05.23.17

Schiff, Bishop Praise House Passage of Bipartisan Child Protection Improvements Act

WASHINGTON D.C. – On Monday evening, Congressmen Adam Schiff (CA-28) Mike Bishop’s (MI-08) bipartisan Child Protection Improvements Act of 2017 (CPIA), H.R. 695, passed the House by voice vote. 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. The passage of CPIA will ensure that every child serving organization in America has access to the most comprehensive and effective background check possible. I’m pleased it has passed the House and hope that we can see it signed into law in the near future.”

 

“As a father of three, I know there is nothing more important than our children’s safety,” Rep. Bishop said. “When they participate in camps and afterschool activities, parents deserve to have full peace of mind that their kids are in good hands. Youth-serving organizations across America agree, and they want to ensure they are hiring the best possible employees and volunteers. The bipartisan Child Protection Improvements Act makes that possible by addressing gaps in the current system – so every youth-serving organization in America can access the gold-standard of background checks. The FBI database is the most efficient way for these organizations to crosscheck potential hires across state lines, and improving access to this resource is another common-sense way to keep bad actors out. I applaud the House for passing this legislation to keep kids safe.”

Specifically, the Child Protection Improvements Act would:

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

The bipartisan bill passed with 45 co-sponsors in the House. The bill has also 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