Program Contact for St. Mary: Sandi Olzinski
610-287-8156
Email: solzinski@churchofsaintmary.org

The VIRTUS class is required by anyone who works directly with the youth of our parish in order to be in compliance
with the Archdiocesan Safe Environment procedures.

 

The Safe Environment Program is a comprehensive child safety and child sexual abuse prevention program, which creates a network of prevention and protection for the children entrusted into the Archdiocese’s care. The various components of the program include:
- Background checks and clearances
- Child sexual abuse prevention training

"Volunteers who have any possible physical or visual contact with children are required to obtain all three clearances; volunteers who have occasional responsibility and direct contact with children must obtain all three clearances and the two mandated reporter requirements; volunteers who have regular, direct responsibility for and contact with children (once a month or more) must obtain all three clearances, the two mandated reporter requirements and the VIRTUS training. as required by Pennsylvania State Law and the Archdiocese Office for Child and Youth Protection."

Volunteers include, but are not limited to:
PREP catechists and aides, CYO board members and coaches, HASA board members and volunteers, Youth Group Leaders, during school volunteers and aides, after school club organizers, Scout Leaders, and Theology of the Body Leaders.

Based on changes to the Pennsylvania Child Protective Law, all parish volunteers who work directly with children, or who are on the parish campus during the hours when Saint Mary School or PREP is in session , must have ALL THREE of the following clearances. PLEASE NOTE: All documentation must be on file at the parish house before volunteering can begin.

Clearances and Training Requirement information (pdf)
Guide to all requirements for safe enviroment program.

Required Background Checks

1. PA State Police Criminal Record Check

--Can be obtained online at https://epatch.state.pa.us
This clearance is FREE to all volunteers beginning July 25, 2015.
Clearance is good for 5 years.

2. PA State Child Abuse Clearance

This clearance is FREE to all volunteers beginning July 25, 2015
Form can be obtained online through https://www.compass.state.pa.us/CWIS/Public/Home .
Clearance is good for 5 years.


3. And one of the following :


If you have lived in PA continuously for 10 years
or more:
Disclosure Statement Application for Volunteers
Must be completed every 5 years.

If you have NOT lived in PA continuously for 10 years or more:
Federal Criminal Background Check:
Information is available online at :  https://www.pa.cogentid.com/index.htm
Cost is $25.75 and is good for 5 years.

ARE YOU A MANDATED REPORTER?

Based on changes to the Pennsylvania Child Protective Law, all parish volunteers who work directly with children, or who within their volunteer role accepts responsibility for a child at any time - even if just once a year , is considered a Mandated Reporter. All Mandated Reporters must complete the following two items in addition to the three clearances:

Mandated Reporter Online Training
Online course which takes approximately 1 hour to complete.

Certificate can be printed out upon completion of course and submitted to Parish House

Mandated Reporter Acknowledgement Form
Read the Mandated Reporter Brochure from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Complete the Acknowledgement form and submit to Parish House.


VIRTUS Training: (Protecting God’s Children/Safe Environment)
This is a one time class required for all volunteers
--Go to http://www.virtus.org to register for a class
Volunteers with regular, direct contact with children must attend a 2-1/2 hourcourse called “Protecting God’s Children for Adults” in addition to the three clearances and the two mandated reporter requirements. These individuals would include, but is not limited to:

CYO Coaches, School or PREP volunteers (who volunteer at least once a month), Scout Leaders and helpers, and Youth Group Leaders and helpers

A complete list of class dates and locations can be found on the VIRTUS website. This course only needs to be taken once. A signed “Acknowledgement of Receipt of the Standards of Behavior” form must be submitted to the Parish House.

All clearances and trainings must be obtained before working with children. Individuals cannot begin their volunteer position until all required clearances and training certificates are on file with the Parish House. If you have any questions about clearances/trainings needed please contact Sandi Olzinski at the Parish House at 610-287-8156 or email solzinski@churchofsaintmary.org .