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The History about SCPC’s Safeguarding Our Children and Youth Policies

In 2003 a concerned committee made up of SCPC staff, who work with children’s and youth programs, and members of our personnel committee, decided it was long overdue to have a policy in place that would ensure the safety of children and youth in our building and in our programs. Our goal, in response to Biblical mandates and societal needs, is to maintain a safe, secure, and nurturing place, where children may grow, and where employee and volunteer teachers are equipped to minister to the needs of children and youth. This policy also serves to protect those who volunteer their time with our children.  As a church, it is our religious, moral and ethical obligation to take steps to prevent and respond to child abuse and neglect, and any sexual misconduct in any form. In that light, this policy has been adopted to set and enforce behavior consistent with Scripture; to maintain a safe environment; to provide procedures for investigation and response; and to define a procedure by which employees and volunteers are recruited and supervised when working with children and youth. All of the SCPC staff have background checks for criminal records and a child abuse history clearance.

Anyone who volunteers at State College Presbyterian Church with our children and youth ministry will need to fill out a Volunteer Application Form, and go to one of the Safe Church training sessions that will be offered on Safeguarding Our Children and Youth, and will need to provide copies of clearances. 

Volunteering with Children &/or Youth at SCPC

Many of you already know the process for volunteering at the church, however we ask that you PLEASE read on to make sure you are aware of the 2015 changes if you plan on participating as a volunteer with children and/or youth.  Anyone who volunteers ON A REGULAR BASIS with children and/or youth will need clearances

The laws changed this past year stating all volunteers who are “responsible for the welfare of a child/youth or having direct contact with children/youth” must complete at least 2 background checks.

Also, there is in place a waiver for the cost of all volunteer’s applications for the PA Child Abuse History Clearance and the PA Criminal Background Check effective July 25, 2015. This means that both are now FREE of charge!

Here is the link for clearances:

The law also states that these 2 clearances are to be updated every 5 years.

If you, as a volunteer, have lived in PA for at least 10 years or more, you will sign an affidavit on the SCPC volunteer application form stating this fact.  If you have NOT lived in PA for the past 10 years, you are required to do the FBI fingerprinting.  This is not a free service – it costs $27 and it is a federal service not a state one.  You go online to register at:  – and click on the PA Department of Human Services, then follow the directions.  If you are unable to cover the cost of this independently, please notify the director of the program you are volunteering with within the church.

Anyone who has their clearances on file currently with SCPC as a volunteer or an employee will be notified if they will need to update their clearances.

 What this means FOR YOU at SCPC….

Step 1  If you completed a volunteer application form already at some point before this August 2015, AND have been a resident of PA for 10 or more years, please complete and return the required affidavit.  (copies available outside of church office by the middle of July)

Step 2  If you have NOT yet filled out a Volunteer Application Form, please print one off from the link above, or get one outside the church office.

This new version of the Volunteer Application Form includes an affidavit for folks to sign that states you have lived in PA for at least the past 10 years.

Step 3  If you have not lived in PA for at least 10 years, you are required to do the FBI fingerprinting clearance. (see the link above to get to the official site.)

Step 4   Sign up for a SCPC Safe Church training, unless you attended one last year.

Step 5   Make sure SCPC has your application form, signed affidavit or FBI fingerprint background check, copies of your clearances, and that you finished a Safe Church training.

You are all set!

Any questions, please contact the director of the program with which you volunteer or wish to volunteer at SCPC.

Click below to download and print the Volunteer Application form:

UPDATED Volunteer Application Form (includes Affidavit) (pdf)

Volunteer Affidavit  (pdf)

Click below to view the entire policy:

Policy for Safeguarding our Children and Youth REV 5-2015 (pdf)


Questions? Contact Deannine Shipman, Director of Education and Program  (814-238-2422)