Adult-care law limiting employment candidates

In West Philadelphia’s Tyrone Peake, two national trends have converged.

The first: As baby boomers both arrange care for their elderly parents and grow older themselves, they are likely to need home health-care aides. Thus, domiciliary-care homes and long-term-care nursing facilities will need qualified workers. In Pennsylvania alone, it is projected that between 2012 and 2022, the direct-care workforce will need to grow by 33 percent.

The second: Nearly one in three adults in the United States, about 70 million people, have arrest or conviction records, according to an April report by the New York-based National Employment Law Project.

Yet in Pennsylvania alone, 200,000 people with clean records after 10-year-

old felony convictions are prohibited from working full time in nursing or group homes, known as “covered facilities” under existing law.

The Older Adult Protective Services Act imposes a complete ban on employment at “covered facilities” for anyone with a criminal record. Any conviction applies, and the ban extends for a lifetime.

Peake graduated from college last year at age 52. He and his daughter Ebony, 30, joke that they got their degrees the same year. In December, he earned his in behavioral health from Community College of Philadelphia. Peake works for Resources for Human Development Inc. (RHD), a local nonprofit that provides residential programs to individuals with mental illness, mental retardation, and chemical dependency.

With a quiet manner, Peake – a lifelong Phillies fan whose “favorite” was Shane Victorino – has drawn high praise from his bosses. They want to promote him to a full-time post with better pay and benefits.
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