“Congress has a duty to ensure every youth-serving organization in America can afford and access the gold-standard of nationwide background checks. Anything less is unacceptable,” said Rep. Bishop following last week's introduction of the new CPIA legislation.
Last Wednesday, Congressmen Mike Bishop (MI-08) and Adam Schiff (CA-28) introduced the bipartisan Child Protection Improvements Act (CPIA), H.R. 4703. Currently, most youth-serving organizations do not have access to FBI background checks; CPIA would change that so these organizations can conduct fast, accurate and affordable background checks on prospective volunteers and employees working with children.
“Congress has a duty to ensure every youth-serving organization in America can afford and access the gold-standard of nationwide background checks. Anything less is unacceptable,” said Rep. Bishop. “Keeping children safe was a top priority of mine in the Michigan Senate, and I am proud to continue that work on a bipartisan basis today.”
"Parents deserve to know that their children are in safe hands when they participate in after-school programs, sports camps, or meet with their mentors," Rep. Schiff said. "And this is why all youth-serving organizations must be equipped with access to the FBI fingerprint-based background check system to thoroughly screen prospective employees and volunteers that will work with kids. The results of a multi-year pilot program provides striking evidence that our legislation would be effective in catching child predators who attempt to avoid detection by moving from state to state.”
Specifically, this new legislation would:
- Ensure that 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.
CPIA is supported by many national organizations, including:
- The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
- American Camp Association
- Big Brothers, Big Sisters of America
- First Focus Campaign for Children, Girls, Inc.
- Girl Scouts of the USA
- MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership
- Mentoring USA
- National 4-H Council
- National Network for Youth
- National Summer Learning Association
- YMCA of the USA
- National PTA