Child Abuse Process and Requirements

Who Needs Clearances?

  • Volunteers having contact with children and/or adults who are responsible for a child's welfare.
  • Adults applying for an unpaid position as a volunteer with a child-care service, a school, or a library program, activity, or service.

How to obtain Child Abuse Clearances

  • Contact
  • Receive Payment Code from Volunteer Services, if needed*.
    *Note: Volunteers are eligible to receive one free of charge Child Abuse Clearance every 57 months if they meet all 3 criteria below:
    • Must not have received a free volunteer background certification within the last 57 months.
    • Certification is necessary to satisfy requirements under Chapter 63, subsection 6344(b) of Title 23 of PA State Law.
    • Certification will not be valid or used for any other purpose, including employment.
  • Complete the online application.
    By law, processing should take no more than 14 days. You should receive a confirmation e-mail after registration. For any questions about the online application, please contact the CWIS Support Center at 1-877-343-0494.
  • Volunteers will also need to complete Pennsylvania State Clearance and FBI Fingerprinting (contact for fingerprinting instructions). Results for both clearances must be sent to the volunteer office staff through the volunteer clearance email.
  • After all clearances are complete, volunteers may begin service.
    If any clearances are denied, the volunteer will be able to appeal through the proper channels. Please refer to the COMPASS State FAQ.

Clearances must be renewed after 60 months / 5 years if you continue your volunteer service with The Free Library of Philadelphia.

Please read the Pennsylvania Child Abuse Document for Volunteers and the Pennsylvania Child Welfare Information Solution FAQs for further information.

For any further questions on the Volunteer Services Child Abuse Process and Requirements, please contact the Volunteer Services office at or 215-686-5340.