Youth leaders concerned about background checks

By Tom Ragan, staff writer, |

A Pennsylvania law designed to expand background checks for anyone who works with children or volunteers was passed in 2014.Now, nearly any role that requires supervision of children will be affected. The law applies to areas beyond schools, such as youth sports and some service organizations.

Act 153 of 2014 has raised concerns among potential youth league coaches and administrators. The biggest is cost — how much will coaches and volunteers working with youngsters have to pay to give their time. The law requires background checks at the state and federal levels but has expanded to the FBI if someone isn’t a resident of the state for a minimum of 10 years.

The expanded law comes about in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal at Penn State and through his charity, The Second Mile. It affects not only Little Leagues but also schools and nonprofit organizations that require adults working closely with youngsters to make full disclosures regarding arrests and convictions involving children.

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