The HCSCPA Act took effect on January 1, 2016. The Home Care Aide Registry is an online site which list registered home care aides and home care aide applicants that is maintained by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS). This registry will include the individual’s name, registration number, status and expiration date.

This Act will cover home care organization that arranges for home care services by an affiliated home care aide to a client. This entity can be an individual, firm, partnership, a corporation or joint ventures.

The CDSS will require a criminal background check and all convictions other than minor traffic violations will require an exemption. This means all misdemeanor and felony crimes. If CDSS concludes that an individual has been convicted of a crime, that person cannot work or be present in any community care facility unless they have a criminal record exemption from the Community Care Licensing Division, Caregiver Background Check Bureau (CBCB).

This exemption will be required prior to clearance and it is an authorized written document that “exempts” the individual from the requirement of having a criminal record clearance. CBCB will also examine arrest records to determine if there are possible dangers and risks to clients.

All crimes except those deemed to be serious crimes that the CDSS has prohibited from granting an exemption requires an exemption document. Examples of serious crimes are sexual battery, child abuse, elder abuse, robbery, and rape. There are fees associated with the criminal background check—the California Department of Justice fee is $32, the FBI fee is $17 and fingerprint fees varies and depends on the location where they are taken. However, there is no CDSS fee for the criminal record exemption process.

The background check process is only completed once, during the initial application process. The CDSS will receive subsequent reports of arrests and convictions from Justice Department. Once a home care aide has received a criminal record clearance or a criminal record exemption, the home care organization may submit a request to transfer the aide’s clearance or exemption.

Individuals remain active in the Licensing Division database for three years. If after three years of inactivity, the individual would need to submit new fingerprints. Additionally, if an individual does not complete the application process or complete the exemption process, the Licensing Division notifies the Justice Department to stop sending the criminal history for that individual and that person will be required to submit new fingerprints if they apply at a later date.

The criminal history information received by the Licensing Division includes all arrests, misdemeanors, and felonies. All home care aides affiliated with a home care organization must be listed on the Home Care Aide Registry prior to providing home care services.  The home care aides/caregivers must self-disclose their conviction on the Criminal Record Statement during the initial application process.

The applicant will also be provided a written notice of all criminal history received from the Justice Department and the FBI. I have had clients inquire if their DMV records are included in the background check process and it is not. But, a DUI arrest and/or conviction will be reported.

Many have and will continue to be impacted by this legislation passed this year. Critically important is being able to prevent arrest and if arrested, possible reduction of the charge and if convicted, getting the conviction expunged.  There are many levels that prevention occurs so once arrested or if under investigation even prior to arrest, call my office immediately.  There are strategies that must be implemented to prevent an individual from not getting a criminal exemption.

If there has been a conviction, call my office immediately so we can get the conviction expunged and if necessary, file for a certificate of rehabilitation. Call me at 310-601-7144 or email me at [email protected].  To receive updates on legal matters from Attorney Carina, please like our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/attycarinacastaneda/ or follow us on Twitter: @AttyCastaneda.

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