Statement from YMCA of the USA on U.S. House of Representatives Passing the Child Protection Improvements Act

YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the Child Protection Improvements Act (CPIA), a bipartisan bill that would provide organizations serving vulnerable populations (youth, elderly and individuals with disabilities) with access to FBI fingerprint background checks to screen prospective volunteers and employees.

The Y and other national organizations endorse this legislation, which would remove a longstanding barrier to the child-protection efforts of many youth-serving organizations: lack of access to FBI fingerprint background checks. Currently, at least one-third of states do not give a wide range of youth-serving organizations access to federal searches through their state background check systems. CPIA would ensure that organizations nationwide have access to FBI checks, a critical component of a comprehensive background check process.

Staff and volunteers at the Y teach, care for and mentor 9 million children each year. Their safety is our top priority. We are proud to have worked with partners such as MENTOR, the American Camp Association and others to move this bill forward. We also offer our appreciation to bill sponsors Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Mike Bishop (R-MI) for their leadership in working to assure that FBI checks, an essential tool for providing safe environments for children, are accessible more broadly.

By making available to organizations information that enables informed decision-making about potential volunteers and staff, CPIA would directly benefit millions of children and adults across the nation who are involved with mentoring programs, afterschool programs, youth sports, summer camps and more. The Y looks forward to working with Senate leaders to advance the bill so it can be signed into law by the President. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

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