Published: Aug 03, 2010 8:57 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 03, 2010 5:57 PM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida has new background screening requirements for caregivers, but an electronic fingerprinting network to help put them into effect isn't fully ready.

Applicants for jobs working with children, seniors and disabled people must comply with the new requirements as of this week, but Health News Florida reported Tuesday that a contractor had fewer screening sites open than expected.

The Agency for Health Care Administration said employers would not be penalized if they could show they made good-faith efforts to meet the fingerprinting requirements.

The Legislature tightened screening after the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported that convicted criminals had been hired as caregivers.