Contact Information 
Capitol Office 
41-B East Wing, Main Captitol 
P.O. Box 202117
Harrisburg PA 17120-2117
Phone: (717) 787-1117
Fax: (717) 705-1889
Open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

District Offices
105 Lieutenant Michael Cleary Drive
Dallas, PA 18612
(570) 675-6000
Fax: (570) 255-0133
(800) 278-3930
Open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

133 West Tioga St., Suite 4
Tunkhannock, PA 18657
(570) 836-4777
Fax: (570) 836-4772
Open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Boback Says Background Check Clarifications Now Law
HARRISBURG - Clarification changes have been made to the state’s new law regarding background clearances for employees and volunteers who have direct and routine contact with children, said Rep. Karen Boback (R-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Wyoming).

The governor this week signed House Bill 1276 into law, bringing more clarity to Act 153 of 2014, which requires additional and periodic background checks for both employees and volunteers who are directly involved with children. The changes take effect immediately.

“We have heard from many people who were confused about the new laws,” Boback said. “These changes provide some clarifications and convenience for volunteers and employees who routinely work with children.”

Under the new law, volunteers must obtain the clearances if they have direct volunteer contact, meaning that they have care, supervision, guidance or control and routine interaction with children. This is the standard that will apply to determining whether an adult volunteer must get the background checks. Also new is that all employees and adult volunteers subject to the background check clearances will be required to recertify all of those clearances every five years, instead of every three years.

The measure signed into law Wednesday makes a number of clarifications with respect to the cost, portability and recertification of the two main clearances – the Department of Human Services child abuse clearance and the state police criminal background check. As lowered by the administration and by legislation, the two $10 fees are waived for volunteers and are reduced to $8 each for employees. Under the new law, though, the volunteer clearances cannot be used for employment.

Also at issue was the exemption status of employees at higher education institutions. Under the new law, they are exempt from the background checks, unless their students participate in dual enrollment programs. For co-op, work-study and internship programs, one adult supervisor of the program must be designated to obtain the required clearances and to be in the student’s immediate vicinity at regular intervals during the program.

Additionally, the deadline for new volunteers to obtain their clearances has been moved from July 1 to Aug. 25. All other deadlines remain the same: Dec. 31, 2015, for existing employees; and July 1, 2016, for existing volunteers. New prospective employees must obtain them before starting employment.

The Department of Human Services website lists additional information about Act 153 and the other new laws resulting from the child protection package and is available at

Representative Karen Boback
117th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Nick Ruffner
717.260.6258 /
Share |