Finger-printing camp counselors to prevent crimes

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DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa.– The camp counselors at the J.C.C day camp, in Middle Paxton Township, need to be friendly and ambitious in order to work at the camp…they also need to prove they aren’t criminals.

The Child Protective Services law says employees who have direct contact with children must obtain the three required clearances, Pennsylvania State Police, FBI and child abuse. Only FBI clearances require fingerprinting.

Adult volunteers who are responsible for the welfare of a child or who have direct contact with children must obtain the PSP and child abuse clearances. They are exempt from the FBI clearance as long as the position they are applying for is unpaid and they have been a Pennsylvania resident during the entirety of the past 10 years.

Cindi Horshaw, who oversees the law says the it was passed “to make sure individuals who are working with children and volunteering with children have clearances done and we make sure they are safe and appropriate to be workign with children.”

The finger-print requirement falls under the Child Protective Services law which went into effect in December. (The requirement for these employees to obtain clearances existed prior to the amendments.)

Tammy Reid is a parent to three children attending the J.C.C camp. She says, it’s sad we’ve gotten to the state where we can’t trust people, but she agrees it’s better to be safe than sorry, “If I were sending me kid somewhere else, where I didn’t know the kids since babies, I would totally want them to be fingerprinted.”

Camp counselor, Parker Forman says the finger-print process was belittling for him, but he realizes why it’s important , “I understand the law, it makes sense, makes sure kids are safe and I went as soon as I had to get it done.”

The law requires clearances to be renewed every six months. Employees must now renew their clearances every 36 months. The Department of Human Services offers online registration where you can pay electronically. A finger-print scan at a print location would be be required after the registration as well.