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The Orlando Sentinel has an excellent article today on the pitfalls of the state of Florida’s control over who is taking care of the elderly in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and adult day care centers. Among the problems reported are:

  • State law requires that facilities perform criminal background check on employees just in the state of Florida, not nationwide (there are a few exceptions).
  • In all but nursing homes, employees can begin work before the criminal report is returned from the screening process.
  • The state has screening inspectors who review employee files for background checks but only get to visit nursing homes about one time per year and assisted living facilities once every two years.
  • Investigators have found some employees who have been on the job for seven years and still have no background check in their personnel file.

The law covering who is and who is not allowed to care for our senior citizens is finally being expanded this week. While the law has always excluded those charged in a criminal activity, the new statute also covers theft, fraud and forgery.

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