DSS Issues Notice to ALFs on New Background Check Requirements

Lynne A. Williams, Director of the Department of Social Services’ (DSS) Division of Licensing Programs, distributed a Legislative Update on May 12th to facilities regulated by DSS notifying them of their responsibilities to comply with House Bill 450 passed in the 2014 General Assembly.

The law, which becomes effective July 1, 2014, prohibits employees from working in a position that involves direct contact with a person or child receiving services until a criminal record clearance has been received, unless that person works under the direct supervision of another employee for whom a background check has been completed.  Direct supervision means that the employee will remain within sight and sound supervision of an employee with a completed background check.

According to the notice, DSS licensing inspectors will determine compliance with this law beginning July 1, 2014 for all employees hired on or after July 1st.  While providers will not be required to maintain documentation of required sight and sound supervision for those employees without background checks, facility providers must be able to demonstrate compliance with this requirement.  DSS recommends that providers submit requests for criminal background checks on individuals as soon as the person has been selected for a position involving direct contact with a person or child receiving services.  A copy of House Bill 450 was distributed along with the notice.  Questions about the requirements should be directed to your community’s licensing inspector.