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More Thorough Background Checks Proposed for Illinois Nursing Home Employees

The Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday on proposed changed to background check requirements in Illinois. The legislation would affect employees at many types of facilities including homes for the disabled and nursing homes for the elderly.

Most employees at these homes are already required to perform criminal background checks before they are hired. The licenses of those applicants must also be verified before they can begin work. Yet, there is more extensive checking that could be conducted to ensure that the employees who serve these most vulnerable community members are willing and capable of providing proper care. Most importantly these facilities are currently not required to check whether the applicant has been cited in the past for any form of abuse. Those past citations most likely would never show up on regular criminal background checks.

Proposed legislations would mandate that additional requirement. One motivation for the new law is the recent revelations made about treatment of many developmentally disabled children at a Chicago nursing facility-Alden Village North.

Much time remains before the bill is up for a final vote. However, many lawmakers are already voicing support for the additional check, with many hoping it applies to both children’s facilities as well as those nursing homes catering to elders.

Anyone who regularly hears news of abuse and neglect at Illinois nursing homes is aware that the root of the problem is typically found in the quality of the employees who are paid to provide the necessary care to these residents. Our Chicago nursing home attorneys at Levin & Perconti know first-hand that nothing will do more to improve the care of our elders at nursing homes than ensuring each and every employee cares deeply about the true mission of the facility: providing the best care possible at all times. Even a single deviation from that standard can have deadly consequences.

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