Background Check Proposal Draws Mixed Reaction

Created: 07/22/2014 7:07 PM
By: Dan Conradt

(ABC 6 News) -- It's a change that's been proposed in the interests of safety.

But already it's drawing some debate about whether it's necessary -- or the best way to achieve its goal.

"I think it's important we do background checks," said DFL state representative Shannon Savick of Wells.

"I feel like we're being treated like criminals" said caregiver Alexis Adler.

Next week, the Minnesota Department of Human Services launches a pilot project that will expand criminal background checks for new workers who care for children, people with disabilities and the elderly who receive care at home or in other health care settings.

"They want my fingerprints and a photo for an accurate background check because an estimated one percent might not be accurate," Adler explained.

“I just believe people who worked hard all their lives should not have to worry about how they're treated when they're senior citizens," said Savick.

“We've already given our social security number, our driver's license, our address, phone number, references, our birth certificate, we give them almost every piece of information and now they want even more," Adler explained.

The DHS says the new process will help more accurately evaluate the criminal histories of people seeking jobs as caregivers.

"There are people who should not be caring for our elder people," Savick said.

“I feel like it's going a little bit too far, but if I say that I feel like people will think I have something to hide, and I don't," Adler said.

“My husband who recently died was in a nursing home, and I realized how important these people are," Savick told ABC6.

Alexis Adler says one way to attract and retain better care-givers is to increase their pay

"We've been asking for years to get better wages to get better staff."

Photo: ABC 6 News