CCSM Concept Draft – May 17, 2018
Legal Barriers to Peer Workforce Development
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.”