Volunteer Clearances

FIRST Mid-Atlantic’s priority is the safety and well-being of all students who attend our competitions. FIRST requires that all volunteers be screened under its Youth Protection Policy (“YPP”) and automatically screens all volunteers through its VIMS website. In addition, and separate and apart from YPP screening, all volunteers must also comply with state laws governing volunteers who work with children. In 2014, Pennsylvania changed its Child Protective Services Law, known as Act 153, to require volunteers working with children to complete specific screening requirements.

Pennsylvania Act 153 Clearances

Starting in 2017, all event volunteers at FIRST Mid-Atlantic district events located within Pennsylvania will be required to submit Act 153 Clearances in order to be assigned a volunteer role at Hatboro-Horsham, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, Westtown, or the FIRST Mid-Atlantic District Championship regardless of your home state. The clearance process is free in most cases or you may submit for reimbursement if it applies.

Please note: This process is separate from FIRST’s YPP and requires action on your part. There are no exceptions and you will not be assigned to your role without submitting hard copies of your clearances. MAR understands that personal information is provided on clearances. We will take all measures to keep documents safe and secure. MAR will not accept, store, or scan any documents electronically.

FIRST Mid-Atlantic will have Information Kiosks set up at all Off-Season events within the region. We will be collecting clearances at off-season events, local kickoffs, and designated drop-off locations. Drop off your clearances early and receive a “FIRST Stronghold” volunteer shirt or “FIRST Stronghold” Pin (limited quantity based on first come, first serve).

To determine what clearances you will need, please refer to the diagram to the right.

What Clearances do I Need?

Links to Clearances

Links to Forms

PA Act 153 Clearances
Cover Sheet

Please attach this to your clearances

Form A
PA Resident Affidavit

For PA Residents who have lived in Pennsylvania for 10 years or more

Form B
Out-of-State Resident Affidavit

For Residents of New Jersey, Delaware, etc.

Form C
FBI Clearance Reimbursement Form

For reimbursement if applicable. Please include this form when submitting clearances

Where do I Drop Off my Clearances?

FIRST Mid-Atlantic will have Information Kiosks set up at all Off-Season Events. We will be collecting clearances at Off-Season Events and Designated Local Kickoffs and Drop-Off Sites. Please refer to this section for all Drop-Off Locations. We will not collect clearances electronically in an effort to protect your information. All clearances must be submitted in hard copy.

Off-Season Events

HAVOC – Horsham, PA – 9/24/16
Girl Power – Flourtown, PA – 10/8/16
Duel on the Delaware – Carney’s Point, NJ – 10/22/16
Ramp Riot – Ambler, PA – 11/5/16
Brunswick Eruption – North Brunswick, NJ – 11/12/16

Refer to the Off-Season Page for more information on locations

Local Kickoffs

Hatboro-Horsham Kickoff
899 Horsham Road, Horsham, PA

Montgomery Kickoff
1014 Route 601, Skillman, NJ

Lenape Kickoff
235 Hartford Road, Medford, NJ

York Kickoff
1000 Indian Rock Dam Road, York, PA

More Sites coming soon

Drop-Off Sites

Hatboro-Horsham HS
899 Horsham Road, Horsham, PA
Wednesdays – 5PM-7PM
Please Contact: Brian Sherman
bsherman@midatlanticrobotics.org

More Sites coming soon

I still have questions, who should I contact?

Additional information can be found in Mid-Atlantic Robotics’ Procedure for Implementation of PA Act 153. Refer below for Commonly Asked Questions.

Don’t worry, this was just as confusing for us. If you’d like further clarification, contact Ali Marinari, MAR Senior Volunteer Coordinator, (amarinari@midatlanticrobotics.org), your event VC, or Brian Sherman, MAR Chairman, (bsherman@midatlanticrobotics.org).

Commonly Asked Questions

Refer to the flow chart. It looks overwhelming, but will get you to your required clearances fast.
FIRST‘s YPP uses a service called Verified Volunteers which runs all available online background checks for each state. Pennsylvania is one of the few states that require fingerprinting for the FBI Clearance. Verified Volunteers has no way of taking your fingerprints. This places MAR in the position of having to collect clearances for volunteers in PA because Verified Volunteers cannot certify that each volunteer has passed the state’s clearance requirements.
For New Jersey and Delaware Residents: There are currently no laws in your home state that require clearances for event volunteers who interact with children. Therefore, by signing Form B, you are certifying to MAR that you are in compliance with laws of your home state (i.e. that there are no laws for event volunteers).

Non-MAR Region Residents: Sorry, we did not study any states besides those in our territory.

All clearances are valid for 60 months.

We will remind you of the expiration 6 months prior. (Because who wants to think about what they need to do 5 years from now?)

Absolutely! Clearances are valid for 60 months and we will accept copies.

Please submit them for 2017. Any copies provided in 2016 were not retained. MAR will securely store all copies moving forward.

Nothing! This requirement is only for events in Pennsylvania. Your clearances are covered under FIRST‘s YPP.

However, if you plan to volunteer at a PA event in the future and you live in NJ, the Out-of-State Affidavit is easy to fill out and submit.

No, you are not required to submit anything to MAR. However, you are under the jurisdiction of your team and shall comply with their clearance requirements.
No. We only require clearances for official FRC positions. I.e., only if you will you receive a white volunteer shirt or blue judge polo for volunteering.

You are under the jurisdiction of the host team as the food service is considered a team activity/fundraiser. However, you must comply to the clearance requirements of the host team.

MAR does not run off-season events and therefore the clearance requirements are under the jurisdiction of the host team. Contact the hosting team for their requirements.