Individuals who have been convicted of abuse, neglect or exploitation of a vulnerable adult would be barred from working for three state agencies under newly-proposed legislation.
The Greenville News reports the bill would establish an abuse registry for vulnerable adults that the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs, Department of Health and Environmental Control and Department of Mental Health could go through to see who is on the list before hiring anyone.
A person convicted of a type of a crime or who have committed an act of abuse, neglect or exploitation as determined by an investigating agency, even if they have not committed a criminal act, could be placed on the registry. Family members of vulnerable would also be able to check the list before using a caregiver.
According to the newspaper, this is not the first time an effort was made to establish such a registry. A push eight years ago failed to gain support from lawmakers. In 2009 the House and Senate introduced legislation to create such a registry, but it was limited to only those convicted of abuse, neglect and exploitation offenses.
The Senate passed its bill, but the measure did not make it out of a House committee
However, a recent audit into problems with caregivers at agencies contracted by DDSN renewed efforts to pass the law. This year’s version is sponsored by State Rep. Garry Smith, R-Simpsonville.