Information found here as been adapted from information on the Pittsburgh Presbytery’s website.
Recent Changes to PA Child Abuse Laws
As of January 1, 2015 significant changes have been made in PA to the child abuse statutes impacting church staff & volunteers who have regular contact with children.
The changes that impact the Open Door deal with the mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse and background checks and clearances.
Background Checks and Clearances
The new statute broadened the mandatory background check and clearance requirements. Employees aged 14 and older and adult volunteers who are responsible for the welfare of a child or who have “direct contact” with children are required to get the following clearances:
- Pennsylvania Criminal Record Check (SP4-164)
- Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance (CY113)
- Federal Criminal History Background Check (with fingerprints)—only needed for volunteers who have not been PA residents for the prior 10 years and all employees.
All clearances must be updated every 3 years.
We are asking all OD child care servers to have their clearances by May 1, 2015. As these clearances can take 6 weeks to complete, please begin work on them ASAP.
These requirements apply to those who serve in a regularly scheduled program or activity and not those who volunteer on a one-time or occasional activity.
How to get your clearances:
All info can be found http://www.dhs.state.pa.us/findaform/childabusehistoryclearanceforms/index.htm
PA State Police Request for Criminal Record Check (SPA-164)
- This can be completed online
- A paper application can be printed from here
- The cost is $10. This can be paid online if applying online or send a MONEY ORDER with a paper application.
Child Abuse History Clearance (CY113)
- This can be competed online
- A paper application can be printed out here
- Cost is $10 either to be paid online when you fill out the online application or with a MONEY ORDER
Federal Criminal Background Check (ONLY needed if you have not been a PA resident for the last 10 years)
- This can be completed online. More detailed instructions on how to complete this clearance can also be found at that site.
- After registering online, you must bring your printed out registration form to a finger print location–locations and details can be found on the web site.
- Cost is $27.50 and can either be paid online when you register or with a MONEY ORDER.
As you receive your clearances please get a copy to Amy either by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or making a copy and putting it in Amy’s box in the OD office.
If you wish to seek reimbursement for these clearances, you may do so by submitting your receipts along with a check request form. The forms can be found in the OD office. Please place the completed request form along with the receipts in Marlaena’s box in the OD office. Contact Marlaena with any questions regarding reimbursement (email@example.com).
- 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, accepts responsibility for a child—-is a mandatory reporter.
- A mandatory reporter must make a report when in the course of employment or volunteering, s/he comes to have “reasonable cause” to suspect that a child is a victim of child abuse. (bodily injury, serious mental injury, sexual abuse or exploitation, physical neglect)
- This need NOT be based on first-hand knowledge and does not require the reporter to be able to definitively identify the perpetrator.
- NOT ABUSE: child on child contact (under age 14), environmental factors such as inadequate housing, practice of religious beliefs, sport physical contact, reasonable force used in supervision, safety, or self defense.
How to Report
- Electronically at www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis/public/home
- By calling 1-800-932-0313. If a report is made by phone, the reporter must file an electronic or written report within 48 hours of making the oral report.
- After making a report, you must notify Pastor BJ Woodworth.
- Keep a copy of the written form and email confirmation for your own records.