News & Resources

Background checks necessary for employees at disabled persons facilities

Jan 26, 2011 Matt Roesly

Illinois healthcare workers at facilities for the disabled are already subjected to background screening for criminal behavior and other forms of identity verification. However, there is a new push for such employees to be screened for a history of child abuse, the Chicago Tribune reports. State government officials are now pushing to expand background screening for healthcare workers who work with developmentally disabled children. The panel of Illinois lawmakers constructed by Governor Pat Quinn will determine how to better screen child healthcare workers The movement began after a Tribune investigation revealed negligence and abuse of developmentally disabled children and teenagers at a facility in Chicago. The workers were not screened for such behavior because their classification did not fall under the state's overhaul of nursing home practices and screening, the paper details. "You can easily have someone slip from one system to the other without knowing relevant facts about their background," Deborah Kennedy, the Equip for Equality abuse and investigation director, told the Tribune. Currently, there are 300 mental health facilities in the state that will fall under the new regulations for background screening.