Felons as Caregivers in California?
On Friday, October 9, 2010 Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a budget package that included two bills, AB 1612 and SB 856 which are designed to restrict convicted felons who have been charged with certain violent crimes from working as caregivers in California’s In-Home Support Services (IHSS) program according to both the Los Angeles Times and CaliforniaHealthLine.com. Click here for information on the IHSS Program.
The old law kept individuals from working as an IHSS caregiver if they had received certain specific types of convictions, specifically:
• Child abuse
• Elder abuse
• Defrauding public assistance programs
The new law expands the number of disqualifications that block a person from working as an IHSS or direct-caregiver. The downside to this however is that with the new law an IHSS beneficiary, i.e. your loved one, can sign a waiver to continue receiving care if the caregiver had a felony conviction that is not one of the three (3) mentioned above. This is a concern to many California citizens. Taking care of a loved one puts a strain on the family and with that strain, sometimes the ability to think rationally is put at risk. So a friend of a friend refers an IHSS caregiver to you and while performing your due diligence, you discover that the caregiver committed a bank robbery ten (10) years ago. But your loved one wants to keep the caregiver because he or she is “nice” and other members of the immediate family also think that he or she is “nice”. What do you do? Will this person rob again? Will they rob your loved one?
As a country, we have a lot of laws on the books that need to be revamped (Wall Street anyone?). But we also have a quite a few laws on the books that are good and solid and do what they are supposed to do (domestic violence comes to mind). California’s original law restricted criminals from getting a position as a caregiver. Again, with a family member even mildly ill, the strain can be incredible. And until now, you had the existing law to enure that most criminals were not in the vicinity of your loved one. Now, having the option to sign a waiver, in my opinion, is not going to do anything but confuse an already tough situation. This is not to say that we aren’t intelligent enough to make good decisions about our family members. However, in emotional situations like these we need the law to guide us and give us direction, not open-ended choices with repercussions we may not fully understand.
This entry was posted on Thursday, October 14th, 2010 at 1:33 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.