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Caregiver Background Check

March 19th, 2010 by flanews

Tougher restrictions on companies providing care to children, seniors and people with disabilities are moving through the Florida legislature. The legislation bans caregivers from going to work before passing a background check. As Whitney Ray tells us, the plan was drafted after a thorough search found thousands of felons working with kids, the disabled and the elderly.

77-year JoAnn Starr depends on her caregiver, Christine Garrison, for help with activities, getting around, and entertainment.

Shes a lovely person. I love to hear her sing, said Starr.

Christine began working as a caregiver 27 years ago. She says trust is important.

I am like a walker for stability. I have to be here to lean on. And you know we lean on each other and they have to trust me, said Garrison.

But trust was broken by some working in Florida. Since 1990 more than 35 hundred convicted felons have worked as caregivers.

Legislation prohibiting caregivers from working until a background check has been completed is moving in Tallahassee. It would also require additional checks every five years. Elder Care Services approves of the changes. The senior assistance agency already keeps people off the job until the checks are through.

That again assures the public and assures the clients and their families that nothing has happened intervening since the initial screening that everyone has to go through in order to qualify for these kinds of positions, said James Croteau, President of Elder Care Services in Tallahassee.

The bill also provides some exemptions for people who older non-violent felony convictions. If the legislation becomes law parts of the background checks and results would be submitted electronically in order to speed up the process.

Posted in Health, State Budget, State News | 1 Comment »

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