Expanded Pa. child-protection law swamps state agency

New laws aimed at curbing child abuse in Pennsylvania are bogging down the state agency that administers them.

In a story published Wednesday, PennLive.com reported the Wolf administration is creating new positions to address the backlog in the Human Services Department.

Officials say some calls to the state’s hotline — ChildLine — went unanswered as employees worked overtime to process reports of suspected abuse as well as tens of thousands of applications for child abuse clearances.

One law that took effect Dec. 31 significantly expanded the categories of people who must get clearances and undergo criminal background checks. As a result, clearances take longer than the two weeks that the state promises.

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The laws are part of the state’s response to the Jerry Sandusky and clergy sex abuse scandals.

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