To: Supportive Living Facilities (SLF)
Date: April 10, 2009
Re: Health Care Worker Registry and Sex Offender Checks
Health Care Worker Registry
The Department of Public Health (DPH) maintains the Health Care Worker Registry (Registry). The Registry is composed of individuals with background checks conducted pursuant to the Health Care Worker Background Check Act (225 ILCS 46). It also contains training information for certified nursing assistants (CNA) and other healthcare workers. Additionally, it displays administrative findings of abuse, neglect or misappropriation of property. The Department recently received direction from the DPH that any employee who falls under the requirements of the Health Care Worker Background Check Act must be included on the Registry, not just CNAs. Effective immediately, for all new Supportive Living Facility (SLF) employees who fall under the requirements of the Health Care Worker Background Check Act, the SLF must:
- Check the Registry to see if the potential employee is listed (must be done prior to employment beginning).
- If the employee appears on the Registry, verify that a background check completed within the past 12 months is included. If the background check results contained on the registry are older than 12 months, a new background check must be conducted and the results forwarded to the Registry.
- If the employee is NOT listed on the Registry, the SLF must send a copy of the Uniform Conviction Information Act (UCIA) background check results, along with a cover letter that includes the employee's name, employment title, address, date of birth and Social Security number (if this information is not already included on the background check results) to the Health Care Worker Registry.
As a reminder, the requirements of the Health Care Worker Background Check Act pertain to SLF employees who provide direct care to residents or those who have access to resident apartments or financial, medical or personal records. Staff licensed by the State of Illinois (i.e., RNs) are exempt from the requirements of this Act.
Sex Offender Checks
Recently the Department learned that registered sex offenders in Illinois who have a known alias(es), may not be identified on the National Sex Offender Public Website. For instance, if a person is named Mary Smith, but may also be known as Mary Jones, only one of these names appears on the National Website. If Mary Jones is typed into the search, it may not show anything under this name, even if she is a registered sex offender. In other words, the search will not identify Mary Jones and Mary Smith as the same person.
The Illinois State Police sex offender registry does include all known aliases and will identify the registered sex offender by any of the known names that are entered into the search page. Entering either Mary Jones or Mary Smith on the search page would identify the registered sex offender.
Additionally, the Illinois Department of Corrections (DOC) sex offender registry only contains registered sex offenders who are on parole from DOC or mandatory supervised release. Not all registered sex offenders are listed on the DOC registry.
In order to ensure resident safety and to allow both current and future residents to make an informed decision when considering residency or continued residency, now the Department requires all three sex offender registries to be searched prior to a resident's admission (see links below). Documentation of the checks should be contained in the residents' files.
Although it is not required, the Department recommends searching all three of the registries on current residents, especially if only the National registry or IDOC registry was used.
Links to Sex Offender Registries:
Questions regarding this notice should be directed to the Healthcare and Family Services Bureau of Long Term Care at 217-524-0372.
Theresa A. Eagleson, Administrator
Division of Medical Programs