Sunday, October 4, 2009

Florida Legislators Vow for Change

Florida legislators pledged to overhaul state law to require that caregivers for children and the elderly undergo background checks before they begin work and to close loopholes that have let thousands of felons get jobs in day care and nursing homes.

The proposed reforms come after a Sun Sentinel investigative series last week identified disturbing flaws in the background screening system that allow people to work with Florida's most vulnerable residents before the caregivers have been vetted.

Even people with criminal pasts can qualify for jobs as caregivers by obtaining an exemption. Thousands have sought and won official permission to work despite having records for crimes including rape, child abuse and murder, the newspaper found.

"What you have discovered is something the Legislature needs to get more serious about and get on top of immediately," state Rep. Ari Porth, D-Coral Springs, told the Sun Sentinel. A state prosecutor, Porth is drafting legislation to require pre-employment checks and put restrictions on who can get exemptions.

Full Aritcle and Source:
Florida Lawmakers Vow Changes After Learning of Laxness, Loopholes, in Checking Child and Elder Care Workers

See also:
Databases: Search Criminal Records and Inspections

Trust Betrayed

Felons Working In Florida Nursing Homes

Convicted Felons as Caregivers

Preying on the Frail


StandUp said...

I am glad to see reaction from the FL legislators -- now let's see some action!

Anonymous said...

I am thrilled to see a call for change from the legislators.

At the same time, I feel they knew all this all along but just let the nursing home lobby buy them.

Anonymous said...

Well done Sun Sentinel!

Once again, the sunshine of the media brings about reform!

Norma said...

Yes, vowing for change is the big first step -- now follow through.

FL is known to be dangerous for the elderly and vulnerble.

Time to turn the table.

Anonymous said...

what I would like to know is "who" have been the legislators on "what" committees that have been responsible for this debachle to date? Oh only after an investigation we find that sex offenders and felons have been watching the "store"? What does it say about us as a nation when we feed our elderly and our children, the two most vulnerable segments of our society to these predators? We need answers from the people who have gotten paid alot of money "to date" as to why this loophole went on as long as it did. Its easy for Mr. Porth to step up to the plate after the fact, but how many victims did it take? I find this outrageous and in this society, it reflects how dismal our "powers that be" really are.