Clarifying the Child Protection Laws
On July 1, 2015 Gov. Wolf signed into law HB1276, which was submitted and passed to claridy the laws passed last fall to further the the protection of children and youth, as well as adult volunteers. Here's a brief synopsis of what the new legislation does.
Essentially, what has been taught the last six months in our Safe Sanctuaries training remains in effect, with a few minor changes.
What has changed?
- The date new volunteers need to obtain clearances is now August 25, 2015. Current volunteers still have until July 1, 2016 to come into compliance.
- The clearances are now valid for 5 years (was 3 years).
- The fees to obtain the Act 33 and 34 are waived (not the FBI fingerprint check) beginning July 25, 2015. Free clearance checks can now be done once every 57 months. "Direct volunteer contact" and "routine interaction” have been more fully defined.
- Direct volunteer contact - The care, supervision, guidance or control of children (under 18) and routine interaction with children.
- Routine interaction - Regular and repeated contact that is integral to a person’s employment or volunteer responsibilities.
What has not changed?
The foundational best practices of Safe Sanctuaries:
- Two adults who are not related or co-habitating in every classroom . Both adults, by PA law, should have Act 33 and 34 clearances and, if needed, an FBI record check.
- Windows in classroom, office and supply room doors.
- No person in authority under the age of 18.
- Sign-in and sign-out procedures.
- Six-month hospitality guideline.
- Reference and background checks on volunteers and staff. Paid staff, by PA law, shall have Act 33, 34 and the FBI record check.
- Understand who needs to report and why (mandated reporting).
Please contact me at 800.886.3382 x233 or firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have questions or concerns.
Changes will be reflected on our Safe Sanctuaries webpage.
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