Yes. Nursing home employees whose duties may involve one-on-one contact with a nursing home resident should have criminal background checks completed before they are hired. The only exception to this law is for employees who are contracted to work at the nursing home and are already subject to a criminal background check as a condition of professional licensure. For example, a doctor may have already completed a criminal background check as a condition of being licensed to practice medicine, so would not have to undergo another check by the nursing home.
What Is a Criminal Background Check for a KY Nursing Home Employee?
Kentucky State Regulations define a criminal background check as, “a state and national fingerprint-supported criminal history background check performed by the Department of Kentucky State Police (KSP) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and includes a comparison of the applicant’s fingerprints with any fingerprints that may be on file with the KSP or FBI” (See 906 KAR 1:190).
How Is a Criminal Background Check Done for Kentucky Nursing Home Employees?
Kentucky’s criminal background check system is known as the Kentucky Applicant Registry and Employment Screening System (KARES). Once an application for a background check is submitted to KARES, the applicant will be notified of where to go to be fingerprinted. The applicant’s fingerprints are then compared to the fingerprints in the KSP and FBI systems. This background check does not only happen during the employment application process. KARES offers a “continuous assessment” feature that will provide a notification if an active employee is arrested.
Criminal Background Checks Are Important, but They Won’t Always Prevent Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect
National criminal background checks may prevent people with criminal histories from working in Kentucky nursing homes. However, it won’t prevent the employment of people who have committed crimes and not been caught, people who may abuse other people for the first time, or people who may be negligent.
Therefore, even if a criminal background check was done, abuse and neglect injuries are possible. If your loved one is in a nursing home, we encourage you to know the signs and symptoms of nursing home abuse and to learn what you can do if you suspect nursing home abuse by reading our free report, Fighting Back Against Nursing home Abuse: What Families Need to Know to Help Their Loved One.
Has Your Loved One Been Injured In A Nursing Home?
If you believe your loved one is being subjected to nursing home abuse you need to speak with an experienced Kentucky nursing home neglect attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 888.450.4456 to schedule a free consultation.