- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 2, 2016

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - The number of adults in Pennsylvania who sought a child abuse clearance last year almost tripled after a new law took effect in response to the Jerry Sandusky and clergy child sexual abuse scandals.

The state Department of Human Services said Wednesday that 1.5 million adults sought criminal background checks in 2015 to receive clearance to hold jobs that involve caring for children.

Of those, about 1,600 had a prior report of substantiated child abuse in a state registry, compared to about 1,100 out of nearly 588,000 seeking clearances in 2014.

The department says that, of the applicants flagged in 2015, 17 were barred from employment in the job they were seeking. The decision on whether to hire the others was up to the employer.

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