.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [24.9 KB]

Step 6 - Protecting God’s Children Workshop

The Protecting God's ChildrenTM program is a virtual training that includes videos and question and answer segments. All clergy, employees, or volunteers who interact with children are required to attend. Currently, Protecting God's Children is once and done. 

1. Please visit https://www.virtusonline.org/virtus/

2. Select the "First-Time Registrant" button

3. Select “Begin the registration process"

4. Using the dropdown arrow select "Allentown, PA (Diocese)"

5. Click "yes or no" if you have previously registered with Virtus. Select "No" if you're not sure.

6. Create a username and password, please keep these for future trainings

7. Please fill all * items. Do not select "No Email", you must have an email to do the virtual training.

8. Please select the primary location you will be volunteering/employed (St. Joseph Church - Coopersburg). Please select at least one primary role you perform at this location. Please select any additional roles you perform at this location. Please enter your Title or Position of Service.

9. Select "Yes" if you are associated with any other diocesan locations, "No" if you are not.

10. Please answer the 4 questions on the next page 11. Indicate if you have already attended a PGC Session, by clicking "Yes" or "No"

12. On the next page there will be some classes listed available on Zoom. Please select one of these only if you feel you are unable to complete an online training. Otherwise select the "Continue" button.

13. Do you want to register for a training session at this time? Select "No", then "OK".

14. Thank you for registering for Virtus Online, you will receive an email with the required reading material and the class will be assigned to your Virtus account within 5 business days.

15. Upon completion, please print or save a PDF of your certificate and give to the parish Safe Environment Coordinator. 

Step 7 - Mandated Reporter Training

The Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse: Mandated and Permissive Reporting in Pennsylvania Online Training course is available online. All clergy, employees, or volunteers who interact with children are required to attend. Mandated Reporter Training expires every 5 years. Please keep your login information for future trainings. 

Option 1. Pa Family Support Alliance website: https://pafsa.org/ 

  • Click on "Trainings & Programs" at the top of the page
  • Select "Mandated Reporter Training"
  • Scroll down the page until you see "Upcoming Virtual Sessions at no cost"
  • Look for Virtual Sessions in (month), (click here)
  • Select a date and time that works for you
  • Fill in all the required boxes marked with * (an asterisk)
  • Select "Register"
  • You will receive an email with information and the Zoom link. The timeline varies with each instructor.
  • Upon completion, please print or save a PDF of your certificate and give to your Local Safe Environment Coordinator. 

Option 2. University of Pittsburgh's website: https://www.reportabusepa.pitt.edu/PublicStudentSignUp.aspx 

  • Fill out all required information (blue fields) to create an account.
  • Click "Submit" to create a username and password.
  • Login using your new credentials in the “Welcome” tab.
  • Complete the 3-hour (minimum) training course.
  • Upon completion, please print or save a PDF of your certificate and give 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 must complete the Virtus Protecting God’s Children Bulletins on a monthly basis. You will need to create a Virtus account & complete the bulletins on your own. Mrs. O'Donnell will provide you with further instructions.

 

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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Daily Mass, Monday through Saturday - 8:00 AM

Saturday Evening Vigil - 5:15 PM

Sunday Morning Masses - 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM

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