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Welcome to Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA)! As required by PA law and in accordance with SOPA policy, you will need to complete background checks in order to become or remain a Class A volunteer. Here are the steps to follow below, or download the steps as a PDF:

Please Note: Volunteers that are 17 years of age and under do not need to complete the below-mentioned background steps. Please complete, print and mail our online volunteer form to your SOPA local program.

STEP #1:  

Print and complete the PA Disclosure Statement and return it to the address provided on the form. Don’t forget to obtain a witness signature.

If you cannot attest to all of the statements, please cross it/them out, complete and return as instructed. If you have not lived in PA for the past 10 consecutive years, an FBI Fingerprint Criminal History Record is required by law. Click here to find locations to support this requirement. Once you have received the results, bring the original report to your local program. They will make a copy for SOPA’s records. Any questions? Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

STEP #2:    

Look for an email from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (SOPA’s background check vendor). Open and take action within 72 hours. Here is an example of what that email will look like.

All required background checks (PA State Police & PA Child Abuse History Clearance) can be completed in one sitting. After following the steps to complete the PA State Police check, a RED code and link will be provided for you to then complete the PA Child Abuse report (example). For best results, complete each background check at one time. If you don not complete the PA Child Abuse portion right away, you will receive an email reminder with your initial order (example).

Need Help Completing Your PA Child Abuse History Clearance?

  • Insert the provided RED code at the end of the online application process.
  • The “Keystone ID” on the PA Child Abuse website is a username that you will create to login and complete the process.
  • Any questions or technical issues? Please contact their Help Line at 1-877-343-0494 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:45 p.m., Monday through Friday.

When all of the steps are completed, you will receive a “Congratulations” email from Verified Volunteers!  Here is an example of what that email will look like.

Any questions?  Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Have a wonderful, fulfilling experience supporting SOPA’s athletes and thank you for making it all happen!

If you have questions about the status of your application after completing the above-mentioned steps, please contact your local program. Provided none of your background check information changes, your clearances will be good for a total of 5 years.