Criminal Background Checks and Child Abuse Clearances


Dec 2014


Criminal Background Checks and Child Abuse Clearances

12/17/2014 11:37:00 AM


Criminal Background Checks and Child Abuse Clearances Act 153 of 2014 On December 12, the PA General Assembly amended the Child Protective Services Law to require all prospective employees, current employees, independent contractors and volunteers to get and renew criminal background checks and child abuse clearances on a three-year cycle. This new law affects anyone with the potential of having direct contact with children and impacts all school employees. Specifically: • For educators with child abuse background checks, state and federal criminal clearances more than 3 years old as of December 31, 2014, you must obtain new clearances by December 31, 2015. Educators previously grandfathered from clearances are also required to obtain all three clearances by December 31, 2015. • For educators with clearances less than 3 years old, they will expire at their 3-year anniversary. Educators working under those clearances will need to obtain new clearances before that anniversary, even if the anniversary is before the end of 2015 and may be required to use the earliest three-year anniversary date as their renewal due date. A literal reading of the new law requires educators whose clearances are dated January 2012 to obtain new clearances by January 2015. However, PDE has assured that these employees will be given a grace period of until December 31, 2015. We advise that these members get their certifications renewed right away, as this is not actually denoted in the new law, but an informal grace period that could be challenged by new administration. How to obtain your clearances: Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance: Apply online at: (Cost $10) Apply through the mail: (Cost $10) Pennsylvania Criminal History Clearance: Apply online and through the mail: (Cost $10) Federal Criminal History Clearance Forms and Instructions: (Cost $28.75)