Fingerprint-based background checks for personal care workers: Stakeholder views of policy criteria


Eric D Raile, Sarah J Swierenga, Toni A Dennis, Lauren A Swanson-Aprill, Lori A Post, Fuad Abujarad


Journal of elder abuse & neglect


Decision makers face difficult choices when tasked with identifying and implementing appropriate mechanisms for protecting the elderly and other vulnerable adults from abuse. A pilot project involving fingerprint-based criminal history background checks for personal care workers in Michigan has supplied an opportunity to examine one such mechanism. In conjunction with the pilot project, we have conducted a stakeholder analysis with the aim of informing decision makers about stakeholder perceptions of standard policy criteria like effectiveness, efficiency, and equity. We employed focus groups and a Web-based survey to collect data from stakeholders. While stakeholders generally see fingerprint-based background checks for personal care workers as potentially effective and as a net benefit, they also point to a variety of contingencies. They also recognize difficulties and constraints for government involvement. This preliminary analysis provides solid foundational information for decision makers and for more extensive benefit-cost analysis.



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