HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Department of Aging will soon begin using an electronic fingerprinting process to screen people applying to work in a long-term care facility or home health care agency. As of June 4, manually submitted background check requests will no longer be accepted by the department.
“In addition to enhancing the protections provided to our older adults, electronic fingerprinting will help us to more quickly process background checks,” said Secretary of Aging Brian Duke. “This is important because it will help people obtain jobs in Pennsylvania’s valuable health care industry.”
The Older Adults Protective Services Act requires applicants and employees of long-term care facilities, home health care agencies and other agencies to undergo a criminal history background check. They must also obtain criminal history record reports through the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP).
Applicants who have not been a Pennsylvania resident for at least two years must obtain criminal history record reports from both PSP and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Previously, the department processed fingerprints manually. It is moving toward a more efficient and effective method that will be compatible with law enforcement and other screening processes.
The department will use the services of Cogent Systems, a company that provides state-of-the-art fingerprinting processing. With the new process, individuals applying for a position which requires a background check can register online or by telephone Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EDT.
For more detailed information and instructions about the new online registration process, visit www.aging.state.pa.us or call 717-265-7887.
Editor’s Note: Other Pennsylvania agencies using Cogent Systems are the departments of Banking, Education, Public Welfare, Insurance, and PennDOT.