03.23.18

Schiff, Bishop Applaud Signing of Bipartisan Child Protection Improvements Act

WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, Congressmen Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Mike Bishop (R-MI) applauded the final passage and signing of the bipartisan Child Protection Improvements Act (CPIA). CPIA ensures youth-serving organizations in every state can access FBI background checks for prospective staff and volunteers.

“When parents send their children to after-school programs, sports camps, or for mentoring, they should be able to trust that their children are in good hands,” Rep. Schiff said. “An FBI background check is the gold standard, and I believe that’s what we should strive for when it comes to protecting children, seniors, and individuals with disabilities who are put in potentially vulnerable situations. CPIA will ensure that every child serving organization in America has access to the most comprehensive and effective background check possible.”

“We can all agree on the importance of providing a safe environment for our children – but unfortunately, thousands of organizations serving children and other vulnerable populations are often unable to access the gold standard for criminal background checks, the FBI’s fingerprint-based background checks,” said Rep. Bishop. “With the signing of CPIA into law, our youth-serving organizations across America will have the resources they need to hire the best possible employees and volunteers to work with our children.”  

“Staff and volunteers at the Y teach, care for and mentor 9 million children each year. Child safety is our top priority,” said Kevin Washington, President and CEO of YMCA of the USA. “Thank you to Representatives Schiff and Bishop for their leadership in working to assure that FBI checks, one essential tool for providing safe environments for children, are more broadly accessible.”

“MENTOR strongly supports final passage of this critical and commonsense piece of legislation that prioritizes the safety and well-being of young people,” said David Shapiro, CEO of MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership. “We are grateful to Representatives Schiff and Bishop for their leadership in introducing and leading on this bill and for their continued bipartisan commitment to giving organizations serving young people the best tools to protect them.”

Specifically, the Child Protection Improvements Act:

  • Ensures that organizations that serve children, individuals with disabilities, and the elderly all across the country will have access to FBI fingerprint searches in a timely and affordable manner;
  • Protects privacy rights by ensuring that the specifics of a criminal record are never disclosed without explicit consent by the volunteer or employee, and provides an opportunity for individuals to correct errors in their records;
  • Does NOT authorize any new spending. The program will be supported by the fees assessed for background checks from the requesting nonprofit organizations;
  • Does NOT require organizations to utilize FBI fingerprint background checks, only makes them available to those wishing to utilize them.

The bill has garnered support from 34 national organizations, including:

  • American Camp Association
  • Big Brothers, Big Sisters of America
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of America
  • Girl Scouts of the USA
  • MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership
  • Mentoring USA
  • National 4-H Council
  • National Network for Youth
  • National Summer Learning Association
  • National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
  • National PTA
  • YMCA of the USA

Reps. Schiff and Bishop introduced CPIA in January 2017. The bill passed the House in May 2017, and a modified version passed the Senate in October 2017.

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