Safe Sanctuaries Policy

CUMC aspires to be a safe, loving atmosphere to share the love of Christ with everyone who participates in our kid and youth programs. To best care for our kids, youth and volunteers, CUMC requires everyone working with children and youth to complete our Safe Sanctuaries process.

Our Safe Sanctuaries Policy includes screening and background checks on all adult volunteers and staff working with young people in any capacity, training on preventing and recognizing abuse and reporting procedures, and building usage guidelines to ensure the safety and security of each child.

PA State Laws Regarding Child Abuse

In 2014, the Pennsylvania Legislature enacted sweeping changes to the Child Protective Services Law (CPSL). In Spring 2015, additional state laws were discussed particularly around payment for clearances for volunteers. Our process and policy reflect the latest changes as written into law.

Law Highlights

1. As of July 1, 2015, all volunteers will need:

  • a PA State Police Background Check
  • a Department of Human Services Certification (formerly the Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance)
  • a FBI Criminal History Report (fingerprint) OR a notarized affidavit if you have lived in PA for 10 consecutive years

2. All clearances must be updated every five years

3. All volunteers are now considered Mandated Reporters; required to report suspected child abuse directly to the Department of Human Services child abuse hotline (former Childline). To educate volunteers in roles, responsibilities, identifying and reporting suspected child abuse, CUMC requires a one hour online training for all staff and volunteers working with kids.

For volunteers, the PA State Criminal Background Check and the Department of Human Services Certification are both free. If you volunteer in a local school district or another organization with kids, we will accept copies of that paperwork. However, you still need to complete all five steps below to be approved at CUMC.

If you need to complete the FBI Criminal History Report, the church will reimburse volunteers for half of the cost of the clearance process. Please submit your receipt with your clearance reports.

safe sanctuaries checklist

It is best to print this checklist out for directions as you complete each step.

completing clearances & training

To complete each step, you MUST HAVE access to a printer for printing of the certificate of complete.

1. Read new Safe Sanctuaries Policy
Print/sign Participation Covenant - Appendix 1

2. PA State Police Clearance
Free for volunteers (be sure to choose VOLUNTEERS ONLY box)
Print 2 copies of the certificate form (has state seal in background)

3. Department of Human Services
Free for volunteers (create a log-in with the Child Welfare Portal then proceed for background check)
Print 2 copies of the certificate, which may take up to 14 days to process and be sent via email

4. FBI Criminal History OR Affidavit
FBI Criminal History - fingerprinting (Register online and pay $22.60. See additional information in the Checklist. 
Affidavit - for those living in PA the last ten years
Johanna Kapura, church secretary, is an authorized notary. Please contact her at  to set a time to complete this step.

5. Training
Training is required by CUMC for volunteers. Our new training is three videos followed by a quiz. The quiz will automatically be submitted to the church office. You need to have 7 of the 10 questions correct to pass. A church staff members will be in touch within a week regarding your results.
Part 1: Safe Sanctuaries Policy video (13:07)
Part 2: Definitions video (22:19)
Part 3: Reporting and After Video (22:15)

If you complete training as part of your employment, please contact Pastor Mira, with the appropriate documentation.

renewal process

Every five years in compliance with PA State Law, clearance MUST be updated for everyone who works with children and vulnerable adults. To best care for our children, CUMC requires all staff and volunteers to complete a refresher training on mandated reporting or suspected abuse.

Complete the following steps to renew clearances:

  1. Complete PA State Police Clearance & Department of Human Services clearances. Instructions above (#2 and #3)
  2. FBI Criminal History or Affidavit
    Affidavit - for those living in PA the past ten years in lieu of FBI Criminal fingerprinting.
    Johanna Kapura, church secretary, is an authorized notary. Please contact her at to set a time to complete this step.
    FBI Criminal History - fingerprinting (Register online and pay $22.60. Staff MUST be fingerprinted. See additional information in the Checklist above).
  3. Training
    Refresher training is required by CUMC for all volunteers and staff every 5 years. Video is 25 minutes then follow instructions within video to complete training.
    Refresher Video

If you participate in training around mandated reporting at work or another volunteer setting, please email Pastor Mira, with appropriate documentation. Training must have been done within the past year to have CUMC training waived.

completed the process?

Turn in all your receipts and certificates to the staff member you work with for approval to begin volunteering!

making a report

  1. Contact Child Line - 800.932.0313 or online
  2. Complete the CY-47 Form within 48 hours (make a copy for your personal records and one for the church
  3. Complete CUMC Reporting Form (make a copy for your personal records and turn one into the Lead Pastor

additional resources

Safe Sanctuary Binders with all pertinent forms and a reporting checklist if a report has to be made are located in the Church Office and Nursery Suite Office.

Don't have a computer or printer? Contact Johanna Kapura, 717.249.1512 or  to set up a time to complete the entire process in the Church Office.

Indicators of Child Abuse 

I have questions...

Contact Pastor Mira at