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Working With Minors Compliance Policy

Required Background Checks and Clearances | Roles Involving Regular Interactions With Minors | Occasional Participation in Programs Involving Minors | New Programs Involving Minors

As outlined in the guidelines for programs involving minors, Swarthmore College strives to conduct its operations and maintain its facilities in a manner consistent with its purpose as a liberal arts institution of higher education, and is committed to the highest standards of responsible employment and hiring practices. The College is committed to protecting the safety, health, and well-being of its employees, students, and all others who come into contact with our College community.

In an effort to assure hiring and assignment of only qualified personnel and reduce the possibility of hiring individuals who may pose a danger to themselves or to our students, employees, visitors, and minors, Swarthmore College has adopted background check and clearance policies and procedures. These policies apply to all College employees. 

Additionally, consistent with the Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law, (23 Pa. Cons. Stat. 6301, et seq.), with limited exception, employees, volunteers, and independent contractors who have direct contact with minors are required to obtain certain background clearances. The College requires all new and existing employees as well as volunteers who have direct contact with minors in College programs to receive the background clearances outlined below. These clearances by law are required to be updated on a periodic basis.

If you have been notified by Human Resources that you need to update your clearances, you will have up to four weeks to come into compliance. Individuals who do not come into compliance within this time period will be placed on unpaid leave for up to two weeks. If at the end of two weeks you have not completed all required clearances and fingerprinting, your employment will be evaluated for further College action, up to and including dismissal.

Please contact Human Resources at with any questions regarding this policy.

Required Background Checks and Clearances

The following criminal screenings are required for those who work with minors:

  • Pennsylvania Access Criminal History
  • Child Abuse History Clearance
  • Fingerprint-based Federal criminal history (FBI)

Faculty and Staff Members Whose Roles Involve Regular Interaction with Minors 

Staff who work in departments which work with minors on a regular basis are required to have ACT 153 clearances completed prior to their start date. These staff will be notified by Human Resources when their clearances will expire so that they can recertify their clearances in a timely manner. 

Staff who transfer to a new position that requires ACT 153 clearances as a condition of hire must complete the clearance process prior to starting their new role. In addition, these staff are required to participate in annual mandated reporting training and adhere to the guidelines for programs involving minors and the policy on mandatory child abuse reporting.  

Faculty and Staff Members Who Occasionally Participate in Programs Involving Minors

Human Resources maintains a list of College-sponsored programs involving minors and is responsible for ensuring that all staff and faculty members engaging in those programs maintain updated clearances. In programs where the individuals involved vary from year to year, Human Resources will reach out to the program managers prior to the start of the program in order to obtain a list of individuals working in the program that year. Those individuals will be required to have valid clearances, and if necessary, have those clearances renewed, prior to participating in the program. Any individual who does not have an updates clearance will not be permitted to participate in the program. All College employees are required to adhere to the and the policy on mandatory child abuse reporting.

New Programs Involving Minors

Any new programs involving minors must have a designated program manager who will need to contact Human Resources to provide detailed information, including employees and any volunteers participating, dates, times, and locations of the program. This information is required to ensure proper compliance with both training and ACT 153 clearances. In addition, these staff and faculty members will be required to participate in annual mandated reporting training and adhere to the guidelines for programs involving minors and the policy on mandatory child abuse reporting.