Volunteers Working with Children: PA’s New Background Clearance Requirements

Pennsylvania laws require extensive child abuse history clearances for volunteers who have direct contact with children. As of July 1, 2015, new laws simplified the process for obtaining background certifications, and made other significant changes to reduce the burdens on organizations and their volunteers.  See the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services website for more about the requirements and how to obtain each of these certifications.

Schools and other organizations that provide services for children, and that rely on volunteers, should review and update their policies and clearance procedures to reflect the requirements of this new legislation.  Thinking systemically about compliance, and involving legal counsel in the design and drafting process, can help streamline implementation efforts, minimize risks, and conserve resources.

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