Candidate Services - Social Work Clearances

Undergraduate and Graduate Social Work students must complete clearances prior to entering their field practicum. This website will help navigate some of the common clearances, however, this is not a complete list. All social work students MUST obtain professional liability insurance, PA child abuse history certification, PA State Police Criminal Record check, and the Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse Online Training Certificate. Upon confirmed placement, students should contact their practicum site to inquire about any additional clearances needed and to ensure all onboarding criteria is met. Reviewing the site's Affiliation Agreement is also encouraged to understand all requirements.

Students will need to submit clearances and professional liability insurance to myWCU as requested via email. Students are responsible for obtaining their clearances, keeping copies of these documents, and providing copies to their field practicum site, upon request. If a student is placed outside of Pennsylvania, clearances must be obtained in accordance with the state law of the placement location. It is strongly suggested that students contact their field practicum site for complete details.

ALL Social Work Students need the following clearances:

Malpractice Insurance/Professional Liability Insurance

Malpractice Insurance/Professional Liability Insurance is required for all students. A minimum limit liability of $1,000,000 per claim/$3,000,000 aggregate is needed. This must be renewed each year. Students may purchase the insurance from any carrier that provides liability coverage for social workers.

Two possible insurers are the American Professional Agency or the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).

For details on purchasing insurance through American Professional Agency click here

For details on purchasing insurance through NASW click here *

*must be a member of NASW to purchase their insurance

PA Child Abuse History Certification

Students may complete the Child Abuse History Certification via electronic or paper submission. Volunteers receive a free clearance every 57 months if the position is an unpaid. *Students will need to check with their specific field site to ensure they accept the volunteer version. If the field practicum site will not accept the volunteer version, the cost is $13.


  • Click here for step-by-step instructions for creating a new account.
  • Once you submit the request for your child abuse clearances, you will receive a confirmation email. Once your clearances are processed by the state, you will receive an email saying your certificate is available to view on your online account. When you have access to the results, the certification form should be printed or saved immediately; once viewed you will have no further access to the document.
  • For questions about the electronic submission of PA Child Abuse clearances, call CWIS Support Center at 1-877-343-0494.

By Mail

PA State Police Criminal Record Check

Volunteers receive a free record check if the position they are applying for is an unpaid position; AND if the volunteer has been a resident of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the entirety of the previous 10 years. For all others the cost is $22.


  • Visit PA Access to Criminal History site
  • Click the button that applies to you either “New Record Check (Volunteers Only)” or "Submit a New Record Check"
  • After reading the terms and conditions, click the check box and click “accept” at the bottom of the page.
  • On the next page, fill in your personal information
  • Once a criminal history check has been requested, one of the following possible responses will be immediately received: “Pending,” “No Record,” or “Request Under Review”. When you have access to the results, the certification form should be printed or saved immediately, please write down the control number. Once viewed you will have no further access to the document. Print and/or save your results, so that you can provide it upon request to your Field site.

Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse - Online Training Certificate

The purpose of this training is to assist you in identifying possible cases of child abuse, remind you of your obligation to report any suspected abuse, and how to properly report such cases. There is no cost associated with this training. This training will meet Act 31 requirements and you should print and/or save a copy of your certificate upon completion of the training. This training is self-paced, and you can start and leave the course as often as you’d like. Once you’ve completed the training, save your certificate of completion so that you can provide it to your field site upon request.

  • Go to
  • Click “Registration,” located at the top of the page
  • On the next page, enter your personal information and click “submit”
  • Follow the instructions provided on the website and complete the Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse online course
  • Print and/or save your certificate


Additional Resources

FBI Fingerprinting Background Check (State of PA)

The electronic fingerprinting provider for the State of PA is IdentoGo. The closest fingerprinting site in West Chester is 814 Paoli Pike. The closest fingerprinting site to the PASSHE center in Philadelphia is 1015 Chestnut St. The Jefferson Bldg Ste 307. For additional locations please visit: The application fee is $22.60 for the fingerprint service and to secure an unofficial copy of the FBI results Criminal History Record.

*** You must check with your field practicum location for the proper Service Code PRIOR to registering online *** It is important that you have access to a printer when enrolling***

  • Students must register prior to going to the fingerprinting site. Register online at Or by phone: 1-844-321-2101
  • Enter your Service Code that is provided to you by your field practicum site and complete required information
  • Choose a fingerprinting location -
  • After enrollment is complete, you will receive an email with a link to your registration form - PRINT THIS
  • Take the registration form that you printed out, along with a photo ID, and $22.50 (Credit Card or Money Order) to the fingerprinting location

If you have not received your results within 10-15 business days or have any further concerns after fingerprints have been submitted, please contact the Dept. of Human Services at 877-371-5422.

Student Health Services

Student Health Services provides a wide-range of clinical care and can administer certain immunizations site may require such as: Hepatitis B, Flu Shot, Physical Exam, as well as TB tests. They are located on the ground floor of Commonwealth Hall. All students who have paid the Student Health Services fee are eligible to use services. Students will pay an additional fee for these services, and all charges will be applied to the students bill and payment can be made at the Bursar's office.

Please refer to the Student Health Services website for a complete list of services provided, applicable fees, and to schedule an appointment.

State of Delaware Criminal History

Please check with your field site for additional information.

In the state of Delaware a Criminal History Background Check is obtained through fingerprints. You must provide photo Identification, such as a valid driver’s license or State ID (from any state). You do not need a social security card or a birth certificate. The fee for a State of Delaware Criminal Background Check is $52.00.
The fee for a State and Federal Criminal Background Check (must be mandated by law) is $65.00. Appointments are required. For more information visit their website.

State of New Jersey Criminal History

Please check with your field site for additional information.

An individual may obtain a criminal history record check via electronic live scan at one of the approved sites. The New Jersey State Police uses the live scan fingerprinting services provided by MorphoTrust USA, a private company under contract with the State of New Jersey. In order to be fingerprinted, you are required to contact MorphoTrust USA to schedule a time and place to have your fingerprints captured. The fee for this service is $40.66. For more information visit their website.

Castle Branch/Drug Screening

Check with your field placement regarding the type of drug screening you need. Castle Branch offers students 10 panel urine drug screening for $40. This is an external service and is not associated with WCU.

To use this service:

  1. Place your order using this portal: (There is a $40 for this service)
  2. Complete name, address, and enter payment information
  3. Search for convenient location
  4. Complete screening at identified location
  5. Students receive a notification when results are in
  6. Student will log in to portal to view, print, or “share” results
    • a. Students can print their results and share with their field site
    • b. OR there is a “share” feature within their account that allows the student to choose which documentation they share and with the recipients of their choosing

OIG and SAM Exclusionary Searches

To search the SAM exclusionary list:
1. Click the link 
2. Enter name in search
3. Click on Exclusions
4. Click the search icon next to the name

To search the OIG exclusionary list:
1. Click on the link 
2. Enter name
3. Click search

Document the date and name for each search, screenshots suffice

General Liability Insurance

To request this certificate, WCU collaborates with the WCU Foundation to offer this at no cost to the student. To submit this request, please email your name, ID#, site placed, address of placement, and dates of placement to Mollie Zenz, the Assistant Director of Data and Program Administration. She will process your info and get your certificate back shortly.

CPR Certification

The certification must not expire before the practicum ends. The following are some available approved options: