Volunteer Guidelines

Policies for the Protection of Children and Young People / Background Checks and Clearances

Who needs background checks and clearances?

  1. All Church Personnel including priests, religious, deacon, pastoral minister, employee, school employee, parish employee, contract employee. This includes any individual 14 years of age or older applying for or in a paid position as an employee responsible for the welfare of a child or having direct contact with children.
  1. Volunteers (unpaid) who may have any possible contact with or responsibility for children.

How is any possible contact with children defined?

Any time an adult comes into contact with children in their role as a volunteer for the Archdiocese.

What clearances are required to work or volunteer for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia?

Clearances for Employees:

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation Fingerprint Clearance
  • Pennsylvania State Police Clearance
  • Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance

Please note: The state has strengthened the Child Protective Services Law (CPSL). Some individuals who were not previously required to obtain the FBI Fingerprint Clearance must obtain it now. Exceptions can no longer be made, related to the start date. Anyone who is a paid staff member must have all clearances.

Clearances for Volunteers Living in PA for Less than 10 years:

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation Fingerprint Clearance
  • Pennsylvania State Police Clearance
  • Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance

Clearances for Volunteers Living in PA Continuously for 10 years:

  • Pennsylvania State Police Clearance
  • Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance
  • Disclosure Statement application for volunteers to be filed at the place of service.

What is the renewal requirement for clearances?

All required clearances, including FBI, must be renewed every five years (60 months).

Volunteers who have been a resident of Pennsylvania for less than 10 years must renew their FBI Fingerprint clearance until they reach 10 years of residency in Pennsylvania.  Once the volunteer meets the 10 year residency requirement, they must complete a Disclosure Statement Application for Volunteers which must be submitted every five years.

When are clearances required?

Clearances should be submitted prior to the commencement of employment or volunteer service.  There are certain circumstances under which provisional status might be approved. Please speak with your immediate supervisor or head of the group you are involved with to see if this applies to you.

How do I obtain the required clearances?

Information on how to obtain clearances may be found on the Office for Child and Youth Protection’s website at: http://childyouthprotection.org/index.php/staff-volunteers/checks-and-clearances

Do one-time volunteers and chaperones need clearances (i.e. school trip chaperone, parish carnivals, etc)?

Yes, because the individual has contact with or responsibility for a child.

Are there any other requirements to be employed or serve as a volunteer for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia?

If an employee is arrested for or convicted of an offense that would constitute grounds for denying employment or participation in a program, activity or service, or is named as a perpetrator in a founded or indicated report, the employee/volunteer must provide written notice no later than 72 hours after the arrest, conviction or notification that the person has been listed as a perpetrator in the statewide database.

An employee who willfully fails to disclose information as required above commits a misdemeanor of the third degree and shall be subject to discipline up to and including termination or denial of employment.

Required Trainings

Our Clergy, Staff and Volunteers

All clergy staff and volunteers of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia who have contact with children must complete the Safe Environment Training as outlined below.

Safe Environment Training

Classroom Component (Part I)

Protecting God’s Children provides basic facts about child sexual abuse and adults’ roles in prevention. Attendance is expected within 90 days of hire. To register click here .

Mandated Reporter Online Component (Part II)

Mandated Reporting of Suspected Child Abuse provides an overview of Archdiocesan reporting procedures for suspected child abuse and Pennsylvania Child Welfare Laws. This training is mandatory for all new clergy, as well as staff and volunteers who began service after December, 2011 or did not take the training in person. Mandatory Reporting of Child Sexual Abuse, is available in English and Spanish.

Click here  to login to the Training Institute and begin the training.

Please note that if you began service before December, 2011, but did not attend the Mandated Reporter training, you are out of compliance and must complete the online training. Volunteers will need to contact their place of service to learn the level of service they are permitted to provide until the online training has been completed.

Where to send your completed documents:

Nicole Breeze

Safe Environment Coordinator

Our Lady of Mount Carmel

235 East State Street

Doylestown, PA 18901

Or email the completed documents to:


Or deliver to the head of your group or ministry for them to forward to the parish office.

Any questions please feel free to call 215-348-4190 or email Nicole at nicole_olmc@comcast.net