Child Protection Clearances

Federal and State Background Checks and Clearances

According to the PA Child Protective Services Law (CPSL) certain individuals must obtain clearances in order to be employed, be a resource parent (foster or adoptive), or be a volunteer with children. Adults applying for or holding an unpaid position as a volunteer with a child care service, school, program, activity, or service responsible for a child’s welfare or having direct volunteer contact with children will need completed clearances before beginning their program. For this reason, please apply for your clearances as soon as you accept a position.

Expiration and transfers of clearances: All volunteers will be required to obtain clearances every 60 months and any person who obtained their clearances within the previous 60 months may serve in a volunteer capacity for any program, activity, or service. Clearances obtained for volunteer purposes may not be used for employment.

Find more information about clearances here at: Volunteers FAQ’s and

Some or all of the following clearances will be required before the intern/volunteer begins work: 

Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record

Immediately processed if applied online, 4+ weeks if applied on paper.


Free — Volunteers
$22 — Employees, Foster/Adoptive Parents


There are two methods of requesting a Pennsylvania Criminal record:

Online Request

The Pennsylvania State Police have established a web-based computer application called “Pennsylvania Access To Criminal History,” (PATCH). Results are received immediately when applied for online. 

Paper Request

Download the Criminal History Request Form — SP4-164 (Updated 12/2017)
Download the Criminal History Request Form: Volunteer Only — SP4-164A (Updated 12/2017)

Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance

Results processed within 2 weeks.  


Free — Volunteers
$13 — Employees, Foster/Adoptive 

Note: Child abuse clearance fees for volunteers will continue to be waived one time every 57 months. 


Online Submission

The Pennsylvania Child Abuse History clearance can be submitted and paid for online through the Child Welfare Information Solution (CWIS) self-service portal. Submitting an application online allows individual applicants to receive their results through an automated system that will notify them once their results have been processed. Applicants will be able to view and print their results online.

Paper Submission

CY113 form - English Child Abuse Clearance

Submit paper applications to:

ChildLine and Abuse Registry
Pennsylvania Department of Human Services
PO Box 8170
Harrisburg, PA 17105-8170

The instructions for how to complete the Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance application are now included on the last page of the application and can be printed for easy reference when completing the application. Failure to comply with the instructions that are attached to the application will cause considerable delay in processing the results.

FBI Criminal History Background Check

Results processed within 2-4 weeks.


$23.85 — Employees, Foster/Adoptive Parents
*$22.60 — Volunteers

Applicants will get fingerprinted for an FBI check.

*Prior to beginning the process, volunteers should ask their site for a volunteer service code if the site is covering the cost. Otherwise the volunteer will need to pay out of pocket at the time of service.


You can register for an appointment to be fingerprinted at an IDEMIA site two ways:

Online: Go to
Telephone: Call 1-844-321-2101 and listen to the options menu.

Appointments are not required for fingerprinting, but scheduling an appointment may lead to lesser/no wait times.  It is strongly encouraged that the employee or volunteer contact the IDEMIA site prior to going there as the information on the website may differ from actual hours of operation.

***COVID-19 IMPORTANT NOTICE** - Please be advised that due to the Order of the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, all Applicants must wear a cloth face covering / mask while onsite at an IDEMIA location, and only the Scheduled Applicant will be allowed to enter, no additional visitors.  This directive is effective immediately and will remain in place until the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania advises otherwise. 

For questions about FBI clearances, contact the FBI Background Check Unit at 717-783-6211 or 1-877-371-5422. For IDEMIA registration, processing, or billing questions, please contact IDEMIA/IdentoGo at 1-844-321-2101.

If the information discovered in the background check reveals the applicant is disqualified, the applicant will not be eligible to participate in the experience.