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ACT 153 is legislation that is amending certain provisions of Title 23 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes. The provisions of ACT 153 are effective 12/31/2014, which means all parts of the new law are live and active on 12/31/2014. What does this mean for you, especially relating to volunteers?

All organizations who have volunteers which come in contact with children must have the following certifications and compliance procedures done by, or no later than, 07/01/2015. What organizations does this apply to? Definitions can be found in Section 6303. In our legal counsel’s opinion, all churches would fall under these definitions. The next section pertains to volunteers, Section 6344.2.

In order for your organization to be compliant, you must do the following, by 07/01/2015, for any volunteers who come in contact with children.
1. State Police or Pennsylvania Access To Criminal History (PATCH) clearance. We currently provide this service. $10 mandatory fee. Possible records can take up to 3 weeks to return results. Clear records return within 24 hours.
2. A Child Abuse Clearance issued by the Department of Public Welfare. We currently provide this service. There is a $10 mandatory fee. Clearances can take up to 3 weeks to return.
3. Any volunteer who has resided in Pennsylvania for the last 10 years does not need any further screening or clearances.

• Any volunteer that has not resided in PA within the last 10 years will need to obtain an additional clearance from the FBI, via a fingerprint check. Unfortunately we can’t provide this service, at this time. The FBI clearance is also required, in addition to the two state checks, for any employees who come into contact with children.
These screenings need to be done by 07/01/2015 and they are good for 36 months. Anyone who already has these screenings, done prior to 12/31/2014, will need to be re-screened within 36 months of the most recent screening. If their current screening is older than 36 months, they will need to be re-screened by 12/31/2015.

If you’re interested in upgrading your package to “PA 153,” click here.