Legal Update on Volunteer Clearances
Act 153 of 2014
to read QCSD Volunteer Board Policy and Administrative Regulation.
If you currently volunteer or wish to volunteer with Quakertown Community School District, you must be aware of the following changes regarding clearance requirements. Clearance requirements now include PA State Police Criminal History (Act 34), Child Abuse (Act 151), Federal Criminal History (Act 114), and the PDE 2006 (Act 24) Form.
- Who needs clearances? An individual who is responsible for the child's welfare or has direct volunteer contact with children.
- Direct Volunteer Contact - The care, supervision, guidance, or control of children and routine interaction with children.
- Routine Interaction - Regular and repeated contact that is integral to a person's employment of volunteer responsibilities.
- Person Responsible for Child's Welfare - Person who provides permanent or temporary care, supervision, mental health diagnosis or treatment, training or control of a child in lieu of parental care, supervision and control. Includes any such person who has direct or regular contact with a child through any program, activity, or service sponsored by a school, for-profit organization or religious or other not for profit organization.
- Effective 7/1/15, it is the protocol of QCSD that FBI clearances are required for all volunteers who have direct contact with children - the "10 year residency" exception no longer applies.
- New and existing volunteers (those serving as a volunteer prior to December 31, 2014) who do not have clearances on file or have clearances on file older than 5 years, must obtain/renew clearances in order to be approved to volunteer. Please check with your building Principal/Secretary where you currently volunteer for the status of your clearances. We recommend that you start this process early in order to be eligible to volunteer for the upcoming school year school year.
- All clearances must be submitted to the building at which you plan on volunteering within one year of obtaining them. If you are a new volunteer, and obtained your clearances over a year ago you will need to have them redone.
- New clearances must be provided every 5 years.
- To obtain/update your required clearances, please click on the links below:
- Act 114: FBI Fingerprints (Effective 7/1/15, it is the protocol of QCSD that FBI clearances are required for all volunteers who have direct contact with children - the "10 year residency" exception no longer applies). We will accept Department of Human Services FBI report only if it is less than 1 year old with "no record" indicated.
- Please note that we do not automatically receive your results of your FBI fingerprinting. Your unofficial results will be mailed to you from Cogent. It is your responsibility to provide a copy of these results to your school office.
Governor Tom Wolf announced on June 10, 2015 that fees for child abuse clearances and criminal background checks required by the Child Protective Services Law will be waived for volunteers working with children. Additionally, the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) will be reducing the cost of both the child abuse and criminal history record checks from $10 to $8 for all other applicants. These changes will take effect July 25, 2015. Please click here for complete details.
- Additional Documents required:
Once you have all of your clearances please bring them to the school where you would like to volunteer.
If you have any questions, please contact the Human Resources Department at 215-529-2027.
Child Protective Services Law - Reporting Obligations
- Who is a mandated reporter: All employees of the District including contractors and individuals paid/unpaid who accept responsibility for a child.
- Mandated reporters are required by law to report in good faith any suspected child abuse under any/all circumstances. It is our stance that it is always better to over report. Individuals filing a report in good faith are immune from any civil or criminal liability.
- A mandated reporter who fails to report is liable and can be charged with an offense ranging from a misdemeanor of the second degree to a felony of the third degree.
Reporting procedure - Must file a report with the Department of Public Welfare and District Office. When filing a report with District administration please contact an administrator in one of the following departments: Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources, Pupil Services. When filing with the Department of Public Welfare please use the ChildLine toll-free hotline - 1-800-932-0313.
Please note - notifying your supervisor and/or a District Administrator only, does not comply with the law, you must contact the Department of Public Welfare.