The Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs (Justice Center) was recently created in response to the recognized need to strengthen and standardize the safety net for vulnerable persons who receive care from New York State’s human services agencies. It becomes operational on June 30, 2013.
In a prior letter OASAS introduced this law and the impact on you as OASAS certified providers as a result of the changes in law. Specifically, prospective employees or volunteers in OASAS certified and funded programs that will have regular; unsupervised client contact must have their fingerprints taken and a criminal history check performed. Prior to requesting the criminal history check, providers must first request a check of the Vulnerable Persons Central Register Staff Exclusions List. We are attaching an attestation form that must be filled out in order for your program to access the criminal background check determination by OASAS and the State exclusion list that would direct you not to hire someone who is placed on the list. This form must be filled out with information specific to the person within your agency who will be authorized to access this sensitive information. The relevant sections of law that enable this process as well as statements of understanding regarding confidentiality of this material are included in the form.
Please return this form no later than May 8. 2013 so that OASAS and the Justice Center can effectively begin to implement this very important new law that will further protect vulnerable persons within our system. Please send this form to the address, email or fax indicated on the form itself. OASAS and the Justice Center are actively working on creating the structure to manage this new system. We are also required to promulgate implementing regulations to carry out the provisions of the Act. To this end, we will strive, as decisions are made, to get information out to the affected provider community in a timely fashion. We are in the process of developing a web page on the OASAS and Justice Center internet site, upon which we will post letters to the field, regulations, training information, FAQs and other relevant information as it becomes available. We would also encourage affected providers and/or the many professional trade associations within the state to post this information on their own websites.
In the meantime, a link to Chapter 501 of the Laws of 2012 is provided below for your reference. We encourage you to read through this legislation, and to advise us if you have any specific questions or concerns. Over the ensuing weeks, we plan to seek input from the provider community as we develop the technological processes and systems by which this law will be implemented.
Robert A. Kent