SingleSource Background Screening Company Cautions Against Hiring Non-Licensed Care for Elderly and Children In Response to Fears About Health Care Reform Changes

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Rising health care costs and shrinking income have many people seeking non-licensed, non regulated health care givers. These informal care arrangements by people who are not properly screened places the people they are hired to protect at risk.

Nearly 12 million elderly and disabled rely on home health care providers every year.

A report by the U.S. Government Accountability office in 2011 found that 14% of non-institutionalized elder adults experienced abuse.

Don Dymer, president and chief executive officer of SingleSource Services, a nationwide background screening company since 1995 offers important advice for people seeking child care as well as those seeking home health care assistance for the elderly or disabled.

"The uncertainty of how new health care policies will impact people's finances has many seeking ways to save money on care, and in particular home health care," states Don Dymer of SingleSource background screening company. A December article in Today's Caregiver states, "Due to the cost and increasing shortage of home health aides, many families seeking to hire in-home staff turn to private individuals rather than working through an agency."

Dymer explains, "Unless you are in the background screening industry or a human resource professional, most people lack the knowledge or the tools to probably check an individuals' credentials. Hiring people to care for your children or aging parent is not a decision that should be made utilizing your gut feeling. At SingleSource we have been providing background checking services to home health care agencies and non profits for over fifteen years and we understand the difference between compassion and competence."

Dymer advised people seeking at home care to do their homework. "Visiting Angels, a nationally recognized franchise in the home care business, members of such organizations as the California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH), and the National Private Duty Association members are examples of organizations that stand well equipped to provide well trained, background screened and, where needed, licensed professionals to take care of children and adults requiring quality home care.”

Dymer cautions against relying on informal health care arrangements that rely on friends, friends of families, neighbors and non-licensed caregivers. “Even if you anticipate the need to be short term, as is the case in someone recovering at home after surgery, you need to understand that this person will be given access to personal information and property and be placed in a position of trust.”

“Caregivers must be held to a high standard and meeting that standard requires rigorous and thoughtful background screening. The United States Census Bureau predicts that Florida, along with California and Texas will have the largest senior populations in the country by 2025. Seniors are increasingly looking for a way to remain independent as long as possible and rely heavily on at home care givers to provide them with that independence,” points out Dymer.

“A report by the U.S. Government Accountability office in 2011 found that 14% of non-institutionalized elder adults experienced abuse. Unfortunately since much of that abuse goes unreported, we assume the actual number is higher,” explains Dymer. "The same may be said of child sexual abuse by those entrusted with their care. We know that 6%* of the adult population has a sexual attraction to children and we also know that 95%* of child sexual abusers are never formally charged with the abuse and so never get criminal records.”

To avoid placing your loved one in harm’s way, Dymer recommends making a thorough search locally, getting references and starting with the well established names in the field that have earned their reputation. The fact that an agency supports its state or national organization may be an indication of their commitment to high standards.

If you are seeking the best care or schooling for your children, background screening of all pertinent personnel is a must, insists Dymer. “Don’t be satisfied if your youth organization or school says they do criminal background checks, it isn’t enough. Ask them if the Diana Screen® is part of their pre-employment or pre-volunteer on-boarding process. If not, the risk of having an adult who doesn’t understand the sexual boundaries that should exist between adult and child simply could get a position looking after your child.”

SingleSource Services is located in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. The company provides background screening to over 2,500 businesses across a wide variety of industries and non-profit organizations. SingleSource was founded in 1995 and believes that backgrounds are like fingerprints and prides itself on its long term customer relationships and strong commitment to fulfill its corporate civic duties. Visit them at or call: 1.800.713.3412.

Sources: *The Child Molestation Research & Prevention Institute
Today's CAREGIVER (Dec. 2012) ( Hiring Private Duty Home Care Workers: Why Work Through an Agency? Author, Rona S. Bartelstone, LCSW, BCD, CMC

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Adrienne Whitman

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