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.
WKYC News reports that one man in Sandusky, OH unknowingly invited a convicted thief into his home to care for his wife who had undergone several brain surgeries. The home health caregiver – who had previously been arrested for stealing a prescribed painkiller from a Veterans home in Sandusky – stole $25,000 in cash after discovering the combination to his home safe and she was later convicted of theft. Her employer refused to answer questions asking whether they had run a background check on the woman. In another case reported by WKYC, a home health caregiver was arrested on a probation violation by police on the first day she began working at a home in Strongsville, OH. She was convicted of stealing $700 in cash and $100 in gift cards from another person.
Convicted felons are not allowed to work as home health care workers, WKYC reports, and there are more than 100 criminal offenses that should prevent someone from becoming or remaining a caregiver provider, including theft and robbery. The news article from WKYC is available at: http://www.wkyc.com/news/article/212730/45/Investigator-Check-background-before-hiring-an-at-home-health-aide.
The need for background checks for home health caregivers is not just a problem in Ohio but across the nation. An April 2011 report from the California Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes – ‘Caregiver Roulette: California Fails To Screen Those Who Care for the Elderly at Home’ – revealed that residents of the state may risk hiring private in-home caregivers with criminal records. The report suggests that the elderly population in California, one of six U.S. states that do not regulate private in-home caregivers, may suffer theft and abuse as a result of the lack of regulation. To view the report, visit: http://www3.senate.ca.gov/deployedfiles/vcm2007/senoversight/docs/2385.caregiver%20roulette.pdf.
To assist in the search for qualified home health caregivers, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a nationwide background check company accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) – recently launched ESR Screened Caregiver to protect vulnerable populations such as the elderly and disabled against bad hiring decisions of unqualified, dishonest, or dangerous workers. Household employers may screen caregivers to ensure the safety of families and loved ones and caregivers may self-screen with background screening to show their abilities and qualifications.
To learn more, read the ESR News blog ‘ESR Screened Caregiver Website Offers Background Check Services for Household Employers of Caregivers’ and visit the ESR Screened Caregiver website at http://www.screenedcaregiver.com/.
(NOTE: November is National Family Caregivers Month. For more information, visit the National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA) website at http://www.nfcacares.org/national_family_caregiver_month/.)
About Employment Screening Resources (ESR):
Founded in 1997 in the San Francisco, CA area, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) literally wrote the book on background screening with “The Safe Hiring Manual” by ESR Founder and CEO Lester Rosen. ESR streamlines the screening process and reduces administrative overhead though its proprietary technology solutions. ESR is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®), a distinction held by less than two percent of all screening firms. This important recognition was achieved by successfully passing a third party audit demonstrating compliance with the NAPBS Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program. By choosing an accredited screening firm like ESR, employers know they have selected an agency that meets the highest industry standards. For more information about ESR, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com.
About ESR News:
The Employment Screening Resources (ESR) News blog – ESR News – provides employment screening information for employers, recruiters, and jobseekers on a variety of topics including credit reports, criminal records, data privacy, discrimination, E-Verify, legal updates, negligent hiring, workplace violence, and use of search engines and social network sites for background checks. For more information about ESR News or to send comments or questions, please email ESR News Editor Thomas Ahearn at [email protected].