Legislative Update: Clearances for VolunteersHouse Bill 1276 was signed into law by Governor Wolf on July 1, 2015. Now known as Act 15 of 2015, the legislation amends the Child Protective Services Law (CPSL) by providing some clarity and some financial relief surrounding clearances (now called certifications).Since the enactment of the original 23 amendments, much confusion has existed over which adult volunteers need certifications. Agencies that are a child-care service as defined by the CPSL, schools and programs activities or services must ensure that certain volunteers submit certifications. Act 15 requires that those volunteers with “direct volunteer contact” or are responsible for the child’s welfare obtain certifications.Direct volunteer contact is defined as providing care, supervision, guidance or control of children and having regular and repeated contact with children. Each organization will need to assess the roles and responsibilities of its volunteers in determining who needs to have certifications.In making that determination, consideration must be given to whether a volunteer is responsible for the welfare of a child and to whether the volunteer is acting in lieu of or on behalf of a parent. If they are acting in lieu of or on behalf of a parent, they will need certifications.If the volunteer is not acting in lieu or behalf of the parent then consideration must be given to whether the volunteer has direct volunteer contact with children by providing care, supervision, guidance or control of children and have regular and repeated interaction with children. In considering the terms “care, supervision, guidance and control of children,” the common meanings of these terms should be used.Volunteers are required to obtain the child abuse history certification and the Pennsylvania criminal history certifications. The federal criminal history certification is required if the volunteer has lived in Pennsylvania less than ten years. If the volunteer has lived in Pennsylvania more than ten years, the volunteer must swear and affirm in writing that they are not disqualified from service based upon a conviction of an offense under §6344 of the CPSL. The website keepkidssafe.pa.gov has a sample form that can be used for this purpose.Additionally, as of July 25, 2015, volunteers can obtain the child abuse history certification and the Pennsylvania criminal history certifications at no cost. Those volunteers who need the federal criminal history certification will need to pay the fee of $25.75. Pennsylvania has no control over the federal fees.The effective date for volunteer certifications began August 25, 2015. This means that new volunteers as of August 25 will need the certifications. Current volunteers who have outdated certifications or who have never obtained certifications will need to obtain them by July 1, 2016.For additional information and forms, please visit keepkidssafe.pa.govClearance Information
LASD and PDE require volunteer clearances. Clearances must be less than five years old at the time of hire. Original clearances must be presented, although our office will only maintain a copy.Act 24 Arrest/Conviction Report and Certification Form (Free for Volunteers-Required)Act 34 Clearance (PA Criminal Background Check - $8 for Employees/Free for Volunteers-Required)
Act 151 Clearance (Child Abuse - $8 for Employees/Free for Volunteers-Required)
Act 151 Clearances are now available online. You must create an account at http://www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis/public/home Once an account is created, you will be emailed a temporary password. Use this password to log in to the system and, click "Access My Clearances". After reading the instructions, click "Continue" on the bottom right of the screen and then choose "Create Clearance Application". Prospective employees will need to use their own credit/debit card information to pay for the clearance.
Click here to download paper application. Allow 3-4 weeks for processing of a paper application.
Act 114 Clearance (Federal Fingerprinting - $25.75 Fee Required)
The FBI clearance is not necessary to volunteer if the position for which you are volunteering is unpaid and you have been a resident of Pennsylvania during the entirety of the previous ten years. If these provision apply, please complete and return the attached Disclosure Statement Application For Volunteers.You must obtain an FBI Clearance under the PA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. No other FBI Clearance will be accepted (Dept of Welfare, Dept of Banking, etc.). You must log on to www.pa.cogentid.com and get a Registration ID (which starts with PAE).TB Testing (Fee varies dependent upon service provider)TB testing is required for all employees and volunteers pursuant to the Pennsylvania School Code, Section 1418(b). The tuberculin skin test shall be performed by a physician of the employee's choice. The employee/volunteer shall provide the school with the form verifying the TB test was administered within three months prior to the date of employment or volunteering. Additional information regarding this testing can be found in 28 PA Code, Section 23.44.