The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania passed a new law known as the Child Protective Services Law. The intent of this law is to protect the youth of Pennsylvania. All youth serving organizations within the Commonwealth are covered under this new law. Volunteers, registered and unregistered, in the Cradle of Liberty Council are affected in two ways; we are mandated child abuse reporters and required to provide background check clearances. Please review this information and take the required action.
The new law, as of July 1, 2015, has made several changes to volunteer compliance and clearances. While there have been changes to school based employees and foster parents, the following is related only to BSA volunteer compliance. Below are a few of the items that have changed with the passing of this new law; as well as interpretations of some BSA specific questions answered by the Department of Human Services.
All volunteers, registered and unregistered, over the age of 18 are now mandated reporters of child abuse. The law requires direct reporting from the individual suspecting or witnessing child abuse immediately. After reporting the suspected abuse to the state the individual shall contact the Scout executive. The Commonwealth has created a portal for reporting purposes: www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis or 800-932-0313.
All volunteers, registered and unregistered, in the Cradle of Liberty Council are required to submit background check clearances and renew these clearances every 60 months.
All registered unit, district, and council Scouters regardless of their position responsibilities must have proper clearances; Tiger Partners do not need 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 should be encouraged to become registered Scouters. The following serve as examples of adults in this category (additional examples and exclusions are listed in the BSA Volunteer FAQ. These examples are not inclusive of all possibilities, but are examples to help you begin to think about the way your unit uses non‐registered adults):
It is the responsibility of the unit committee chair and chartered organization representative to ensure that compliance is handled before the volunteer service begins. At the district level it is the responsibility of the district chair and district executive. At the council level it is the responsibility of the council president and the Scout executive. Moreover, a new volunteer will not be registered until the council has evidence of compliance.
Some of the clearances come back within a few minutes, however, some may take as long as 4-6 weeks.
Volunteers must upload copies of their required documents to the Background Check System. In order to ensure that your files are properly received and recorded, please secure all your documentation before visiting this link and upload all of your files at the same time. Clearances obtained for other volunteer or employment organizations may be submitted if they are current and meet the guidelines.
Upload your clearances here: http://ow.ly/MBGOE
We understand there may be a number of challenges in the first year of complying with this new law. Together, we can achieve a smooth transition. We appreciate your diligence in completing these checks in a timely fashion. If you need assistance or have questions, please contact:
The best source for updates, forms, and resources related to this newest legislation continues to be:http://keepkidssafe.pa.gov/