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Fleetwood Area Youth Football & Cheerleading Association

Fleetwood Area Youth Football & Cheerleading Association

PA Volunteer Clearances

Recent changes to Pennsylvania law regarding background checks for volunteers went into effect July 1st of this year. In order to comply with the new law and to ensure the safety and well being of all of our players, FAYFCA is changing its policy and process on volunteer background checks.

These background checks are required for adults and are conducted to determine if a volunteer or employee has been convicted of any serious felonies or sex crimes, or has been identified as a perpetrator in a substantiated case of child abuse. 23 Pa.C.S. § 6344(c)(2). Also, any convictions of a drug offense within the past five years will also disqualify an individual from serving as a volunteer who works with children. 23 Pa.C.S. § 6344(c)(3).

While the vast majority of the new changes took effect on December 31, 2014, the Department of Human Services has issued guidance indicating that starting July 1, 2015, volunteer who have contact with children:

Effective immediately, all volunteers who have direct contact with children must have the following three documents on file with FAYFCA:

1) Report of criminal history from the Pennsylvania Access To Criminal History (PATCH)

2) Child Abuse History Clearance from the Department of Human Services

3) The third document required depends on how long you've lived in the state of Pennsylvania

  • For those who have continuously lived in the state for 10 years (or longer)

  A signed "Disclosure Statement Application for Volunteers" for residents of PA for the past 10 continuous years is
available here. It must be signed and 'witnessed' then submitted to FAYFCA to be kept on file.

  • For those that have NOT been residents in the state of PA for longer than 10 years

A fingerprint-based Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) criminal history background check submitted through the Pennsylvania
State Police or its authorized agent. More information can be found here:

Beginning August 25, 2015, all volunteers will be required to obtain certifications every 60 months.  If an individual or agency, however, elects to renew all certifications at the same time, the date of the oldest certification, rather than the most recent, is the date to be used for the renewal date.

If you have your clearances from the School District or from another sports organization, please provide copies of them to FAYFCA.

If you do not have your clearances, or they have expired, please complete the process outlined above

Unless FAYFCA has all three of these documents on file, we cannot allow volunteers to interact with our players. Knowingly allowing such contact is a class 3 misdemeanor, so we cannot make exceptions even if the clearance has been applied for and is on its way. With the season coming up, volunteer coaches should act now to obtain all three of these clearances to have them back as soon as possible.

The following FAQ should help you with questions you might have about the requirements of the new law. Please let us know if you have any concerns that are not answered by this and we will address them as best we can. 

Frequently Asked Questions About the New Requirements

  •  Who needs clearances? 

  Beginning July 1, 2015, an adult applying for an unpaid position as a volunteer responsible for the welfare of a child or having
direct contact with children.

  • What is the definition of child? 

  For purposes of clearances, a child is an individual under 18 years of age.

  • How is direct contact with children defined?

  Direct contact with children is defined in § 6303 (relating to definitions) as the care, guidance, supervision or control of children or
routine interaction with children.

  • When are clearances needed?

Beginning July 1, 2015 prospective volunteers must submit clearances prior to the commencement of service.

  • What is the renewal requirement for clearances?

Beginning July 1, 2015 all volunteers will be required to obtain clearances every 36 months. Volunteers are required to obtain
updated clearances as follows:

  • Within 36 months of the date of the most recent certification;
  • By July 1, 2016 if their clearance is older than 36 months; or
  • By July 1, 2016, if they have not received a clearance because they previously were not required to obtain clearances
  • Is the use of a third-party vendor to process my clearances acceptable? 

Third-party vendors may be used to process your Child Abuse, PSP and FBI clearances using the steps established above. They
are not permitted to conduct background checks or clearances through other databases in lieu of the steps outlined above. 

  • How much do the clearances cost?

The Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check cost is FREE. The Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance cost is
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Criminal Background Check costs $27.50 through the Department of Human

  • Do I still need to submit a copy of my PSP or FBI clearance results when applying for my child abuse clearance?

Beginning December 31, 2014, volunteers are no longer required to submit a copy of their PSP or FBI clearances with their child
abuse application. If the Department receives copies attached to the child abuse application we will not return those copies and they will be shredded due to the confidential nature of the information contained on the clearances. 

  • Are there any other requirements regarding clearances?

If an volunteer is arrested for or convicted of an offense that would constitute grounds for denying participation in a program, activity or service, or is named as a perpetrator in a founded or indicated report, the volunteer must provide the administrator or their designee with written notice not later than 72 hours after the arrest, conviction or notification that the person has been listed as a perpetrator in the Statewide database. A volunteer who willfully fails to disclose information as required above commits a misdemeanor of the third degree and shall be subject to discipline up to and including termination or denial of a volunteer position.

  • Is the person responsible for acceptance of volunteers required to keep a copy of my clearances?

Yes, pursuant to § 6344 (b.1), the employer, administrator, supervisor or other person responsible for employment decisions or acceptance of the individual to serve in any capacity requiring clearances, shall maintain a copy of the required information and
require the individual to produce the original document prior to employment or acceptance to serve in any such capacity, except provisional employees for limited periods as described in § 6344.2 (f) and outlined above. An employer, administrator, supervisor or other person responsible for selection of volunteers that intentionally fails to require an applicant to submit the required clearance before the applicant’s hiring commits a misdemeanor of the third degree.

  • Can my clearances be transferred?

Yes, any person who obtained their clearances may serve in a volunteer capacity for any program, activity or service during the
length of time the person’s certification is current. 

  • As a volunteer, do I obtain my Federal Bureau of Investigation Criminal History check through the Department of Education or the Department of Human Services?

The agency under which an applicant should submit their FBI clearance application is based on the agency or organization for which they intend to volunteer. If the applicant intends to volunteer in a school or at a school related function, they would apply for their FBI clearance through the Department of Education. If the applicant intends to volunteer with children in any other capacity outside of a school setting or function, such as a group home for children, in a church, as a Little League or soccer coach, etc, they would apply
for their FBI clearance through the Department of Human Services.

If you'd like to dive into the OFFICIAL explanation from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services you can here.


Training and Responsibilities

Coaches Concussion Training

All coaches, both football and cheerleading, are required to complete the CDC Heads Up to Youth Sports Concussion Training  each year.

By taking this free course—and using what you learn—you will be well-positioned to improve the culture of sports safety and prevent concussion. Your actions can help create a safe environment for young athletes so they can stay healthy, active, and thrive—both on and off the playing field.

Once you complete the training and post-test, you can print out a certificate and show your league or school you are ready for the season. Please submit certificate to the Football or Cheerleading Coordinator by August 1st.

Coaches Code of Conduct

All head and assistant coaches for football and cheerleading must read, sign and return to the Association

Coaches Code of Conduct


Fleetwood Area Youth Football & Cheerleading Association
P.O. Box 546 
Fleetwood, Pennsylvania 19522

Email: [email protected]

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