Child Protection

For the Safe Environment requirements, please refer to the following charts:

CLERGY/ PARISH EMPLOYEES:

Category of Personnel  Requirements
Priests, Deacons, Seminarians, Diaconate Applicants

 

Effective December 31, 2014

 

 

 

 

Clearances renewed every 36 months

  • PA State Police Criminal History Check
  • PA Dept. of Human Services Child Abuse History Certification
  • Federal FBI Fingerprinting
  • Protecting God’s Children VIRTUS Training
  • Signed Code of Pastoral Conduct
  • Mandated Reporter Training

****Effective July 25, 2015 the cost for the PA State Police Criminal History Check and the PA Child Abuse History Check for employees will be $8.00 each.

Parish Employees 14 years of age or older who apply for a paid position where they have direct contact or routine interaction with children

 

 

**Minors between the ages of 14 and 17 who are employed in a paid position in a children’s program or activity and either supervise or have direct contact with children will be exempt from the FBI check requirement if they have resided within PA for the previous 10 years.  The minor and his/her parent must swear or affirm in writing that the minor is not ineligible for employment.

     IF the minor employee has not resided in PA for the entire 10 year period, they will need to present an FBI clearance that was processed at any time after becoming a PA resident. 

Effective December 31, 2014 

Clearances renewed every 36 months

  • PA State Police Criminal History Check
  • PA Dept. of Human Services Child Abuse History Certification
  • Federal FBI Fingerprinting
  • Protecting God’s Children VIRTUS Training (age 18 or older)
  • Signed Code of Pastoral Conduct
  • Mandated Reporter Training

 

****Effective July 25, 2015 the cost for the PA State Police Criminal History Check and the PA Child Abuse History Check for employees will be $8.00 each.

Parish Employees  18 years of age or older who apply for a position where they

 

DO NOT have direct contact or routine interaction with children

Clearances renewed every 36 months

  • Background check by the Diocese thru Sterling BackCheck
  • Protecting God’s Children VIRTUS Training
  • Signed Code of Pastoral Conduct

Diocese of Scranton – Safe Environment Program Volunteer Requirements 

*****    PA Law applies to all volunteer activity regardless of the number of hours therefore the 20 hours/year policy is no longer valid.

Category of Personnel  Requirements
Volunteers 18 years of age or older who  apply for an unpaid position as a volunteer where they have direct volunteer contact

 

AND

Have lived in Pennsylvania continuously for the previous 10 years

 

Effective August 25, 2015 

Clearances renewed every 60 months

  • PA State Police Criminal History Check
  • PA Dept. of Human Services Child Abuse History Certification
  • Volunteer Affidavit
  • Protecting God’s Children VIRTUS Training
  • Signed Code of Pastoral Conduct
  • Mandated Reporter Training

 

****Effective July 25, 2015 the PA State Police Criminal History Check and the PA Child Abuse History Check are no cost to volunteers.

 

Volunteers 18 years of age or older who  apply for an unpaid position as a volunteer where they have direct volunteer contact

 

AND

HAVE NOT lived in Pennsylvania continuously for the previous 10 years 

**Volunteers that are current residents of PA but who have not been residents for the entire previous 10 year period, will need to obtain the FBI check only once since establishing residency in PA.

 

Effective August 25, 2015 

Clearances renewed every 60 months

  • PA State Police Criminal History Check
  • PA Dept. of Human Services Child Abuse History Certification
  • FBI Federal Check with Fingerprinting
  • Protecting God’s Children VIRTUS Training
  • Signed Code of Pastoral Conduct
  • Mandated Reporter Training

 

****Effective July 25, 2015 the PA State Police Criminal History Check and the PA Child Abuse History Check are no cost to volunteers.

 

Direct Volunteer Contact – defined as “The care, supervision, guidance or control of children and routine interaction with children.  “Routine interaction with children” defined as “Regular and repeated contact that is integral to a person’s employment or volunteer responsibilities

BACKGROUND CHECK PROCEDURES:

To complete the required background checks, fill out the Diocese of Scranton background application on the link located in the top box and follow all instructions listed on the application. By submitting the diocesan application, the individual provides consent to the Safe Environment office to process the PA State Police clearance on their behalf.  They will then receive instructions for the PA Child Abuse Certification and FBI Federal check (if applicable). For information on requirements for new school employees, please refer to the Catholic Schools Home Page on the diocesan website.

******Individuals may also access the websites directly to complete the clearances.  The following links will direct you to the Clearances pages from the PA Department of Human Services:

PA State Police Criminal History Check – link for online application  https://epatch.state.pa.us/Home.jsp

PA Child Abuse History Certification – link for online application  https://www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis/public/home

FBI Federal Check with Fingerprinting – link for registration procedures  http://www.pa.cogentid.com/index.htm

The results of the completed clearances should be turned in to the parish/school where the applicant performs their work or volunteer service.  All employees and those volunteers directly working with children must also sign a Pastoral Code of Conduct and attend the VIRTUS, Protecting God’s Children for Adults training session. Both the code and the training information can be found in the boxes above.

All of the clearances, signed pastoral codes and VIRTUS training records will be kept in the parish or school compliance binder.  The binders will be updated with current clergy and religious, paid employees and volunteers. A separate inactive file will be kept for individuals no longer working in that parish or school.

Click here for more information on the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People

 Notice Regarding Reporting Sexual Abuse of a Minor

It is the policy of the Diocese of Scranton to report any allegation of sexual abuse of a minor to law enforcement. If you are a victim of sexual abuse committed by a priest, deacon, religious or lay employee or volunteer of the Diocese of Scranton, you are encouraged to immediately report the matter to law enforcement. If any priest, deacon, religious, lay employee or volunteer of the Diocese of Scranton has cause or reason to suspect that a minor has been subjected to any form of abuse, including child sexual abuse, the matter will be reported to law enforcement. In accordance with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Child Protective Services Laws, reports of suspected child abuse should also be made immediately by phone to the 24-HourChild Abuse hotline (ChildLine) at

1-800-932-0313 or electronically at www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis

It is also the policy of the Diocese to adhere to all civil and state regulations. To this end, the Diocese is equally committed to adhering to the norms of the Code of Canon Law and to upholding the tenets of the USCCB Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, which includes supporting victims of sexual abuse in their pursuit of emotional and spiritual well-being. As such, information regarding an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor should also be reported to the Victim Assistance Coordinator Mary Beth Pacuska at (570-862-7551) or to Diocesan officials, including the Vicar General, Monsignor Thomas M. Muldowney, V.G., at (570-207-2269).