For a number of years now, Region 8 has required background checks to be completed for all those assisting with teaching at a Youth Camp. This requirement remains in place, but below is some additional – or NEW – information about the process.
The requirements listed here apply only to those who are volunteering. That covers those teaching at Youth Dan Camps and similar non-paid (that is, where the instructor is not paid for their time) events. If you want information regarding your instructors and what they need at your dojang, a key and threshold question is whether or not the instructors get paid. If they do, they may need more than what is outlined below.
Who Needs Clearances
Adults over the age of 18 years old who have responsibility for a child’s welfare or for those who have direct contact with children need clearances. Things like care, supervision, guidance or control are all things which will be considered to cause someone to have responsibility for a child’s welfare.
What Do Volunteers Need
According to an FAQ on the PA Dept. of Human Services’s website:
“All prospective volunteers must obtain the following clearances:
1. Report of criminal history from the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP); and
2. Child Abuse History Clearance from the Department of Human Services (Child Abuse).
Additionally, a fingerprint based federal criminal history (FBI) submitted through the Pennsylvania State Police or its authorized agent is required if the volunteer has lived outside the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the last 10 years. If the volunteer is not required to obtain an FBI Criminal History clearance, they must swear and affirm in writing that they are not disqualified from service based upon a conviction of an offense under §6344 of the Child Protective Services Law.
When Are Clearances Required?
The clearances must be received, and reviewed, but the WTSDA prior to the start of the event. And, they must be updated every 60 months.
Can Anything on My Clearances Prevent Me From Volunteering?
Yes, there are certain enumerated items which can make a person ineligible to provide services that would make them responsible for a child’s welfare. This is why the WTSDA needs time to review the results prior to allowing someone to volunteer.
What if I Live Outside of Pennsylvania?
Individuals who reside in another state or country may serve as a volunteer for no more than 30 days in a calendar year, as long as they provide clearances from their state or country of residence.
Where do I get the Clearances?
All of the above information, as well as links to the sites for the 3 requirements above may be found here: https://www.dhs.pa.gov/KeepKidsSafe/Clearances/Pages/default.aspx
How do I submit them to the WTSDA:
You can submit them to the Region 8 background Check Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.