Volunteer Background Checks

 

Governor Wolf enacted HB 1276 into law on July 2, clarifying changes to state child abuse laws which were enacted in 2014. HB 1276 is Act 15 of 2015. Act 15 clarifies requirements for volunteers to have criminal background checks and child abuse clearances. The following summarizes changes for volunteers to be aware of:

  • Volunteers who are required to obtain the certifications are those who have direct volunteer contact, meaning they have care, supervision guidance or control AND routine interaction with children.
  • New volunteers will need to have clearances and background checks as of August 25, 2015.
  • Existing volunteers are not required to have clearances and background checks until July 1 of 2016.
  • These certifications will only need to be renewed every five years, instead of every three.
  • Volunteers who are required to obtain the certifications are those who have direct volunteer contact, meaning they have care, supervision guidance or control AND routine interaction with children.
  • For co-op, work study, and internship programs, one adult supervisor must obtain the clearances to be in the child’s immediate vicinity at regular intervals during the program.

Volunteers will be able to obtain their background checks and child abuse clearances for free as of July 15, 2015. Governor Wolf announced this change in early June, and the legislature made the fee waiver permanent by including language to authorize it in Act 15. Free volunteer clearances cannot be used to satisfy requirements for employment.

Forbes Road School District requires the following two clearances for volunteers:

PA Child Abuse Clearances which can be obtained either electronically by visiting https://www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis/public/home or by completing the PA Child Abuse History Certification form and mailing it to the address provided on the form.

PA Criminal Background Checks can also be obtained electronically by visiting https://epatch.state.pa.us/Home.jsp or by completing the PA Criminal Background Check form and mailing it to the address provided on the form.

Both clearances are free to volunteers.  These forms cannot be used to gain employment.

More information about the law and who needs clearances can be found by accessing the document below:

http://www.keepkidssafe.pa.gov/cs/groups/webcontent/documents/document/C_135246.pdf

If additional information is requested, please contact Forbes Road School District by calling (814)-685-3866.