- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 5, 2015

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A new state program requires criminal background checks for applicants seeking certain jobs at long-term care facilities.

Health and Human Resources Secretary Karen L. Bowling announced the launch of the West Virginia Clearance for Access: Registry and Employment Screening, or WV CARES, program on Wednesday. The program will be phased in over six months.

Fingerprint-based state and national background checks will be required for people who apply for jobs with access to residents or beneficiaries of long-term care services.

Long-term care facilities include nursing facilities, home health agencies, hospice care providers and adult day care.

Bowling says in a news release that the background checks will reduce the potential for abuse, neglect and exploitation of the elderly and other vulnerable adults.

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