Democrats in the legislature propose criminal background checks for those who work in assisted living or adult day care facilities, although they have yet to draft a bill that would accomplish that goal. Iowa law already requires criminal checks for those who apply to work in nursing homes. Those checks aren’t required in assisted living and adult day care centers because House Democrat Leader Pat Murphy of Dubuque says those facilities weren’t common when the law requiring background checks for nursing home employees was passed.
Murphy says teachers, social workers or foster care parent and you are found guilty of abuse and placed on the state’s child abuse registry, then you cannot work with children for 10 years. Murphy says the same rules should apply for those who care for the elderly. Murphy says Democrats also want all facilities that serve seniors to conduct random background checks of all employees, not just those applying for a job.
Murphy says it’s a way to catch people who passed a criminal check when they were hired but have since committed some crime. Representative Deborah Berry, a Democrat from Waterloo, wants to see anyone who’s charged with any crime, not just abuse, to be barred from caring for seniors. “A crime is a crime in my view,” Berry says. Berry says it’s just another way to protect Iowa seniors.