Updated July 16, 2016
The Diocese of Bethlehem continues to monitor the new state law for preventing child abuse and protecting our children. Since the law went into effect on July 1, the legislature has made the following changes:
- Effective July 25th, the state criminal & child abuse background checks for volunteers will be free.
- Compliance of the law for new volunteers has been extended until August 25.
- Clearances must be renewed every five (5) years (from 3 years).
A free registry of sexual predators is available.
Diocesan Council has formed a sub committee to review the Diocese of Bethlehem’s current policies and recommend updates for a new policy to be published in fall 2015.
Original article published June 15, 2015
Effective July 1, 2015, Pennsylvania law will have new requirements for the clearances necessary for employees and volunteers who work with or come into contact with children. The new law also requires that employees and volunteers are considered mandated reporters of suspected child abuse.
The diocese is asking that current clergy and employees come into compliance by December 31, 2015. Clearances need to be renewed every 36 months. Congregations are required to see original documentation and maintain records of their volunteers’ and lay employees’ compliance with these guidelines.
To assist with compliance, the diocesan office has made available for download information regarding the basics of clearances and traning as well as verification forms. Please find more information about Safe Church policies and procedures on our Safe Church page.