Safe Environment Program

SE-cropSafe Environment Policies of the Archeparchy:

Prior to active employment or participation in parish/archeparchial activities, all employees and volunteers must complete the following:

Criminal background clearance

Child abuse history certification

Accept the Code of Ethics and Conduct

Safe Environment Training



  • These policies apply to all personnel (clergy, employees and volunteers) whether or not they have direct contact with children.
  • Background clearances must be renewed every five (5) years.
  • Safe Environment Training must be renewed every five (5) years.
  • ECF teachers must offer a Safe Environment lesson to their students each year during the month of October. Documentation forms must be mailed to the Chancery before Nov. 1.


Pennsylvania Faithful

The procedure for obtaining background check clearances has changed by statute for the State of Pennsylvania. All applicants now are required to obtain TWO clearances – The Criminal Background Check AND the Child Abuse History Certification. Below are instructions on how to obtain each of these necessary clearances. If you have any questions, or need any help completing the applications, please contact the Office for the Protection of Children at 724-438-8644.

—> Pennsylvania residents must submit the following TWO documents:


Print the Criminal Background Disclosure and Authorization Form
Fill in all required information, sign, and return to the Chancery. This provides authorization for the Safe Environment Office to obtain this clearance.


1.  Contact Sister Joanne at 724-438-8644 for an Authorization Code & instructions for how to log on to the PA Child Welfare Portal (see step 2 below)


2.  Using a computer connected to the Internet, LOG ON to the PA Child Welfare
Portal to commence filling
out the Child Abuse Clearance application online. It is several pages long. Please allow ample time to complete the process.

PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING IMPORTANT INSTRUCTIONS regarding parish volunteers and/or employees who do not have Internet access . . .

Every applicant is expected to follow the above protocols, however, for applicants from your parish or organization who do not have access to the Internet, please print and distribute the following TWO forms, which must be fully completed, signed by the applicant, and returned to the Chancery:

Print ONE of the following forms (depending upon whether the applicant is a volunteer or a church employee):

Volunteer Application for Child Abuse History Form (for volunteers)
Employee Application for Child Abuse History Form (for employees)


Non-Pennsylvania Faithful

—> Residents of Other States must submit: a single form which will be submitted to an outside vendor for both criminal and child abuse clearances


ALL PA and non-PA applicants must submit ORIGINAL signed forms where applicable (copies not acceptable) via postal mail only to:
Safe Environment Coordinator
66 Riverview Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15214

Contact Sister Joanne at 724-438-8644


The Archeparchy of Pittsburgh wants to ensure that each child and young person attending its church programs and activities is not only safe, but also growing in love of God and others.

Safe Environment Education includes:

Safe Environment Education for Parish Communities and Personnel:

Initial Safe Environment Education PDF – This visual guide to the efforts of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the policies of the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh emphasizes what each participant can do to promote a safe environment for young people. The absorbing 45-page presentation is filled with essential facts and useful footnotes to the visual/graphic components.

Renewal Safe Environment Training Video (Recommended)

Renewal Safe Environment Training PDF – This program is to be used for all those requiring five (5)-year renewal training. This renewal program supplements and updates your initial training.


1. Background Check Authorization Form:
PA Criminal Background Disclosure and Authorization Form
OR:  NON-PA Background Check Authorization Form
2. Code of Ethics and Conduct
3. Documentation Form for Individual Training
4. Documentation Form for Group Training

TRAINING WORKSHOPS are offered at various times throughout the Archeparchy. In addition, the Catechetical Coordinators in each parish are equipped to administer training to groups and individuals at the parish level.

Individuals needing Safe Environment training may elect to complete the training online by viewing the Safe Environment Education PDF (Initial or Renewal) along with the 7 handouts linked above. After completing and returning to the Chancery all of the paperwork and documentation necessary to indicate and ensure that training was completed online, the Chancery will issue the participant an official Certificate of Participation.

All signed forms must be returned to the Chancery by postal mail to:
Safe Environment Coordinator
66 Riverview Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15214

Catechist/Parent Resources

Safe Environment Lesson Plans for Pre-School through Grade 12
These lesson plans corresponding to the God With Us curriculum prepared by the Archeparchy’s Office of Religious Education teach youth how to be safe, healthy, happy and aware of God’s presence.

“Be Attentive” lesson plans

“God With Us” lesson plans

“God With Us” Curriculum: Safe Environment Resource for Lesson Two

PLEASE NOTE: All ECF Coordinators must submit annually to the Safe Environment Program Coordinator the official Documentation Form (link below) after the Safe Environment Lesson Plans have been taught in their ECF classes.


Phone: 724-438-8644