This update is for employees and volunteers who have contact with children and may be confused about new child abuse clearance requirements now mandated by state law.
Below you’ll find information from the Department of Human Services that addresses requirements and background check costs. These fees have been waived for volunteers and reduced for employees.
In addition, I included information on a recent Capitol visit from the Keystone Boys State.
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Clarifying the Child Abuse History Clearance Requirements
The Department of Human Services (DHS) is addressing confusion regarding who must complete a child abuse history clearance as a result of unclear provisions of Act 153 of 2014.
Since implementation, many non-profit, community service, and public organizations throughout the 40th Senate District have been concerned about who is required to obtain a child abuse clearance and the costs associated with obtaining a clearance through DHS. Under the current implementation of Act 153, the total costs to obtain the required child abuse clearance, criminal background check and the FBI clearance exceeded $45. With confusion regarding the portability of a clearance across multiple organizations, many groups have been concerned about the costs associated with volunteering in our community becoming excessively high.
As a result, DHS has waived fees for volunteers and reduced the costs to $8 for employees required to obtain a clearance. Furthermore, the department released updated guidelines to help volunteers determine whether they need a clearance.
First, organizations must carefully consider whether the volunteer is responsible for the welfare of a child or has direct contact with children. Responsibility for the welfare of a child is determined by whether the volunteer is acting in lieu of a parent. Secondly, organizations must consider whether the volunteer has direct contact with a child because they provide care, supervision, guidance or control of children and whether they have routine contact with children that is integral to their volunteer responsibilities.
The documents below from DHS will help employers and volunteers make this determination. For more information, please visit Keep Kids Safe PA.
Keystone Boys State Visit Capitol
Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to visit with members of the Keystone Boys State, a week long summer educational program through the PA American Legion. Through participation in Keystone Boys State, boys receive hands-on, real-world experience that teaches them the ideals of American Government, citizenship, and leadership.
It was my privilege to join State Representative Rosemary Brown to take part in their time outside the classroom visiting the PA State Capitol. These young men are our future leaders and are to be commended for their commitment to bettering themselves and our country.
If you are interested in further information regarding participation in the Keystone Boys State program or the valuable work they do, please visit the PA American Legion Website for more information.
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