In 2004, the Diocese of Pittsburgh instituted the Safe Environment Policy for all individuals who work with and minister to children under the age of 18 in the Church. In 2007, the Safe Environment Database was created, allowing many of the volunteer clearance requirements to be completed online.
All volunteers who are in regular contact with children under the age of 18 are required to complete the online Safe Environment Procedure before they begin their volunteer work. This includes any clergy, religious, employee or volunteer in the parish who has regular contact with youth in their work or ministry. Regular contact, as described by the diocese, is “routine contact on some consistent basis, recurring at prescribed times, whether daily, weekly, monthly or even seasonally.”
Safe Environment Procedure
- Click here on the Safe Environment Database, and complete the diocesan application. (This is a password-protected link. If you do not have the Access Code to log in to the Safe Environment Database, please call the Safe Environment Coordinator at 724-586-7610.)
- Complete the Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance on-line by clicking here OR by printing a hard copy of these 2 forms, Pennsylvania Child Abuse Clearance (DPW) form (pdf) and Authorization for Release of Information Form (pdf) and returning them to the parish office. Note: completing the on-line form gets your information back in about 2 days; completing the paper forms will get your information back in a few weeks.
- Attend the online Protecting God’s Children Class at VIRTUS online OR register to take a live class by clicking here.
- Volunteers must either:
- Sign the Disclosure Statement Application for Volunteers (pdf) if you have lived in Pennsylvania for the last 10 years or longer. Return the completed form to Holy Sepulcher’s Safe Environment Coordinator within a week
- if you have moved to Pennsylvania within the last 10 years, complete the Fingerprint Information Sheet (pdf) and return the completed form to Safe Environment Coordinator within a week. The Safe Envirnoment Coordinator will provide you with a registration form that you will take to a UPS Store during their operating hours to be fingerprinted.
5. Those in close contact with children (i.e., catechists, coaches, school chaperones, etc.) must attend a class for Mandated Reporting of Child Abuse by taking the online course by clicking here OR by registering for a live class by clicking here. If you are not sure if you need to take this class, please contact the Safe Environment Coordinator.
6. Catechists are also required to complete the Cardinal’s Clause (pdf) and return this signed form to the Safe Environment Coordinator at the parish office.
7. Read following documents; print and sign the last page of each document and return it to the Safe Enviromental Coordinator: Code of Pastoral Conduct (pdf) and Reporting of Child Abuse and The Child Protective Services Law of Pennsylvania (pdf).