In 2015, two laws that impact how volunteers obtain clearances were implemented. The first law, PA Act 153, was signed by Governor Tom Corbett in 2014 and in force as of December 31, 2014. The second law, PA Act 15 of 2015, was signed by Governor Tom Wolf and in force on August 25, 2015 (superseding portions of PA Act 153).
As with any youth organization in Pennsylvania, the law has a direct impact on volunteers as it requires them to obtain background clearances to volunteer with our youth.
What clearances are needed?
Depending on the individual, volunteers in our church may be required to obtain between two and three clearances. The three clearances are as follows:
Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Background Check
All volunteers needing clearances under the law shall be required to obtain a criminal background check run by the Pennsylvania State Police. This background check is free to all volunteers as of July 25, 2015. (No need to register, just click on the yellow box.)
Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Child Abuse Clearance
All volunteers needing clearances under the law shall be required to obtain a child abuse clearance from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. This background check is free to all volunteers as of July 25, 2015. (You will need to register for an account on the site.)
Federal Bureau of Investigation Fingerprint-Based Background Check
Volunteers needing clearances under the law that have lived in the state of Pennsylvania for less than ten consecutive years (including the current year) must obtain a fingerprint-based FBI Background Check. This background check carries a $21.75 fee, but must only be obtained once provided you continue to live in the state of Pennsylvania. You must register and pay before you visit the fingerprinting site (note that some may require that you call ahead to register for an appointment).
Volunteers that have lived in the state of Pennsylvania for the last ten consecutive years are exempt from this check, but must complete an affidavit affirming such: PA Volunteer Disclosure Statement.
Please contact Diane Larson if you have any questions.