The PA Legislature has amended the Child Protective Services Law numerous times over the past year. The most recent changes came to us through Act 153 of 2014, which focuses on criminal background checks and impacts everyone employed, substituting, or volunteering in a school district, effective immediately.
As Act 153 relates to clearances, the law now requires all prospective and current employees to obtain and renew all three (3) clearances (the PA State Criminal Record Check, the PA Child Abuse History Clearance, and the FBI Federal Clearance) on a three-year cycle. The law breaks down the renewal requirements into three (3) categories. Please read them all carefully as it is possible that you may qualify for more than one (1) of these categories based on the date you were hired and/or last applied for/submitted clearances.
1.) RECENTLY HIRED EMPLOYEES – employees whose clearances are not yet three (3) years old are currently in compliance and would not need to obtain new clearances at this time. This would be anyone hired in 2013 and 2014 whose clearances are dated in 2013 or 2014. New clearances will need to be obtained prior to those current clearances expiring 3-years from the date of issue (in 2016 or 2017).
2.) EMPLOYEES WHO HAVE BEEN EMPLOYED FOR MORE THAN THREE (3) YEARS – employees whose clearances are dated prior to December 31, 2011 and employees hired prior to a time when all three (3) clearances were required, are considered to have clearances that are now out of date. The statute requires all employees to obtain and submit all three (3) new clearances no later than December 31, 2015.
3.) EMPLOYEES HIRED AROUND 2012 WITH CLEARANCES DATED IN THE YEAR 2012 – employees must obtain new clearances prior to the expiration date of those clearances. For employees with clearances dated in January 2012 or February 2012, you are advised to apply for your clearances right away, as your current one(s) will soon be out of date.
Please note: 1) It is the obligation of each individual to accept the financial responsibility to obtain and submit all three (3) clearances to the district as required; and 2) It is the responsibility of each individual to track the dates of their clearances to ensure that updated clearances are submitted to the district no later than three (3) years from the date of the most recent clearance on file. When you obtain your new clearances, please submit them to the attention of Jen Heller in the Administration Office. Please understand, this is a state mandate and the district will be audited for compliance.
For an instruction sheet to obtain the three required clearances listed above, please CLICK HERE