News & Resources

Some want more stringent background checks for workers in Illinois

Jan 25, 2011 Matt Roesly

Illinois workers who care for the disabled may soon have to go through more stringent background checks, after a suggestion from a panel assembled by the state's governor. The Chicago Tribune reports that while anyone working at facilities for the disabled currently has to go through criminal background screenings, the screenings do not check whether they have ever been cited for harming a child. Many experts say that the added check will go a long way in helping to better protect children. "If you have someone who's a substantiated child abuser, isn't that a relevant piece of information for purposes of a background check for someone to work in the adult system?" said Deborah Kennedy, the Equip for Equality abuse and investigation director, in an interview with the paper. "You can easily have someone slip from one system to the other without knowing relevant facts about their background." Other areas recently changed their background screening laws. In Deltona, Florida, the city commissioners passed a law that forces all public employees to have their fingerprints taken, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.