I called Rep Thomas Murt's office this afternoon to follow up on our phone call of the week of the child labor hearings, hoping to hear that his office had heard from the PA Department of Labor & Industry regarding the issue of ensuring the Gosselins children are working only with adults who have been cleared for child abuse and criminal backgrounds.
The forms for doing these checks are easy to obtain and submit and their results are completely confidential. The individual being checked fills them out and sends them in, and after they have been filled out with information indicating that the individual either has or has not been convicted of child abuse or a felony in PA they are sent back to that individual who then gives them to their prospective employer, volunteer coordinator, or whoever they will potentially be working under. Having the info sent back to the person applying for the job or volunteer position rather than directly to the prospective employer makes this a confidential process because if someone's papers come back showing that they've been convicted of something, they can always call the prospective employer and say something like, "Gee whiz, I'm withdrawing my application because I got another job..."
These two sets of paperwork must be completed, returned and handed in prior to any direct contact with children, and any responsible Pennylvania employer knows it. You cannot work as a teacher, in a day care center, or at any agency serving children without them. I have been filling them out for years because I am on the board of directors of an agency that services children here in Berks County, and I don't even work directly with the kids the agency serves.
In the third week of April Representative Murt personally told me he'd been trying to get a response on this from Dept of L&I Secretary Sandi Vito for the previous week with no luck. He kept asking, and the Dept of L&I just kept not responding. It is now six weeks later and Rep Murt's office just told me they are still waiting for a response.
For the past several years the Gosselin children have been followed around by and sometimes been alone in bathrooms, bedrooms and the woods with cameramen and other adults such as caterers, bodyguards, drivers, and have spent prolonged periods of time alone with nannies, babysitters, etc. There is no evidence that any of these adults went through the legally-required background checks, although that evidence has been repeatedly requested by a Pennsylvania State representative. There is also, based on this clearly profound lack of responsibility taken in regards to the safety of these children, no reason to believe that clearances have been secured for any of the adults working with the Gosselin children now that filming has resumed.
Ms. Vito, please respond to the multiple requests for information you have received from representative Murt's office, and prove me wrong.