Pennsylvania Children's Protection Act

PA Act 153 (Child Protective Services Law)

Effective January 1, 2015, major changes were enacted in Pennsylvania’s Child Protective Services Law (Act 153) that affect all organizations that work with youth, including the BSA.  This change now requires the BSA to conduct background clearance checks for all employees and volunteers through providers specifically designated by law.  While the BSA has and will continue to conduct its own background checks, those checks are conducted through a third party provider and do not meet the specific provisions of the law.  As a result, all volunteers will need to obtain additional background checks following the information outlined below.
  



Pennsylvania Leaders

New York Leaders

Effective Immidately

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August 25, 2015

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All newly registering leaders must submit the following forms along with their approved BSA Adult application:

  1. BSA Youth Protection Certificate of completion.
  2. PA State Police Criminal History
  3. PA Dept. of Human Services-Child Abuse Clearances.
  4. FBI fingerprint based federal criminal history or “waiver” form.

(Waiver applies if you have lived in PA for ten or more consecutive years).

All newly registering leaders must submit the following forms along with their approved BSA Adult application:

  1. BSA Youth Protection Certificate of completion.
  2. If the leader plans to travel to Pennsylvania to conduct Scouting activities more than once a month, all PA clearances listed to the left must also be submitted.


December 31, 2015

All currently registered leaders looking to renew their membership at the annual re charter time must submit the following forms along with the unit re charter paperwork:

  1. BSA Youth Protection Certificate of completion (If current certificate expires by end of next year (12/31/2016).
  2. PA State Police Criminal History
  3. PA Dept. of Human Services-Child Abuse Clearances.
  4. FBI fingerprint based federal criminal history or “waiver” form.

(Waiver applies if you have lived in PA for ten or more consecutive years).

All currently registered leaders looking to renew their membership at the annual re charter time must submit the following forms along with the unit re charter paperwork:

  1. BSA Youth Protection Certificate of completion (If current certificate expires by end of next year (12/31/2016).
  2. If the leader plans to travel to Pennsylvania to conduct Scouting activities more than once a month, all PA clearances listed to the left must also be submitted.




Who Needs Background Clearances?

  • All Baden-Powell Council paid staff who work with youth in Pennsylvania, regardless of their job responsibilities, must have proper clearances.
  • All registered Scouters, regardless of their position responsibilities, must have proper clearances.
  • All non-registered adults who may have care, supervision, guidance or control of children, or routine interaction with children must have proper clearances and are encouraged to become registered Scouters.
    • Examples:
      • Any adult that regularly stays for a den meeting and ends up assisting with projects being worked on, serving snacks, or monitoring restroom breaks.
      • Any adult that lends a helping hand at the pack meeting or at pack activities such as Pinewood Derbies, day trips, camping weekends, etc.
      • Any adult that acts as a driver for the activity

In order to assist you with who is required to comply with the new PA law, Baden-Powell Council Board has developed a flow chart for you to determine if you need the required clearances

WHAT CLEARANCES DO I NEED?

OBTAINING CLEARANCES

Which Clearances Are Required?

All volunteers must obtain the following clearances:

  1. Report of criminal history from the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP).
  2. Child Abuse History Clearance from the Department of Human Services (Child Abuse).
  3. Fingerprint based federal criminal history (FBI) submitted through the Pennsylvania State Police or its authorized agent.
    • Not required if:
      • The position the volunteer is applying for is unpaid; and
      • The volunteer has been a Pennsylvania resident continuously for the past 10 years.
        Volunteers who are not required to obtain the FBI Clearance because they are applying for an unpaid position and have been a continuous resident of Pennsylvania for the past 10 years must swear or affirm in writing that they are not disqualified from service based upon a conviction of an offense.

      BPC CLEARANCES FLOW CHART

                 OBTAINING CLEARANCES

When Are Clearances Required?

Volunteers are required to obtain clearances as follows:

  • Starting August 25, 2015 all NEW volunteers must obtain clearances prior to beginning service.
  • By December 31, 2015, any volunteer registered prior to July 1, 2015 must obtain clearances as par to the 2015-2016 rechartering process.
  • Clearances must be renewed every 57 months.

How Do I Get The Needed Clearances?

Clearances must be paid for by the volunteer. When finished, an original copy of the provided certificate must be submitted.  See the submission instructions below.

  1. PA State Police criminal history ($10.00 Waived)
  2. PA Department of Human Services clearance ($10.00 Waived)
  3. Finger print FBI criminal history – (volunteers not living in Pennsylvania for the entire 10 prior years) ($27.75)
    1. Step 1: Pre-registration is required online at https://www.pa.cogentid.com/index_dpwNew.htm
    2. Step 2: After registering online, visit a registered 3M Cogent Fingerprint site. Call ahead to double check times and availability

What If I Am Exempt From the FBI Fingerprint Check?

The FBI Fingerprint check is required for all employees.  Volunteers may be exempt if the position the volunteer is applying for is unpaid; and the volunteer has been a Pennsylvania resident continuously for the past 10 years.

Volunteers who are not required to obtain the FBI Clearance because they are applying for an unpaid position and have been a continuous resident of Pennsylvania for the past 10 years must swear or affirm in writing that they are not disqualified from service based upon a conviction of an offense. To do this, complete and submit the following form: DISCLOSURE STATEMENT for VOLUNTEERS

What If I Have Already Obtained Clearances For Another Organization?

Employees must obtain new clearances even if they have obtained them for another employer or volunteer organization.  Volunteers may carry clearances from one organization to another provided that 1) they present the original clearance reports, and 2) clearances are no older than 36 months.

What If I am Registered in a Unit, but do not work directly with Scouts? (EX. Charter Organizational Rep, Institutional Head, Committee Member)

If you are registered with a Scouting Unit, but do not work with scouts directly you are not required to obtain clearances.  Please complete the BPC CLEARANCES WAIVER and submit it to your unit committee chair.

What If I Do Not Live in Pennsylvania?

Employees working for the Baden-Powell Council no matter where they live must complete the three required checks.  Volunteers that live outside of the state that volunteer for the Baden-Powell Council must complete the required checks.  Out of State volunteers who volunteer for another scout council are allowed to work with youth in PA provided 1) the time period involved is no longer than 30 days at a time, and 2) they meet the volunteer background check requirements of their state of residence. 

How Do I Submit My Background Clearances?

To submit completed background clearances follow these steps:

For Volunteers Registered after July 1, 2015 for Youth Protection and August 25, 2015 for PA Background Checks

All new leaders registering in the Baden Powell Council must submit their BSA Youth Protection Training certificate of completion along with their approved BSA adult application.  In addition, all newly registering Pennsylvania leaders must also submit all forms of PA clearances along with their approved adult application and BSA Youth Protection Certificate.  (Applications submitted to the Scout Service Center without the above mentioned forms will not be processed).

For Volunteers Registered before August 25, 2015

All currently registered volunteers will need to complete their required background checks or waiver forms before December 30, 2015 and submit a copy of their clearances with their units recharter paperwork.  The Unit Committee Chair must see the Original Documents before accepting copies.  Please do not send directly to the council service center.

Mandated Reporter Updates

Along with the changes for background checks, laws related to who is a Mandated Reporter have been updated.  All Scout volunteers at all times are mandated reporters. For further information related to Mandated Reporters see below:

PA Mandatory Reporters Brochure

Additional Questions?

DELAHANNA DISTRICT TOWNHALL MEETING PRESENTATION

For additional questions please contact Scout Executive Rick Christ at 607-648-7888 X 105.