A Daly City-based senior care provider called Serving Seniors.Care had been hiring caretakers with criminal records, with the unsurprising result that one of them allegedly stole thousands of dollars from an elderly man.

If you are going to work in an elderly person’s home with a licensed caregiver organization, you must receive a clearance from the California Department of Social Services. That process requires fingerprinting and a criminal background check, and if you have a criminal record, you are not going to pass that background check.  

We bring this up because the Chronicle reports today that a Daly City-based in-home caregiving organization for seniors, Serving Seniors.Care, has been fined $100,000 for placing people with criminal backgrounds in seniors’ homes. The company, whose headquarters is in Serramonte Plaza, neglected to perform the required clearances on their workers, and state law forbids people with criminal records from working as in-home care aides.

Their hiring of workers with a criminal past came with the expected result. One of their in-home aides allegedly stole thousands of dollars from an elderly man in Palo Alto, and a state investigation turned up that another aide had also stolen thousands from a home-care client.  

“Families trust home care organizations to follow the law when they hire employees,” Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in a press release. “Placing strangers into homes without a background check or screening puts elderly and disabled citizens in harm’s way.”

That statement adds that Serving Seniors.Care “allegedly made false statements on its website and in its client agreements that its aides were properly screened.”

The $100,000 fine was levied for having provided false advertising and engaging in unfair competition. The company was also ordered to comply with state record-keeping and compliance acts.

Any home caregiver’s status can be checked automatically in the State of California home care aide database. All you need to check whether the caregiver is fully licensed is the caregiver’s first and last name, and their Personnel (PER) ID number.

Related: Bay Area Nursing Home Could Lose State License After Investigation into Elderly Residents Dying by Poison Last Summer [SFist]

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