Request a Child Abuse Clearance

Pennsylvania’s Child Protective Services Law (CPSL) requires certain individuals to obtain child abuse clearances to work or volunteer with children and to adopt or foster a child.


Clearances provide employers and those selecting volunteers with information to use as a part of a larger decision-making process when determining whether to hire someone as an employee or select them as a volunteer.


  • Free — Volunteers
    : Child abuse certification fees for volunteers will continue to be waived one time every 57 months.
  • $13 — Employees, Foster/Adoptive

Renewing Your Clearances

Clearances are required for an employee or unpaid volunteer at a minimum of every 60 months from the date of the most recent clearance. Clearances may be required more frequently based on licensure or employer requirements.


Suspect Child Abuse? Report it.

If you suspect child abuse or neglect, call ChildLine at 1-800-932-0313. Mandatory reporters can report online through the Child Welfare Information Solution (CWIS) system.

How to Request

You can request a Child Abuse History Clearance online or through the mail.

Online Submission

Child Abuse History Certification requests can be submitted and paid for online through the Child Welfare Information Solution (CWIS) self-service portal. Requesting online allows you to receive your results through an automated system that will notify you once your results are processed. You will be able to view and print results online.

Paper Submission

You can submit a paper application if you do not have access to the internet or self-service portal. However, submitting an application electronically will return your results faster — paper applications may take longer than 14 days for processing and your results will not be available electronically. Please send completed paper applications to:

ChildLine Clearance Verification Unit
Pennsylvania Department of Human Services
PO Box 8170
Harrisburg, PA 17105-8170

Submitting Your Application

Here are the steps to take and what to expect when submitting an application.

Fill Out Your Application

Instructions for how to complete the Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Certification application are included on the last page of the application. Please follow the instructions. If you do not, it could cause a delay in processing your results.

Return Your Application

Once your application is complete, submit it online or mail it to the ChildLine Clearance Verification Unit (address above).

Receiving Your Clearance

Once your application is received, the results will be mailed to the address provided on the application within 14 days from the date that the application is received in the ChildLine Verification Unit.

Request to Have Results Sent to An Organization

You can request that your clearance be sent to an organization by completing a Consent Release of Information Authorization Form.

Both the applicant and the organization must sign the form and it must be attached to a paper Child Abuse History Certification application submitted via mail for the results to be released to the organization.

NOTE: Results cannot be sent to someone other than the applicant if applying for a Child Abuse History Certification online. If an organization pays the application fee, they will have the ability to access an applicant's results online (online applicants only), if they set up a business account and provide the prepaid code to the applicant.

Frequently Asked Questions

For purposes of clearances, a child is an individual under 18 years of age.

The self-service portal provides organizations the ability to create business accounts to prepay for child abuse clearances and have online access to the results. Organizations who want to set up business accounts must first register for a Business Partner User account using the "Organization Account Access" link in the portal. Organization accounts will allow businesses and organizations to purchase Child Abuse History Certification payment codes and distribute those codes to applicants. When an applicant uses a code given to them by an organization, the organization will have access to the applicant's Child Abuse History Certification results once those results are processed.

Yes. A minor (ages 14-17) applying for or holding a paid position in which they would be responsible for a child’s welfare or have direct contact with children through a program, activity, or service is required to submit only their child abuse and PSP clearances if both of the following apply:

1. The minor employee has been a resident of the commonwealth during the entirety of the previous 10-year period or, if not a resident of Pennsylvania during the entirety of the previous 10-year period, has received an FBI clearance at any time since establishing residency in the commonwealth.

2. The employee and their parent or legal guardian swear or affirm in writing that the minor child/ employee are is not disqualified from service under the grounds for denying employment or have not been convicted of an offense similar in nature to those crimes under the laws or former laws of the United States or one of its territories or possessions, another state, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or foreign nation, or under a former law of this commonwealth

If an applicant was born in the year 1958 or later, you were a minor when the Child Protective Services Law was enacted and will need to include and identify your parent or legal guardian in the household member section of the application. If your parent/legal guardian is deceased, you must list and identify this household member.

You can type their (your) information directly onto the application online.

If the information is typed directly onto the application, you will NOT have the ability to save your information will NOT be able to be saved on your computer unless you have a licensed version of the Acrobat Adobe software.

Please be sure to print the completed application before closing the document so your information is not lost.

Note: If you have trouble accessing the application you may need to download the latest version of Adobe Reader, which is available free on the internet.

Contact DHS

Clearance Verification Unit

For questions or help related to your Child Abuse History Clearance call the Clearance Verification Unit.


CWIS Support

Need help with your online CWIS account? Contact the CWIS Support Center.