• Clearances for Employees/Volunteers

    Act 153 defines volunteers as any adult coming in direct contact with children.

    All volunteers who are subject to background check clearances are required to re-certify their clearances every FIVE years.


    Act 153 requires volunteers to obtain the following clearances:

    1.  Criminal History from the Pennsylvania State Police:  Go to https://epatch.state.pa.us/Home.jsp

    There is NO CHARGE for requests for the purpose of volunteering. When you visit the website, click the yellow box "New Record Check" (Volunteers only).


     2.  Child Abuse History Clearance from the Department of Human Services:  Apply online at https://www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis/public/home.

    Once you create an account you will receive an email with your password.

    Log in to the website and complete the clearance application.

    There is NO COST for volunteers.

    Verification can take up to 14 days and applicants can choose to receive notification via email, mailed to their home address, or both.


    3.  FBI fingerprint-based federal criminal history submitted through the Pennsylvania State Police or its authorized agent is required if:

    Applicants MUST register online (go to www.pa.cogentid.com and click on PA Department of Education on the first screen).

    If you have any difficulties while registering online, you can call 1-888-439-2486 (from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.).

    There is a fee of $24.50 for the fingerprint clearance. If the applicant wants to receive a copy of the fingerprint clearance, there is an ADDITIONAL fee of $2.50. Credit/debit card may be used online. Money orders or cashiers’ checks payable to Cogent Systems will be accepted at the center. They DO NOT accept cash or personal checks.

    Applicants should either print out the registration confirmation number or, if they do not have access to a printer, they should record the number in a safe place.

    Once registered, you may have your fingerprints taken at the location of your choice - No appointments are necessary.  Please check the website for the each location’s hours.

    Applicants must provide proof of identity upon arrival at the Fingerprint Center (a state issued drivers’ license, state I.D card, passport, etc.).

    After being fingerprinted, applicants must provide the district with the registration confirmation number. The district will then obtain the original clearance via the website.

    4.  Act 24 reporting an arrest must be signed and submitted to the district; form can be downloaded at Act 24 Form 


    All paperwork must be submitted to Mrs. Lori Cowden, Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent, before permission to volunteer is granted.  Mrs. Cowden can be reached at 724.796.1551 ext 2421 or lcowden@fortcherry.org

    Web Links to Obtain Forms or Register Online 
    Links to Paper Forms To Mail In 
                         Must Be Completed Online or By Phone 1-888-439-2486