The information below is related to Background Checks/Certifications for:
- Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearances (CY113)
- Pennsylvania Criminal Record Checks for Employment (SP4-164)
- Pennsylvania Criminal Record Checks for Volunteers (SP4-164A)
- Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Criminal Background Checks
PENNSYLVANIA CHILD ABUSE HISTORY CLEARANCE INSTRUCTIONS
Between December 19, 2014 – December 30, 2014, all Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance certificates were issued on grey marble security paper and not the ivory marble security paper in preparation for switching to the new automated process for clearances.
Effective December 31, 2014
- The Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance application can be submitted online. Once you enter the link below you will be directed to the Child Welfare Portal where you must create an account or log in if you already have an account. Note: you will need an email address to create an account.
- The Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance certificate will no longer be issued on ivory marble security paper. ALL Child Abuse History Clearance results will be issued on plain white paper as of December 31, 2014.
- VOLUNTEERS ARE NO LONGER REQUIRED TO SUBMIT A COPY OF THE PROCESSED RESULTS OF THEIR “REQUEST FOR CRIMINAL RECORDS CHECK (SP4-164) FROM THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE OR A COPY OF THEIR FBI RESULTS WITH THEIR PENNSYLVANIA CHILD ABUSE HISTORY CLEARANCE APPLICATION. IF WE RECEIVE COPIES ATTACHED TO THE PENNSYLVANIA CHILD ABUSE HISTORY CLEARANCE APPLICATION WE WILL NOT RETURN THOSE COPIES TO THE APPLICANT.
As of January 31, 2016, refunds will no longer be provided for applicants who submit an overpayment with their background check paper applications. On July 25, 2015, Governor Wolf waived the fees for clearances for volunteers and reduced the cost of clearances for employment purposes from $10 to $8. A refund process was implemented for those applicants who submitted an overpayment with their paper application.
Child Abuse History Clearance Online: https://www.compass.state.pa.us/CWIS
Creating an account and submitting your clearance application online will give you immediate access to your results or the status of your results if your results cannot be processed immediately.
Organizations who want to set up business accounts must first register for a Business Partner User account using the “Organization Account Access” link on the Child Welfare Portal. Organization accounts will allow businesses and organizations to purchase child abuse history clearance payment codes and distribute those codes to applicants. When an applicant uses a code given to them by an organization, the organization will have access to the applicant’s child abuse history clearance results once those results are processed.
Paper submissions of the Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance application will still be accepted for anyone who may not have access to the internet. 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.
- Applicants can now type their information directly onto the application or the information can be hand written onto the application.
- If the information is typed directly onto the application, the information will NOT be able to be saved on a computer unless the computer has a licensed version of the acrobat adobe software. Therefore, please be sure to print the completed application before closing the document so that the information typed on the application is not lost.
- If you have trouble accessing the application you may need to download the latest version of Adobe Reader, which is available free on the internet.
NOTE: ALL information that has been entered directly onto the application will be lost if you close the application prior to printing it (if your computer does not have a licensed version of the Acrobat Adobe software).
Once the application is received in the ChildLine and Abuse Registry’s Verification Unit, the results of the Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance will be mailed to the applicant’s address that was noted on the application within 14 days from the date that the application is received in the ChildLine Verification Unit.
CY113 form - English Child Abuse Clearance
CY113 form - Spanish Child Abuse Clearance
For questions related to the Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance, please contact the ChildLine Verification Unit at 717-783-6211 or toll free at 1-877-371-5422.
PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE CRIMINAL RECORD CHECK INSTRUCTIONS
There are two methods of requesting a Criminal Record.
- Online Request
The Pennsylvania State Police have established a web-based computer application called “Pennsylvania Access To Criminal History,” (PATCH).
- Submitting a Request Form
Download the Criminal History Request Form - SP4-164 (Updated 7/2015)
Download the Criminal History Request Form: Volunteer Only- SP4-164A (Updated 7/2015)
Download the Individual Access and Review Request Form - SP4-170 (Updated 7/2015)
Applicants can also go to the Pennsylvania Access To Criminal History website and apply for their criminal record check online with the Pennsylvania State Police at: http://www.psp.pa.gov/Pages/Request-a-Criminal-History-Record.aspx
If you have questions about the Pennsylvania State Police Request for Criminal Record Checks form for employment (SP4 164) or to volunteer (SP4-164A), please call: (717) 783-9973 or toll free 1-888-783-7972.
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (FBI) CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK INSTRUCTIONS
The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services is utilizing Cogent Systems to process fingerprint-based FBI criminal background checks. The fingerprint based background check is a multiple step process. For more information and to begin the registration process, go to www.pa.cogentid.com//index_dpw.htm. For question about your FBI Clearance, please contact the FBI/Adam Walsh Unit at 717-783-6211 or 1-877-371-5422.
*The Pennsylvania Department of Education also utilizes Cogent Systems to process finger print based FBI criminal background checks for prospective employees of public and private schools. Under Act 114 of 2006, ALL prospective school employees, school contractors and student teachers are to use the Pennsylvania Department of Education system. This includes but is not limited to: Teachers, School Administrators, Substitute Teachers, Teaching Assistants, PIAA Sports Officials, School Bus Drivers, and Student Teachers. Applicants may register online at: www.pa.cogentid.com/index_pde.htm
For more information regarding Act 114, and background check requirements for public schools, private schools and student teachers go to the Pennsylvania Department of Education website or contact the Pennsylvania Department of Education at
If you have questions about the FBI Cards for School Employees (FD 258), please call: (717) 783-3750.