Criminal Background Checks for San Antonio Private Home Care Workers?

An ordinance proposed by San Antonio Police Chief, William McManus and Councilman David Medina attempts to establish a required background check for private home care workers who are currently exempt from the requirement, reports a San Antonio Express-News article

The effort to establish an ordinance comes after Paul Dominguez, who was providing home care for Elma Sartuche, was charged with stabbing his care recipient more than a dozen times at her home in February. While, according to the article, it is unclear exactly how effective the ordinance would be, McManus believes it will serve as a tool to help educate home care recipients and their families. 

The San Antonio Express-News reports:


In drafting the ordinance, McManus said the Police Department hopes to partner with the Metropolitan Health District, the city attorney’s office and local nonprofit organizations like the San Antonio Residential Care Homes Association.

The goal, he said, is to try and fill a gap left by state law that exempts from licensing those who are hired directly by a client or the person’s family to provide home health or personal assistance services.

People working as home health care providers would register for a city-issued ID and that would agree to a background check.


The background checks likely would cover the same 13 offenses as those flagged by state licensing checks, including sexual assault, indecency with a child arson and robbery.

Medina said hiring someone for home health care can make the client or family members vulnerable to violent crime and possibly financial crimes as well.

“They may have access to account numbers or Social Security numbers, stuff like that,” Medina said. “It could be a preliminary tool … to help the customer learn more about this person.”

Dominguez, 36, remains jailed on a murder charge with bail set at $100,000, county records show.

Read the San Antonio Express-News article here

Written by Erin Hegarty