Background Checks: The Home Care Agency Perspective

Background checks for senior care are required by quality home care agencies before they will employ a CNA, Home Health Aide, or senior companion. We spoke to our Home Care Agency Expert, Lewis Myers, owner of Right at Home, Maryland, to discuss the significance of a good and thorough criminal background check. 

Criminal background checks — how vital are they to the caregiver hiring process?

Right at Home believes background checks are extremely important.  They can be done inexpensively or they can be very comprehensive.  When we run a background we want a very comprehensive picture of the applicant’s past.  Therefore, we take additional steps, such as looking at all 50 states, when we run a background check.  If I were looking for care for my loved one, I would want to know exactly how the background for the caregiver was checked.  Further, the agency should be willing to share results of the check with their potential clients.  This may give the client an extra level of comfort as to the potential caregiver’s past.

Who buys the background check — the  caregiver applying for a job or the Home Care agency?

The answer to this question varies across the gamut of agencies. Some agencies initiate the background check, some agencies require the caregiver to do their own background check and verify it.

As a caregiver, can ask to see my background check if conducted by an agency? 

Of course the caregiver may ask to see the background check and we as an agency/employer will share the results with the employee.

I want to hire a caregiver. Can I request to see the background check of a caregiver you send to my home? 

The family member may request to see the background check for a caregiver.  During the employment process, we as the agency obtain consent from the caregiver to share the background check with a family to which the caregiver is assigned.  This is rarely an issue as our standards would preclude us from hiring a caregiver if there is even the slightest doubt as to the caregiver’s past.

Do background checks only cover crimes committed in the United States? How would I check on the background of an immigrant caregiver? 

Background checks generally cover crimes committed in the US. It would be extremely difficult to check on the background of an immigrant in their country of origin. However, this brings up a good point. Given the difficulty of making this check, it can be prudent to require that a caregiver is in the US for a minimum period of time prior to coming to work for the agency.

When a caregiver, aide or companion applies with their own background check, are they given any special consideration?

In terms of special consideration, we love to see that kind of initiative, providing the check is verifiable.  We also ensure that the check performed meets all of our criteria. We really like using (the background check offered on Caregiverlist.com). It enables us to integrate the hiring process, creating greater efficiency.

What's in the background check? How far back does the background check go? Read our background check FAQ for answers to questions you might have. And to see what your background check says about you, we've made it easy to purchase your own background check.

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