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Important: PA Child Protection Laws

posted Sep 27, 2015, 4:57 PM by Doug Schaefer
Parents, the BSA Washington Crossing Council's Executive Board has approved a policy to help ensure volunteer compliance with the enactment of the PA Child Protective Services Law (Pennsylvania Acts 2014-153 & 2015-15). More information about the policy is available here: http://www.washingtoncrossingbsa.org/resources/pa-volunteer-background-clearances/60996.

What this means for our troop is that parents who help the troop by volunteering in any of the below capacities now require clearances:

- Drivers to camps and events when it is an organized carpool
- Parents that supervise more than their child at Popcorn Show and Sell or storefront sales
- Parents volunteering at events that may be acting in loco parentis (in place of the parent) and have direct contact with youth (fundraisers, service projects, Eagle Scout service projects)
- Merit Badge Counselors

The troop has already collected the required clearances from the troop's adult leaders, committee members, regular parent volunteers, and parents who wish to attend camping trips. Please consider completing the required clearances so you are able to volunteer when the troop is short drivers for trips or needs extra adults to supervise a service project or fundraiser. Ideally, we would have one cleared adult for every scout. The process is fairly quick and the clearances can be obtained online. I have included some key points below:

- The clearances are free if you've been a PA resident for 10 or more consecutive years (if you haven't been a PA resident for 10 consecutive years, you'll need the FBI clearance which costs $25.75)
- The PA State Police background check takes about 10 minutes online and you can print the certificate immediately after submitting.
- The Child Abuse History clearance takes about 20-30 minutes online and the certificate is available to print usually within a day of submitting
- The affidavit for the FBI clearance waiver (10-year PA residents) only needs to be signed by the volunteer and an adult witness
- If you have already completed the above clearances for another volunteering venture, you can simply provide copies of these.
- The troop is REQUIRED to maintain a copy of your clearances. Please provide 3 copies of each document to the troop (Doug Schaefer or Dave Kelch) and the troop will deliver the copies to the Council office. 
- You do NOT need to submit your certificates to council using the online form they provide at the link above. If you do, you still need to provide 2 copies to the Troop.
- Copies of your clearances will be distributed and maintained by the following organizations: O
ne copy to Washington Crossing Council, one copy to Troop 137 (Committee Chair maintains all child protection records), and one copy to St. Joseph's Church (our chartered organization),
- Links for all the clearances can be found here: http://www.washingtoncrossingbsa.org/resources/pa-volunteer-background-clearances/60996

If you have any questions, please contact Doug Schaefer by replying to this e-mail.

Thank you for your help with this important matter.

Doug Schaefer
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