Holy Trinity Safe Environment Policy
Holy Trinity Catholic School follows today’s best practices to insure a safe environment for all children in our school. We have a formal Safe Environment Policy in place to protect children from abuse, and it has recently been updated under provisions of PA Act 153.
First and foremost it is important that every volunteer understand that as an adult working with our school children, they are mandated to report any child abuse they may observe. This is a great responsibility, and specific training is required.
Every volunteer must complete two required Youth Protection courses, one provided by the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown and the other by the University of Pittsburgh. Both courses are offered on-line, free of charge.
Volunteers are asked to enter their email address and create a password to begin each training course. The Diocesean course takes approximately one hour to complete; the University of Pittsburgh course takes approximately two hours to complete. When each course is successfully completed, an on-line certificate will be generated. Volunteers must print two copies of each completion certificate. They should keep one copy of each certificate for their own records and deliver a copy of each certificate to the office of the school where they will be volunteering.
Legal Forms to be Completed by all Volunteers
In addition to the two required training courses, every volunteer must obtain certain legal clearance certificates from state and federal government before they can be approved to volunteer. To receive the certificates, you must submit a formal application which the government agency then processes before sending you a certificate. This is usually done on-line, but you may also pick up paper copies of the government forms at your school office, fill them in and mail them to the agency. Addresses are given on the forms. Processing the forms may take several days. In some cases you will receive a certificate via return e-mail; in other cases certificates will be sent to you via the US Postal Service. The clearances you need are:
- Pennsylvania State Police Clearance (SP_CRC)
To apply on-line, please go to https://epatch.state.pa.us/ and click the yellow button labeled “New Record Check.” This will take you to several other screens. Follow instructions to complete the requested information. When the process is completed and you receive your SP_CRC Certificate, print two copies of it, keep one copy for your records and submit the other to the school where you will be volunteering.
2. Child Abuse Clearance
To apply on-line, please go to https://www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis/public/home. This will take you to the Pennsylvania Child Welfare portal. If you are a new user, click on the button labeled “Create Individual Account” and follow the instructions. If you have used the Child Welfare Portal before, click on the button labeled “Individual Log-in” and follow the instructions. When the process is completed and you receive your Child Abuse History Clearance, print two copies of it, keep one copy for your records and submit the other to the school where you will be volunteering.
PLEASE NOTE: The PA State Police and Child Abuse Clearance Fees are waived for volunteers, so you are not required to pay for these two clearances.
3. NEW FBI Clearance
Volunteers who are currently residents of Pennsylvania but have not been a resident for a full 10 years need to obtain an FBI clearance check, which includes fingerprinting. If you need to obtain this FBI clearance, please visit www.pa.cogentid.com. Choose the PA Department of Education option to begin your registration. Follow the instructions carefully. You will be given detailed directions on how to obtain your fingerprints at a nearby Altoona location. When the process is complete, make two copies of your completed form (containing your fingerprints), keep one copy for your records and submit the other to the school where you will be volunteering.
4. PA Dept. of Education Arrest and Conviction Record
Click here to download and print this document. Follow the instructions, print two copies of the completed form, keep one copy for your records and submit the other to the school where you will be volunteering.
The law dictates that all volunteers must be in compliance prior to the commencement of service and must have all clearances and trainings before they can be approved to volunteer.
Diocesan Youth Protection Forms Required of All Volunteers
Finally every volunteer must read and sign four documents from the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. Please click the Purple Button below to download all four documents in one package, or click on the names of the four individual forms. Please complete the forms and deliver them to the office of the school where you will be volunteering. The school will then submit all forms to the Diocese for processing.