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.

For more information about caregiver background checks, visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) at

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