Safe Sanctuaries Policies



When the crowd tried to keep the children away from Jesus, he was quick to respond, "Let the children come to me." Jesus taught that children were to be included and provided for within the community of faith. Today, the church may be the only place where some children find the unconditional love and care they so desperately need to grow and thrive. As Christians, we must take our responsibilities to our children very seriously. We fail in our responsibilities if we neglect to take adequate precautions against abuse in our churches. It is unlikely that we can completely prevent child abuse in every situation, but it is possible for us to greatly reduce the risk by following a thorough practical policy of prevention. This policy attempts to do just that for the Conference agencies that deal with children, youth and vulnerable adults. It is based on our understanding of the widespread problem of abuse throughout our country.

In 2014, the Pennsylvania Legislature enacted sweeping changes to the Child Protective Services Law (CPSL), including but not limited to expansion of mandated reporters, expansion of individuals subject to required clearances from the Pennsylvania State Police, Department of Human Services (formerly Department of Public Welfare) and the FBI, expansion of the frequency of the required clearances and imposition of significant criminal penalties for noncompliance. Read More

On Wednesday, June 10, 2015, Governor Tom Wolf announced that the $10 fee for a Department of Human Services Child Abuse Clearance and the $10 fee for a Pennsylvania State Police Report of Criminal History will be waived for volunteers who have interaction with children, effective July 25, 2015. However, these clearances will still be required for such volunteers in accordance with the Child Protective Services Law.
Governor Wolf also announced that the Department of Human Services and the Pennsylvania State Police will be reducing the cost of the Child Abuse Clearance and the Report of Criminal History from $10 to $8 for all employees required to obtain these clearances in accordance with the Child Protective Services Law, effective July 25, 2015. The fee of $27.50 for the FBI Report of Criminal History will remain unchanged for those volunteers and employees required to obtain this clearance in accordance with the Child Protective Services Law.  For all existing church employees who have interaction with children, they should have already obtained the three clearances required by the Child Protective Services Law since the deadline was December 31, 2014. For all existing volunteers who have interaction with children, they are required to obtain the clearances by July 1, 2015. Therefore, the fee waivers and reduced fees for the clearances will apply only to individuals who become employees or volunteers on and after July 25, 2015.  
If you have additional questions, please let me know – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or 800-874-8474

Safe Sanctuaries Online Training

Procedures for Pastor Clearances
Procedures for Employee Clearances
Procedures for Volunteer Clearances

Pa State Police Criminal History Report

Pa Department of Human Services Certification
FBI Criminal History Report (fingerprints required)


Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance (Form CY 113)

Report of Suspected Child Abuse (Form CY 47)

Child Protective Services Law


Safe Sanctuaries Trainings in the Conference

Susquehanna Conference Conference Safe Sanctuaries Policies
Screening Procedures & Training 2015
Cyber Safety
Responding To & Reporting Abuse
Safe Sanctuaries Resources

Sample Documents
Facilities Use Agreement