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Focusing on the initiative- dubbed the Porch Light Project – to safely reduce the number of children and youth in foster care in PA and to ensure a forever family for every child.

An Update on Child Abuse History Certifications

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) recently issued the following information about applying for child abuse history clearances (now called certifications). We are passing along the DHS email and ask that you do the same to help spread the word …

This email is being sent to provide you with information related to applying for your Child Abuse History Certification (Clearance) for volunteer and non-volunteer purposes. Please note that the term “clearance” has been changed in the law to “certification,” so that these two terms have the same meaning for the purposes of this email. 

Individuals applying for their Child Abuse History Certification can apply, and if applicable, pay online at www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis. Applying for your Child Abuse History Certification online expedites the application process and provides the applicant with their results electronically. The Department of Human Services (DHS) strongly encourages applicants to apply for their Child Abuse History Certification electronically as this streamlines the process and makes it more efficient for the applicants.

For applicants who prefer to apply for their Child Abuse History Certification by paper, DHS will continue to accept paper applications. Please know that submitting a paper application takes additional time to process. 

For individuals applying for their Child Abuse History Certification for non-volunteer purposes, the fee has been reduced to $8. DHS will be issuing refunds for overpayment of fees for those applications that were submitted after July 25, 2015. For applications submitted with an overpayment prior to July 25, 2015, no refund will be issued. 

For individuals applying for their Child Abuse History Certification for volunteer purposes, the fee has been waived and no payment is required. For those applicants submitting payment with an application for volunteer purposes, the application will be processed and the payment will be returned. 

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