Changes in the Child Protective Services Law (CPSL)

Clarification on Clearances for Employees and Volunteers

Who needs clearances and how often?

The following individuals must now obtain clearances:

  • An employee of child care services.
  • A self-employed provider of child care services in a family child care home.
  • An individual 14 years of age or older who is applying for or holding a paid position as an employee with a program, activity or service as a person responsible for the child’s welfare or having direct contact with children.
  • If the program, activity or service is an internship, externship, work-study, co-op or similar program, only an adult applying for or holding a paid position with an employer that participates in the internship, externship, work-study, co-op or similar program with a school and whom the employer and the school identify as the child’s supervisor and the person responsible for the child’s welfare while the child participates in the program with the employer must obtain the clearances.
  • Any individual seeking to provide childcare services under contract with a child care facility or program.
  • An individual 18 years of age or older who resides for at least 30 days in a calendar year in the following homes which are subject to SUPERVISION OR licensure by the department under Articles IX and X of the act of June 13, 1967 (P.L.31, No.21), known as the Public Welfare Code:
  • A family living home.
  • A community home for individuals with an intellectual disability.
  • A host home for children.
  • This does not include an individual with an intellectual disability or chronic psychiatric disability receiving services in a home.
  • An individual who applies to the department for a certificate of compliance or a registration certificate to provide child day care in a residence shall include criminal history record and child abuse record information required under section 6344(b) for every individual 18 years of age or older who resides in the home for at least 30 days in a calendar year.
  • A foster parent.
  • A prospective adoptive parent.
  • An individual 18 years of age or older who resides in the home of a foster parent for at least 30 days in a calendar year or who resides in the home of a prospective adoptive parent for at least 30 days in a calendar year.
  • School Employees (Pursuant to the provision of Act 153 of 2014)
  • Adult Volunteers with a child care service, a school or a program, activity or service responsible for the child’s welfare  or having direct volunteer contact with children.

Which clearances do they need?

  • Report of criminal history from the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP)
  • Child Abuse History Clearance from the Department of Human Services (Child Abuse); and
  • Fingerprint based federal criminal history submitted through the Pennsylvania State Police or its authorized agent (FBI)

The Fingerprint based federal criminal history requirement does not include adult volunteers who have been a continuous resident of Pennsylvania for the past 10 years and swear or affirm in writing that they are not disqualified from service based upon a conviction of an offense under §6344

NOTE:Foster and prospective adoptive parents, or any individual over 18 years of age residing in the home, who have resided outside of the commonwealth at anytime within the previous five-year period must also obtain a Child Abuse clearance obtained within the previous one-year period or its equivalent in each state the person has resided within the previous five-year period.

How do I get these clearances and what is the cost?

Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check

The Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check can be obtained online at “Pennsylvania Access To Criminal History,” (PATCH). The cost for the criminal background check for employment purposes increased to $22 on December 1, 2017. Requests for volunteer purposes is free.

Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance

The Pennsylvania Child Abuse History clearance can be submitted and paid for online through the Child Welfare Information Solution (CWIS) self-service portal. The cost of the child abuse clearances increased from $8 to $13 on July 1, 2018. Requests for the check for volunteer purposes is free.

FBI Criminal Background Check

• FBI Criminal Background Checks are now done through IDEMIA (also referred to as IdentoGo or MorphoTrust) - effective November 28, 2017. It is a multi-step process – more information can be found at http://www.keepkidssafe.pa.gov/resources/clearances/index.htm

UNDERSTANDING THE CHANGES TO CPSL

Significant changes were made to Pennsylvania’s Child Protective Services Law in 2013 and 2014. The following documents will help you identify these changes:

Act 31 Requirements for Training of Mandated Reporters

Act 31 requires child abuse recognition and reporting training for the following:

Mandated reporters who hold a health-related license under the Pennsylvania Department of State

  • Training approved by the licensing board in consultation with the Department of Human Services
  • Two hours of training for each licensing cycle

Article IX Licensed Child Care Facilities

The requirements below apply to operators of institutions, facilities or agencies that care for children and are subject to supervision by the Department of Human Services (DHS) under Article IX of the Public Welfare Code, and their employees who have direct contact with children.

  • Operators must have three hours of training no later than June 30, 2015, and prior to the issuance of a license. Three hours of training is required every five years thereafter.
  • Employees who have direct contact with children must have three hours of training within six months of the issuance of a license. Three hours of training is required every five years thereafter.
  • New employees must have three hours of training within 90 days of hire.
  • Training must be approved by DHS.

Foster parents

  • Foster parents must have three hours of training within six months of the issuance of a license. Three hours of training is required every five years thereafter.
  • New foster parents must have three hours of training within 90 days of approval.
  • Training must be approved by DHS.

Article X Licensed Child Care Facilities

The requirements below apply to operators of facilities and agencies that care for children and are subject to licensure by the DHS under Article X of the Public Welfare Code and their employees who have direct contact with children.

  • Operators must have three hours of training no later than June 30, 2015, and prior to the issuance of a license. Three hours of training is required every five years thereafter.
  • Employees who have direct contact with children must have three hours of training within six months of the issuance of a license. Three hours of training is required every five years thereafter.
  • New employees must have three hours of training within 90 days of hire.
  • Training must be approved by DHS.

Caregivers in Subarticle (c) of Article X Facilities

The below requirements apply to caregivers in family day care homes that are subject to registration by the department under Subarticle (c) of Article X of the Public Welfare Code and their employees who have direct contact with children.

  • Operators must have three hours of training no later than June 30, 2015, and prior to the issuance of a license. Three hours of training is required every five years thereafter.
  • Training must be approved by DHS.

Read Act 31.

About PFSA's Training

The Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse training provided by Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance (PFSA) is approved by the Department of Human Services, the Department of State and the Department of Education.

Further Information

For further information about the training requirement, please contact:

Act 126

Act 126 requires training for school employees. Read the requirements of this Act.

Ways You Can Connect