Two popular caregiver screening websites that help people find babysitters and elder care helpers using background checks performed by national background screening firms approved several applicants with arrest records, according to a report by NBC Chicago’s Unit 5 Investigative Team. The report, which checked the reliability of the information these babysitter screening websites provided, is available at http://www.nbcchicago.com/investigations/unit-5-babysitter-background-checks-179041071.html. Continue reading
A new national study from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine has found that many agencies that place caregivers in the homes of vulnerable elderly people do not perform national criminal background checks or drug testing and do not require any experience or provide any real training or supervision, according to a news article available on the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine website at http://www.feinberg.northwestern.edu/news/2012/07/dangerous_caregivers.html. Continue reading
With the National Institute on Aging (NIA) estimating that approximately seven million Americans are long-distance caregivers for their aging parents who live an hour or more away, the need for trusted and qualified caregivers in rising fast and is expected to grow over the next four decades as the segment of the U.S. population between 20 and 64 – the age group most often faced with caregiving – shrinks while the share of people 65 and older rapidly expands, this according to the Associated Press (AP) story ‘Millions now manage aging parents’ care from afar’ published in various news outlets. Continue reading
A recent investigation by WKYC-TV NBC Channel 3 News in Cleveland, Ohio found that consumers should closely check the backgrounds of home health caregivers before allowing them into their homes after reporting stories of theft by in home caregivers, including one case where $25,000 in cash was stolen from a home safe. Overall, the state of Ohio has received 470 complaints against home health agencies and their home health caregiver employees since the beginning of 2010. Continue reading
To assist household employers in their search for qualified caregivers, Employment Screening Resources (ESR), a nationwide background check company accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), has launched a new website – ESR Screened Caregiver (http://www.screenedcaregiver.com/) – where household employers may screen caregivers to ensure the safety of families and loved ones and caregivers may self-certify with background screening to show their abilities and qualifications. Attorney Les Rosen, ESR Founder and CEO, made the announcement. Continue reading
A recent news story from ‘The Oregonian’ described as “a cautionary tale for baby boomers needing help with their aging parents” shows why background checks are a good idea when hiring caregivers for the elderly. In the story – ‘Oregon couple finds caregiver they hired to take care of elderly mom had criminal record’ – a man suspicious of the woman he hired to care for his 92-year-old mother-in-law visited a County Courthouse and discovered the caregiver had been convicted of criminal mistreatment of an elderly person and had a record of felony theft convictions stretching back to 1976. Continue reading
A newly released legislative report from the California Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes found that residents of California – one of six U.S. states that do not regulate private in-home caregivers – may risk hiring private in-home caregivers who have criminal backgrounds and suggests that the elderly population in the state may suffer theft and abuse as a result of the lack of regulation for private in-home caregivers.
The report – ‘Caregiver Roulette: California Fails to Screen those who Care for the Elderly at Home’ – revealed that more than a quarter of caregivers accused or convicted of crimes had committed prior criminal offenses and warned that many private in-home caregiver agencies did not conduct proper background checks on potential caregivers. Continue reading
Attorney, author, and safe hiring expert Les Rosen, founder and President of San Francisco, CA-area background screening company Employment Screening Resources (ESR), will discuss background checks for home health care workers at a free community forum at the San Rafael Community Center in San Rafael, California on Thursday, March 10, 2011. Continue reading
By Thomas Ahearn, ESR News Blog
Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell has announced that the state is receiving a $2 million federal health care grant to design a comprehensive caregiver background check program for employees of nursing homes and other long-term care agencies to further strengthen protections for elderly and disabled residents.
According to a news release from the Governor, Connecticut is one of six states to receive the federal grant through the Affordable Care Act to bolster protection of nursing home residents with caregiver background checks. The background check program will help identify whether job seekers have any kind of criminal history or other disqualifying information that could make them unsuitable to work directly with residents.
Governor Rell stated that the funds “will allow Connecticut to have one of the most comprehensive background checks in the nation.” The Connecticut state Departments of Public Health (DPH) and Public Safety (DPS) will work together on the initiative.
The new law set aside $160 million for the program, which is to run through September 2012. The other five states awarded grants in addition for Connecticut are Alaska, Delaware, Florida, Missouri, and Rhode Island.
The national background check for each prospective direct patient care employee will include a history search of both state and federal criminal records, abuse and neglect registries, and databases such as the Nurse Aide Registry. Long-term care facilities or providers covered under the new program include:
- Nursing facilities,
- Home health agencies,
- Hospice providers,
- Long-term care hospitals,
- Intermediate care facilities for persons with mental retardation,
- Adult day care, and
- Personal care assistants.
Employment Screening Resources (ESR) literally wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen. ESR is recognized as Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) Accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) for proving compliance with the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP). For more information about Employment Screening Resources, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com.
By Thomas Ahearn, ESR News Staff Writer
Starting August 1, a new law will require workers who care for children, the elderly, and the disabled in the state of Florida to undergo stricter background checks.
According to a report in the Sun Sentinel, House Bill 7069, passed unanimously by the Legislature and signed by Governor Charlie Crist, closes loopholes in the background check process for those seeking jobs with children, seniors, and the disabled and would require that caregivers begin work with vulnerable residents only after a background check is complete and the applicant is found to be qualified.
The law follows a 2009Â series by the Sun-Sentinel newspaper, â€œTrust Betrayed,â€ that exposed gaps in Florida’s background check system. According to the Sun Sentinel â€“ the newspaper that conducted a six-month investigation that found convicted felons with records for rape, child abuse, and murder had been hired as caregivers â€“ employees of day care centers, assisted living facilities, home health care agencies, and others working with children and vulnerable adults will have to pass a nationwide background check before they can begin working under the law.
In the “Trust Betrayed” series, the Sun Sentinel revealed that outdated laws allowed employees to start working before a background check was made, and people with criminal histories could still work by obtaining an exemption stating they were rehabilitated. the state of Florida had granted exemptions to more than 8,700 people with criminal records â€“ including registered sex offenders and convicted murderers â€“ and that 20 percent were re-arrested, including some after being considered not a danger to children or vulnerable adults.
For more information about background checks, and updates on states laws like the new law strengthening background checks for caregivers in Florida, visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) at http://www.esrcheck.com.