Tighter screening being sought for Minnesota's caregivers

  • Article by: Chris Serres , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 3, 2014 - 10:24 AM

Fingerprints and computer checks would bolster a “flawed” system of background checks.

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sassifilliFeb. 1, 1410:17 PM

To reinstate my nursing license in the Commonwealth of Kentucky I must submit fingerprints and a criminal report.

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eevans2Feb. 1, 1410:44 PM

this is long overdue. My elderly mom had a 24/7caregiver from a top agency in Edina and was severely abused. The caregiver was not well versed in day to day care for a Parkinsons patient, and my mom suffered black and blue marks on her arms and legs from all the pulling - the aid did not know how to lift, apply a hearing aid, and stole considerably. Upon calling DHS to report, I got absolutely no assistance, and subsequently, upon looking at this caregiver's record on the civil courts website, she had approximately 21 misdemeanors on her record, and her previous employer would not comment - hard to believe this can happen at nearly a $300 per day price or any price for that matter. Agencies and gov. need to do their part in better screening applicants, even if their extra measures are not deemed legally mandatory - this is truly a pathetic situation.

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YoganaziFeb. 2, 14 5:09 AM

DHS does not have the IT infrastructure or security systems in place to store this data. This is a disaster waiting to happen.

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jim4848Feb. 2, 14 5:48 AM

Imagine applying for a job and they tell you that you have to have a license, pass a back ground check and give your fingerprints to the FBI, all before you can get the job. Then they tell you about the pay. You'll get no health insurance, no vacation pay, no 401K or pension. You'll work holidays and weekends all for under 11 dollars an hour. Make me wonder why they have a hard time getting good people.

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sundialFeb. 2, 14 7:54 AM

I agree with yoganazy. DHS's IT infrastructure is woefully outdated and inadequate. Until state officials and legislators do something about this all the hand-wringing and legislation passing will not help, and in fact, will aggravate the situation. However, I don't know of any politicians who will run on a platform of " Update DHS IT!"

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kkjerFeb. 2, 14 8:55 AM

So who is going to take the fingerprints, classify them, and send them to the FBI? Most police dept's now charge upwards of 20 dollars for a set of prints and 17.50 to submit them to the FBI. My wife needed fingerprints for an international job, she went to the local PD, 3 times the FBI rejected them as not classifiable, by the time it was all over with, over 3 months, it had cost her over 100 dollars just to get a set of fingerprints acceptable to the FBI.

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jurburFeb. 2, 14 9:04 AM

Most of the people who are PCAs are family members. How is fingerprinting their sons and daughters going to go over with them? 1 in 5 people in Minnesota have a criminal history. Who is going to do these jobs? Why do politicians and bureaucrats have such a hard time with reality? Designing more means of discriminating against people who are already working in physically demanding low skill jobs for low pay as caretakers is not the answer. It is nice the Star Tribune opened up this can of worms with their enquirer-driven expose'. I do not think the results will be as the paper envisioned.

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fentanylFeb. 2, 1410:22 AM

Let us start the fingerprinting and background checks on DHS management staff. How much has DHS managerial incompetence cost tax payers? There is zero IT infrastructure and absolutely no security systems in place.

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rlwr51Feb. 2, 1410:31 AM

geevans2 - "... hard to believe this can happen at nearly a $300 per day price or any price for that matter." - - - - - - - - - - - - It seems to me, since the agency only pays these people $11/hr with no benefits that they're making out like bandits. They have little infrastructure to pay for - employees have to provide their own transportation and they can run their operation in a small office space. . . . There was just an editorial a few weeks ago by a Somali man who ran one of these agencies pleading the case not to increase minimum wage because it would cut into his ability to make a profit . . . . It is disturbing to me that one of the areas that they want to increase low wage green card immigrants for is elder care. How do you do a background check on someone coming from a third world country? . . . . . . . I have been hearing of several instances lately of corporations, mostly out of state, buying up nursing homes (many are church and charity based that have not operated to make a profit). The first thing they seem to do is cut staff, get rid of long time employees who have earned raises over the years, cut benefits and lower entry wages. . . Seems elder care is the new hot investment.

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rlwr51Feb. 2, 1410:35 AM

Twenty years ago I had to submit fingerprints to get a non-teaching job for a public school system. Most elderly are at least as vulnerable as children and are usually alone with their caregivers.

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