As Maine’s peer workforce continues to grow, there have been identified barriers that prevent qualified people from working in State funded services.
All State contracted providers have boiler plate “Riders” that detail obligations that providers must follow. One that is particularly troublesome for the peer community is in regard to people who might have a criminal/legal history that can prevent them from being hired.
What we do know about peers is that often their lived experience includes some of these issues.
What we hope for is that providers could have the flexibility to look at someone’s history on an individual basis and make hiring determinations based on not only the past, but where the person in their recovery is now.
*Below is a definition of the term “contract rider” and an excerpt from the rider that pertains to this concept draft:
A contract rider is an attachment to a contract. It can be a schedule, an amendment or any other writing that may modify the original contract. Riders allow contract drafters to avoid rewriting an entire contract.
This is an excerpt from Rider D which is written into every provider of mental health/substance use services contract:
“… 24) Background Checks. The Provider agrees to conduct background checks on all employees, temporary staff persons, persons contracted or hired, consultants, volunteers, students, and other persons who may provide services under this Agreement. The results of each background check shall be made available to the Program Administrator within five (5) days of completion and prior to the person providing services under this agreement. The cost of performing each background check shall be the responsibility of the Provider. The methods of performing the background checks must first be approved by the Department in writing and will include information from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, the Sex Offender Registry, and the Maine State Bureau of Investigation. ... If services to be provided under this agreement are to be performed by a person who is professionally licensed then the background check will include information from the appropriate licensing board or entity regarding the status of the person’s license. The Provider must receive written permission from the Department before making any changes to such methods.
The Provider shall not hire or retain in any capacity any person who may directly provide services to a client under this Agreement if that person has a record of:
a) any criminal conviction that involves client abuse, neglect or exploitation;
b) any criminal conviction, classified as Class A, B or C or the equivalent of any of these, or any reckless conduct that caused, threatened, solicited or created the substantial risk of bodily injury to another person within the preceding two years; or
c) any criminal conviction resulting from a sexual act, contact, touching or solicitation in connection to any victim.”
The CCSM Issues Statement Committee would like to hear from you. What are your thoughts on helping to find a solution to this issue? Please respond by attending your local meeting and giving solution-oriented feedback, either verbally or in writing.
The Behavioral Health Coalition for Maine (BHC4Me) held a press conference on April 10, 2018 regarding a package of mental health & substance use bills supported by coalition members that are sitting in Appropriations waiting to be funded!
*The mission of the Maine Behavioral Health Coalition is one of advocacy and education, fostering and protecting beneficial policies while opposing harmful ones in the areas of mental health and substance use. The Coalition will work collaboratively with legislators, service providers, consumers, and advocates to increase communication and information sharing in order to have a collective voice in influencing behavioral health policies throughout the state of Maine.
This years' theme is “Our Roots, Our Community: Coming Together for Social Change”
The 2018 HOPE Conference reinforces the power of community organizing in bringing about social justice. Internationally recognized keynotes will address the need for change and the significance of support and advocacy. Social justice, consumer movement history, personal and systemic advocacy, leadership skill building, community engagement, relationships for change and creative expression will be the focus of the workshops.
Register today! Early Bird Registration (before 5/23/18): $15 and (after 5/23/18): $20
To view or download a copy of the brochure and register, please click HERE
INDIVIDUALS NEEDED TO TESTIFY ON LD 1889- An Act To Increase Safety for Maine Citizens by Amending the Definition of "Likelihood of Serious Harm" in the Laws Governing Mental Health and Hospitalization To Include Consideration of a Person's Potential for Future Serious Harm
Do you think that it should be allowed that anyone could be put in a psychiatric hospital based on a likelihood in the FUTURE you might cause risk or harm? A bill at the Maine Legislature was just announced and will be heard tomorrow to talk about this very thing. It makes it much easier for anyone to be forced into a psychiatric hospital whether they agree or need it. Please share this and help us defeat LD 1889 at the Legislature tomorrow!
A LINK TO THE BILL IS BELOW.....
The easiest way to help folks think about writing testimony for this bill is to explain what could happen. This bill would widen the doors for someone to put you in a psychiatric hospital against your will. So, as it is now if some clinical person wants to put you in involuntarily they have to meet criteria about serious risk to sell or others. This bill would say that maybe in the future you might pose a risk, thus we think it is wise to put in the hospital now. This is really bad policy and not one you would do in the last few seconds of the legislative season without much or any notice and would have HUGE impacts on the entire peer community. The folks from TAC (Treatment Advocacy Center) and remember DJ Jaffee asked Rep Malaby to put this bill in. This also includes family members and professionals who think more people should be hospitalized even against their will!!! I know this is almost no notice but please come if you can!
If you have any questions, contact the CCSM office at 207-430-8300 or 1-877-207-5073