Starting December 1st, 2017, all volunteer clearance services will be provided directly through IdentoGO, an identity-related service provider who has recently taken over the administration of all fingerprinting services in our state.
IdentoGO is looking for local partners to act as host sites for the fingerprinting services and equipment - if you are involved with a local church, organization, or other group that may be interested in providing this service to the community, please review their Partner Program Overview document below or contact:
Project Manager|Partnerships|Identity Services
We will be in conversations with IdentoGO over the coming weeks with the hope of facilitating the process of finding local partner, but in the meantime, please consult the link below to find the current nearest fingerprinting site to you:
Below you will continue to find useful information regarding requirements, steps, and eligibilities for volunteer clearances in Pennsylvania. Thank you so much for your commitment to serving our community!
Thank you for your commitment to volunteering in Pennsylvania! We don’t take for granted the time and effort you invest into making our communities and our future leaders (the children and youth that you serve) the absolute best they can be. Whether it’s your very first time volunteering, or, if you’ve been volunteering in Pennsylvania for years, we appreciate you!
In recognition of the new PA ACT 153, which ensures that all children and youth (specifically, children and youth less than 18 years of age) who encounter volunteers and organizations within Pennsylvania are in the safest environments possible, there are several new or additional steps for all of the volunteers who work in direct contact or environments with children and youth.
While we all want our children safe, obtaining clearance within Pennsylvania can be a daunting task. With a patchwork of websites and organizations involved in the process, the process can seem overwhelming. That’s where we, The Constellation Network, come in!
Our goal is to make your application as easy and time efficient as possible. Volunteers who have direct or routine interaction with children and youth under 18 years of age must complete up to four steps.
Follow each simplified step below to complete the process. Thank you for your service!
Who needs clearances?
As a volunteer in direct or regular contact with children and youth, you will need to complete some or all of the following steps if:
If you are not required to be fingerprinted for any reason, you MUST complete the state designated waiver form PRIOR to submitting a volunteer application. Your organization should require this of you.
What costs are involved?
Costs range from $0 to $25.75, depending on several factors. Volunteers are directly responsible for any costs; however, some organizations will cover the costs on your behalf.
**Please ask the organization for which you volunteer whether or not they are covering the cost of steps 1 and 2 below if you have been cleared within the past 5 years and are being required to apply once more. Governor Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania has announced that fees for volunteers with direct or routine interaction with youth and children regarding child abuse clearances and background checks will be waived once per 5 years beginning July 25, 2015. If you are a volunteer and have not already received a waiver of these fees within the past 5 years, you are eligible to have the fees for items 1 and 2 below waived. However, no one is exempt from the cost of step 3. While your organization may cover this fee as well, the volunteer must complete the process of scanning their fingerprints themselves.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if I qualify for direct or routine volunteer contact with children?
Children are defined by an individual under the age of 18 years of age.
According to definitions within the act and found on the PA Dept of Human Services Volunteer FAQ page:
Direct volunteer contact is defined as the care, supervision, guidance or control of children and routine interaction with children.
Routine interaction is regular and repeated contact that is integral to a person’s employment or volunteer responsibilities.
Check with your volunteer organization if you are still unsure of your requirement for clearances.
Do I really need to do all of the steps of this clearance application?
I am a church volunteer and have been for years. Do I still need to complete the process?
I’m not a resident of Pennsylvania but I volunteer in the state sometimes. Do I still need to complete all of the steps?
I have lived in Pennsylvania for several years. Do I still need to go through all of the checks?
I only volunteer occasionally. Do I still need to do the entire process?
My organization said they would pay for my application. What do I do?
I’ve been waiting for over a month for my fingerprinting results. Who do I contact?
Is there a way to expedite my application and/or my results?
I volunteer in a school district and completed the process last year. Do I need to do the process all over again this year?
I volunteer only one day a year for a special event. Do I still need to complete all of the clearances?
I don’t want to give my social security number. Is it mandatory for the application?
If I volunteer for more than one organization, do I need to apply multiple times?
What if I am not a citizen of the United States?