You must have seen in the news stories on the horrific abuse elderly people in care homes sometimes have to suffer at the hands of an individual who is supposedly there to help them. Such highly-publicized cases have made care home managers rethink their hiring policies and do a thorough scrutiny of a new employee’s background before allowing them unsupervised contact with vulnerable people.
Local regulations on Working with Vulnerable People
When it comes to working with children, the regulations are similar all over Australian and you need a Working with Children permit to be hired in any sector where you will interact with minors.
When it comes to the elderly, legislation varies between Australia’s states and territories.
In 2011, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) made history by introducing the Working with Vulnerable People scheme. This act made it compulsory for anyone seeking employment in the aged care sector to obtain a special permit. In order to get such a permit, an individual has to submit to a full background check to see if there are any criminal offences on their record which would signal potential trouble. The idea is that an individual with a history of violent behaviour is much more likely to commit a similar crime while working with vulnerable people than someone who has an unblemished criminal record. For ACT residents such a permit can be obtained through the dedicated screening unit Access Canberra. For all the other Australian states and territories a simple police check will do.
How to get a background check on care home employees
The special permit introduced by the ACT is more complex than a national background check as it can also look at spent convictions or charges that did not end with a conviction. For the rest of the country where such permits are not mandatory a background check is the best tool care home managers have at their disposal to make sure the residents in their establishment are safe. By ordering a police check on a potential employee the recruiting agents can see if that individual has a criminal record.Should anything bad happen in their establishment the care home’s management might find itself slapped with a negligent hiring lawsuit.
With that in mind, most care homes around the country have made background checks a part of their hiring routine. A convenient way to do a background check on a potential care worker is going through an accredited service like the australian national character check site which can provide a valid national police check (NPC). As an agency accredited with the federal government in Australia, the agency has access to police records in all Australian states and territories and will discover any criminal offence a care worker applicant might have committed anywhere in the country. For businesses like aged care centres it provides efficiency as the process is online.
It is up to the care home manager to decide what sort of criminal offence might make a job seeker ineligible for a position. Someone convicted of driving under the influence seven years ago might not pose a risk to the vulnerable residents and maybe it was just a singular unfortunate incident. However, people with a consistent history of verbal and physical abuse cannot be trusted around defenseless people. At the end of the day, when you look at a job applicant’s record the question you need to ask yourself is would you want this person near your mother or grandmother?