Volunteer Background Checks

US Department of State, and Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law
and its Impact on Adult Volunteers in the Rotary District 7450 Rotary Youth Leadership Awards 

Recently 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 must comply with this new law (i.e. Boy Scouts, school teachers, and Rotary Youth Programs).

For all Adult Volunteers (over the age of 18) please review this information and take the required action.

ALL VOLUNTEERS ARE MANDATED REPORTERS OF CHILD ABUSE

In the State of Pennsylvania, all Volunteers 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. The Commonwealth has created a portal for reporting purposes. www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis or Phone Number 800‐932‐0313. After reporting the suspected abuse to the State the individual shall contact the Chair of the District RYLA Committee.

ALL RYLA VOLUNTEERS IN THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA MUST COMPLETE BACKGROUND CHECKS

  1. Report of Criminal History from the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP)
    The Volunteer logs onto the website epatch.state.pa.us/Home.jsp and enters the requested information. The process takes 10‐15 minutes.  The results from this check displayed on line during the session. You can print off the Certificate with your results. This Certificate must be forwarded to:

    Sharon Quick
    sharon.c.quick at gmail.com

    If you already have completed this check for another work or volunteer program, and you have a current certificate, you may use that for the RYLA Program.

  2. Child Abuse History Clearance from the Department of Human Service.
    The Volunteer logs onto the website www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis/public/home, creates an account and enters the requested information. The process takes 15 - 30 minutes  You will create and individual account.

    It will ask you for every address where you have lived, and the people you have lived with since 1975, so you may want to gather up the address’s before you begin. The Certificate with the results from this check are returned to the Volunteer requesting the check. This Certificate must be forwarded to:

    Sharon Quick
    sharon.c.quick at gmail.com

    If you already have completed this check for another work or volunteer program, and you have a current certificate, you may use that for the RYLA Program.

WHO IS REQUIRED TO COMPLY WITH THE NEW PENNSYLVANIA LAW?

All Adult Volunteers (Rotarians and non-Rotarians) who may have care, supervision, guidance or control of children, or routine interaction with RYLA Students must have proper clearances. The following serve as examples of adults in this category:

  • Parent or any other adult that acts as a driver for students other than his/her own child
  • Adults acting as chaperones or staff for RYLA

These examples are not inclusive of all possibilities, but are examples to help us think about the way to insure adults who are given responsibility for the care, supervision, guidance, or control of children or routine interaction with our students are appropriate for this role. When in doubt, please contact Karen Mazzarella, Chair of the District 7450 RYLA Program.

HOW DO I SUBMIT CLEARANCES TO THE DISTRICT?

When you complete the PA Background checks on line, you will receive a certificate of completion at that time, or in an Email within 2-5 days. If you already have completed these checks for another work or volunteer program, and you have a current certificate, you may use that for the RYLA Program. Volunteers must send copies the results of the PA Criminal History Background Check and the PA Child Abuse Clearance to:

Sharon Quick
sharon.c.quick at gmail.com

A positive decision from ALL background checks is required for a Volunteer to participate in the RYLA Program.

HOW LONG ARE THESE CHECKS GOOD FOR?

The State of Pennsylvania Checks are good for 5 years.

WHOSE RESPONSIBILITY IS IT TO ENSURE BACKGROUND CHECK CLEARANCES ARE OBTAINED?

It is the responsibility of the District RYLA Chair to ensure that compliance is handled before the volunteer service begins. A new Volunteer will not be permitted to participate in the program until the District RYLA Chair has evidence of compliance.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO PROCESS THE CLEARANCES?

The PA clearances come back to you on-line within a few minutes to a few days.

WHO PAYS FOR THE BACKGROUND CHECKS?

The State of Pennsylvania Criminal History Check and Child Abuse Clearance is provided by the State of Pennsylvania at no charge.

RESOURCES FOR FURTHER INFORMATION

Pennsylvania Website on Child Protection www.keepkidssafe.pa.gov
PennsylvaniaVolunteerFAQ keepkidssafe.pa.gov/cs/groups/webcontent/documents/document/c_135249.pdf
Pennsylvania Mandated Reporter FAQ keepkidssafe.pa.gov/cs/groups/webcontent/documents/document/c_137646.pdf