Pennsylvania House Bill 435
With the passing of PA House Bill 435 in October of 2014, changes in how we screen volunteers have taken place. The state now has a 3 –part clearance system with which all adults (18 years of age and older) who volunteer with minors must comply. This new law also makes every volunteer a mandated reporter in the area of child abuse. We have listed some information below that should be helpful for you.
Required Criminal History and Clearance reports Prior to Start of Volunteering
1) Report of criminal history from Pennsylvania State Police
2) Child abuse history clearance from Pennsylvania Department of Human Services
3) FBI Criminal History or possibly a written affirmation regarding residence and disqualifications
Please secure your clearances as early as possible as the amount of time in which you’ll receive your results could be several weeks. If your church cannot provide us with a copy of the above clearances, if requested, we are unable to allow you to attend any events. For now, we will be accepting the dates of the clearances with a pastors signature on the Outpost Adult Attendee & Clearance Form.
For those volunteers that reside outside of Pennsylvania, but volunteer in PA for less than 30 days, they must meet the requirements and clearances of their home state with regard to volunteers working with kids. If you volunteer in PA for more than 30 days you must complete the PA requirements. Anyone who has existing clearances in PA has until July 2016 to get the new ones done. However, you must have proof of those existing clearances either on yourself or at your church. Most churches have not maintained clearances or records and in many cases have never done any. Anyone without any record of clearances will technically be a considered a new volunteer and must complete the new clearances. Better safe than sorry.
The State has waived the fee on both the State Police and PA Child Abuse checks effective July 25, 2015. They are free and take minimal time to complete, unless you have a criminal record.
To assist you with getting your clearances we provide the following information and links:
How to Obtain Pennsylvania Child Abuse, Criminal, and FBI Clearances
Pennsylvania Clearance Information
PA State Keep Kids Safe Site (That covers all of this)
The Penn- Del Clearances link
PA Child Abuse History Clearance (Every 5 Years)
PA State Police Criminal Record Check (Every 5 years)
FBI Background Check (Only needed if you HAVE NOT lived in PA for the last 10 years). Click the link to register and find fingerprint locations for your area
Affidavit for use in lieu of FBI Background Check
Recommended mandatory reporter training
How does a mandated reporter make a report if they suspect child abuse?
Mandated reporters must make an immediate and direct report of suspected child abuse to ChildLine either electronically at www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis or by calling (800) 932-0313.