Children's Services

The National Council released the information described below on July 9. RCPA will be accepting comments to provide to the National Council until August 3.

The Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed extending its overtime pay exemption rules to include employees making up to $50,440 next year, a change that could affect up to 5 million workers. Under the new proposal, the salary threshold for overtime pay would rise to $970 per week ($50,440 per year) in 2016. The current level of $455 per week ($23,660) was established in 2004, and it is below the poverty line for a family of four.

Unlike the current exemption threshold, the newly proposed threshold is linked not to a specific salary amount, but to the 40th percentile of wage earners. Thus, the new salary threshold will automatically update over time. The proposed regulation affects white collar workers (executive, administrative, and professional). More information is available in this fact sheet.

The DOL has posted the proposal online, giving people the opportunity to submit written comments on or before September 4. The White House has stated that the DOL will release a final rule next year after reviewing and considering these comments.

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On July 1 Governor Wolf signed Act 15 (HB 1276) into law. The bill was drafted to “clarify and make more explicit provisions” about which employees and adult volunteers, who work or volunteer with children, must obtain criminal background check clearances and child abuse clearances. It was intended to clarify the new Child Protective Services Law (CPSL) and to address concerns expressed by numerous volunteer-based organizations. Some of the key changes to the CPSL made by HB 1276 include:

  • Adds definitions of adult family member, direct volunteer contact, education enterprise, family child-care home, immediate vicinity, and matriculated student.
  • Reworks the definition of program, activity, or service to further flesh out definition.
  • Limits the employees, at institutions of higher learning, required to undergo background checks, while retaining required checks for adults who have direct contact with youth who remain enrolled in high school.
  • Clarifies which adults will require background checks and need to be in the “vicinity” of the child during an internship, externship, work-study, co-op, or similar program.
  • Extends to 60 months (vs. 36 months) the time frame by which employees and volunteers must have their background checks updated.
  • Expands the portability of the checks.
  • Exempts volunteers, who are also students, from the background checks under specific conditions (e.g., the student is enrolled in school, the student is volunteering for an event on school grounds, or the event is not for children who are part of a child-care service).
  • Permanently waives the fees associated with volunteers completing state background checks.
  • Includes a presumption of “good faith” for agencies screening employees and volunteers.

A very comprehensive analysis of HB 1276 with an analysis table has been produced by The Center for Children’s Justice and is available on their website.

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Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) has grown rapidly among clinicians and early childhood mental health provider organizations across Pennsylvania. As previously announced, Pittsburgh will be the host city for the PCIT International Conference. This event will take place September 30 – October 2 at the Sheraton Station Square Hotel. The conference will bring PCIT professionals from around the world to share innovations, insights, and experiences as providers of PCIT. The event will also feature several keynote speakers, including Sheila Eyberg, Cheryl McNeil, and Mark Chaffin. A block of rooms has been reserved at the Sheraton Station Square hotel for individuals attending the conference. To learn more about the conference, visit the PCIT International Conference website.

The Department of Human Services has announced the July training schedule and related information for the approved and required Medication Administration Training. Training will be available online and at various locations across the Commonwealth. Future classroom training sessions are being scheduled throughout the year; announcements will be released when finalized. Classroom training sites have limited capacity, and training candidates from agencies with no certified medication administration staff are required to complete the online course work before they are permitted to attend the classroom training.

Medication administration training is required for designated staff working in: adult training facilities, adult day services, personal care homes, assisted living residences, child residential and residential treatment and day treatment facilities, community homes for individuals with an intellectual disability, and intermediate care facilities. Questions about the information in the training document can be directed to (717) 221-1630 or email.

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The Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) is developing a series of interactive webinars about innovative services and supports for transition age youth and young adults. These webinars will raise awareness of the needs of youth and young adults, highlight best practices, and promote dialogue about supports and services at the local, regional, and state levels. The first in this series of webinars will focus on psychiatric rehabilitation services and supports for transition age young adults. Presenters will include:

  • Scott Heller, Pennsylvania Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services
  • Heidi Eastman, Dickinson Center, Inc.
  • Angel Rogalinski, The ReDCo Group

The presentation and webcast will be held on Thursday, July 30, 1:00 – 4:00 pm. Registration is not required. In-person participation will be held at the Clothestree Building on the grounds of the Department of General Services Annex in Harrisburg.

Online via telephone and internet connection instructions:
1. Use this link
2. If requested, enter your name and email address
3. If a password is required, enter the meeting password: Doris##1
4. Click “Join”

To join the audio conference only:
To receive a call back, provide your phone number when you join the meeting, or call the number below and enter the access code.
Call-in toll-free number (US/Canada): 1-877-668-4493
Call-in toll number (US/Canada): 1-650-479-3208

Meeting Number: 642 324 254. Meeting Password: Doris##1

For additional information, please contact OMHSAS Transition Specialist Doris Arena.

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The Department of Human Services Bureau of Human Services Licensing (BHSL) has released a draft Regulatory Compliance Guide (RCG) for Chapter 3800, relating to child residential and day treatment facilities. The RCG provides guidance about how the Department of Human Services will interpret and apply the chapter’s regulatory requirements during licensing inspections and investigations.

BHSL is inviting the Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association to work with members to review and comment on this draft guide. Please review the draft document and send your comments, suggestion and recommendations to Connell O’Brien. RCPA will collect provider input and share that information with the leadership of BHSL. Comments are due to RCPA by July 10 for submission to BHSL by July 17. The leadership of BHSL has communicated their clear interest in provider input and plans to take all comments into consideration prior to issuing a final RCG later this summer.

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Governor Tom Wolf has announced that fees for child abuse clearances and criminal background checks required by the Child Protective Services Law (CPSL) will be waived for volunteers working with children. Beginning July 1, volunteers are required to obtain background checks, including the Child Abuse History Clearance, issued by the Department of Human Services (DHS); and the Criminal History Record Check, issued by the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP).

Additionally, DHS and the PSP will be reducing the cost of both the child abuse and criminal history record checks from $10 to $8 for all other applicants. Individuals seeking employment for work with children, and others required under the law, will still be assessed fees for the clearances, but at a reduced cost of $8 each. FBI clearances are also required for all employees and volunteers who have not been continuous residents of the commonwealth for the last ten years, but because these are administered by the federal government, current costs will continue to apply. These changes will take effect July 25.

More information about clearances required under the CPSL can be found here. Individuals seeking clearances can create an individual account and apply online.