WHEREAS, the safety of children, the elderly and people with disabilities is of vital importance to the State of Missouri; and
WHEREAS, the State, through the Department of Social Services and the Department of Health, is authorized by statute to conduct investigations and maintain background information on caregivers that have abused or neglected children, the elderly and people with disabilities; and
WHEREAS, the Department of Mental Health is authorized through administrative rule to maintain an employment disqualification list of caregivers that have abused or neglected consumers; and
WHEREAS, the Missouri State Highway Patrol maintains the Criminal Records Repository, enabling citizens to obtain conviction information on felony and aggravated misdemeanor convictions of potential caregivers for children, the elderly or people with disabilities; and
WHEREAS, individuals selecting personal care services for children, the elderly and people with disabilities should have easy access to available information from all state resources to help them make safe healthcare and daycare decisions; and
WHEREAS, this administration strives to improve efficiency in state government operations.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Mel Carnahan, Governor of the State of Missouri, by the virtue of the powers vested in me through the Constitution and the laws of Missouri, do hereby direct the Departments of Social Services, Health, Mental Health and Public Safety to collaborate in making background check information on caregivers of children, the elderly and people with disabilities available to the public through a centralized, comprehensive, consumer-friendly system.
FURTHER, the designated agencies, shall share appropriate information, as allowed by state statute, on caregivers of services for children, elderly and people with disabilities from existing files, including:
- Missouri's Criminal Records Repository from the Missouri State Highway Patrol;
- Probable cause findings of child abuse or neglect pursuant to section 210.109, RSMo;
- The Division of Aging's employee disqualification list pursuant to section 660.315, RSMo;
- Foster parent licensure denials, revocations and suspensions pursuant to sections 210.481 to 210.536 RSMo;
- Day care licensing denials, revocations and suspensions pursuant to sections 210.481 to 210.536, RSMo;
- The Department of Mental Health's employee disqualification list;
- Any other databases, licensing files or records the designated agencies deem appropriate under state statute.
FURTHER, the designated agencies shall develop a single, consumer-friendly information packet and background check request form that lists all of the resources available to the public to obtain background information on caregivers of children, the elderly and people with disabilities;
FURTHER, the request form shall make background check information easily accessible for the protection of the public while also protecting the rights of those persons who are the subject of the background checks through appropriate means, including authorized release.
FURTHER, the designated agencies shall build public awareness of the background check service through the Internet, existing toll-free phone numbers, community extension offices and any other innovative promotional method;
FURTHER, the designated agencies shall collaborate in making cost-effective recommendations by September 1, 1999, to develop an automated system that further streamlines interagency information sharing and allows the public quicker access to information.
FURTHER, the designated agencies shall annually report the progress of this initiative, including customer service data, to the Governor's Office by September 1 of each year.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Missouri, in the City of Jefferson, on this 31st day of March, 1999.
[Mel Carnahan's signature]
[Rebecca McDowell Cook's signature]
SECRETARY OF STATE