Volunteer Clearances FAQ
What is the cost to obtain clearances?
The only cost to obtain volunteer clearances is possibly $21.35 for the Act 114 clearance, which is only required for those who have not resided in Pennsylvania for at least 10 years.
- Pa. State Police Background Clearance / Criminal History Record for volunteers (FREE)
- Pa. Department of Public Welfare Child Abuse History Clearance / Background Check (FREE)
- Disclosure Statement (FREE)
- Act 114 ($21.35) only required for those who have not lived in Pennsylvania for the last 10 years
How long does it take to obtain my clearances?
Applying for clearances online will ensure the fastest turnaround time. The Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Check results are provided immediately upon online application. Results of the Pennsylvania Criminal History Check can be available within a few days to a week or more. Please know that clearances are processed by outside agencies; therefore, the school district has no control over the speed in which clearances are processed. Prospective volunteers are encouraged to begin applying for clearances as soon as possible.
How long are clearances valid?
Clearances are valid for five (5) years.
I already have my clearances but am not currently registered as an USC volunteer. Do I need to get new ones?
If you have current clearances - dated within the last five (5) years - these clearances may be submitted to volunteer along with a completed Volunteer Disclosure Statement and Volunteer Clearance Verification Form.
How do volunteers submit their clearances?
Prospective volunteers should place copies of all clearances and the disclosure statement in a sealed envelope and either drop-off in person or via U.S. mail to:
Upper St. Clair School District Administrative Building
Attn: Confidential Volunteer Clearances
1775 McLaughlin Run Road
Upper St. Clair, PA 15241
Please note that clearances can NOT be submitted electronically via email. Be sure to retain copies of all clearances for your records.
What will the school/district do with my clearances once I submit them?
The district will review and document receipt of your clearances and, if there are no issues, add your name to the list of approved volunteers. After your clearances have been reviewed/processed, you will receive an email from a human resources representative confirming your status as an approved volunteer.
Do all volunteers have to submit clearances?
All volunteers are required to submit clearances. However, clearances are not needed for visitors. The individual schools have developed detailed event/activity lists that delineate the difference between a volunteer and a visitor. Below provides a general listing for elementary schools:
- Volunteer: Computer lab, field trips, field day, shelving books, spelling bee, book fair, holiday shop, musical assistant, class parties, after school clubs
- Visitor: lunch with your child, reading in classroom, VIP student day, parent presentations, attending student performances/presentations, homeroom coordinator
What happens if I have recently moved here from another country and do not currently have a social security number – can I still obtain clearances?
For the two state clearances (Act 34 Pennsylvania Criminal History Check and Act 151 Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Check) social security numbers are optional; therefore, there should not be any issue. For the Act 114 clearance, in lieu of a social security number, applicants may use a passport number. If the passport number contains letters, they should be omitted and then zeroes should be added to the passport number as necessary to reach the requirement of 9 digits. (example: PAS123456 would be 123456000)
I want to volunteer but I can’t afford the cost of clearances. What should I do?
In the event financial hardship may deter you from volunteering when clearances are required, please contact your building principal or Ray Carson, senior director of operations & administrative services, at email@example.com or 412-833-1600 ext. 2063.
What is Act 153/Act 15?
On October 22, 2014, House Bill 435 was signed into law becoming Act 153 of 2014. On July 1, 2015, Governor Wolf signed into law House Bill 1276, now known as Act 15 of 2015, which waives volunteer certification fees for state background checks and changed the renewal deadline for clearances. These PA laws apply to employees and unpaid volunteers who are “responsible for the welfare of a child or having direct contact with children.” The Child Protective Services Law (CPSL) defines “direct contact with children” as “The care, supervision, guidance or control of children or routine interaction with children.”