Instructions for Obtaining Clearances
Social work is a profession that requires professionals who have demonstrated consistent ethical and lawful behaviors. In order to maintain professional standards and help students plan for their future careers, all students are required to obtain clearances when they become social work majors and once again when they are enrolled in Preparation for Practicum SWK 388.
Most social service agencies require these clearances in order to volunteer and several social work classes require volunteer service. Students who have indications of child abuse or criminal conviction are not prohibited from becoming a social work major, but will need to meet with the BSW Program Director and potentially other faculty members to discuss whether the social work profession is appropriate and how it could affect their social work education and career. These clearances provide protection to the agencies and families with whom students work.
If a student knows of an offense that will show on either clearance, it is imperative that they discuss this with their advisor or BSW Program Director early in the educational experience. Because many agencies require clearances, there will likely be job limitations in the field of social work for a person with a criminal or child abuse record.
Bring the originals of the required clearances to the department secretary (Shippen Hall 382) within 60 days of when you become a social work major. The secretary will make a copy and return the originals to you. Please keep a folder of your original clearances - you may be asked to present them to agencies when you volunteer. It is not the policy of the department to make copies for you from the copies we have on file, so please keep them in a safe, readily accessible location.
1. Pennsylvania Child Abuse Certificate - there are two options of obtaining this certificate:
Option 1 (online): Visit compass.state.pa.us/CWIS. If you have a username and password, login. If not, click “Create a new account.” Then click “access my clearances.” Click “create clearance application.” There is a $8 payment fee payable via credit/debit card. The purpose of this clearance is “Regular contact with a child.” Complete Part 1 and Part 2 entirely and submit. You will receive your results in the mail.
Option 2 (mail in form): Visit dhs.pa.gov. Print the form. Complete the CY 113 Child Abuse History Clearance Form. The purpose of clearance is “Regular contact with a child.” Include a $8 money order with the form and mail it to Childline and Abuse Registry, Department of Public Welfare, P.O. Box 8170, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8170. You will receive your results in the mail.
**If you are applying for the Child Abuse Certificate for volunteer purposes, the fee has been waived and no payment is required. If you have the code from the organization, provide it. If you do not have the code, the certificate is still free.
2. Pennsylvania Criminal Record Check - there are two options of obtaining this certificate:
Visit psp.pa.gov. The payment fee is waived for volunteers. Click “New Record Check - Volunteers Only.” When asked for the reason for clearance, click “Volunteer.” When completed, click on the “Certification Form” button and print the results page with the state seal watermark.
Call 410-764-4501 and request having a Maryland state fingerprint card sent to your Pennsylvania address. Once the card is sent to you, take it to any Pennsylvania fingerprint location with $18.00 payment (cash or credit/debit card). The results will be mailed to your Maryland address.
New Jersey Resident
Visit njsp.org/info. Print the form. For Occupation/Position (25), write “student.” For Organization Name (26), write Shippensburg University, 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257. In order to schedule an appointment, visit bioapplicant.com, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST and Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 12 noon EST. Payment of $40.70 can be made via credit/debit card at the time of the fingerprinting appointment.
Take the results to the Social Work Department secretary and have copies made for your student file. Keep the original results in a safe place for future reference.