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The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown youth protection polices and protocols are designed to reduce the risk of sexual abuse and neglect of vulnerable persons. These policies mandate all personnel (clergy, religious orders, employees, educators, and volunteers) who minister to individuals, families, adults, as well as youth and children to adhere to trainings, obtain clearances, and provide required documentation to serve within our diocese. It is imperative that we remember the sanctity of human life and the importance and worth of each individual as a child of God.

Should you choose to serve the diocese as a member of the clergy, a religious order, employee, educator, or a volunteer who works with minors and vulnerable persons; you have chosen to adhere to a screening process, trainings, and completing an application package. These items are non-negotiable and there are no exceptions. The safety and well-being of our youth and vulnerable is our top priority.

Please follow the 3-step process for paperwork, clearances (online) and training (online) for employees & volunteers. For live trainings, please refer to the calendar of events for upcoming workshops.

If you are unable to complete these steps online or have questions, please contact Justin Kirkland @ jkirkland@dioceseaj.org; (814) 317 -2606 or Cindy O’Connor @ coconnor@dioceseaj.org; (814) 317-2621 for assistance.

The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown is firmly committed to protecting children and youth. If you have a reasonable cause of suspected child abuse, general child well-being concerns or know of other abuse of minors please report your concerns to:

911 immediately if there is an indication of imminent danger
PA Child Line 1-800-932-0313 (intake is available 24/7)

Reports of abuse within the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown:

Pennsylvania Attorney General Hotline (888) 538-8541
Pennsylvania State Police Headquarters (717) 783-5599 or your local Pennsylvania State Police Station
Your local police department

To report to the Diocese any suspected abuse of a minor within the diocese, please call the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown Independent Reporting Hotline hosted by Nulton Diagnostic and Treatment Center* at this Toll-Free Number: (833) 685-8661. Your call will be answered by a representative of Nulton Diagnostic and Treatment Center.  Any information provided to Nulton Diagnostic and Treatment Center will be reported to law enforcement as required by state law.  *Nulton Diagnostic and Treatment Center is independently owned and operated and not associated with the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.

[ultimate-faqs]

Clearance Application Files:

The below files will be shown on the above pages:

  1. Application (Employee & Volunteers)
  2. Code of Conduct (Employee & Volunteers)
  3. Youth Protection Use of Technology (Employee & Volunteers)
  4. CPSL Volunteer Disclosure Statement for Volunteers only
  5. Ministry Reference Form to be completed by a parish representative or reliable reference. It is not suggested to ask clergy to complete.  (Employee & Volunteers)
  6. School Volunteers & School Employees ONLY: complete an Arrest/Conviction Report and Certification Form (Act 24)
  7. School Educators (Teachers): complete Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Sexual Misconduct/Abuse Disclosure Release (Act 168)

Please complete the following clearances (links & instructions below):

I.)  Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check:

  1. Go to: https://epatch.state.pa.us (do not do in CHROME)
  2. Please choose according to your role:
    • Volunteers click on yellow box “New Record Check” (FREE for volunteers only)
    • Employees: click on the gray box “Submit a New Record Check” (Fee is $22.00 for ea. request & non-refundable)

Hint: When you get to the page that says “Record Check Details” scroll down and you will see a link to a Certification Form. Click on that link, follow directions and print the actual certificate.

 

II.)  PA Department Child Abuse History Certification:

  1. Go to: https://www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis/public/home
  2. Click on “Create a New Account” and choose your role

      (Fees are waived for Volunteers; for employment purposes, fee is $13.00 per request & non-refundable)

  • You will create a “Keystone ID”- this is like a username – it is not a password
  • After you fill in the information requested, the state will send you a temporary password through your email. You will need to use the Keystone ID (username) and the temporary password to sign back in to the website to create your own password
  • You must log back in to the website using your username and your own password to apply for the clearance. Record your keystone ID and password and keep for future reference. Reports can be obtained both online and via USPS mail

III.)  FBI Fingerprint Clearances

  • A FBI clearance check is a requirement for ALL employees regardless if they have lived in PA for 10+ years
  • A FBI background check is required for all volunteers who have NOT had the status of a resident in PA consistently 10 years (less than 10 years living in PA)

To arrange an appointment to obtain a FBI/Fingerprint clearance check you must register on-line:

  1. Go to https://uenroll.identogo.com/
  2. Please refer to “New FBI Helpful Hints” document
  3. Applicant will need to have a code (see chart below)

Example: Clergy, Diocesan, Parish employee: 1KG756; Parish volunteer: 1KG6ZJ

School employee: 1kG6TR; School volunteer: 1KG6Y3

 

Service Code Applicant Type Examples of Role Dept.
1KG6TR Non-Public Schools Parochial Educators, staff, etc. Parochial and Private Schools PDE
1KG6Y3 PDE Volunteer

(Parochial school volunteer)

NON-Paid volunteer at a School-Public, Parochial or Private, includes coaching PDE
1KG756 Employee (DHS) Anyone that is>=14 Years Contact w/ Children (regardless of role or frequency) Required for Clergy, Religious orders, Parish & DAJ Employees/Support staff, contractors etc. Daycare, school, sports, etc. DHS
1KG6ZJ Volunteer (DHS)– NON-Paid volunteer who volunteers working with children This would include volunteers for parish and diocese programs  Examples: CCD teachers, camp, scouts, mentoring, etc. DHS

 

  • Fees vary on type of application $22- $25+ (you must use a code, see above)
  • Appointments can be made on-line (recommended), walk-in options vary by site
  • Each county has designated vendors for fingerprinting

All applicants (employees and volunteers) are required to complete two (2) trainings and are to be renewed every five (5) years.  Both trainings are available online or can be completed by attending a diocese workshop.  Please visit the events page for upcoming training sessions.

Online training options:

(1.) Youth Protection Awareness Training – Virtus:  Protecting God’s Children 

If you are new to Virtus, you will need to register and create an account. Please click on the VIRTUS link  below to access the VIRTUS registration page:

https://www.virtusonline.org/virtus/reg_2.cfm?theme=0&org=37531

All new applicants will be prompted to take a National Background check via Fastrax (Selection.com) at the beginning of registering in Virtus. This clearance check DOES NOT replace the PA Criminal, PA Child Abuse or FBI clearance as required in step 2.

If you had a Virtus account before please do not create a new account. To reactivate your account you previously had with Virtus, please contact Justin Kirkland at 814-317-2606 or jkirkland@dioceseaj.org.

(2.) Mandated Reporting Training (Recognizing, Responding, and Reporting Suspected Child Abuse)*

There are two (2) options for this training

I) Attending an in-person workshop

Due to the restrictions caused by the pandemic, there are no formal in-person trainings hosted by the diocese, however, our training partner, Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance (PFSA) offers live three (3) hour webinars. This training is currently available for free through virtual sessions open to any mandated reporters, regardless or organization. Pre-registration is required and each person must log in through separate devices, using the unique access link emailed to them after registration to receive credit.

Click here to register for live virtual training: https://pafsa.org/mandated-reporter-training/

Within 1-2 weeks, you will receive an electronic certificate of completion. Please provide a copy to your local (site) youth protection coordinator or the youth protection office.

II) Complete an online (self-guided) course sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh

NOTE: this is a 3-hour training, once you start the training, you can save your work and restart.

You will need to register and create an account and send in certificate when completed: http://www.socialwork.pitt.edu/researchtraining/child-welfare-education-research-programs/act-31-line-training

Once completed, please provide a copy to your local (site) youth protection coordinator or the youth protection office.

*If an applicant recently (within five years) participated and completed a PA-approved mandated reporting training course for other employment/volunteering purposes and can provide a copy of the certificate of completion, they do not have to retake until its expiration. Mandated reporting training is due every five years for all active employees and volunteers of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.

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