Crist orders agencies to check on background checksby Dara Kam | October 20th, 2009
Gov. Charlie Crist is ordering agencies to audit their compliance with state law requiring criminal background checks on workers who deal with children, the frail or the elderly.
Crist ordered the review after The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported that about more than 6,000 people had been approved by the state to work with the elderly, disabled and children, including some who had been convicted of murder and rape.
Crist is asking a host of agencies to examine the current legal requirements for screening, compliance and report back to him on Nov. 2.
Crist’s order comes on the heels of Democratic Sen. Nan Rich’s filing of legislation to tighten up screening requirements.
Rich, D-Weston, filed a bill that would change the current law allowing caregivers to start work before criminal background investigations are completed.
Her proposal would also allow the Department of Children and Families to do follow-up criminal checks on workers who have been given exemptions to work even though they have committed crimes in the past.