Amended Pennsylvania Child Protection Laws Contain Enhanced Background Check Requirements

Posted On Wednesday, March 25, 2015
By: Leslie A. Mariotti

As part of a series of new Pennsylvania state child protective services laws that took effect in December 2014, many members of the faculty and staff at Pennsylvania’s public and private colleges will be required to submit to regular criminal background checks. Many colleges in the state already require certain background checks at the time of hire, but the new law mandates a renewed clearance every three years for all employees who interact with minors. Employees and applicants will have to obtain a criminal background check by the state police, a set of fingerprints run through the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s system and a check of the state’s division of child protective services to determine whether they have been accused of child abuse.  Colleges must keep a copy of the records. An institution will be guilty of a third-degree misdemeanor if it fails to get a copy of the background checks before hiring someone. Employees on college campuses are included in this law because of on-campus youth programs, dual enrollment programs with high schools and a small portion of freshman students who enroll as 17-year-olds.

For further information about these new requirements, please contact Kevin Raphael or Leslie Mariotti.