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Pennsylvania's New Comprehensive Background Checks

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A almost identical memo from the Mason-Dixon Council which has two districts in PA and one in MD. Their additional questions are noted in blue italics.

 

http://www.mason-dixon-bsa.org/openr...aspx?id=146718

 

As we mentioned earlier, we have a very long list of questions and clarifications. Just a few of these questions include:

  • If a volunteer has to obtain clearances for another organization, can the clearances be transferred to Scouting?
  • Does this extend to unregistered parents who attend meetings, go on outings, or want to go to summer camp with their child?
  • 14 year old Den Leaders, Merit Badge Counselors required as well?
  • Do we deny BSA membership if an adult does not provide the background check or
    remove them if certification expires
  • How do we maintain the data base for hundreds of volunteers?
  • How will this affect Venturers between age 18 and 20?

 

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If a volunteer has to obtain clearances for another organization' date=' can the clearances be transferred to Scouting?[/quote']

 

For this question, it looks like the answer is no?

 

All three background checks are initiated online by the employee. As the law stands now, an employee must complete new background checks for each new employer. Employees cannot use existing clearances to begin employment with a new employer, even though the certificates are valid for three years

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For this question, it looks like the answer is no?

 

It looks like you can transfer the background checks (which you likely paid) within an organization, which could be tricky. Say you were heavily involved with youth programs at your CO - scouts, youth ministries, CYO basketball. It seems you should get your clearances for your (employer) CO and not BSA. If you are involved heavily in Scouts with multiple units and venues - troops, district, camp then get your clearances for your (employer) BSA council. But what if your PA council is HQ'd in Maryland or New York? Might resurface the old wisdom, that council boundaries and their camp assets should be within one state (topic for another thread).

 

From a PA Dept of Human Services, undated and unsigned Fact Sheet (which has no force of law)

http://www.psp.pa.gov/Documents/Publ...ployees%20.pdf Can lear

Can clearances be transferred?

Any person who obtained their clearances may transfer or provide services to another subsidiary or branch established and supervised by the same organization during the length of time the person’s clearances are current.

 

NOTE: when an employee begins employment with a new agency, institution, organization or other entity that is responsible for the care, supervision, guidance or control of children new clearances must be obtained

 

This is similar to Obamacare in that in had to be passed to learn the implications. But Schiff predicts Act 153 = PA Attorney Monetary Gift Act of 2015

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So a PA volunteer may face this process.

1. State and Federal background checks with no required YP education

2. Charter Organization, e.g. a Catholic Diocese, requires their YP training and background check.

3. BSA requires their YP training and a LexisNexis background check (where BSA asks for Social Security Number).

 

What if a new volunteer, says "Look I paid and cleared Step 1 which is good for 3 years., I will NOT give you my SS# nor submit to redundant background checks."?

 

I think the silver lining may be shifting background check liability entirely to the State of PA. The CO's and BSA just do their specific YP training which will have the PA "mandatory reporting" segment. The membership application for a PA adult would need to be change too.

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... NOTE: when an employee begins employment with a new agency' date=' institution, organization or other entity that is responsible for the care, supervision, guidance or control of children new clearances must be obtained[/size'][/i]...

 

For fits and giggles, I started with the clearance (since it had an online app). In the organization field, I put "Church scouts". I'm playing "God is who I'm working for, and anyone who accepts currency with his name on it should be fine with my one clearance."

 

If the bureaucrats kick it back to me, I'll let you know.

 

P.S. - There seems to be a way to submit your organization's code if they're footing the bill. I can see that going bad quickly!

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That an organization which derives benefit from volunteer workers should require volunteers to pay money in order to volunteer...is obscene.

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It looks like you can transfer the background checks (which you likely paid) within an organization, which could be tricky. Say you were heavily involved with youth programs at your CO - scouts, youth ministries, CYO basketball. It seems you should get your clearances for your (employer) CO and not BSA. If you are involved heavily in Scouts with multiple units and venues - troops, district, camp then get your clearances for your (employer) BSA council. But what if your PA council is HQ'd in Maryland or New York? Might resurface the old wisdom, that council boundaries and their camp assets should be within one state (topic for another thread).

 

From a PA Dept of Human Services, undated and unsigned Fact Sheet (which has no force of law)

http://www.psp.pa.gov/Documents/Publ...ployees%20.pdf Can lear

Can clearances be transferred?

Any person who obtained their clearances may transfer or provide services to another subsidiary or branch established and supervised by the same organization during the length of time the person’s clearances are current.

 

NOTE: when an employee begins employment with a new agency, institution, organization or other entity that is responsible for the care, supervision, guidance or control of children new clearances must be obtained

 

This is similar to Obamacare in that in had to be passed to learn the implications. But Schiff predicts Act 153 = PA Attorney Monetary Gift Act of 2015

 

So the big problem here, is who is the "employer"? It sounds like if I volunteer with a cub pack (lets say it's CO is a church), the CO's youth ministry and I also help run the district pinewood derby, I'm going to have to get two sets of checks done no matter what. One for the CO, and one for the BSA. The question is, for the cub pack who is the "employer"? The CO or the BSA? If it's the CO for the cub pack, then that is going to kill district and council events like cub camp and Scout-O-Rama. A lot of these events need parents to volunteer, if they have to get a second set of background checks just to do that, I think a lot are going to say no. If it's the BSA, it will probably hurt recruiting as many of the parents will probably have already done the background checks for the CO and will balk at having to get another set.

 

I think PA just shot their volunteers in the foot.

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That an organization which derives benefit from volunteer workers should require volunteers to pay money in order to volunteer...is obscene.
Doesn't the BSA do that anyway, by charging an annual registration fee for each adult leaders? Admittedly most of those fees are paid by the respective units, but that is not universal, and even if the unit does pay it, it's not "free money." the unit had to get it in order to pay it. So some Scout sold a few Christmas wreaths in our fund-raiser, and that went to pay the annual fee for me to be a committee member. Does that make it better, or worse?

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Of course, all this begins with the news media trumpeting stories of "abuse," compelling institutions to take ever more stringent actions in response.

 

 

In recent months, the news media has been trumpeting "studies" purporting to report that 40% or more of young women students on college campuses are subjected to sexual "abuse," loosely categorized.

 

 

I'm expecting that the result of this will be for colleges to start requiring young students to live in sex segregated dorms, to adhere to curfews, prohibit alcohol at parties and so on.

 

Basically, go back to the standards that protected students from harm in the 1950s.

 

That would be an interesting role reversal as women have apparently proven that they can't manage the personal freedom they have acquired on college campuses!

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NJ, right. I object to that as well. Most of the time someone else pays the registration fees as far as I can tell. But BSA shouldn't be charging volunteers for this kind of thing. Training should be on BSA's nickel as well.

S.P. Hellooo....non-co-ed dorms are common today and were much more common in the past. This institution does have residence hall visitation limits and prohibits alcohol unless there is administration approval in advance. This has been the 'norm' for a very long time.

I note that you have laid the blame on the women. I'll let that stand as it is.

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PA 2014 Act 153

http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/...sInd=0&act=153

 

Clearances (how, where)

http://www.dhs.state.pa.us/findaform/childabusehistoryclearanceforms/

 

Meanwhile abuse reports and background checks are going swimmingly at the Dept. of Human Services. The state had promised to process background checks within 14 days. Not happening, even with an enlarged staff, mandatory OT of up to 5hours/day, and new computer systems.

http://www.pennlive.com/politics/ind...ing_child.html

 

Feb/Mar, my unit makes our summer reservations. With moderating gas prices, our unit was considering a trip to Gettysburg/Valley Forge but that appears dead. No response from our emails to DHS and the thought of paying an additional $50/adult is a trip killer. When you consider the number of non-PA schools and youth groups which have traveled to PA historic sites, museums, sports venues, Little League World Series, Hershey...., it is apparent not much thought was given to this law and its implementation.

 

Volunteering is becoming quite the revenue source. :(

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Is the thought here that out-of-state groups traveling to or even through PA require these checks? How is that enforceable or eve possible? What happened to the Full Faith and Credit clause? Do I have to apply for a PA drivers license too?

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Is the thought here that out-of-state groups traveling to or even through PA require these checks? How is that enforceable or eve possible? What happened to the Full Faith and Credit clause? Do I have to apply for a PA drivers license too?

 

Officially nobody knows. State officials say the process is going through "growing pains" - a rough translation "we didn't think this out". Here's an example

http://www.dailyitem.com/news/child-...f3013cd83.html

 

"In the audience were students as well as teachers and administrators, but also business owners who take part in job shadowing programs. Those programs are a concern to John Kurelja, Warrior Run School District superintendent.

 

“We send our eighth-grade students out to businesses,†he said of a successful job shadowing program that gives students a look at various trades and careers. Do those employees need background checks? That’s not clear.

 

Another big issue is the law’s potential impact on the Little League World Series, Culver said. This annual international gathering in Williamsport relies on hundreds of adult volunteers to operate. State Sen. Gene Yaw, R-23 of Williamsport, is expected to meet Monday with league officials to work on the issue."

 

Enforceable? I think as with most things that an incident will be reported and the investigator(s) back-track to see if the correct procedures were followed. With the vagueness of this law, e.g., medical personnel and ages of volunteers, the chance of missteps is there. Not to say, that some spot audits might be done. Works for the IRS and a state trooper pulling over a trucker. :(

 

Full Faith and Credit clause? I think this only applies between states and somewhat selectively, e.g., marriage licenses. PA would be asked to accept my out-of-state BSA council's private background check not my state's background check which may or may not have been done within the last 3 years. Would be nice but I don't see that happening.

 

Some state "privileges" are reciprocated, some are not. A drivers license I think is one of the few universal examples. Fishing permits no. Firearms permits some no, some yes.

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<<“We send our eighth-grade students out to businesses,†he said of a successful job shadowing program that gives students a look at various trades and careers. Do those employees need background checks? That’s not clear.>>

 

 

The usual way to deal with issues like this is to ignore them until a negative incident occurs, and then to hang any person or organization available with liability after the fact.

 

It's a great system!

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When we invite Webelos to camp with our troop, we will now have to have clearances for every parent. Who is supposed to hold onto these clearances? Nobody knows. Is it the chartering org that owns the troop or pack? Is it the council?

 

In our area, most cub packs are chartered by the Home and School association at the elementary schools. The H&S members are volunteers that cycle through with their kids. So one group of transient volunteers will have very sensitive information (Social security numbers, minor legal transgressions from 30 years ago, etc) for another transient group of volunteers.

 

What many people may not know about Pennsylvania, is that there is no such thing as expunging a criminal record. If you stole a pack of gum when you were 18 years old, it will show up on your record when you are 65.

 

We all want to protect our youth. It is the most important thing we do as scouters. I think this bill came in to the legislature with some name like "The you wouldn't want to harm children, would you?" act. Every rep and senator knows they won't get re-elected if they vote against it. Nobody considers what the bill means.

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