Thursday, March 1, 2012

County Child Welfare Workers to Undergo Criminal Checks

Blogger note:
Would've thought that criminal background checks would have been in place before anyone was hired by DCFS to work with children. Cart before the horse? Can't help but wonder if any children have suffered any kind of abuse or neglect at the hands of these unchecked worker's and it may be going unreported...

By City News Service

Several county child welfare workers have not undergone criminal background checks, a county supervisor said Tuesday, prompting the Board of Supervisors to call for an immediate start to the checks.

Supervisor Gloria Molina recommended that Department of Children and Family Services employees who work with children be electronically fingerprinted — a process called a Live Scan — for a California Department of Justice criminal record check.

All new county employees, employees transferring to other departments and being promoted undergo the Live Scan process, Molina said. But about 35 percent of county employees have not been scanned, including several DCFS employees, she said.

Staffers have been working for years on a feasibility study related to expanding the Live Scan process, which they were asked to expedite in September 2009.

Molina said she recently learned that state parks employees who interact with children undergo the same process.

“It’s hard to believe that all these years, we have not been doing the same,” Molina said.

She said she understood the county made a conscious decision not to do so in 1997, when legislation first passed related to Live Scan. Molina was elected in 1991.

The board unanimously voted to begin the scans immediately for DCFS employees and to begin discussions with union representatives related to the scans. It also directed staffers to report back in two weeks on the status of the overall feasibility study and plans to implement scans in other departments.


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