Due to legislation (PA Act 153), nonprofits like the Girl Scouts must ensure that all our volunteers have completed the state required background checks.
As of July 1, 2016, any volunteers who have not submitted all volunteer background screening requirements per council policy and PA Act 153 are no longer approved to volunteer with Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania. These individuals have been notified via email that they are no longer actively approved volunteers with GSWPA. If they wish to reapply for volunteer positions in the future, they would be able to do so and address any missing screening requirements during that volunteer-approval process.
TROOP LEADERS: Please follow these steps to check who is approved with your troop:
1. Log in to your Member Profile.
2. View your troop roster under both the “Current” tab (2016 membership year) and “Next Year” tab (2017 membership year).
3. If an individual is marked as “Current” on EITHER this year’s or next year’s tab, the individual is approved to volunteer. If an individual is NOT marked "Current" under either tab (she/he may be marked “Inactive”, “In Progress” or not appear on your troop roster at all) she/he is not an approved volunteer and cannot be volunteering with your troop until she/he reapplies with GSWPA and completes the background check requirements.
Here’s what you need to know about the clearances:
How does this affect me? ALL existing Girl Scout volunteers must submit their PA clearances. Even if you've already submitted your National Criminal Background Check, you must ALSO submit the new PA clearances.
Why? It’s the law. Volunteers who don’t submit the required clearances won’t be able to continue working with girls in Girl Scouts until they are received.
How much does it cost? There is no charge to obtain these clearances, with the exception of the FBI Criminal Background check ($27), which is required only if you’ve lived outside Pennsylvania anytime in the past 10 years.
Since this process can be confusing, we’ve outlined everything below so you know exactly which clearances you need to volunteer with Girl Scouts.
A few things to note:
- If you received the required clearances for another organization within the last 60 months, they are valid and we can accept a copy of your results along with your signed affidavit. Just send them to the address or email indicated below.
- The fastest way to complete these checks is to use the electronic submission and send copies to us by email. Paper forms are available, but it will take a lot longer for the state to process them.
- We have a lot of clearances to collect, so please submit ALL copies along with the affidavit at one time to avoid your paperwork being separated.
Send copies of all completed clearances to us:
- Email: email@example.com
- Mail: GSWPA, Attn: Volunteer Screening, 5681 Route 6N, Edinboro, PA 16412
- Fax: 814-734-7701 Attn: Volunteer Screening
Have questions? Need clarification? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Terra Corsini, Volunteer Screening Specialist, at 800-248-3355, and we’ll help you out.
What do you need to do?
ALL GSWPA VOLUNTEERS will need to complete:
- Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance (CY113) - No charge
- Pennsylvania Criminal Record Checks (SP4-164) - No charge
- Online Affidavit - No charge
If you've lived outside Pennsylvania anytime in the past 10 years you'll ALSO need to complete:
If you're a new volunteer who has not yet obtained clearances, you'll ALSO need to complete:
- GSWPA Volunteer Application - $15 membership fee
- National Criminal Background Check - No charge
(Once you complete the Volunteer Application, you'll receive a notification with instructions to complete the National Criminal Background Check.)