New Clearance Requirements for Adult Volunteers Working with Children (Revised July 1, 2015)Note: On June 10, 2015, Governor Wolf announced fee waivers for volunteers seeking background checks: Press Release
Full text of HB 1276
Highlights of revisions to background check requirements for volunteers:
- Background check renewal period has been increased from 3 to 5 years.
- Fee waivers for background checks for volunteers (Child Line and State Police only—fees for FBI fingerprint check are not waived)
- For FBI checks, the 10-year PA residency exception has been expanded to include volunteers who haven't lived in PA for the past 10 years but who have received certification since establishing residency in PA.
- Volunteers will be able to receive a free certification every 57 months.
- Free volunteer certifications may not be used for employment.
- Effective August 25, 2015, applicable volunteers shall be required to obtain required certifications every 60 months from the date of the person's most recent certification or, if the current certification is older than 60 months, within one year of the effective date.
- A volunteer who was previously not required to have a certification shall be required to obtain the required certifications no later than July 1, 2016.
- Clarification of individuals required to comply with the requirements of the law.
- Addition of a good faith presumption for volunteer organizations when identifying those volunteers who need clearances.
Visit the PA Department of Human Services’ website related to these new laws—Keep Kids Safe PA:
For questions related to the new clearance requirements for volunteers or the Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance, please contact the DHS ChildLine Verification Unit at 717-783-6211 or 1-877-371-5422.
Summary of Clearance Requirements for Adult Volunteers Working with Children (Revised July 1, 2015):
1 & 2 are required for all applicable volunteers:
1. Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check (fees waived)
2. ChildLine (Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance through the Department of Human Services) (fees waived)
In addition to 1 & 2, one of the following is required for applicable volunteers:
3a. If a resident for the past 10 years, a signed disclaimer affirming no charges in other states that would prohibit selection as a volunteer
3b. If not a resident for the past 10 years AND the volunteer has received certification at any time since residency established, the volunteer must provide a copy of the certification received since residency established
3c. If neither 3a or 3b apply, FBI Criminal Background Check required (fingerprint check) for federal criminal history records ($27.50)
For more information, visit the Dept. of Human Services Website.
Downloadable PDF with FAQ and summary of new requirements for applicable volunteers:
New Mandated Reporter Requirements for Volunteers Working with Children (Effective Dec. 31, 2014 and Revised July 1, 2015)Change to who is a mandated reporter, including: An individual paid or unpaid, who, on the basis of the individual’s role as an integral part of a regularly scheduled program, activity or service, is a person responsible for the child's welfare or who has direct contact with children.
- Mandated Reporter: a person who is required to make a report of suspected child abuse.
Go to Keep Kids Safe PA for more information.
Although Mandated Reporter Training is not required for volunteers under the changes, it is recommended.
Mandated Reporter Training Resources:
If you suspect child abuse or neglect, please call the PA Department of Human Services ChildLine to make a confidential report: at 1-800-932-0313. Visit the PA ChildLine and Abuse Registry Website for more information.