According to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Education School Services Unit, ALL APPLICANTS FOR EMPLOYMENT with public and private schools including student teachers and independent contractors and their employees, but excluding employees who do not have direct contact with students must undergo background checks.
ALL CLEARANCES SHALL BE NO MORE THAN ONE (1) YEAR OLD AT THE TIME OF EMPLOYMENT
Prospective employees/student teacher candidates/contractors and their employees are to submit with their employment application a State and Federal criminal history report, a PA child abuse history clearance, or copies of the completed forms/requests. Student teacher candidates are to submit the criminal history reports to the administrator of the educator preparation program prior to participation in any classroom teaching, internship, or clinical or field experience. Administrators shall require each applicant to produce the original criminal reports prior to employment or follow appropriate procedures to employ applicants on a provisional basis. Provided all conditions listed in the Law are met, when the applicant provides a copy of the completed form/request to the administrator the administrator may employ applicants on a provisional basis for a single period not to exceed 90 days.
- Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance Instructions
Please click on the link below to upload a copy of the PA Child Abuse Clearance:
- Type or print clearly and neatly in ink Section I only.
- Address must be Applicant's current home address.
- All information must be completed in full. (The form asks for all previous names, addresses, and household members since 1975). This information must be provided to the best of your knowledge and belief. If necessary, attach additional pages.
- Application must be signed.
- Enclose a $10.00 money order for each application. No cash or personal checks accepted. Agency or business checks are acceptable.
- Do not send any postage paid return envelopes.
- Application should be placed in a business-sized or larger envelope prior to mailing.
- One block must be checked for Purpose for Clearance. Do not check more than one block.
- Check the Volunteer Block if performing a service (paid or unpaid) for organizations such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Boy Scouts, Little League or churches. A copy of your Criminal Record Check results obtained within the past year must be attached. Do not send original Criminal Record results. If you are not a Pennsylvania resident, you must also attach a copy of your FBI results obtained within the past year. This block should not be checked for anyone volunteering in schools.
- Check the School Block if seeking to have involvement within a school (public, private vocational, technical, nursing) for any reason.
- Check the Foster Care Block if applying for foster parenting or custody of a child.
- Check the Adoption Block if in the process or planning to adopt a child.
- Check the Child Care Block if planning to work in a day care setting or if all other blocks do not apply.
- Check the CWEP Block if you are participating in a Department of Public Welfare training program. The signature and phone number of the County Assistance Representative is required.
Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance Form (CY-113)
- Pennsylvania State Criminal History Record
- The Pennsylvania State Police has established a web-based computer application called “Pennsylvania Access to Criminal History” or PATCH. Using this system, a requestor can apply for a criminal background check on an individual. Eighty percent of the time, “No Record” certificates are returned immediately through the Internet to the requestor.
- The information provided by the requestor will be checked against the criminal history database maintained by the Pennsylvania State Police Central Repository. If the subject’s information does not hit on any information in the database, the requestor will receive the results instantly over the Internet and the requestor can print out the “No Record” certificate. If the subject’s information hits on something in the database, the requestor receives an immediate “Request Under Review” response. A “Request Under Review” response does not necessarily mean that the individual has a record. At this point the information is manually reviewed. After the review the status will be updated to “No Record” or “Record”. The requestor should check the PATCH website periodically for an updated status to their request. For all “No Record” responses, the certificate must be printed out at the requestor’s computer. All “Record” responses will be mailed to the requestor at the address provided by the requestor. It may take up to two weeks for the status to be updated from a “Request Under Review” to a “No Record” or “Record”.
- A $10.00 fee applies to process the clearance online. The requester will be required to pay via credit card or debit card online.
- Federal (FBI) Criminal History Report
Applicants MUST register prior to going to a fingerprinting site. Registration can be completed either on the phone or online.
- The website to register is www.pa.cogentid.com and is available 24 hours a day, seven days per week.
- Telephone registration is available at 1-888-439-2486, Monday through Friday, 8am to 6pm EST.
- Applicants may receive a confirmation number.
- The fee for the FBI clearance is $33.00 and can be made online with a credit card or by bringing a Money Order/Cashiers Check payable to “Cogent Systems” to the Fingerprinting site. No cash or personal checks will be accepted.
In order to be fingerprinted, all applicants must have:
- A valid photo ID, and if applicable.
- A Money Order or Cashier’s Check payable to Cogent Systems (NOTE: If you are given a confirmation number when registering, please bring it with you to the fingerprinting site).
- After the fingerprints are taken the FBI will process the clearance. The official clearance will only be viewable electronically by entities approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
- During registration you will have the opportunity to receive an unofficial paper copy of the clearance. This option is only available when you register and costs $2.50.
- Any questions and concerns should be made directly to Cogent Systems.
- For additional information regarding the FBI Criminal History Report please go to http://www.teaching.state.pa.us.
Please call Jeannine Bressler at (412) 771-3213 ext. 5263 if you would prefer to apply for your clearances at the school district.