Volunteer Clearance Instructions and Forms

Cornerstone Christian Academy requires all volunteers over the age of 18 who work directly with students:  a criminal history background check through the PA State Police, a Department of Public Welfare Child Abuse Certification, and a FBI Background Check or PA Resident Verification and Waiver Form.  Volunteers who are working directly with students will be allowed to work in the school only after they have submitted the above clearances. All volunteers will need to re-submit background clearances every 3 years. 

Volunteers under the age of 18 must have an application form that is signed by a parent or legal guardian, as well as their emergency contact information.  

Step 1:  Criminal History Background Check

  • Option 1: This is the best option as you get the results right away.
    • Visit this website: https://epatch.state.pa.us and fill out the online application.
    • Make sure to click the “New Record Check”- VOLUNTEERS ONLY option, this allows the fee to be waived
    • You should be able to save the clearance when it comes up as a PDF and send it via email to the volunteer coordinator or you can print and turn in the paper copy.
  • Option 2: This may take up to 4 weeks to receive back

Step 2: Child Abuse History Certification

  • Option 1: This is the best option as you get the results within 2 weeks.
    • Visit this website: https://www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis and create a new account if you do not have one already.
    • Once your account is created and you’ve set up a new password, login and agree to the terms of the website.  You will get to a page that says “Learn More”- you can review this and click “continue” on the bottom of the page.
    • Click on “Create Certification Application” on the top of the next page, it will bring you to a page where it will explain the information you need to have to complete the application. 
    • Click “Begin” and on the next page make sure to choose the first bullet point for the Application Purpose “Volunteer Having Contact with Children” – this will entitle your application fee to be waived.
    • Follow all instructions to complete, sign, and submit the clearance online. You will receive an email when your clearance certification has been completed, you will need to login to access it. 
    • Once you access your clearance certificate, you can save it as a PDF and send it to the volunteer coordinator via email or you can print and turn in the paper copy.
  • Option 2: This will take 3-4 Weeks.
    • Complete the Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Certification printed application along with the Authorization of Consent to send the results directly to Cornerstone Christian Academy  (once it is received Cornerstone will make a copy for our files and give you the original). 
    • Check off that you are a volunteer.  The form has not been updated to reflect this yet, but under the new law (as of July 25, 2015) you do not need to include a money order or a Criminal Background Check.
    • Mail to the following address:
      Childline and Abuse Registry
      Department of Public Welfare
      P.O. Box 8170
      Harrisburg, PA 17105-8170

Step 3: FBI Background Check- Fingerprinting or PA Resident Waiver

  • If you have been a resident of Pennsylvania for the past ten years you can fill out the PA Resident Verification for Waiver of FBI Report” and the “Volunteer Request for Waiver of FBI- Federal Criminal History Record CheckOnce these documents have been submitted and approved by the volunteer coordinator you will not need to complete a FBI Background Check.
  • If you have not been a resident of Pennsylvania for the past ten years you will need to have obtain the FBI Check and complete the fingerprinting process.
    • You have to register on-line using the following link:  https://www.pa.cogentid.com/index_dpw.htm
    • Once you have completed the registration you will receive a receipt that you need to take with you to a fingerprinting location.  You can access locations on the registration website.  Many UPS stores provide the fingerprinting service.  The cost is $27.00.
    • You will receive your clearance in the mail, which you will then need to bring in to the volunteer coordinator.

Thank you for volunteering at Cornerstone!  Please contact Ashleigh Bynum at abynum@cornerstonephiladelphia.com or at 215-724-6858 ext. 233 if you have any questions.