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An agency of the Centre Region Council of Governments, State College, PA 16801
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CRPR Child Safety Policy
 Criminal Background Checks & Child Abuse Clearances

Originally approved on 1 Jun 2003
Amended on 8 Nov 2007
Updated by Board action on 18 Oct 2012

The CRPR Child Safety Policy is designed to ensure the safety of CRPR patrons, volunteers and staff; where “patrons” are defined as individuals who participate in CRPR programs and visit CRPR facilities. This multifaceted process takes into consideration the various individuals who encounter youth (under age 18) involved with CRPR programs and parks, and carefully addresses how to ensure their overall health and safety.

The CRPR Child Safety Policy applies to the following individuals:

1. CRPR Staff (age 18 & over)

  1. Paid Staff (full-time/part-time; year-round/seasonal)

  2. Interns

2. Volunteers (age 18 & over)

  1. In direct contact with patrons 18 and younger, and

  2. Assisting with programs/events that occur more than once, and
  3. Located and working in facilities operated by CRPR.

The following individuals are exempt from the requirements of this policy:

  • Independent Contractors and their associates providing services to organized, CRPR-operated programs (i.e., youth sport league officials).

  • Participants and supervisors of state-funded job training programs (i.e., PA. Conservation Corp)
  • Volunteers associated with work projects in CRPR parks (i.e., Day of Caring, etc.).

The Two-Adult Protection Process

At no time is a child left alone in the presence of only one adult during a CRPR program or event. Two-deep leadership requires two paid staff or a combination of a paid staff member and an approved volunteer. To provide for this process, CRPR is responsible for ensuring that sufficient leadership is provided at all times. Private, one-on-one contact between an adult and a child is prohibited. If personal contact is needed (i.e., first aid) it must be in full view of other adults and/or children. In such cases, documentation is required (i.e., accident/incident reports). Maintenance and custodial tasks do not require Two-Adult Protection.

The CRPR Hiring Process

All applicants are informed that background checks are required prior to starting employment with CRPR and the following measures are completed.

  1. All applicants and volunteers complete the CRPR Application form, which authorizes the specified background checks.

  2. References and prior employers listed on the application are contacted, documented and retained in the applicant’s personnel folder.
  3. A copy of the applicant’s driver license is obtained for the applicant’s personnel folder.
  4. The applicant must submit the following clearances or “proof of application” with the CRPR Application:
  1. Child Abuse Clearance, Pennsylvania Department of Welfare Form #CY113 Fee: $10
    http://www.dpw.state.pa.us/ucmprd/groups/webcontent/documents/form/s_001762.pdf

  2. Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check Form #SB4-164 Fee: $10
    https://epatch.state.pa.us/current   Immediate results are available online. Applicants should be encouraged to apply online for their PA Criminal Record Check.
  3. If the applicant has not been a PA resident for the past 4 consecutive years; a request form must be submitted for an FBI Criminal Record Check (current fee $28.75); forms are available on-line.

While the PA State Criminal Record Check is available online, the PA Child Abuse Clearance can take up to 30 days. During this time, the new employee/volunteer must be supervised by CRPR staff (with approved clearances). In no case will the duration of the conditional employment exceed 30 calendar days; after 30 days the new employee/volunteer will be suspended without pay until acceptable documents are presented.

All eligible hires are conditional upon:

(1.) The applicant providing a copy of both clearances forms or payments submitted.

(2.) Copies of the official reports approved by the CRPR Director or Program Manager on the Personnel Action Form.

  1. Prior to the start of employment, the CRPR Director or Program Manager, as an additional measure of security, completes a (1) Social Security Number Verification and (2) Nationwide Criminal Background check using the online Lexis Nexis System as authorized on the CRPR Employment Application form.

Reimbursement Policy for Staff Clearances

All full and part-time staff are required to furnish, at their expense, acceptable clearances at time of employment. However, CRPR reimburses fees associated with the clearances for the following staff & applicants:

  1. Seasonal Staff involved in program, park and pool operations involving children 18 and younger and employed less than 8 hours per week over the course of their employment with CRPR.

  2. Volunteers and interns upon successful completion of their tenure with CRPR.

Renewals/Returning Employees & Volunteers:

  • No “grandfathering” for current or prior agency staff was provided with the implementation of this policy.

  • For year-round staff (full-time and part-time), all clearances are updated every two years. The cost for these renewals is reimbursed by the agency upon receipt of the updated clearances pending acceptable status.
  • For returning seasonal employees (full-time and part-time), a renewal of both clearances is necessary if, at the actual resumption of employment, the date on either report is more than 2 years old. The cost for updating is the responsibility of the employee.

Actions Based Upon Clearance Results

In line with the current provisions by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for school & childcare workers:

  1. The agency shall not engage an applicant or volunteer who will have direct contact with children if:

    1. The applicant’s Criminal History Background Check states that the applicant has been convicted of a crime specified in section 111(e) of the Public School Code of 1949 (see excerpt on Page 4), or an equivalent Federal or out-of-State crime, within 5 years or less of the date of a criminal history background check
    2. The applicant’s Child Abuse History Clearance indicates anything other than “Applicant is not listed in a report of child abuse or a report for a school employee.
  1. The agency shall notify the applicant in writing if the decision not to employ or engage the applicant is based in whole or in part on either of the Clearances. In this case, the following text shall be included in the letter:

"We have evaluated your application for employment. As you have been advised during the application process, our policy requires that we review Act 34 and Act 151 clearances. Your clearance report shows that you were (insert appropriate action & description). Pursuant to the CRPR Child Safety Policy (copy enclosed), you may not be employed for a period of five years after such a conviction. If you believe that the information on which this decision is based is erroneous, please provide pertinent documentation and we will reconsider this matter."

Excerpt from PA. Code Title 24 - Education 24 PS 1-111 Section e

No person subject to this act shall be employed in a public or private school, intermediate unit or area vocational-technical school where the report of criminal history record information indicates the applicant has been convicted, with five (5) years immediately preceding the date of the report, of any of the following offenses:

(1) An offense under one or more of the following provisions of Title 18 of the PA. Consolidated Statutes: Chapter 25 (relating to criminal homicide).

                        Section 2702 relating to aggravated assault
Section 2709 relating to harassment and stalking
Section 2901 related to kidnapping
Section 2902 related to unlawful restraint
Section 3121 related to rape
Section 3122.1 related to statutory sexual assault
Section 3123 related to involuntary deviate sexual assault
Section 3124.1 related to sexual assault
Section 3125 related to aggravated indecent assault
Section 3126 related to indecent assault
Section 3127 related to indecent exposure
Section 4302 related to incest
Section 4303 related to concealing death of child
Section 4304 related to endangering welfare of children
Section 4305 related to dealing in infant children
Section 6301 related to corruption of minors
A felony offense under Section 5902(b) relating to prostitution and related offenses
Section 5903 c or d related to obscene and other sexual materials and performances
Section 6312 related to sexual abuse of children.

(2) An offense designated as a felony under the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L. 233, No. 64) known as “The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act.”

(3) An out-of-State or Federal offense similar in nature to those crimes listed in clauses (1) and (2).

Child Safety Training & Awareness for Staff
All year-round staff (full-time and part-time) must participate in annual Child Safety and Awareness Training. The Program Manager will coordinate the research to determine the most effective training curriculum each year.

All applicable Seasonal Staff (full-time and part-time) are required to participate in regular staff training which incorporates child safety training and awareness and the “Two-Adult Protection” initiative. If available, online or contract specialty training is arranged for all seasonal staff working directly with children. Training partnerships may include Darkness to Light, Centre County Children and Youth, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Mandated Reporters & Reporting

As defined in the Pennsylvania Child Services Code, persons who through occupation or practice of their profession, come into contact with children shall report or cause a report to be made to the Department of Public Welfare when they have a reasonable cause to suspect that the child coming before them is a victim of child abuse.

Excerpt from PA. Child Services Code
(a) General rule. Under 23 Pa.C.S. § 6311 (relating to persons required to report suspected child abuse), licensees who, in the course of the employment, occupation or practice of their profession, come into contact with children shall report or cause a report to be made to the Department of Public Welfare when they have reasonable cause to suspect on the basis of their professional or other training or experience, that a child coming before them in their professional or official capacity is a victim of child abuse.

(b) Staff members of public or private agencies, institutions and facilities. Licensees who are staff members of a medical or other public or private institution, school, facility or agency, and who, in the course of their employment, occupation or practice of their profession, come into contact with children shall immediately notify the person in charge of the institution, school facility or agency or the designated agent of the person in charge when they have reasonable cause to suspect on the basis of their professional or other training or experience, that a child coming before them in their professional or official capacity is a victim of child abuse. Upon notification by the licensee, the person in charge or the designated agent shall assume the responsibility and have the legal obligation to report or cause a report to be made in accordance with subsections (a), (c) and (d).

 

CRPR has designated the Program Manager and Supervisors as the CRPR Agency reporters. Support staff will report any suspected child abuse cases to their immediate Supervisor or Program Manager to make the appropriate reports. As mandated reporters, both verbal and written reports must be submitted; staff will take the following steps when reporting child abuse:

  1. Immediately submit a verbal report via Childline, 1-800-932-0313. The Program Manager will be present at the time of the verbal report to Childline.

  2. A CY47 Form is completed within 48 hours of the verbal report to Childline. The CY47 Form is available at the CRPR Office as well as the Centre County Children and Youth Services office.

  3. The completed form is mailed to the County in which the alleged abuse took place.

  4. The staff member witnessing the abuse and/or completing the report can seek appropriate counseling if necessary.

  • The CRPR Director and Board may amend this policy and/or permit the use of other services which provide authorized Criminal Background Checks and/or Child Abuse Clearances, as those services become available.

  • The Director/Board may amend this policy as necessary to comply with any revisions to state or federal law.

Approved by action of the
Centre Region Parks & Recreation Board/Centre Region Parks & Recreation Authority
on 18 Oct 2012.

Attest: Kathy Matason, Secretary             Sue Mascolo, Chair

The CRPR Authority is a publicly-funded, municipal agency serving 5 municipalities.
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The Centre Region Council of Governments and the Centre Region Parks & Recreation Authority, State College, PA. USA 16801