New Massachusetts Law Requires Fingerprint Background Checks - August 20th, 2014

On August 5th, Massachusetts Governor Patrick signed an act requiring state and national fingerprint background checks for people working with those who have intellectual or developmental disabilities. The law covers any department licensed, approved, or funded program, including contracted agency vendor programs. The background checks will be required for those who will have unsupervised contact with persons with an intellectual or developmental disability in any department-approved program.

The fingerprint-based checks shall be conducted on any applicant seeking a license for a facility which offers to the department’s client population residential or day care services or any other agency that is licensed or funded by the department and serves the department’s client population. The fingerprint-based checks shall be required for any household member, or person regularly on the premises, age 15 or older. It also covers any individual who provides transportation services. 

The law will take effect for new applicants on January 1st, 2016 and current employees on January 1, 2019. The full text of the legislation can be found here: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/188/House/H4327