Delaware Bill Establishes Background Check Database for Home Care Workers

A Delaware bill seeking to establish a more comprehensive background check system for home care and home health care workers recently passed the state Senate and is now pending House approval.

Delaware’s State Senate Bill 216 seeks to amend Subchapter 6, Title 29 of the Delaware Code to include the organization of an electronic Background Check Center. This system would consolidate the data necessary for prospective employers to make hiring decisions regarding a prospective employee’s suitability for providing care services.

The bill applies to caregivers for skilled nursing facilities, home care agencies, and home health care, among other caregiving outlets. 

Sponsored by Senate Majority Whip Margaret Rose Henry, the Background Check Center would combine data streams from various sources within and outside of the State of Delaware to help employers determine the suitability of those seeking employment in a home care or home health care agency.

Using the system would be mandatory for employers, and the bill authorizes the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services to establish a user fee. Employers are granted protection against complaints or lawsuits that may stem from a hiring decision based on information provided by the Background Check Center. 

The bill also includes amendments to existing statutes which establish criminal background checks and mandatory drug screening as a requirement for employment in long term care settings to make them compatible with the requirements of the electronic system. 

On June 19, the bill passed the state Senate by a vote of 17 to 3. It is now been assigned to the House Health & Human Development Committee.

Click here to access the legislation.

Written by Alyssa Gerace

Alyssa Gerace

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