State Auditor encourages criminal checks
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State Auditor encourages criminal checks

Date: November 14, 2007
By: Sarah D. Wire
State Capitol Bureau

Intro: The State Auditor released an audit of three state departments which found the state could do more to protect against abuse in Missouri care facilities.  Sarah Wire has more from the Capitol. RunTime:
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The review of the Social Service, Mental Health and Health and Senior Services Departments found that not all state residential facilities perform required annual employee checks of child abuse registries.

State Auditor Susan Montee said employees are required to register with the state but the state is not required to check the registry.

 

Actuality:  MONTEE2.WAV
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Description: Our concern is that we are putting our children unnecessarily at risk.

The departments agreed with many of her recommendations and have taken steps to fix the problems. She also urged legislation changes to require state facilities to check the registries.

From the Capitol, I'm Sarah Wire.

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Intro: State Auditor Susan Montee released an audit encouraging three state departments to provide better safety for people in state residential facilities. Sarah Wire has more from the Capitol.

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The audit says that the state's Social Service, Mental Health and Health and Senior Services Departments should conduct annual screenings of employees to monitor history of abuse and theft.

Mental Health Department spokesman Bob Bax said checking 8,000 employees in their department would require significant time and resources, but it is currently exploring options.

Montee said an analysis by her office showed doing the checks would only take six minutes a day.

 

 
Actuality:  MONTEE3.WAV
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Description: So, it really isn't a matter of resources, it's a matter of it just not being done

Bax said the problems may be solved internally but legislation is an option.

From the state Capitol, I'm Sarah Wire.

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Intro: State Auditor Susan Montee recommended that people with certain criminal backgrounds be restricted from working with Missouri's care facilities in an audit released Wednesday. Sarah Wire has more from the Capitol.

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Montee says her audit found state law does not automatically exclude people with child abuse charges or criminal convictions from working at residential facilities.

Bob Bax, spokesman for the State Mental Health Department, said the issue is being looked at but he is not sure if full exclusion is the right path for the state to take.

 

Actuality:  BAX.WAV
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Description: So I think uh, we  plan to review that and to see if it makes sense to use discretion or in fact go to a blanket prohibition against any employment.


Montee said it has been this type of discretion that has allowed abusers to work with children, the elderly and the mentally handicapped.

From the state Capitol, I'm Sarah Wire.