Safe Environment Program

SE-cropThe Archeparchy’s policy requires all personnel (priests, deacons, religious, seminarians, employees, staff, catechists, and volunteers) in the Church to undergo criminal background checks and state-specific child abuse history clearances. They are obligated as well to participate in a Safe Environment Workshop coordinated by the Archeparchy or similar programs conducted by the Latin Catholic dioceses in outlying regions of the Archeparchy, such as Texas and Louisiana, by agreement with the Archeparchy.

Background Check Clearances

The procedure for obtaining background check clearances has changed 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 Cynthia Corbett at the Office for the Protection of Children at 412-231-4000, ext. 10.

—> 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.


1.  Contact the Chancery at 412-231-4000 ext. 10, or email
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.

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)




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 program coordinator Cynthia Corbett at 412-231-4000 ext. 10,
or email

Safe Environment Education Training Workshop

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:
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.

1. Background Check Authorization Form:
PA Criminal Background Disclosure and Authorization Form
OR:  NON-PA Background Check Authorization Form
2. Code of Conduct
3. Code of Ethics
4. Appropriate and Inappropriate Contact with Minors
5. Resources List
6. Documentation Form for Individual
7. Documentation Form for Group

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 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.