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Pennsylvania's New Comprehensive Background Checks

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I think this bill came in to the legislature with some name like "The you wouldn't want to harm children' date=' 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.[/quote']

As the old saying goes: "We must do something! This is something, so we must do it!"

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From another thread:     http://www.acacamps.org/sites/default/files/images/keystone/PA_Background_Checks_Act_of_2014.pdf   State of Pennsylvania Comprehensive Background Checks Upda

A big monkey in with the wrenches for sure, but as with other requirements, after the initial grumbling it will settle down.   The bigger question, can the State of PA get all those background chec

On the flip side, most of us need the clearances for other youth programs we're involved with. So it's not like we're not already getting this done. But yeah, it may be more economical for the boys if

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!


FWIW - Mine came in the mail -- with instructions that I am to keep the original and give a copy to my "administrator." Sounds simple enough. I'll let you know how it plays out.

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Thanks for the update.


Just when I thought I understood the concept, I read about Reading.PA town government no longer asking about criminal convictions on employment applications.




Maybe some early April Fool's joke? No, according to the article


Banning the box that asks about an applicant's criminal history is part of a national fair-chance hiring initiative to delay disclosure until later in the process, so applicants can be judged on their skills and abilities, not the stigma of past incarceration.


Thirteen states and the District of Columbia, as well as nearly 100 cities and counties, have adopted fair-chance hiring policies since 2005. Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Lancaster and Allegheny County have done so in the commonwealth.


Removing questions about criminal convictions does not prevent employers, in this case the city, from asking or conducting background checks.


Huh, so a person with a criminal child abuse background could legally not state his past and apply for a job working with kids and hope the background check is not done or botched ? Did I get that right?

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Huh, so a person with a criminal child abuse background could legally not state his past and apply for a job working with kids and hope the background check is not done or botched ? Did I get that right?


No, that's not quite right. There will be times after the initial application where a person can and will be asked about a conviction. You can never lie about it.


The idea is that current practice on most employment applications is to ask everyone if they have ever been convicted of a crime. The result is that almost anyone who says yes gets tossed in the "no" pile without regard to what the conviction was for, whether it would have any bearing on the job, or what other qualifications a person has.


So a person who was one of three people caught "joy riding" in a car when they were 18 will still be excluded from a job as a computer technician or truck mechanic when they're 28 and have turned their life around.


We lock up a lot of people in this country, and we tend to lock up people who are poor and minority disproportionately. This allows those folks at least a fighting chance to be judged on the merits of who they are today, still taking into account their past, but not automatically excluding them from employment.

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I had a friend who wrote on his job application about his Navy years, "keeping the world safe for Democracy" and "about 5 cents an hour". They kicked it back and asked for serious answers. He eventually got the job.

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Laurel Highland Council



From FAQ cited above, non-registered volunteerism appears to be discouraged so that all required background checks are documented.


According to



Out-of-state volunteer adult leaders spending less than 30 days, say to visit Gettysburg, appear to have an exemption if they provide background check information from their home state? Who they provide this information to is another unanswered question.

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Hmmm, I cannot edit my previous post.


Here's the correct link



For BSA volunteers, the following groups will separately process their own background checks:


   Pennsylvania State Police

   Pennsylvania Dept of Human Services

   BSA Council/National

   possibly CO, e.g., Catholic Diocese will do a separate background check


For scout volunteers, who keeps the records is an interesting question. PA Councils apparently believe the responsibility is on the unit/CO and volunteer. The state of PA may view that since Council "register" the volunteer,  Council would be responsible for the background check record keeping.

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For camp staff just follow these simple steps

Source: http://lhc-bsa.org/Camping/Staff/Staff%20Clearances


Camp Staff – PA State Required Clearances For all Camp Staff Employees as well as CIT’s (Starting at age 14) Let’s get started

- If you jump all these hurdles by June 1 and complete all your employment paper work, turning it into Flag Plaza service center and you will receive $50 to reimburse you for getting your clearances. (Heritage Reservation and Camp Seph Mack Staff employees)


  • You will need a credit card or a debit card works great.
  • The total cost for this process is $47.50
  • This breaks down as $10 for the state police, $10 for Department of Human Services, and $27.50 for FBI fingerprinting.
  • If you have difficulties with this please contact Tim McClure – tmcclure@@scouting.org link-MailTo.gif.


1)     Pennsylvania State Police (PASP)

You can click the link bellow to go to the website or type or copy and paste

https://epatch.state.pa.us/Home.jsp link-html.gif


  • Hopefully you’re looking at a screen that has handcuffs and a computer on it.
  • From here on we will be using numbered steps to guide us. When the number changes it should be a new page, Letters below numbers means its all on that same page.


1. Click the “Submit a New Record Check†blue link near the top of the page.

2. nice long legal “Terms and Conditionsâ€. Read it and hit Accept

3. Personal Info for who is making the check, not necessarily who the check is on.

4. Who is getting the background check.

            a. Type in the data they need and hit “enter this requestâ€

            b. Oh no the data’s gone! no its not. Notice the “one request pending†part?

            c. Families  you can put in the next person needed checked now. just keep

            entering data and hitting the “enter this request†button

            d. when you are done entering everyone click the “finished buttonâ€

5. List all record checks they going to do and give you a total @$10 per. Click “submitâ€

6. Pay for it with a credit card. Click “next†when done

7. Double check info and Click “submitâ€

8. Write down control number

9. Should it log you out and say session expired click “check the status of a record


10. Type in control number and info

11. Once you have a result (hopefully a no record) click the control number

            a. If the status is "Request Under Review" it will take from two to four weeks for the status to be updated to "No Record" or "Record". "No Record" status

            should be printed out at your printer. "Record" status will be mailed to you.

            “Pending†means go eat a sandwich and come back later.

12. Click certification form

13. Click the print button. might need to format it some on a case by case basis

14. Send it into Flag

2)  Pennsylvania Department of Human Services or PDOHS.

https://www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis/public/home link-html.gif


1. “Create new account†families will only need one account as you can submit multiple from one account.

2. Read that stuff. Click “nextâ€

3. Come up with a username and security questions click finished

4. Check your email. Your temp password is in the second one they send you. copy it

5. In the first email click “child welfare portal†link

6. Will open new window click “log in†click “access my clearancesâ€

7. Read that legal stuff click “continueâ€

8. Enter your username and paste that ridiculous password they sent you click “log inâ€

9. Change your password to something less complex (still needs a lot of stuff) hit submit.

10. Get a drink of water (stay hydrated)

11. Window will refresh and take you back to the log in

             a. log in with new password

12. Read the terms and conditions click the “I have read" bubble and then “nextâ€

13. Read stuff again. click “continueâ€

14. Click "create clearance application"

15. Read more stuff. click begin

16. Bubble for “regular contact with Child†next

17. Fill out the info they need. hit next

18. Fill out the address part you will select if you want a copy mailed to you as well

19. Take a stretch break and get another drink.

20. Previous addresses since 1975 (college kids and military families good luck)

21. Household members since 1975 (Always put your parents in, you can leave there age blank if they are desist.)

22. Double check your work click “nextâ€

23. Check the box and “sign†it, click “nextâ€

24. No payment code is being given out. hit no then make a payment

25. Type in data about your plastic money

26. Hit the finalize and submit application

27. They will email you when it clears. Mine took all of 45 seconds.

28. Follow the links in your email (probably logging in again) and click “your application has been processedâ€

29. This will open a download window. save it and open it.

30. Print it send it into Flag Plaza



3)      The FBI Fingerprinting

https://www.pa.cogentid.com/index_dpw.htm link-html.gif


1. Click “Register Online†(right column second row down under Registration.

2. fill out yellow boxes on the form

            a. ignore the…

                        i. tick box about fingerprint card –unless you are not in Pennsylvania

                        ii. agency id, address – leave blank

            b. select “employment with significant likelihood of regular contact with

            children boxâ€

            c. put in more info Lots of it

            d. hit “next†when done

3. Verify the stuff you typed hit “nextâ€

4. Tell them how you will be paying and hit pay

5. Print the receipt.

          a. there is a link that will show you where you can go to get

          Fingerprinted (the blue here)

6. it’s a map of PA! Find the best place for you and go there.

7. You will need to bring with you the receipt and your driver's license (picture ID). If you are under age, bring your school ID.  Bring your Social Security card and or your birth certificate also. They will need to confirm your ID before they fingerprint you.

8. The actual fingerprinting process is digital now, so enjoy not having ink on

your hands. The person there will help you get fingerprinted.

9. Expect a response in 10 days. Make sure you mail items in to Flag Plaza by June 1.   


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