Safe Environment

All employees and volunteers who minister and serve the children of our parish must fulfill all the Safe Environment requirements.  The diocese of Allentown and State of Pennsylvania require that anyone who has any possible contact with children complete the following background checks and clearances. Volunteers who fail to obtain background checks and attend training are not permitted to remain involved in service to our children until all are completed. All questions and forms should be directed to Maria Rittle, Safe Environment Coordinator at 570-462-1968 or info@dmparish.com or mrittle@dmparish.com.

Forms needed for employees:

  • Signed acknowledgement Form for Sexual Abuse Policy – Diocese of Allentown –  repeated when updated
  • Signed acknowledgement Form for Code of Conduct – Diocese of Allentown – repeated when updated
  • Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check – to be repeated every 5 years
  • Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Certificate – to be repeated every 5 years
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation Criminal Background Fingerprint Check – to be repeated every 5 years
  • Mandated Reported Training Certificate  – to be repeated every 5 years
  • Protecting God’s Children Certificate – one time

Forms needed for volunteers:  (Some forms may be done online)

  • Signed acknowledgement Form for Sexual Abuse Policy – Diocese of Allentown – repeated when updated
  • Signed acknowledgement Form for Code of Conduct – Diocese of Allentown – repeated when updated
  • Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check – to be repeated every 5 years
  • Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Certificate – to be repeated every 5 years
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation Criminal Background Fingerprint Check – to be repeated every 5 years
  • Mandated Reported Training Certificate  – to be repeated every 5 years
  • Protecting God’s Children – one time

Procedures: 

  1. Review Safe Environment Programs Background Check Policy on the Diocese of Allentown’s website:  http://www.allentowndiocese.org/the-diocese/youth-protection/safe-environment-programs/background-checks
  2. Obtain the Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check, free of charge for volunteers at https://epatch.state.pa.us/Home,jsp.
  3. Obtain the Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Certificate, free of charge for volunteers at https://www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis/public/home.
  4. Complete the Background Check & Fingerprint Authorization Form which can be found at http://www.allentowndiocese.org/node/528
  5. Sign and date the Diocese of Allentown’s Code of Conduct and Sexual Abuse Policy Acknowledgment Forms. These policies can be reviewed at:  http://www.allentowndiocese.org/the-diocese/youth-protection/
  6. Complete the Mandated Reporter Training at www.reportabusepa.pitt.edu. Print certificate of completion.  Other certificates may be acceptable if they are less than 5 years old.  Please check the website www.keepkidssafe.pa.gov, then select “Forms” for additional acceptable programs.
  7. Attend a Protecting God’s Children Workshop and submit a copy of the certificate of attendance.
  8. Submit all of the above original documents to the parish or school’s local Safe Environment Coordinator as soon as possible.
  9. As soon as it is available, you will be given a registration ID for the 3M Cogent System so you can have your fingerprints scanned.
  10. Please see the https://www.pa.cogentid.com/ohio/DPW/DPW_map/DPW_Regions_Clickable.html for fingerprint scanning locations in your county.
  11. Approximately two weeks after fingerprinting, you will receive the results in the mail. Bring the original document to the local Safe Environment Coordinator for submission to the Diocese. If you are a volunteer for the school, the fingerprint will be registered through the Pennsylvania Department of Education- in the mail you will only receive an unofficial copy, the Diocese will need to process the rest.