Criminal and Child Abuse Clearances
Procedure for obtaining criminal and child abuse clearances, prior to working with children.
The Gelfand Center will support the costs associated with obtaining Pennsylvania criminal and child abuse clearances for current faculty, students and staff of Carnegie Mellon who volunteer to provide services to improve educational opportunities for children in the community. This support is extended to members of organizations that serve the community and for students/faculty involved in service activities that are associated with university courses; i.e. service learning.
If your department charges a fee to the community for the programs that you provide for children or to educators, the Gelfand Center is not able to cover the costs of the clearances. You can follow the steps below to process the Criminal and Child Abuse clearance requests.
Once you have received your clearances be sure to KEEP the certificates since you will need to show this to the school or agency where you volunteer. The certificates are then valid for one year.
- The Criminal Clearance Form [.pdf] is obtained through the Pennsylvania State Police. Please print and complete the form in ink.
- We must also request a Child Abuse Clearance Form [.pdf] for you. Again, print and complete the form in ink. Please read the Clearance FAQ page before completing your child abuse clearance application.
- Please fill out a Child Abuse Release form [.pdf] which allows your clearance to be sent directly to the Gelfand Center. Please print and complete the form in ink.
- We must have the following information when you submit your form: department, volunteer program or course through which you are providing service to children in the community, on-campus address [SMC for undergraduate students, department / office address for graduate students, faculty and staff.
For each form make sure that you use your local (Pennsylvania) address (SMC or apartment). Also, be sure to sign and date the Child Abuse Clearance form. Finally you must send documents with original signatures. The Department of Child Welfare will not accept scanned or faxed forms.
*Please note that the Gelfand Center does not provide assistance in obtaining Federal Criminal History Background Checks (CHRI), also known as Act 114 - FBI Reports. Please visit the PA Department of Education site for more information on how to obtain a CHRI.*