St. Mary’s parish has made the protection of God’s children a priority and upholds the U.S. Bishops Charter for the Protection of Children. To review the Charter click here.
All parish employees (regardless of their level of interaction with children) and volunteers who are directly responsible for the welfare of a child or have direct contact with children are required to complete the Background Check requirements listed below.
All certificates and signed forms should be presented to the Local Safe Environment Coordinators (LSEC): Sister Marie Clark or Ann Pergosky.
BACKGROUND CHECK REQUIREMENTS
- Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check (Pennsylvania Access to Criminal History (PATCH))
(Valid checks must be less than one year old. Rechecks must be done every 5 years) — New volunteers must complete PATCH online at the site for Pennsylvania Access To Criminal History, found at the following address: <https://epatch.state.pa.us/Home.jsp> Please click on “New Volunteer Record Check” OR give your completed “Background Authorization Form” to your Local Safe Environment Coordinator.
- Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Certificate. (Rechecks must be done every 5 years). To obtain the Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Certificate, go to: < https://www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis/public/home>. Note to re-check employees and volunteers: a free check is available every 57 months, and a free payment code is available through your Local Safe Environment Coordinator.
- Federal Bureau of Investigation Criminal Background Fingerprint Check (18+years old) (less than one year old, recheck every 5 years) —payment code is available through your Local Safe Environment Coordinator. Register for the fingerprint at this site < https://uenroll.identogo.com/ > with payment code obtained from Local Safe Environment Coordinator (LSEC). During registration, set appointment for fingerprint scanning at a nearby public site. Print receipt, take it to the appointment and provide receipt to the LSEC. Approximately two weeks after fingerprinting, you will receive the results in the mail. Bring the original document to the Local Safe Environment Coordinator for submission to the Diocese when you receive it. PLEASE NOTE: Parish employees and volunteers must use the Department of Health Services (DHS) for their Fingerprint background check.
- Signed Acknowledgment form for Diocese’s Sexual Abuse Policy, found HERE. Please print and sign Acknowledgment Form, found HERE, and submit to LSEC.
- Signed Acknowledgment form for Diocese’s Code of Conduct, found HERE. Please print and sign Acknowledgement Form, found HERE, and submit to LSEC.
- Protecting God’s Children attendance certificate, which only needs to be done once. Please see directions HERE, which includes setup for VIRTUS online training. Additional details are found HERE. Upon completion, please print certificate of completion.
- Certificate from Mandated Reporting Training (good for 5 years). Mandated Reporter Training can be done at <https://www.reportabusepa.pitt.edu/ > Please see attached directions HERE. Print certificate of completion.
- Child Protective Services Law (CPSL) Policy found HERE, and please print and sign the CPSL acknowledgement form HERE.
- Signed Background Check Authorization Form, found HERE.
- Signed Acknowledgment form for Diocese’s Social Media Policy, found HERE. Please print and sign Acknowledgment Form, found HERE, and submit to LSEC.
- Note Important Sites and Procedures:National Registry of Sex Offenders: www.familywatchdog.us
Pennsylvania Registry of Sex Offenders: https://www.pameganslaw.state.pa.us
- Drivers who assist with the transportation of our youth need to complete the following:
- Log into: Allentown.CMGconnect.org
- Sign in to initiate an account
- Go to Trainings: Watch the video on Defensive Driving.
- Print out certificate of completion.
- You can read the documents on-line, print and sign all acknowledgement forms and complete the Background Check and Fingerprinting authorization form. These can then be sent into your Local Safe Environment Coordinator. Or if you prefer, you can obtain a copy of the documents from the Religious Education Office.
Following Diocesan Guidelines, the “Circle of Grace” child safety program is offered in all of our religious education programs every year. Parents may preview the program HERE
If you are suspicious or aware of any child who may be suffering physical, mental, or sexual abuse, call: Child Abuse Hotline – 800-932-0313. If the report is made in good faith, there is no penalty or liability for reporting.
If a child is in imminent danger from abuse, PLEASE CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY.
For Diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator: 1-800-791-9209
To learn more about policies and procedures for Youth Protection in the Diocese of Allentown, please visit the diocesan website HERE.