Protection begins with prevention.

A licensed agency is mandated to perform background checks to help insure the safety of its clients. This practice filters out potential employees who appear to be the perfect hire with courteous behavior, knowledge of the industry and stellar resumes. The ability to dig deeper can bring surprising results and avert a potential crisis.

1) Many states provide a Health Care Worker Registry. If a potential employee has been legally employed, their information can be found and verified in the Registry. An agency can verify:

  • Social Security numbers
  • If a training program is Certified
  • Any Administrative Findings
  • Illinois Department of Health eligibility (in Illinois)
  • Waivers – the process to become qualified if the employee was found to be ineligible
  • Alerts to employer if an employee becomes ineligible to work via certification expiration or criminal record

2) Ongoing prevention is key. Licensed agencies prevent problems with:

  • Periodic drug testing, resume confirmation, driving records and automobile insurance confirmations and background checks.
  • Continued training, supervision and education .
  • New hire education includes 12 hours of training based on state regulations and how to be a competent Caregiver. This instruction covers HIPPA regulations, personal and companion care techniques.
  • Updated training throughout the year and with quarterly evaluations, in-home supervised training and additional classes.
  • Specific training based on the needs and abilities of the client. Is the client a fall risk? Are there ambulatory needs? Medical issues? Licensed agencies have access to many different types of training. 
  • Occasional drop-ins while Caregiver is working.

What happens if an emergency does occur?

Licensed Agencies are insured for any crisis whether it involves the client or an injured employee.  It covers any damages, theft or injuries surrounding care (in the home, car, traveling, etc.)

An agency cannot be licensed without proof of liability insurance or contributing to the Workman’s Compensation Fund.

Additionally, agencies purchase a crime bond to cover criminal actions.  If there is an issue of theft, the Agency will reimburse the client immediately, and are responsible for any prosecution. 

All employees are certified in CPR, First Aid, have a food handlers license and follow specific agency procedures when a crisis situation develops.

You have learned that Licensed Agencies practice crisis prevention by validating an employee’s background, providing quality supervision, training and education, being properly insured and having specific procedures to follow during an unfortunate event. 

Which would you choose? An independent contractor or a Licensed Agency similar to Golden Heart?

Friday’s topic is Elder Abuse. We will discuss the signs and who to contact. For now, click here for our Elder Abuse Prevention page. 

If you have any questions, please leave a comment or email us at

  • Team Golden Heart

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