Recently, the California Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes released a report titled “Caregiver Roulette: California Fails to Screen those who Care for the Elderly at Home.”  The shocking report indicates that private caregiver agencies that operate in patient homes do not conduct proper pre-employment background checks.  More than one quarter of caregivers indicted or convicted for crimes were found to have committed previous offenses.  This news accompanies the fact that California is only one of six states that do not manage private in-home caregivers, risking theft and abuse of the elderly.

Although California attempted to combat these results by allowing the elderly and their families to conduct their own background checks, the confusion associated with the 2008 state law (SB 692) made it especially difficult for seniors to be aware of this right.  As a result, in-home caregivers from private companies were hired without having been scrutinized.

Because of the report, California legislature is contemplating two bills that would insist on the management and regulation of all in-home caregiver agencies along with pre-employment screening for every caregiver.  This legislation would offer an important step towards providing a safe and reliable environment for every senior receiving in-home care. 

Providing hands-on care is a very serious matter, and it’s important for private caregiver agencies to consider the risks associated with the industry.  By utilizing all of the benefits that employment screening has to offer, every company can avoid being linked to undependable and dishonest employees.  Although using background checks and employment screening may take extra effort, the payoff makes it more than worthwhile.  Criminal searches are especially important when it comes to background checks for caregivers.  Typically, it is the caregivers who have committed offenses in the past who pose a threat to the reputation of private companies.  Rather than taking a chance and putting your company at risk, utilize pre-employment screening and ensure the success of your private caregiver agency.

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