A report issued by state auditors says children in licensed day care facilities in Connecticut are at an increased risk of coming into contact with unsuitable child care individuals.
Among the 33 recommendations state auditors have made to the Connecticut Department of Public Health: the agency needs a system to ensure background checks are being performed on all employees of child care facilities.
The 85 page report, which covers fiscal years 2010 and 2011, says DPH does not finish what it starts with regard to background checks.
“When the background checks are done, they come in to the department of public health. If there’s a hit, something that’s questionable, it needs to be forwarded to the employer, the day care center,” said Robert Ward, a State Auditor.
Furthermore, state auditors discovered, DPH does not have an efficient system to follow-up on these red flags
“There should be an evaluation by the day care center and a new evaluation by the agency,
During a June 2012 state audit, paperwork on ten new child care hires, whose background check revealed legal issues, was reviewed by auditors. And, none were satisfactorily followed through to completion.
“In fact, in over two-thirds of the findings, we’ve either fully implemented our plan of action or we’ve almost implemented it,” said Bill Gerrish, spokesperson for the Department of Public Health.
But, where do background checks fit into the equation?
“We’re in the process of hiring more staff to work on these background checks. And, we’re carefully going through all of our policies and procedures so that we can make improvements in this very important area,” noted Gerrish.
The next state audit will commence next June, with the report being completed by October 2015.