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Penn-Trafford Area Recreation Commission requires more clearances to work with kids

| Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, 9:02 p.m.

The Penn-Trafford Area Recreation Commission has increased the number of clearances required for its employees, instructors and volunteers who work with children.

In updating the policies on clearances last week, commission board members also decided for the first time to perform a criminal background check on employees, instructors and volunteers who work on adult programs.

The organization now will require those involved in arranging its children's programs to undergo a criminal-record check through the state police, a child-abuse clearance through the state Department of Public Welfare and a federal criminal-history check.

Employees, instructors and volunteers also will have to complete a form that requests any history of a criminal arrest or conviction.

“They're in our buildings,” board member Toni Ising said. “You might as well err on the side of safety.”

The previous policy applied only to PTARC employees who were working with children for more than 90 days and were at least 20 years old. But that policy didn't cover teen employees of the summer playground program, which lasts for about eight weeks, officials said.

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or cforeman@tribweb.com.

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