Child Safety

Important Update!

Congress approved the Child Protection Improvements Act (CPIA) and the President signed it into law in March 2018. Thanks to the collective work of advocates across the country, we were successful in ensuring that any youth-serving organization wishing to utilize an FBI fingerprint background check as part of their comprehensive screening process for staff and volunteers.

Now, MENTOR and our partners are working with the U.S. Department of Justice to see the CPIA program launched successfully so that youth-serving organizations can benefit. Stay tuned for updates and next steps.

The success of CPIA’s passage is due to the hundreds and hundreds of emails, letters, and phone calls made by youth advocates over more than a decade. Your hard work has paid off with a critical tool that will help keep young people safe. Thank you!

Critical Child Safety Legislation

The Child Protection Improvements Act (CPIA) is modeled after the successful “SafetyNET” Child Safety pilot that provided mentoring organizations with direct access to national FBI fingerprint checks of volunteers at a low cost and with a swift turnaround time. Currently, only half of states provide access to national FBI fingerprint checks to mentoring programs and other youth-serving organizations. Programs without access are left to choose between often costly screenings offered through private companies or skip a national FBI fingerprint check altogether.

MENTOR recommends including a national FBI check as part of a comprehensive screening of all potential volunteers wishing to work with children. For this reason, we strongly support CPIA.

  • CPIA would ensure universal access to FBI fingerprint background checks for all youth-serving organizations
  • CPIA would help minimize the costs of screenings and emphasize the need for timely results
  • CPIA is bipartisan, focused on ensuring the safety of the country’s young people, and carries no taxpayer expense

Contact your members of Congress today and urge them to protect youth by passing CPIA now!

Send your Message
CEOs from 22 organizations who support and provide services to America’s youth have signed letters in support of the bill to Senate and House leaders.

Read the letters in full and additional CPIA documents below.

Recent Letters to Congress

 March 2017 – Support Letter for House Judiciary Hearing on Combating Crimes Against Children
 November 2015 – CPIA Support Letter to Congress (House)
 November 2015 – CPIA Support Letter to Congress (Senate)
 November 2014 – CEO Support Letter to House Leadership
 November 2014 - CEO Support Letters to the Senate Judiciary Committee

CPIA Resources

 CPIA Summary Sheet
 Organizations that Support CPIA
 CPIA Frequently Asked Questions
 SafetyNET Fact Sheet

Curious about the background check laws in your state? The American Camp Association has a resource that shows whether or not FBI criminal background checks are required for volunteers and the amount for processing these checks. To complete a search, enter your state and identify the row titled “State Allows FBI Checks”. Information is updated annually.

ACA Search