Divine Mercy Catholic Academy follows today’s best practices to ensure a safe environment for all children in our school. Our formal Safe Environment Policy is designed to protect children from abuse and has been updated under the provisions of PA Act 153. The law dictates that all school volunteers, including coaches, must complete necessary training and have all clearances approved and on file at the school/diocese before they can be permitted to volunteer.
The required training and clearance applications may be completed online at home. We also have paper copies of all clearance forms available for pick-up in each of our campus offices. In addition, we can arrange for you to use a secure school computer for the online training and required certifications. Please contact our school office at 814.961.DMCA (3622) if you'd like to use a school computer.
Please note: Clearances are not required to attend school events for the public such as Mass, concerts or graduations.
As an adult interacting with school children, you are mandated to report any child abuse you may observe. This is a great responsibility, and specific training is required. With this in mind, all volunteers, including those who simply want to visit our school for events such as Parent or Grandparent Lunches, must complete an online training program provided by the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. This course takes approximately one hour to complete. Please click here to begin the Diocesan Youth Protection Training Course and here for a supplemental training course guide.
Volunteers who want to work directly with children in responsible supervisory roles such as Homeroom Parent or Field Trip Chaperone, must also complete a second online course provided by the University of Pittsburgh. This training takes approximately three hours to complete. Once you register, you can save your work and resume it at your convenience. Once you have finished the training, please keep a copy of the completion certificate for your records and send a copy to the campus where you plan to volunteer.
Legal Forms to be Completed by all Volunteers
In addition to the required online training courses, every DMCA volunteer must obtain certain legal clearance certificates from the state and federal government. To receive the certificates, you must submit a formal application which the government agency processes before sending you a certificate. This can be done online; paper copies of the government forms are also available at campus offices. The necessary clearances include:
Please visit https://www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis/public/home, click “Create Individual Account” and follow the prompts. When the process is complete and you receive your Child Abuse History Clearance, please keep a copy for your records and submit the other to the school where you will be volunteering.
Please visit https://epatch.state.pa.us/, click “New Record Check" and follow the prompts. This process is free for volunteers. When the process is completed and you receive your Certificate, please keep one copy for your records and submit the other to the school where you will be volunteering.
3.) Fingerprint Check (Act 114) (if applicable)
Volunteers who are currently residents of Pennsylvania but have not been a resident for a 10 years will need to obtain an FBI clearance check, which includes fingerprinting. Fees are waived for volunteers. Please visit https://uenroll.identogo.com to obtain this clearance; the code for school volunteers is: 1KG6Y3. When the process is complete, please keep one copy of the completed form for your records and submit the other to the school where you will be volunteering. Local fingerprint locations include:
- Advantage Resource Group
160 Jari Drive, #110, Johnstown, PA 15904
(814) 266-1606 for hours
- The Learning Lamp
2025 Bedford Street, Johnstown, PA 15904
(814) 262-0732 for hours
- Advantage Resource Group
4.) Diocesan Youth Protection Forms
Every volunteer must complete Application Forms from the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. Click here to download the Diocesan Forms. Please complete these forms, make a copy for yourself and deliver them to the office of the campus where you will be volunteering for Diocesan processing.
Thank you for your patience with this necessary process.
We are very grateful to all who volunteer at Divine Mercy Catholic Academy.