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FBI Clearances Required for Staff in Schools
April 5, 2007

The law concerning criminal background records for individuals working in schools was recently amended by Act 114 of 2006. Effective April 1 Pennsylvania law will require state and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) criminal history records for all prospective employees and contractors and their employees that have direct contact with children. Direct contact with children is defined as the possibility of care, supervision, guidance or control of children by a paid employee or contractor of, or an employee of a person under contract with, a school entity, and routine interaction with children by a paid employee of a school entity or a person under contract with a school entity.

Employees hired prior to April 1 are only required to provide FBI criminal history documents if they have lived outside of the state for at least two years immediately preceding their application for employment.

Changes to the law include the following: State and federal criminal history records shall be required for both resident and non-resident prospective employees, independent contractors, and their employees. School administrators may employ any applicant on a provisional basis for a single period not to exceed 90 days when all required conditions are met.

It appears that this applies to individuals applying for employment with a contracted behavioral health provider agency. PCPA has contacted the Departments of Education and Public Welfare to obtain additional information and clarification about compliance by community providers. PCPA has also asked the Department of Education to provide guidance to schools and Intermediate Units regarding their administrative process for collaborating with providers around compliance issues.

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