State Law Change Affects All Scouters
Welcome to Laurel Highlands Council's Online Risk Management Program & Background Checking System
Mandatory Reporter Brochure
Governor Wolf had just signed the bill which is now Act 15 of 2015, replacing Act 153.
Act 15 was the result of the efforts of many Representatives and Senators to refine and better define what was signed into law late last year as Pennsylvania Act #153. House Bill No. 1276 was the main vehicle that was developed and amended into what became Act 15.
A couple of items of particular note:
- The date for compliance for new volunteers is now August 25, 2015 (the previous date was July 1, 2015).
- The fees for both DHS child abuse clearance and the PSP criminal history background clearance for volunteers have been waived.
- Both the DHS child abuse clearance and the PSP criminal history background clearance must be renewed once every 57 months (the previous law required every 36 months).
- Updates to the keepkidssafe.pa.gov website are expected as early as Monday, July 6, 2015, including the FAQ’s related to this newest legislation.
Important News about Changes to the PA Child Protective Services Law - 6/10/2015
Governor Tom Wolf announced today that fees for child abuse clearances and criminal background checks required by the Child Protective Services Law will be waived for volunteers working with children. Additionally, the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) will be reducing the cost of both the child abuse and criminal history record checks from $10 to $8 for all other applicants. These changes will take effect July 25, 2015. See the full news release.
Due to these changes we have modified our timeline for volunteers to obtain their clearances. All volunteers, including Merit Badge Counselors, District Committee Members, and unit leaders will now have until December 31, 2015 to obtain their clearances.
State Law Change Affects All Scouters
The PA Child Protective Services Law changed effective January 1, 2015. This change requires the BSA to conduct background checks through provider designated by PA per the requirements of the law. The BSA will continue to use its background checking system, in addition to the checks required for PA.
Individuals fall into two categories…paid and volunteer…and each has its own set of required clearances. All individuals must upload the required documents into the LHC BSA Online Risk Management System (link to upload forms and additional info at the bottom of the page).
It is recommended that you install a pdf converter to allow you to print the reports, so you may upload them to the LHC BSA Online Risk Management System. Free .pdf converters are available from CutePDF and Primopdf.
Who Is Required to Comply with the New PA Law?
In order to assist you with who is required to comply with the new PA law, Laurel Highlands Council has created a FAQ. Please note that the requirements of compliance are considerably broader than just those who would traditionally be considered a BSA volunteer. Accordingly, we strongly urge you to review the FAQ.
Timeline to provide the clearance forms.
Any new volunteers who begin their volunteer service on or after August 25, 2015
, the council must receive the compliance materials before the volunteer participates in any activity where he or she will supervise and/or have direct contact with children under the age of 18. It is the responsibility of the troop/pack/crew committee chair and chartering organization representative to ensure that compliance is handled before the volunteer starts. Moreover, a new volunteer will not be registered until the council has evidence of compliance.
- District committee, commissioners and merit badge counselors will need to be in compliance prior to December 31, 2015.
- All current volunteers, except for those listed above, must be in compliance before rechartering in December 2015.
Volunteers must provide the following:
State Police Criminal Record CheckPA
Child Abuse History Clearance
If PA resident for at least 10 continuous years: a completed Laurel Highlands Council Pennsylvania Resident Volunteer Verification Form.
If PA resident for less than 10 continuous years and/or a resident of anywhere other than PA: FBI Criminal Background Check
Individuals who are paid are required to comply with the law immediately.
Individuals who are paid to oversee the children/have direct contact with children must provide the following:
State Police Criminal Record Check
PA Child Abuse History Clearance
FBI Criminal Background Check
How To Obtain Your Background Checks
PA State Police Report:
PA State Police Criminal Record Checks can be obtained online by visiting the State Police web site - Click Here
This clearance will display on your computer screen. Be sure to print this report to a .pdf or print and scan the form so you submit it to the council digitally. Free .pdf converters are available for download from the web.
Child Abuse History Report:
PA Child Abuse History Clearances may be made online - Click Here.
FBI Criminal Background Check:
To request an FBI Fingerprint Clearance (approximate cost $27.50): Click Here. Please note: This link will take you to the page managed by Cogent for the state of PA to help individuals attain an FBI clearance. Please select the Department of Human Services link as your option.
Laurel Highlands Council Pennsylvania Resident Volunteer Verification Form (PDF): Click Here
Pennsylvania Residents only. West Virginia and Maryland volunteers will need to complete the FBI Criminal Background Check.
How To Receive Approval
LHC BSA volunteers must upload copies of your required documents to the LHC BSA Online Risk Management System. In order to ensure that your files are properly received and recorded, please secure all your documentation before visiting this link and upload your files at the same time.
If you need assistance or have questions, please contact Sharon Moulds at the Council Office via email at Sharon.Moulds@Scouting.org or by phone at 412-471-2927
PowerPoint Presentation Shown at the April 18th Coordinated Meeting: FILE