Bill would require background checks for child services workers

Source: Sacramento Bee.

Pressure mounted Tuesday for a requirement that California's child protection agencies conduct criminal background checks on prospective social workers before they can be hired.

A bill that would require county child welfare agencies to conduct such checks passed its first test Tuesday in the Legislature amid guarded questioning by state senators.

The proposal by Sen. Roy Ashburn, R-Bakersfield, would bar counties from hiring child protection social workers who have been convicted of assault with a deadly weapon, felony spousal abuse, child abuse or a sex offense that requires registration.

"It only makes sense to me … ," said Ashburn. "We're trying to narrow the possibility that children are further neglected or abused – or worse."

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