An increasing number of residents in assisted living — and their families — are hiring private duty aides to provide additional support and companionship even while living in an RCFE. A Tuesday Tip subscriber recently emailed us for clarification on the criminal clearance requirements for these individuals. Fortunately Community Care Licensing provides clarification on this in the RCFE Evaluator Manual.
Unless determined to be exempt from criminal background check requirements, a privately paid personal assistant must have a criminal record clearance or exemption. Health and Safety Code section 1569.17 and Regulation section 87356 specify which persons are subject to criminal background check requirements in residential care facilities for the elderly. Following are brief discussions of exemptions that do and do not apply to privately paid personal assistants:
Statute provides that ―a spouse, significant other, relative, or close friend of a client is exempt‖ if the individual ―is visiting the client and provides direct care and supervision to that client only.‖ This exemption does not apply to privately paid personal assistants because an assistant is acting in the capacity of an employee rather than as a friend or relative.
Statute exempts ―a third-party contractor or other professional retained by a client and at the facility at the request or by permission of that client.‖ This exemption does not apply to privately paid personal assistants, but instead addresses persons such as the resident’s accountant, social worker, etc.
Statute also exempts licensed or certified medical professionals from criminal background check requirements. Thus, a privately paid personal assistant who is also a licensed medical professional is exempt. In addition, a privately paid personal assistant who has current certification as a Certified Nursing Assistant and/or a Certified Home Health Aide is exempt. The licensee must keep a copy of the person’s current license or certification on file.