PA Child Protective Services Law

Update:  Act 15 has replaced Act 153...

PA Act 15 has replaced 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 5 years (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.

 

 

WHAT CLEARANCES ARE NEEDED AND HOW MUCH DO THEY COST

  • Report of criminal history from the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP)   (Free starting August 25, 2015)

  • Child Abuse History Clearance from the Department of Human Services   (Free starting August 25, 2015) 

  • Fingerprint based FBI criminal history clearance submitted through the Department of Human Services   cost-$25.75

    Volunteers who have lived in PA for the last 10 years may complete the “Bucktail Council Waiver for Fingerprinting Form” in place of the FBI Check

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET  THEM

Some of the clearances come back within a few minutes but it could take up to 4 weeks.  The online application process depends on several factors but could take an hour or more in total.

HOW DOES A PERSON APPLY FOR THE CLEARANCES

http://keepkidssafe.pa.gov/clearances/index.htm has all of the information and links for the clearances.

Click here for extremely detailed step by step instructions.

Report of criminal history from the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP)   (Free starting August 25, 2015)

It is easiest to go to the Pennsylvania Access To Criminal History website and apply for the criminal record check online with the Pennsylvania State Police at: https://epatch.state.pa.us/Home.jsp you will need a credit card and your social security number.

Applicants can also follow this link to print out and mail the Pennsylvania Criminal Record Check form Pennsylvania State Police Request for Criminal record Check Form (SP4-164) You will need to send a certified check or money order with the form (no cash or personal checks)

If you have questions about the Pennsylvania State Police Request for Criminal Record Checks form (SP4 164), please call: (717) 783-9973 or toll free 1-888-783-7972.

Child Abuse History Clearance from the Department of Human Services   (Free starting August 25, 2015)

https://www.compass.state.pa.us/CWIS is the link to the online application.  You will first need to create an account and then fill out the application.  You will need a credit card and a list of everywhere you have lived since 1975 and everyone you’ve lived with.  This will give you immediate access to your results or the status of your results if your results cannot be processed immediately.

If you prefer you can download the application at:http://www.dhs.state.pa.us/findaform/childabusehistoryclearanceforms/S_001762  The directions for filling out the paper form are on the last page of the application.  You will need a money order when you submit the application by mail. 

Fingerprint based FBI criminal history clearance submitted through the Department of Human Services cost-$25.75

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services is utilizing Cogent Systems to process fingerprint-based FBI criminal background checks. The fingerprint based background check is a multiple step process. For more information and to begin the registration process, go to www.pa.cogentid.com//index_dpw.htm. For question about your FBI Clearance, please contact the FBI/Adam Walsh Unit at 717-783-6211 or 1-877-371-5422.

 

This clearance requires you to visit one of the authorized fingerprinting locations.  The link above gives a list of locations and the identification a person must have with them.

 

 

I LIVE OUTSIDE OF PENNSYLVANIA/AM AWAY AT SCHOOL OUT OF STATE, DO I NEED TO GO TO PENNSYLVANIA TO GET MY FINGERPRINTS TAKEN 

Fingerprint cards are the only option for out-of-state applicants or optional for applicants who are unable to be printed electronically at a Livescan system within Pennsylvania.   The following link gives the directions on how to use this option: https://www.pa.cogentid.com/index_dpwNew.htm 

 

 

IF I ALREADY HAVE CLEARANCES DO I NEED NEW ONES

The current Law indicates that the clearances are transferable for volunteers.  The clearances are good for 5 years from the date they were obtained so if you recently completed the background checks for another organization, you can use them for your Scouting position as well.